Carlos A. Rodríguez writes to those hungry for the real Jesus who think outside the religious box . And this book is an invitation to courageous mercy in an age of judgements.
When a woman caught in the act of adultery was thrown down at Jesus’ feet, the bloodthirsty crowd filled their hands with rocks and demanded she be stoned to death. That confrontation reverberates in people hearts perhaps more today than it did two thousand years ago.
In Drop the Stones: When Love Reaches the Unlovable, releasing from Whitaker House September 19, author and Pastor Carlos A. Rodriguez examines the roles of three points of view represented in the story: “The Men,” chapters 1-13; “The Woman,” chapters 14-30; and “The God,” chapters 31-44.
Many likely empathize and understand the shame and fear of the woman condemned by all. Most are capable and often demonstrate the characteristics of the hypocritical crowd, reveling in the woman’s degradation, quick to condemn and pick up stones. Rodriguez asks readers to closely examine and consider whether or not they understand and relate with Jesus, God, who intervenes and saves her.
Written to a religion-wary world, Drop the Stones offers a unique perspective on the nature of Jesus that is sparking flames among members of his congregation and thousands who follow him on social media. Drawing on stories from his pastoral experience and touching on contemporary issues from ISIS to sexuality to refugees and mass incarceration, Drop the Stones invites followers of Jesus to drop their religious rocks and culture clichés, and, with open hands, engage in the rewarding lifestyle of a Jesus-styled love.
“If your theology makes you feel superior to others, then rethink your theology,” Rodriguez says. “The message of Christ has been lost to Western Christianity. The Gospel has been reduced to behavior modification, the defense of morality and “us vs. them” rhetoric.
“I hope, through this book, to release hope into the hearts of those who think outside the religious box, those hungry for the real Jesus.”
With a foreword by Jonathan Martin and endorsements from a wide variety of Christian leaders, authors, and activists (see below), Rodriguez’s message in Drop the Stones resonates with millennials and those disgruntled with the Christianity they grew up with.
“Carlos Rodríguez has, with candid and culturally relevant language, confronted the practical atheist in every professing Christian,” says author Dr. Randall Worley. “The latent Pharisee in me was exposed more than once as I read the powerful and poignant stories contained within these pages. Thank you, Carlos, for ‘re-minding’ us with the mind of a loving and nonjudgmental Christ.”
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Carlos A. Rodríguez is passionate about reaching the world with God’s love. A native Puerto Rican, he is a provocative preacher, teacher, conference speaker and popular blogger who challenges people to think differently. For 15 years he has traveled the world reaching people with the good news that the welcoming arms of Jesus are full of love, not condemnation. He was also a founding team member and campus pastor for Catch the Fire in Raleigh, NC.
Carlos has written several articles for Relevant and Revival magazines. He published his first book Simply Sonship in 2014, also the year he began HappySonship.com, an online magazine that reaches thousands daily. The website is now an international nonprofit organization, focusing on empowering children in Peru, reconnecting families with inmates in the US prison system, and helping parents fund their adoption process. In May 2017 he launched the weekly Drop the Stones podcast. Carlos and his wife, Catherine, have two boys and are adopting an Ethiopian baby girl.
What others are saying about Carlos A. Rodríguez and Drop the Stones…
Carlos Rodríguez writes with grace, and about grace. His book is a stunning invitation to look into the face of Jesus and see that the only One who had any right to throw a stone had no desire. We see in Jesus that the closer we are to God, the less we should want to throw stones at other people. This is nothing short of a call to reimagine Christianity as a faith that fascinates the world with love.
— Shane Claiborne Author and activist
I have a new favorite book and a new favorite writer. This book overflows with wisdom, honesty, joy, insight, and Jesus. It will fill your heart, right after kicking you in the backside. After you read it, I hope you’ll buy a dozen copies to give to all your friends, because we all need Drop the Stones.
— Brian D. McLaren Author, The Great Spiritual Migration
Carlos Rodríguez writes with honesty and urgency as he calls the church to live up to its high calling to embody the love of Jesus. Drawing on his own pastoral experience, and touching on contemporary issues from ISIS to mass incarceration, Drop The Stones invites followers of Jesus to let go of culture war clichés and do the hard things of Jesus-styled love.
— Brian Zahnd Pastor, Word of Life Church, St. Joseph, MO Author, Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God and A Farewell to Mars
I deeply value the message and timing of Drop the Stones. In this book, Carlos Rodríguez brings us back to the simple gospel by reminding us that if we want to see God clearly, we must watch Jesus closely.
—Seth Dahl Children’s Ministry Director, Bethel Church, Redding, CA
Carlos Rodríguez shares powerful stories of transformation we all need to hear. He provides inspiration for what’s truly possible when we respond to the Holy Spirit. You’ll find great encouragement through these pages.
—Margaret Feinberg Author, Fight Back with Joy
In a time when Christianity is often confused with separation, judgment, scorn, and exclusiveness, books like Drop the Stones are a needed correction, not to mention a welcome breath of fresh air. May we listen carefully to Carlos’s words. More importantly, may we order our lives around them.
—Scott Sauls Senior pastor, Christ Presbyterian Church, Nashville, TN Author, Jesus Outside the Lines, Befriend, and From Weakness to Strength
Carlos Rodríguez has, with candid and culturally relevant language, confronted the practical atheist in every professing Christian. The latent Pharisee in me was exposed more than once as I read the powerful and poignant stories contained within these pages. Thank you, Carlos, for ‘re-minding’ us with the mind of a loving and nonjudgmental Christ.
—Dr. Randall Worley Author, Brush Strokes of Grace and Wandering and Wondering
Drop the Stones is a heart-wrenching, personal, funny, and terrifying look into the judgment toward others each of us harbors in our own soul. I’ll be insisting all my friends read this!
—Carl Medearis Author, Muslims, Christians, and Jesus
Difficult days require honest and candid conversations from brave voices. This book is filled with wisdom and courage, able to guide us through the rough waters.
—Brady Boyd New Life Church, Colorado Springs, Author, Addicted to Busy
Carlos Rodriguez has written a timely masterpiece on God’s boundless, pursuing love of unworthy offenders and those who judge them. Drop the Stones is a bold, prophetic call to renounce judgment and say yes to Jesus’ irresistible invitation to embrace sinners, beginning with ourselves. Carlos’ honesty and vulnerability disarm the reader, inspiring confession, conversion and a full-on joining of Jesus’ movement of world-transforming love. Read this and join up with Jesus to love this broken world into God’s Kingdom.
—Bob Ekblad Tierra Nueva and The People’s Seminary; Author, Reading the Bible with the Damned, A New Christian Manifesto; The Beautiful Gate: Enter Jesus’ Global Liberation Movement.
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