This revised edition of Vaught's theological investigation of the Sermon on the Mount begins with the assumption that the text cannot be understood apart from a transformation of the human spirit. The stages of this transformation are outlined in the Beautitudes, and, against this background, the book comes to focus on the perfection that Jesus demands from his followers. Vaught's study is a theological attempt to explore some of the ways in which perfection can be achieved. The text moves from Matthew's Beatitudes, through simple illustrations of salt and light, to indications about the way in which Jesus fulfills and transcends the religious tradition from which he comes. In The Sermon on the Mount, we also find suggestions about how to deal with the practical problems of murder and anger, adultery and divorce, the problem of retaliation, and the problem of responding to our enemies.
Dr Carl G Vaught was appointed Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Baylor University in 1998. He received his B.A. from Baylor in 1961, where he graduated summa cum laude and received the Alpha Chi Scholarship Award as the valedictorian of his class. He attended Yale University as a Woodrow Wilson and a Danforth Graduate Fellow and received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Yale in 1966. Before he came to Baylor, he taught in the Philosophy Department at Penn State for thirty-one years where he directed the dissertations of twenty-nine graduate students and he served as Head of the Department of Philosophy from 1982 to 1992. He became a Fellow of the Society of Philosophy in America in 1987, was affiliated with Oriel College in Oxford in 1990-91, and was a Distinguished Alumnus at Baylor in 1993. His principal philosophical interests are metaphysics, the philosophy of religion, and the history of philosophy.
Preface Part I: Divine Perfection and Christian Maturity 1. The Context of the Message 2. Entrance into God's Kingdom 3. The Outward Journey 4. Persecution and the Real Order 5. Two Overarching Metaphors: The Salt of the Earth and the Light of the World Part II: The Past and the Future: Five Practical Problems 6. Jesus as the Fulfillment of Tradition 7. Murder and Anger 8. Adultery and Divorce 9. The Problem of False Vows 10. The Problem of Retaliation 11. Love Your Enemies Part III: Six Expressions of Perfection 12. Being Seen and Being Noticed: Secret Acts of Charity 13. The Inner Room and the Lord's Prayer 14. Fasting as a Centered Act 15. Two Treasures, Two Ways of Seeing, Two Masters 16. Beyond Anxiety 17. Judgment and Condemnation Part IV: Final Considerations about God's Kingdom 18. Access to Transforming Power 19. The Golden Rule and the Narrow Gate 20. Wolves in Sheep's Clothing 21. Two Final Analogies: Houses, Rocks, and Sand Notes Index