Moral Teachings of Jesus

The Moral Teachings of Jesus

“This book deserves a wide reading, not only among followers of the Christian path, but of those who have grown weary of its many distortions in the public sphere.” —PETER ENNS, professor of biblical studies, Eastern University

“I can’t wait for this book to get in the hands of folks at our church. It is a game-changer.” —ZACH W. LAMBERT, lead pastor, Restore Austin

Coming September 10, 2024 from Cascade Books (Wipf and Stock)
Paperback, 218 Pages, 6 x 9, $27.00, 9781666744767

Downloadable Flyer with Table of Contents

The growing movement of post-evangelicalism highlights an opportunity to elevate and center the moral teachings of Jesus.

So many of those who identify as Christian intuitively know that their old version of faith is no longer working, and they feel a theological vacuum. David P. Gushee has been a leader in recent years for those ready to move on to a more examined and robust faith. Now, in The Moral Teachings of Jesus, Gushee examines forty teachings of Jesus, drawn from all four New Testament Gospels, to clarify exactly what Jesus said about the moral life.

The Moral Teachings of Jesus is a brisk, readable survey for preachers and teachers, seekers, skeptics, and those who identify as Christians but are confused as to what that requires of them. Each chapter offers the exegetical work needed to address textual and linguistic issues that might affect the interpretation of a passage. Relevant related passages are noted, and biblical commentaries are quoted for expanded coverage of issues. The chapters stay tightly focused on the moral teachings and implications of the texts in question. The reflections are not sermons, but they ought to be helpful for anyone interested in understanding not just what Jesus’ instruction meant at the time but what it might now be taken to mean.

Overall, Gushee claims, Jesus offered radical instruction in the moral will of God. is book takes the reader inside that instruction, offering a bracing, inviting vision of Jesus himself.

Praise for The Moral Teachings of Jesus

“With his eye on current trends in the church, and especially among young adults, David Gushee throws a lifeline to all who are hungry for something authentic, a return to Jesus’ ‘radical instruction’ that calls Christians to shape and renew their own lives–spiritual and social–while confronting the challenges of a materialistic and increasingly amoral culture. The result is a welcoming introduction to the teachings of the one whose moral vision can still transform lives and cultures that will be ideal for both individual and group study.”

–R. Alan Culpepper, dean and professor emeritus of New Testament, McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University

“David Gushee offers us an insightful invitation to explore the principles and practical implications of the teachings of Jesus afresh. This is a compelling and much needed new resource for our time! While it stands to engage all who are curious about the teachings of Jesus, it’s sure to equip the growing contingent of ‘post-evangelical’ Christians longing to embody a faithful witness as they follow Jesus in our time.”

–Keri Ladouceur, co-founder and executive director, Post-Evangelical Collective

“As a biblical scholar who has delved deeply into Pauline ethics, I see David Gushee’s The Moral Teachings of Jesus as an essential addition to the disciplines of Christian ethics and biblical scholarship. Gushee’s engagement with the ethics of Jesus is a tour de force that invites the reader to radically reorder the ways that we engage the humanity of those that we often ignore. I look forward to assigning this text in my classes.”

–Angela N. Parker, associate professor of New Testament and Greek, McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University

“This book has been a long time coming. David Gushee is an ethicist, a pastor, and a follower of Jesus–who is taken, challenged, and sometimes baffled by the moral teachings of Jesus. In this compact yet comprehensive volume, one senses an existential attention to his subject. It is, in equal measure, illuminating and unsettling.”

–Ken Wilson, pastor emeritus, Blue Ocean Church

“In this timely and important book, David Gushee presents a compelling exploration of the teachings and example of Jesus, emphasizing their enduring relevance and radical nature for justice, the flourishing of all creation, and the reality of peace. Gushee’s insightful analysis invites contemporary seekers around the world to engage deeply with Jesus’ example and teachings, especially at a time when ethical considerations and moral conflicts challenge the fabric of our societies. I found it challenging and transformative. I highly recommend it!”

–Dion A. Forster, professor of public theology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

“David Gushee–a crucial voice among theological ethicists–looks at familiar gospel stories with fresh eyes so as to interpret Jesus’ moral teachings. Readable and accessible, Gushee seeks to counter the toxic Christianity prevalent among today’s Christian nationalists by focusing on a Jesus who–along with so many today–reside on the margins.”

–Miguel A. De La Torre, professor of social ethics and Latinx studies, Iliff School of Theology

“In Moral Teachings, David Gushee has provided a gift to the church and the academy. Using the teachings of Jesus, other biblical passages, and learnings from historical figures, Gushee articulates a radical ethical understanding that provides a moral compass for our current context. This biblically sound, theologically astute, and ethically relevant book should be mandatory reading in classrooms, congregations, and other faith communities.”

–Grace Ji-Sun Kim, professor of theology, Earlham School of Religion

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