on May 23, 2011
I just read Andrews book, GOD without Religion, I literally read it in three sittings, about 4 hours. I have to say that next to GODS Word this is without any doubt the best, most informative book I have "ever" read. Every single True Christian beliver simply must read this book. It has set me free in ways I could have never imagined. There is absolutely no doubt GODS hand was in this book. Thank You Andrew for your life changing insights.
on July 1, 2011
What a freeing message in Andrew Farley's new book! A great reminder that it's not about rules and regulations that end up bogging us down. Instead, Farley explains with great clarity the New Covenant message, discusses how God loves, and even likes us (what a thought!), gives colorful examples from his own life experience, and paints a practical picture of what everyday life can look like for a Christ follower. This book shook up many views I was taught growing up with in church, and reminds me to keep it simple with two commands: "Loving the Lord God with all your heart, and loving your neighbor as yourself." Before you dismiss this book because of the title or preconceived notions on what the book is about, I encourage you to read it with an open mind, and I think you will be pleasantly surprised, Highly recommend this book!
on January 16, 2012
i've noticed that a lot of people take offense to the idea that not all of Jesus' teachings are meant for Christians; that idea is in this book and it offends many people.
one passage in particular that people have a problem with is the Sermon on the Mount (SOTM). but let me put this question to such people: for unbelievers, isn't everything that Jesus said in the SOTM very literally true?
my understanding of what mr farley means is that... unless you believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, then you MUST be perfect in every possible way. and the SOTM, read literally, is basically saying that you MUST be perfect in every single way. here are a few things to think about from that SOTM...
without Jesus, do you not have to be PERFECTLY merciful to receive God's mercy?
without Jesus, do you not have to be a PERFECT peacemaker to be God's child?
without Jesus, do you not have to be PERFECTLY righteous to receive/enter the kingdom of heaven?
without Jesus, can you make it to heaven while saying to anyone "you fool"?
without Jesus, would it not be better to lose an eye than to burn forever in hell?
without Jesus, would it not be better to lose a hand than to burn forever in hell?
without Jesus, don't you have to give more than asked to be PERFECT?
without Jesus, do you not have to forgive all other people of everything BEFORE God will accept you?
without Jesus, how can you be possibly worthy of heaven if you're worried about your life and clothes and what other people think of you?
without Jesus, how could you not be judged by God if you have judged others?
without Jesus, is the gate not impossibly small and the road not impossibly narrow?
...what i mean to say is that everything in the SOTM makes perfect sense if it is taken literally by an audience that is relying on the Law to make them righteous and good enough for heaven. it really does take away all hope in that Law for their personal righteousness. it should cause you to give up on that Law, and just look to Jesus Christ as the only hope.
but, many will still think the SOTM is for Christians. how to you explain the part in the prayer/ the part right after the prayer that says you must forgive everyone BEFORE God forgives you? is that how it worked for you? did you forgive others and then God forgave you? or did He forgive you, and then, over time, you forgave SOME of the things that SOME people did to you? i highly suspect that you're a "SOME", just like all the rest of us.
on September 19, 2013
Do you remember when you first believed? Everything was great, because you knew all your sins were wiped out. You had a new life ahead of you knowing that you were completely forgiven. Then some time passed, you made some mistakes, and now it seems like God's patience with you is running out. After all, he did so much for you, and you're failing to repay him.
Wait just a minute here! Who told you that? Might I propose that it's the law of Moses- "religion"- telling you that?
The law isn't just a set of rules, it's a whole mentality. If you believe in Jesus, you're not just released from the rules of the law, but you should also be released from the mentality that the law brought. You should now be serving God in the new WAY of the Spirit and not in the old WAY of the written code (Romans 7:6). The law isn't just something that screws up your chances of getting into heaven, it's the "ministry of condemnation" (2 Corinthians 3:9). Are you feeling condemnation? You may very well still be under its ministry. Do you think there's no way you can be under its ministry because you believe in Jesus? Let me ask you, what do you believe in Jesus FOR? If you only believe in Jesus for salvation, then all your faith does is get you to heaven. But if you believe in Jesus, and him alone, for retaining your connection with God, for removing your unhealthy fear of God and those nagging condemning feelings, and for displaying the very personality of God to the world- all of which he was sent to do- then maybe he'll start doing them! And the way you can let him is to read this book, because it will remove one of the biggest obstacles to you letting him, which is a law-based, "religious" mentality of, "I can't be pleasing to God until I do something first." It's time to give Jesus the trust he deserves, and you can't trust him fully while you're at the same time trusting in your performance (or lack of it).
God intended us to live out of the security of knowing who we are in Christ, and in this book, Andrew Farley talks about some of the most critical Bible passages and issues dividing the body of Christ today which cause us to not rest in that security while at the same time making us focus on our individual denominations instead of on the body of Christ as a whole. Let's be honest, a lot of our anxiety might be coming from the Bible itself. The Bible itself, however, was never meant to bring you that anxiety, and so if the truth sets you free (John 8:32), and you're not being set free, maybe the interpretation of the Bible you have isn't the true one. Andrew skillfully treats such issues as baptism, the confession of sin, tithing, and predestination, and shows that if we're making bigger deals out of them than God intended them to be, prioritizing them over living a life of love towards others and being joyful always (1 Thessalonians 5:16), maybe our understanding of them isn't the one God wants us to have. Furthermore, if these things are dividing us, knowing that Jesus as our head intends that the body of Christ be held together and not divided (Ephesians 4:16), it probably means that the law of Moses is still dividing between "Jews" and "gentiles" among the body of Christ today. Obviously we won't all have the same opinions on theological issues, but the law as a mentality can still lead to exclusion rather than peaceably disagreeing.
