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Book Review – Jesus>Religion

January 20, 2014

Jefferson Bethke has struck gold with his first book, Jesus > Religion: Why He Is Do Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, and Being Good Enough.[1] What Bethke thought was just a poetic complaint of Western Christianity, turned into a viral video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IAhDGYlpqY) that lead to this book.

This book is not so much a complaint towards Christianity as it is a direct assault on the religion known as Christianity. Bethke addresses a variety of issues where the church has been accused of, and rightfully so at times, hypocrisy. He calls us towards a following of Jesus instead of a performance-based religion. He calls us to obeying God and not the directives of religion.

While I know I did not list any specifics, I am going to recommend this book. To list his particular points here would not suffice and most likely would turn some readers off. This book will step on your toes. It will confront some beliefs. It will rattle your cage. And to all this I say . . . excellent!

We have to start reading the Bible critically. For that matter, we need to start processing all information critically. Bethke asks the question, ‘What is the Bible really saying?’ frequently. It is something most Christians fail to ask, instead trusting on their denominational leaders and parents to teach them what it means.

I found this book to be a wonderful read. It should become a standard in apologetics classes and training in churches. Pastors, give this a read and get it into the hands of your church members. Embrace the ideas in this book and read it critically. Be honest with yourself and reflect on Bethke’s ideas. This book is a growth book for everyone.


[1] Jefferson Bethke. Jesus> Religion: Why He Is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, and Being Good Enough. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2013).

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