This is an awesome book. From the time I heard they this book was happening, I was so excited. When it came out during my last semester of college, I finish it in only a few weeks’ time, even on top of all the reading I had to do for class! I was already a big fan of Jeff from his YouTube channel, but seeing Jeff’s heart and life story written out in this way was a confirmation of why I enjoyed his work so much. This book is still in my opinion of the best books written from a millennial viewpoint of the subject of Christianity. Jeff’s desire to help his audience find a more intimate relationship is undeniable and that desire guides his audience to a good place when they are finished. Especially after I helped launched two of his other books (It’s Not What You Think and Love that Lasts), I definitely recommend this book ~ Bethel
Religion has been around for a long time, but most of us don’t really understand all that it implies in our world today. Although the essence of religion was created by God, what it has become is a far cry from the vibrant relationship He wants us to find in His Son. Through human misunderstanding, practicing religion has become distorted into a list of rules that are impossible for us to keep in our imperfection. There have been many consequences to this distortion, including many falling into either theological arrogance (assuming they can earn merit with God through rule-keeping) or making the choice to give up on religion (because the standards are impossible to achieve). These two extremes create tension, and everyone in between feels like they are caught in the middle of the hypocrisy or ignorance of those involved in the argument. It makes us ask the question: Is there something better than the rule-keeping of religion?
In his first book, Jesus > Religion, Jefferson Bethke helps us understand that there is a big different between the rule-keeping of religion and the freedom in obedience we should have in the saving grace of Jesus Christ. After his spoken word on the same subject when viral (Why I Hate Religion, but Love Jesus), Jeff decided he wanted to write a book to further explain his position. The result is a book that takes much of what we thought we knew about Christianity and turns it on its head. He breaks down many of the issues that subscribing to a religion brings and points to the greater ways that Jesus taught throughout His ministry. When we are able to truly learn that we have receive grace as soon as we accept it, it will allow to live a more abundant life that is not bogged down by rule-keeping. However, we do also learn that grace doesn’t absolve us from sin, but instead allows us to have hope that we can remain anchored in Christ, even if we mess up, as long as we have an attitude of repentance. These truths and much more are told within the framework of the spoken word that inspired the book as well as personal stories from his own life that make his points relevant.
Although this was Jeff’s first book, published when he was only twenty-three, this book has a wisdom beyond his years. His theology is strong, but his writing is understandable to everyone and relevant to all of us. I honestly think that every Christian needs to read this book. Get your copy today!