An in-depth examination of the Christian life of faith, centering on the Beatitudes.
Kamenos chooses to start her passionate, scripturally literate book with an error: “The life of the man called Jesus of Nazareth is well documented not only by Biblical sources, but also by Jewish and Roman historians and scholars.” Fortunately for her readers, she quickly shifts from making fanciful historical claims to delving deeply into the philosophical tenets of Christianity, which for her boil down to a journey toward God, a voyage of perfectibility through the example of God’s flesh-and-blood link with the human world, Jesus Christ. “To Christians, Jesus is the light to which we are all drawn,” Kamenos writes with simple clarity. “He is the light that gives us hope.” For Kamenos, the blueprint of that hope, the guidelines for coming closer to God, are embodied in the Beatitudes found in the Gospel of St. Matthew, familiar even to non-Christians: “Blessed are they who mourn,” “Blessed are the meek,” and so on. “Only through Christ can we receive the gift of God’s mercy,” Kamenos writes, and she ably takes each of Christ’s utterances in the Sermon on the Mount in turn, sifting through the sentiments and buttressing her observations with wide-ranging biblical quotations. The book wanders freely far afield of the Beatitudes, examining much of Christian belief, all done in the simple faith that “Christ is God’s message to us,” a living paradigm of the worthwhile Christian life. Kamenos’ central focus—that God is more intimately revealed to humans the more they live the life of Christ—is obviously suited to an audience of her fellow practicing Christians; it’s these readers who are being reminded by the author, throughout this otherwise somewhat diffuse narrative, that they are closer to their God than the distraction-filled world can often have them think.
A highly detailed, passionately persuasive account of the ways Christians can use Scripture to uncover their inner connection to God.