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Jesus > Religion: Why He Is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, and Being Good Enough Paperback – October 7, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (October 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400205395
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400205394
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (651 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,258 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jefferson Bethke has a compelling story of overcoming a painful childhood of poverty and a broken home, and this gives him a unique perspective on the grace of God and the work of Jesus in his life and the lives of others. It’s this perspective that has catapulted him into the national conversation regarding religion and spirituality, allowing his message to connect at a heart level with an audience ranging from atheists to nationally recognized religious leaders.


More About the Author

I love Jesus. I'm married to Alyssa. I like writing & being creative. And I own a candle company, called Claro Candles, that brings light to social injustice.

Customer Reviews

This was a good book and an easy read.
Sherry Norton
I read an email devotional based on this book and Jefferson Youtube video.
KOhio
Thank you Jefferson for sharing your story and writing this amazing book!
Samantha

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

83 of 93 people found the following review helpful By K. Freeman on October 7, 2013
Format: Paperback
I've been paying a lot of attention to Jefferson Bethke the last year or so. Having a few years on his 23, I'm blown away by the man of God he is and by what he's already accomplished at his young age. He is cranking out a lot of great content. He's relevant. He knows how to connect with his culture and generation. He's artistic. He does what he does well: very well. He's got a lot of insight. Sometimes people like this end up turning you off and leaving you bummed out by just how good they seem. How can you be so courageous? How can you read so many books? How can you be influencing so many people etc?

Enter Jesus > Religion. You soon realize Jeff's entire life isn't filled with sainthood. Throughout the book Jeff shares his story. It's honest, raw, and at times very dark. And yet it's a beacon brightly blazing on Jesus. As we often hear, the one thing people can't argue is our personal testimony. What I love about this book is that Jeff has been through the motions of trying to be good, of trying to find fulfilment in sin, and ultimately being captured by grace. It might be easy to roll your eyes at a cute, rich pastor's kid raving about how great God is - but Jeff's story is hard to argue with. It's not pretty, but it's glorious.

I'm not going to go over every chapter, since you should read the book yourself. The title tips you off on the angle of the book. Here are a few things that stuck out to me that I wanted to mention about this book.

#1 The book addresses the topic of sin head-on
In Jeff's words:
"God doesn't hide sin. In fact he put it on display two thousand years ago in a splintered T-shaped piece of wood. Jesus came down to earth, live the perfect life we never could have, and died the death we should have.
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78 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Lawson Hembree on October 7, 2013
Format: Paperback
I'll admit: I had mixed feelings when Jefferson's YouTube video came out. As Kevin DeYoung put it, "There is so much helpful in this poem mixed with so much unhelpful." However, it is evident that Jefferson has matured a lot since posting the initial video (thanks to the discipleship of Christian leaders and his humility in accepting their constructive criticism).

In order to flesh out his views on Jesus, Christianity, and religion, Jefferson has written the book Jesus>Religion. The book uses the contrast between Jesus and religion to accomplish the dual goal of addressing false perceptions of Christianity while presenting a true picture of what followers of Jesus look like.

Before we go too far, let's define some terms. When Jefferson speaks about religion, he means "what one must do, or behave like, in order to fain right standing with God" (pg. 27)-in other words, depending on our own works to be on God's "good side." Of course, Christianity itself is a religion, but in the sense that it is "a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe" (pg. 27). What distinguishes real Christianity is that it "centers on Jesus' righteousness-what he has done and how good he is" as opposed to other religions that "center on people's righteousness-what we do and how good we are" (pg. 28). The possible confusion stemming from the way Bethke defines religion is why I would have preferred for Chapter 2 to be Chapter 1 instead (for more on the negative definition of "religion," see DeYoung's article). Throughout the rest of the Jesus>Religion, Jefferson contrasts Jesus (aka true Christianity) with religion (aka self-righteousness/hypocrisy).
Jesus>Religion begins with Jefferson's life story in which he, like many Americans, was a "Christian by default.
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35 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Amber Scott on October 7, 2013
Format: Paperback
Have you ever met a new friend, with whom you were like "YES! Someone who understands!"
It's like hearing your heart and thoughts echoed back to you...

That's what Jefferson Bethke's book, Jesus > Religion (Being released Oct 7) was like for me.

Jeff shares pure grace. How we don't have to do (nor CAN'T) do anything to earn or lose the Father's love for us.

"God broke me to fix me because He loved me." -pg 6
"Religion says do,Jesus says done." - pg 28
"When Jesus told the first disciples to love their enemies,he didn't add " as long as they look like you,talk like you,and act like you". Loving your enemies means loving THEM ." -pg 63
"We don't want to take advantage of it{grace} because because there is nothing better out there to take advantage of it for." -pg 152

This is an encouraging,challenging book that will provide fresh revelations of the Fathers love toward you! It will change how you view yourself,your relationship with the Father,and how you view others around you! WELL worth the time and investment!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Lainey on October 7, 2013
Format: Paperback
Jefferson Bethke has been blessed by God to be a tremendous communicator of philosophy and spiritual topics. In his first book Jesus>Religion, he opens the reader's mind to a whole new viewpoint and stance on religion and Christianity. He is a fantastic writer and this easy read will change the way you view your relationship with Jesus Christ if you open your heart and mind and allow it! :)
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful By the GreatReads! TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 7, 2013
Format: Paperback
Don't get me wrong when I say radical, it is not meant to be a disparaging observation about the book. And when I say quotable book, again, it does not mean it is a book full of quotes. Jefferson Bethke is someone who feels he has experienced the love and grace of God in such a unique way that, articulating the same in a sweeping way seems to be in his blood: "God broke me to fix me because He loved me."

Jesus > Religion: Why He Is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, and Being Good Enough by Jefferson Bethke (Thomas Nelson, October 2013) takes one deeper into the theme of the phenomenal YouTube video "Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus." However, to confine the book to the prism of that video would be an injustice to the book which has grapple with the issue of focusing on the real Jesus, and not the false assurance of religion. The book is intended to make Christians think and answer questions about their faith, and propel them to a deeper relationship with God.

In his incomparable distinctive style the author says, "The Jesus of the Bible is a radical man with a radical message, changing people's lives in a radical way." Not one to mince words, Jefferson's book is honest and personal. Fresh and exceptionally different from other books, I'm certain that the virtual-world will go viral with quotes from his book sooner than later.

Containing 10 radical chapters in a life-changing 240 pages, Jesus > Religion: Why He Is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, and Being Good Enough by Jefferson Bethke is a call to an authentic relationship with Jesus!
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