There was a time when I believed many untruths about God. I hadn't read the Bible, so I didn't know what Jesus really said. I was getting interpretations and downright lies depending on the motives of those perpetuating them. 10 THINGS JESUS NEVER SAID will allow everyone, fortunate enough to read it, to avoid all the guilt and shame that are often associated with Christian life. What a blessing, and what a relief.
Will Davis Jr. is the pastor of a non-denominational church in Texas and the author of five previous books on prayer, grace and the Christian faith. He demonstrates an excellent grasp of biblical principles and has the skill to present them so that seekers as well as misinformed believers can benefit. One of the central truths that Davis focuses on is based on the scripture from the book of Matthew in which Jesus invites "...all of you who are weary and burdened" to come to Him for rest. The author says (paraphrasing), "Hey, if you're worn out from trying to keep all the rules and making sure that you're pleasing God enough, why don't you just come to me? I'll do the work for you."
Anyone who has been part of a church that "guilts" people into performing will appreciate the freedom that accepting Jesus' offer provides.
Some of the myths that Pastor Davis exposes include the devastating "You're too far gone to be saved" and "This wouldn't be happening if you were a better Christian." Are those statements that would come from a God who has promised to love us unconditionally? Yet those are two of the most common myths perpetuated by some religious leaders in order to exercise tight control over their congregations. Davis provides many illustrations from his personal experiences that show the damage these false teachings can have on people. And, thankfully, he supplies proof from the Bible that dispel them.
As the author points out, these misconceptions can not only keep people from embracing a relationship with God, but cripple those believers who are threatened by the same rigid, unyielding myths. When a believer continues to be condemned and feel shame because she has been divorced, for example, she needs the rest that Jesus offers. She needs to believe that she is forgiven and that God will not bring up her past ever again. It may be difficult for some to grasp the fullness of God's love and grace toward us. But exchanging legalistic teachings for the true teachings of Jesus will help to begin that journey toward serenity and rest.
In addition to the excellent lessons throughout the book, Pastor Davis has provided discussion questions at the end of each section that are designed to enhance the teachings. They would be perfect for a small group study that could free many people of the necessary guilt and shame that have been keeping them from a personal relationship with Jesus.
Reviewed by Maggie Harding on July 1, 2011