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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.
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
This book is a book that gets you thinking so much about your Faith. I remember when the youtube video came out and I watched it over and over again. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Amazon Customer
I really enjoyed reading this book and finding out more about Jeff and all that he came from. He's grown into such an awesome man of God. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Amazon Customer
I am not an avid reader. It takes a lot for a book to keep my attention. Jeff does a great job at "being real" when it comes to being a Christian. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Bryce C. Allen
Absolutely loved hearing the raw gospel Jefferson writes about in this book. We are called to love and love everyone. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Amazon Customer
I would highly recommend this book to any person who wants to think about religion, and what it means to follow Jesus, differently. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Kevin Lundgren
It wasn't what I expected but I would recommend this book to a teenager who are done with religion but curious about the real Jesus.Published 15 days ago by Shekinah Brown
Good book, but they are better books that go deeper into grace and a relationship with Jesus. I wouldn't read it again or recommend it. great youtube poem though.Published 17 days ago by Rory Ivey
Jefferson bethke is a creative young artist who I've found a great interest in. He speaks the truth about Jesus and that's what I love. He has some great videos on YouTube as well. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Carly