by Joe E. Morris
We want to follow the teachings of Jesus, but what are we supposed to do when those teachings seem too hard or too easy? Even worse, what are we supposed to do when they contradict each other?
The hard lessons of Jesus sear and scorch, challenge and demand. They call us to accountability, responsibility, and action. These are the lessons from the Sermon on the Mount, the words to the Rich Young Ruler and to the adulteress about to be stoned. These words refuse to let us off the hook.
The easy sayings seem to contradict and counter the hard messages. These teachings, such as, "I did not come to bring peace, but a sword," are easily ripped from context, manipulated, and distorted to allow excuses for behavior Jesus denounces in other lessons.
Ten Things I Wish Jesus Hadn't Said focuses on ten of these sayings: five that make it hard to be a Christian; five, in seeming contradiction, that make it easy-all re-scripted in present tense narrative and reframed for contemporary readers.
Dr. Joe E. Morris, born in New Albany, Mississippi, authored the award-winning Land Where My Fathers Died and numerous short stories, one of which garnered a nomination for the Pushcart Prize. With Dr. Roy H. Ryan, he co-authored the best-selling Old Testament Stories: What Do They Say Today? and New Testament Stories: What Do They Say Today? A retired United Methodist minister and founder of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Mississippi, Dr. Morris maintains a private practice in psychology, works part-time in a prison in the Mississippi Delta, and writes. He and his wife, Sandi, live in Tupelo, Mississippi, and Lake Junaluska, North Carolina.
Dimensions (inches): 8.5 x 5.5
Weight (pounds): 0.5