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Accidental Pharisees: Avoiding Pride, Exclusivity, and the Other Dangers of Overzealous Faith [Kindle Edition]

Larry Osborne
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $7.69
You Save: $7.30 (49%)
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing

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Book Description

Zealous faith can have a dangerous, dark side. While recent calls for radical Christians have challenged many to be more passionate about their faith, the down side can be a budding arrogance and self-righteousness that “accidentally” sneaks into our outlook.
In Accidental Pharisees, bestselling author Larry Osborne diagnoses nine of the most common traps that can ensnare Christians on the road to a deeper life of faith. Rejecting attempts to turn the call to follow Christ into a new form of legalism, he shows readers how to avoid the temptations of pride, exclusivity, legalism, and hypocrisy,
Larry reminds us that attempts to fan the flames of full-on discipleship and call people to Christlikeness should be rooted in love and humility. Christians stirred by calls to radical discipleship, but unsure how to respond, will be challenged and encouraged to develop a truly Christlike zeal for God.


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Larry Osborne is a teaching pastor at North Coast Church in northern San Diego County. North Coast is widely recognized as one of the most influential and innovative churches in America. Osborne speaks extensively on the subjects of leadership and spiritual formation. His books include Sticky Teams, Sticky Church, 10 Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe, and Spirituality for the Rest of Us. He and his wife, Nancy, live in Oceanside, California. SPANISH BIO: Larry Osborne es autor de libros, pastor y maestro en la Iglesia North Coast, en Vista, California. Es reconocido por ser uno de los pastores mas innovadores de los Estados Unidos. Reside con su esposa Nancy en Oceanside, California.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1418 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Zondervan (October 9, 2012)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007JJE09C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,846 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Zealous, but not Over-Zealous October 10, 2012
Format:Paperback
Accidental Pharisees is a book that calls us back from the extreme. We have a tendency as Christians to swing wide from absolute to absolute, without achieving balance. "God is loving and compassionate and full of mercy" or "God is holy and hates sin." "We only need liturgy" or "We need no liturgy in our worship." "Salvation is about faith and depends on grace" or "True salvation has to show up as works." Always Either/Or.

We're experiencing a new wave of what Larry Osborne terms "over-zealousness" in our churches that is having the unfortunate effect. It's transforming the modern church into a group of pharisees, albeit accidental ones. We've begun to judge and criticize, add works-based expectations onto salvation, and insinuate that in order to REALLY love Jesus, you need salvation PLUS.

His argument took some convincing for me and there were times I put the book down and actually said aloud, "I just don't know what to make of this book." There are elements of truth in each of the movements he talks about and their books are extremely persuasive and convicting. But the problem isn't being zealous, it's being OVER-zealous. The problem isn't obedience. It's when we expect God's call on every one else to be the same He's given us.

I myself have reviewed book after book after book by every bestseller author out there it seems, all saying the same thing--we have to do radical, crazy, life-changing things in order to be a true follower of Jesus Christ. At the end of each book, though, I've felt frustrated and more than a little disillusioned because God didn't call me to move my family oversees to be a missionary or sell my house and live on a commune or adopt from Ethiopia.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must read for everyone October 27, 2012
Format:Paperback
The Pharisees

What were they thinking?

The Son of God himself shows up full of grace and truth, and all they wanted to do is argue over weekends and hand washing! Glad I'm not like those sinners. I wouldn't have been so foolish. It just goes to show that some people, just don't get it!

Wow, I'm starting to sound a little Pharisaical myself. It seems that even when we have the best of intentions to love and obey God, we can sometimes end up fighting against him.

This is exactly the sort of thing Larry Osborne discusses in his book Accidental Pharisees: Avoiding Pride, Exclusivity, and the Other Dangers of Overzealous Faith. It seems that it is often those who earnestly seek God the most, that succumb to the same errors that have made the Pharisees infamous.

