Jesus > Religion by Jefferson Bethke

jesus religionJesus > Religion by Jefferson Bethke Book Review

I could give the title of the this review (Exaggeration, Emotional, Misleading and So Right on So Much).

I saw Jefferson Burkes video: Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus. It was good. I’m not from his generation so it doesn’t have the same impact on me as for others. I share many of Jefferson’s concerns and distastes. But I’m not so down on the church as he expresses. I’m not a defender of the church but if it is to be impuned it should be constructive and not depend on hyperbole.

He sees the problems and seems to bounce from one place to another not being able to lace the problem together concisely and clearly. It is like a speech that you wait for a good one liner so you can cheer.

I do not think this is a defect in him, it is just that he hasn’t thought about it or spoke about it enough to be as clear as possible. I believe if he were to write this in 10 or 15 years it would be much better.

The central issue he tackles is true. We have a problem. He notes low commitment to purity and love. Yet, he doesn’t lay out what we are to do. He expounds on hypocrisy but doesn’t show the central problem or solution. He says many true things and aside from exaggeration (over stating a point) I agree.

He has repackaged a confusion that still binds the church. “DO” and “Done”, he fights against doing but our religion is dead if it doesn’t perform acts of mercy. Yes, Jesus did the work on the cross and gave salvation, freely offered, but to disembody “Done” by decapitating “Do” you end up where you began: An unholy, self righteous corpse: a religious church.

It works like this: Because we believe Jesus rose from the dead we can trust him. He offers eternal life for those that do what he said. This is the act of faith that grants grace for salvation. Active sacrificial love is our creed in Jesus name.

I think young Christians will love the book. It will help them feel comfort that someone sees what they see. I’m not sure they will have a clear target to shoot at after reading it. But there is a lot to say amen to.

I look forward to him impacting his generation in the future. I’m sure he will continue to influence people for many years and after his railing will be able to answer the question “Now, what do we do about it?”

I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars.


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