"Christianity in today's society no longer looks like Jesus."
This was a phrase researchers from the Barna group heard over and over again from Millennials in a 2007 study on religious engagement. In Being Sermon on the Mount Christians, Rev. Dr. James R. Berger meditates on Jesus' declaration that it is by their fruit wedistinguish good trees from bad.
What is the fruit we are bearing as Christians today?
In instructing us not to judge others (Matthew 7:1), it would seem Jesus stops us dead in our efforts to assess the church as a whole.The Sermon drives us down a much more challenging path as it points us inward. There we discover that the world-changing power of the Sermon on the Mount does not start with a political or religious movement, but in our own hearts.
Being Sermon on the Mount Christians is a step-by-step examination of Matthew 5-7, from The Beatitudes to the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Builders. Each chapter's Insight and Action section includes supporting scriptures and questions to stimulate powerful small group discussion.
Rev. Dr. James R. Berger is retired from the Presbyterian Church USA. His life and ministry can be summed up as "going to extremes." A native of New Jersey, he began his ministry in Beverly Hills, CA, and then spent 23 years in missions, first as a pastor of Petersburg Presbyterian Church in Petersburg, AK, and then working for the Church of Scotland at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Kirk, in Nassau, The Bahamas. He returned to the mainland in 2002 and began work as a new church development pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Bonita Springs, FL. That work eventually became Hope United Presbyterian Church, which he founded, and from which he retired in 2015. He is a contributing editor to the Wired Word Bible Study. He resides in Estero, FL with his wife Patricia Downey.