I'm not going to lie. At times, I found myself becoming a little uncomfortable while reading this one. Osborne takes on some of today's most popular ideas, explaining how that by taking even "good" ideas too far, they can lead us into the life of the Pharisees. He covers the topics of pride, exclusivity, legalism, idolizing the past, the quest for uniformity, and gift projection. Each of these are approached with a loving, yet critical eye through the lens of scripture.

To highlight a few points, his treatment of exclusivity was rather well done. It seems we can sometimes be more preoccupied with thinning the herd as opposed to expanding the kingdom. Another topic Larry Osborne expounded upon, was the difference between unity and uniformity. As Christians we find our unity in our belonging to and life in Christ. The problem arises when we insist on uniformity instead of unity.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Contains some wisdom but overall it's not clear... March 27, 2013
Format:Paperback
I must say that I think what Larry Osborne constantly brings to the table in his books is the reminder to stay balanced and not swing to extremes. This tendency in modern Christianity, as he notes in Accidental Pharisees, is to swing wildly from emphasis to another. I do think this is helpful to keep us from jumping from one "this is key" to the next "this is key".
His premise that there is something about the current emphasis on the danger of extreme expressions/expectations of Christianity is very helpful. His warnings against using words like "radical", "sold out", "reckless", "crazy" and other descriptions serves as a great reminder that our use of hype or extreme language is problematic. In using such language it can have the effect of feeding pride and exclusivity leaving a sense of either you are one of the sold out or you are mediocre.

But here's my critique of the book. Right out of the gate, I'm not sure if the word Pharisee is the best word. It's an old word that has a particular meaning in a particular context and maybe it's overused today. It's kind of like the word "Nazi" where the use of the word means more than what historically it meant. I think there are other words to use that describe what Larry is getting at without any of the other baggage. But to call someone even an accidental Pharisee, in my opinion, is not very clear.

Second, in highlighting the extreme language of some proponents, maybe the goal was not to "out" people but there is only one quote from David Platt as representative of this position. It would be helpful to cite references where extreme language is used. I also take a bit of an issue with painting all people concerned with being gospel-centered and missional as representative of this new Phariseeism.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars needed
This is a healthy dose of truth and grace that all of us need. Especially those of us who lean toward the "hard core" sayings of Jesus.
Published 14 days ago by Brian Tome
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Close to Home
Before reading the book I was identifying myself with the Pharisees - I'd have been a good one. Deliberately judging others by their actions based on what I thought was right or... Read more
Published 28 days ago by Russ B.
4.0 out of 5 stars good book, helpful counter to radical voices today
Osborne keeps us focused on the gospel. Showing how our zeal, if allowed to lose sight of the gospel, can lead us into hypocritical judgmentalism. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Matthew
5.0 out of 5 stars I saw myself in this book.
I really realized that things I've done in my life were things God had called me to, but not what he called others to. It's so easy to get "judgy" because of that. Read more
Published 1 month ago by iridemybicycle
4.0 out of 5 stars solid read
Osborne provides great food for thought. We can quickly lose sight of the gospel despite our good intentions. Recommend to anyone who has accepted Christ!
Published 1 month ago by Kenneth Kyle Davies
4.0 out of 5 stars Plenty of food for thought!
As you make your way though Larry Osborne's Accidental Pharisee you begin seeing yourself in a different light and realize there is probably more than a little Pharisee in all of... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Stephen R Finch
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book On Keeping It Real!
This book is a great read because it breaks down all the different ways that people can you feel for just being yourself. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Duane Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars thought provoking...
Not a book that makes you feel good--in fact it made me very uncomfortable. It did, however, open my eyes to some changes that I needed to make in my life. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jack A. Phelps
1.0 out of 5 stars License to be lukewarm
How horrible that the church in America would dare to awaken from its slumber and actually try to follow what Jesus told us to do in the bible. Read more
Published 2 months ago by danny wong
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and insightful
Entertaining and theologically sound. Humility is an unavoidable result of this book if you've spent any time in attempting to follow Christ.
Published 2 months ago by Weidley
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