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Accidental Pharisees: Avoiding Pride, Exclusivity, and the Other Dangers of Overzealous Faith Paperback – October 13, 2012
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Accidental Pharisees: Avoiding Pride, Exclusivity, and the Other Dangers of Overzealous Faith
Christlikeness should be rooted in love and humility, but there are ever present... Read more
If you care to walk with Jesus, this might just point out some issues that you need to repent of. It could mean somebody's life. Good book. Thankful it was written.Published 2 months ago by BetsyL
Great book that confronts the hidden pride in a Christian's heart.Published 3 months ago by Mark Andress
Excellent book really challenged my heart and has given me a better perspective and much food for thought. Thank youPublished 3 months ago by John Perez
We studied this book in one of our Ladies Bible studies. It was great!!Published 3 months ago by Golda Edwards
One of the best books for those in ministry to avoid the trap of becoming an accidental pharisee.Published 7 months ago by Anthony Ward
Wow! Amazing book. It answered questions I didn't know I had and was so clarifying with so many issues.Published 7 months ago by Kevin C. Miller