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Jesus > Religion: Why He Is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, and Being Good Enough Paperback – October 14, 2013
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About the Author
Jefferson Bethke is the author of New York Times bestseller Jesus > Religion. Bethke’s message connects at a heart level with an audience ranging from atheists to nationally recognized religious leaders. He lives in Maui, Hawaii.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
But first, it's worth looking at the kind of individual Jefferson Bethke is. I must admit that he is the type of person that I would probably be able to relate to pretty well. Age-wise, I'm only a couple of years younger than him.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love how easily I identify with his writing. Absolutely a fan!Published 2 days ago by angela hood
I don't often leave reviews, but in this case I will make the exception. This book draws things out of you as a person and forces you to evaluate them against a Biblical... Read morePublished 2 days ago by MrWobbles
This is an honest portrayal of a relationship with Jesus. This book makes me feel as if I have come home.Published 3 days ago by Grace
Love this book! So good that i bought the digital copy for my mobile device.Published 5 days ago by Enrique
Read this with my book club aka best friends it opened great dialogue and we were honest about what religion means and what following Christ should look like it set a fire under... Read morePublished 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
Great read, Provocative but very true. It takes deep courage to tell about one's life with the frankness that Jefferson does. Life is tough but he directs us all toward hope.Published 13 days ago by Mika Johannes Suzuki