Andrew not only backs up his points with the Bible, he frames them with stories in his life which make its truth come alive. His stories help you to remember theological concepts by attaching pictures to them instead of just Bible verses. While the Bible is Andrew's primary source of information- always a good thing- his stories illustrate it.
Andrew Farley is actually "Doctor Andrew Farley." He clearly knows his stuff theologically. But at the same time, when you're reading this book, you never feel like this is some lofty theological mind that you can't connect with. You feel like this is someone just like you, writing not to a dissertation board but to you. He uses humor and his writing style is very easy to follow. You won't get lost reading this book.
Make sure you read to the end because the final chapter really brings it home. Being dead to the law isn't the end in itself. We're dead to the law so that we can belong to another- Jesus himself (Romans 7:4). God's entire plan of history wasn't just to make us follow rules, it was to bring us into union with Jesus and himself. Giving us a great example to live by, which Jesus certainly was, wasn't enough to God. God didn't create you to perform better, he created you to be one with him. He doesn't want your performance, he wants you. In Christ, God united us with himself in an intimate union and our lives are now supposed to be lived out of that union. If you're not experiencing that union, or if the outside world isn't seeing that union being displayed in your life, do yourself and the world a favor and read this book.
Now I'm not saying this book is a Magic Bullet that will change your life immediately once you finish reading it. What I am saying though is that hopefully it will change your mind regarding the thought in your mind that God is displeased with you or that you have to keep trying hard to stay on good terms with God. Remember that those feelings were supposed to be produced by the law, but only in order to lead us to Jesus. When you rightly see Jesus as the end, which this book should help you to do, everything else starts falling into place. You might start being less concerned with what you're doing wrong and start putting your eyes more on Jesus. And when you keep your eyes on Jesus, your view of yourself, others, and God will all change for the better.
on October 14, 2015
I can't believe I made it over 40 years without hearing the rest of the gospel. Having grown up with Catholic and Episcopalian parents, I was brought up in a relatively liturgical faith setting. When I came to Christ in college, I went to a rather legalistic non-denominational church with a lot of do's and don'ts that defined my new found faith. Until recently, I thought it was a Christian's duty to do things like fight to keep the ten commandments in our courtrooms and I felt guilty if I mowed the yard on the Sabbath. The truth of the new covenant was in my Bible all along but it took reading this book (and the way Andrew points things out with simplicity) for my eyes to be opened to the scriptures and the "better deal" we Gentiles have been given in the new covenant. Thank you Andrew. Sometimes, you just need a fresh voice to say something in a way you haven't heard it before. If you're skeptical, get this book and give it a chance. It could change your life. It did mine.
on April 30, 2013
This message (also see: The Naked Gospel, etc.) will alter your reality as a believer. You will do well to keep your Bible handy to keep referencing what he is teaching because you'll want to be like the Bereans and verify that is all true. And here's the best part: no matter how much you might have been trained to view Scripture and your relationship with Jesus in one way, you will begin to see how you were not given the full story. This book illumines who we REALLY are now in Christ and not how we can "get" there with rule-following. It is the MAXIM of my faith now and has freed me from the condemnation I was never meant to have anyway as His child.
on June 22, 2015
The truth about the God of the universe who loves his children, is committed to their well-being, and who poured out all of his wrath on his on son, in order to share his very life with you and me.
Sometimes, the advertisement says, "No experience required." Here, through simple, straightforward, scriptural-based writing, Andrew Farley captures the Good News . . . "A relationship with God, no religion necessary."
To truly understand how absolutely powerful, amazing, and wonderful the completed work of Christ: this is what this book is about. Why did the early church make such rapid headway into a pagan world? Because they still understood the beyond comprehension wonderful truth of the Gospel. Today it is so watered down and overloaded with religion and doctrine and law that the glorious reality is lost, and thus, the church retreats and calls everyone to more and more religion. If you can open your eyes to what the Bible actually says, rather than seeing it through the doctrine you have always been taught as true, this book will totally blow you away into the joy of life in the Spirit. However, it will take courage on your part to take the step to toss out the religion and exchange it for a deep relationship with the God-in-you, Jesus! Those around you, especially in church, will resist your self-discovery at every step (unfortunately), as they are often extremely committed to the status quo.
on May 22, 2011
There is nothing better than to find out those misgivings you have had about cultural institutions are there for a reason. That is what I get out of the book God Without Religion. The root of the word religion is explained right off the bat and that alone was enough to make me want to read the rest. There is a much needed new (Biblical) look at the traditions of the mainly Americanized Christian religion woven in this book. Tithing, the Lord's Supper, baptism and forgiveness just to name a few. Don't get me wrong, the author Andrew Farley isn't anti-church ( he's a pastor) but again he has drawn some lines in the religious sand that are worth studying, praying and deciding about. There is plenty of scripture and some great quotes from historical Christians who dared go against the cultural tide and cling to the only thing that really matters, Jesus Christ Himself.
on January 17, 2012
I read GOD without religion about 6 months ago and found so much freedom in my relationship with Jesus! I've struggled for many years in my walk with God but reading this book has helped set me free from the religious bondage and I now read Gods word with freedom from condemnation & knowing its not all about me but all about what Christ has done for me!! I'm busy reading it again at the moment and as I go through it I'm reminded of all the wonderful truths God opened my eyes to and I'm seeing new things I never realised the first time around! I love that I can read this book more than once, not get bored and learn new stuff the second time round! It's definitely a worthwhile investment! Freedom is yours - enjoy the journey!!