THEO essay 3 - Judd Andrews THEO 215 Wojda Sermon on the...

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Judd Andrews THEO 215 Wojda Sermon on the Mount evaluation 2/18/08 In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus preaches very high standards of moral living. Not only is one to love one’s neighbors, but also one’s enemies. Jesus preaches to “be perfect . . . as your heavenly Father is perfect” (5:48). This concept, although unnatural in today’s environment, has indeed been successfully followed by some. For example, Mother Theresa, in modern times, lived her life by these guiding principles, proving that such a way of life is in fact possible, despite the surroundings of our sinful modern world. Although these ideas can be followed, Jesus’ punishments are not meant to be taken literally, but more as a moral teaching. Philosopher Immanuel Kant, however, argued that “ought implies can” and since one can only be expected to do what one is able to do, Jesus did not actually intend to be interpreted literally. That is to say, if despite one’s efforts, one cannot will themselves to love one’s enemy, then they are not expected to do so. For of course one cannot be blamed for something that they are unable to do.
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