November 4, 2014

Jesus > Religion

I can't believe the author of this book was only 23 when he wrote it. It is filled with such wisdom and grace.

This book will convict you, while simultaneously encouraging you to live life for Jesus, rather than religion. It will make you think about who you are in Christ and what changes you may need to make.

Here's an example of his straightforward writing about Jesus and us:

"We've lost the real Jesus - or at least exchanged him for a newer, safer, sanitized, ineffectual one...

...In our subculture Jesus would have never been crucified - he's too nice...

...Most of the time we're persecuted not because we love Jesus, but because we're prideful, arrogant jerks who don't love the real Jesus. We're often judgmental, hypocritical, and legalistic while claiming to follow a Jesus who is forgiving, authentic, and loving."

Ouch!

But so true.

Who are we in Christ? Judgmental, hypocritical, and legalistic or loving, kind and full of grace like Jesus? How did we get to this point? Why do we care more about being right than loving others? And are we right if we aren't loving others with grace and compassion, like Jesus does?

I loved the chapter headings in this book. As each chapter actually spoke about what it was titled. And with great Biblical truths that cut to the heart of the matter.

Here they are:

1. Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?

2. Why I Still Think Jesus Hates Religion (and You Should Too)

3. Fundies, Fakes, and Other So-Called Christians

4. Religion Makes Enemies/Jesus Makes Friends

5. With Religion, There Are Good and Bad People/With Jesus, There Are Only Bad People in Need of Grace

6. Religion Is the Means to Get Things from God/If we Seek Jesus, We Get God

7. With Religion, If You Are Suffering, God is Punishing You/God already Punished Jesus on Your Behalf, So Suffering is His Mercy

8. Religion Says, "God Will Love You If..."/Jesus Says, "God So Loved..."

9. Religion Points to a Dim Future/Jesus Points to a Bright Future

10. Why Jesus Loves the Church (and You Should Too)

This is one of those books you really need to read with yourself in mind. Our relationship with Christ is between us and Him and we were never meant to be judgmental of other believers in their walk with the Lord, but rather encouraging and full of grace. (read Romans chapter 14)

This book is a 'look in the mirror' kind of book.  As well as a 'look to Jesus' kind of book. : )

Here are a few great quotes from it:

"The problem we have with Jesus isn't that he gives life and grace freely, but that we have to admit our need for it."

"I realized that fighting to prove I was good enough was actually the one thing keeping me out of heaven. A grace economy is backward to most of us - those who think they qualify, don't; and those who admit they don't qualify, do."

"The paradox of the Scripture is that it calls us way more sinful than we think we are, and it calls us way more loved than we think we are."

"Thankfulness is the quickest path to joy. He owes us nothing, but he gives us everything."

"Jesus knows what life is like. He doesn't hang out in heaven and tell us to be good and moral without reaching down to us. Jesus doesn't make us come to him; he comes to us."

I wanted to share so much more from this book but I felt it's one of those books you really need to read in context.

So... I highly recommended you read it!

Buy it HERE on Amazon 



24 comments:

  1. Hi Cathy, I am glad you came by my place for I found you. I review children's books, being a former teacher and children's librarian on a separate blog. This book looks like something I ought to read for I struggle with a lot that I am and am not in and out of the setting of "religion." I struggle with the way "church" seems to be more often than not and the ways that I interact with it. The titles of the chapters are quite profound. You are right about the wisdom of this 23 year old!
    Glad you are my neighbor at SDG.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

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    1. Hi Linda, I'm learning that being part of the church is not what gives me worth, but Christ alone, and when we come to grips with our worth in Him alone, we are free to contribute good to the church. I think you would like this book. Hope you enjoy it. : )

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  2. I totally want to read this book - your review makes me want to go grab it right now. I think I will!

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  3. Thanks for the book review, we all need the real Jesus and not just a nice one. You are a near neighbor at Soli Deo with Jen

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  4. Hi Cathy, I absolutely loved this book. It was so refreshing and so powerful in its simplicity. Its my daughter's copy so I think I may buy myself one so I can scribble in it and make notes and highlight. I pray that this young man remain true and firmly rooted in the Lord as he has an amazing ministry ahead of him.
    God bless
    Tracy

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    1. Glad you loved it too! He seems to have a great ministry going. I've watched a few videos he and his wife did on marriage...really good!

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  5. This looks like an excellent book! Thank you for sharing a review of it. I, too, love the chapter titles :).

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! Hope you get a chance to read it. : )

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  6. I always appreciate your reviews. I have heard good things about this book and will need to add to my ever growing list of books to read. Blessings.

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    1. Thanks Beth. Always nice to hear from you. : )

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  7. I enjoy those types of books! All to often we succumb to the flesh and this book sounds like the type to bring us back. Thank you for the review!

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    1. It's a great book. Thanks for stopping by Erin! : )

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  8. Thanks for sharing this Cathy! And for linking at CMB. This sounds like a book I need to read! Blessings!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by again Deb! : )

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  9. Cathy, this was awesome! This qoute is getting posted in my office, "The paradox of the Scripture is that it calls us way more sinful than we think we are, and it calls us way more loved than we think we are." Love it! Thanks for hopping over to InspireMeMonday!

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    1. There were so many great quotes in this book! Glad this one resonated with you. I loved it too. : )

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  10. This looks like such a great book! I'm putting it on my TBR list right now.

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  11. Wait a minute, as soon as I clicked "publish" I realized where I'd heard of this book before: Jeff Bethke spoke at a retreat I went on! He's a very gifted speaker, and has a passion for Jesus (but not necessarily religion!). He makes Spoken Word videos about faith that are pretty interesting. Here's one he made about religion (which is obviously a big topic with him): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IAhDGYlpqY

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    1. Yes, I've seen his religion video, so great! I've also seen a few of his videos on marriage he made with his wife. I'll have to check out his Spoken Word videos.

      Thanks for stopping by Jaina! : )

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  12. Can't wait to read it. I loved the quotes, especially this one, "The problem we have with Jesus isn't that he gives life and grace freely, but that we have to admit our need for it." Thanks for linking up to Mondays @ Soul Survival.
    Donna

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    1. So many great quotes... hope you enjoy the book Donna. : )

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  13. This book looks really good. What you've said about it reminds me of the book, Your God is too Safe. Thanks for sharing it at Booknificent Thursday this week! Always great to have you!
    Tina

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Feel free to leave your own thoughts in the comments. I try to respond to all of them by the end of the week. : )

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