Life in Tension: Reflections on the Beatitudes

Life in Tension: Reflections on the Beatitudes


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When God comes into our lives, we change.

Our new identity is in Christ comes into tension with our old identity in ourselves as the Holy Spirit works in our hearts and minds. This tension arises between who we were and who God created us to be, between us and God, and between us and those around us. The Apostle Paul calls the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives sanctification.


Life in Tension reflects on Jesus' Beatitudes in the context of scripture. The Beatitudes serve as an introduction to the Sermon on the Mount and lay out Jesus' priorities in teaching his disciples. Because the sermon serves as a kind of ordination service for the Apostles, the importance of the Beatitudes for the early church, Christian spirituality, and discipleship today cannot be overstated.

Author Stephen W. Hiemstra (MDiv, PhD) is a slave of Christ, husband, father, tentmaker, writer, and speaker. He lives with Maryam, his wife of 30+ years, in Centreville, VA and they have three grown children.

What people are saying...

We live in a fallen world. It leads to life in tension, and sometimes a life full of stress. Stephen Hiemstra takes us on a needed tour of the kind of character it takes to face such a life.
- Darrell L. Bock, Dallas Theological Seminary

We don't often think of our life as one lived in tension, but as believers that's exactly how we live. Stephen Hiemstra's Life in Tension takes us through the Beatitudes and provides a blueprint for Christians to navigate this tension with ourselves, with the world, and with Christ. - Sarah Hamaker, Author

The Christian life is filled with tension, paradox, and upside down requisites for obedience to the biblical text and the clarion call of God. - Stephen Macchia, Pierce Center for Disciple-Building

Stephen Hiemstra's Life in Tension reminds me of Bonhoeffer's Cost of Discipleship, because it is an earnest, personal effort to hear and follow the voice of Jesus here and now.
- Jonathan Jenkins, Pastor

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781942199045
Publisher: T2Pneuma Publishers LLC
Publication date: 08/27/2016
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 1,102,565
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.64(d)

About the Author

I am a slave of Christ, husband, father, tentmaker, writer, speaker... This blog assembles my ministry writing and makes it more intentionally available to my family, friends, and other readers.

Hear the words; walk the steps; experience the joy!

Background. I graduated with a masters of divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Charlotte, NC in October 2013. Prior to seminary, I worked for 27 years as an economist with the federal government in five different agencies. My doctorate is in agricultural economics from Michigan State University (1985).

Family. My wife, Maryam, and I celebrated our 30th anniversary in 2014. Maryam hails from Iran and teaches high school mathematics and chemistry. I grew up in the Washington DC metro area but spent summers as a kid on my grandparent's farm in Iowa. We have three adult children: Christine (born 1989), Narsis (1991), and Stephen Reza (1992). We have lived in Centreville, VA since 1986.

Bilingual. Because I believe that a pastor needs to serve the entire community, I have focused on improving my Spanish and serving in Hispanic ministry since 2011. The U.S. stands only behind Mexico in the number of Spanish speaking residents which is why T2Pneuma is bilingual-Spanish and English. I have used bilingual reflections to prepare for my adult Sunday school class and for other purposes. I also occasionally preach in Spanish having learned most of my Spanish living in Puerto Rico for a summer (1977). I follow blogs in German because I studied a year in Göttingen, Germany (1978/79).

Publishing. Because I am a tentmaker (volunteer pastor/evangelist), I also have a commercial website: On January 16, 2014, I registered T2Pneuma Publishers LLC (P.O. Box 230564, Centreville, VA 20120) in the State of Virginia for purposes of supporting my ministry through publishing Christian books in English and Spanish: My first book, A Christian Guide to Spirituality, was published on July 26, 2014 and along with a Kindle EBook edition are available on The Spanish edition was published in September 2015 and also appears in both paperback and Kindle.

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