on February 23, 2001
After a diligent search, I selected this book as the syllabus for the Adult Bible Study I moderate at the Morrow Memorial United Methodist Church in Maplewood, New Jersey. As a former college professor and scientific researcher, the "footnotes," collected at the end of the book, that direct the enthusiastic reader to further references, swayed my judgment. The penetrating questions and more sources in the book's Study Guide, matched with each of the ten Sessions, challenge even the most percipient reader to contemplate the verse of the Beatitudes according to Saint Matthew just covered.
The book is very accessible and a compelling read. Reverend Lucado employs a narrative style and strong figurative language to create unforgettable images - metaphors, similes and puns punctuate his anecdotes that all can relate to. Without proselytizing, the minister imaginatively explicates the paradoxes and jarring hyperboles that comprise the Beatitudes. He invites the reader of The Applause of Heaven to a preview of the eternal blessing of unbounded joy promised to the believer in the Kingdom of God. Whether, as a drunk, one uses the lamppost for support or to find ones way, this book guides one on the path to meet with Jesus on the Mount. As recommended for the performing artist's arduous journey to Carnegie Hall, practice, practice and more practice of each "be attitude," the text assures us, will land the Christian in heaven to be greeted with God's thunderous applause.
As one rebuilds ones heart using the Beatitudes as the blueprint for living, ones contemporary values are disabused by John Elliot's admonition that "he is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Read Reverend Lucado's deconstruction that to be meek, for instance, involves not only practising humility and eschewing vanity but also exercising patience, tolerance, contentedness and control over ones anger. "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Shalom!
on February 29, 2000
My wife bought this book for me on my 42nd birthday...I couldn't put it down! I especially liked Chapter 2, "His Summit". Lucado's style of writing flowed so smoothly as I read this chapter (and the whole book). Chapter 2 took me away from my hectic daily life and "put" me up on the mountainside, high above my hectic daily life, where I could spend some quiet moments with Jesus and feel His presence so powerfully. A wonderful, WONDERFUL book!
on December 9, 2002
Max Lacudo explains the beatitudes in such a simple yet enlightening way one can't help but say "yes" as you read! He literally changed my life as I realized through this book that I too wanted to be up on the Mountain, and not left in the valley. And King of the Mountain is not the goal! For anyone looking to find the light this is the book! I keep extra copies to pass on and give as gifts. A wonderful book!
on July 22, 2000
I can't count the number of times I've read and re-read the beatitudes and come away with nothing more than a feeling of emptiness. Much like the banal dronings of Polonoius in Hamlet. Through Max Lucado's eyes, I have seen them anew! They represent a blueprint for life. Lucado's style is warm and friendly. By bringing you into events of his own life, he puts tough theological concepts into crystal clear imagery.