This review appeared in the Jul-Sep 2010 vol. 167 no. 3 issue of Biblotheca Sacra, DTS’s quarterly academic journal.Subscribe Today
Truth Standing on Its HeadNordskog Publishing, Ventura, CA December 1, 2009
In this book John Day, senior pastor of Bellewood Presbyterian Church, Bellevue, Washington, presents a series of twenty-two chapters on the Sermon on the Mount, what some have called “the Greatest Sermon Ever Told.” These insightful and convicting expositions are true to the Scriptures and relevant to life. In His sermon Jesus addressed numerous topics—spirituality, purity, influence, adultery, personal rights, wealth, loving one’s enemies, giving, prayer, boasting, idolatry, worry, the Golden Rule, false profession, and others.
The book’s title stems from G. K. Chesterton’s statement that “paradox is truth standing on her head to attract attention.” The Sermon on the Mount begins with three strange paradoxes in Jesus’ eight beatitudes: being happy and humble (Matt. 5:1–5), being happy and hungry (vv. 6–8), and being happy and harassed (vv. 9–12).
Intriguing chapter titles include these: “What Is Wrong with My Rights?” (5:38–42); “The Danger of Public Religion” (6:1–6, on piety); “American Idol” (vv. 19–24, on materialism); “Anxiety Disorder” (vv. 25-34); “Praying with Confidence” (7:7–11).
The book’s subtitle “Insight for an Extraordinary Christian Walk from the Sermon on the Mount” conveys the message of this book—how one’s Christian walk can be extraordinary as one follows the instructions and admonitions in Matthew 5–7, Jesus’ longest-recorded sermon. Pastors and teachers will benefit from this clear, well-written expository study with its many, practical applications. And laypersons will be challenged to follow Jesus’ life-changing principles of radical discipleship.
—Roy B. Zuck