Jesus > Religion: book review

A couple weeks ago, I started to feel tired of browsing social media while breastfeeding Little Brother, so I opened up Kindle and FINALLY downloaded Jesus > Religion: Why He Is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, and Being Good Enough.

I have been wanting to read it just as soon as it came out – in fact, I followed Jefferson Bethke on Instagram before his book was on the shelves because of his awesome YouTube video that went viral as soon as he posted it.

So, I blazed through this book over a few days while breastfeeding.  (Think about it, 10-30 minute “breaks” several times  day is truly a LOT of “spare time” but you are hostage to a chair and, in most cases, access to one arm/hand).  I’m so thankful Kindle exists… and I’m sure others moms would give the single page holding & turning a standing ovation, too.  I can think of so many books on my “to read” list that I would have already finished if I had them on Kindle.

Anyways, Jesus > Religion: I LOVED IT! I feel like Jefferson was so raw and transparent about HIS PERSONAL JOURNEY.  How can you NOT like someone’s honest search for discovering who Jesus is?

I love reading books or stories about God qualifying the called… Jefferson is a new author and yet it was so easy to tell he did his research but more importantly, God told him to share his story, so he did.

Chapters are pretty self-explanatory:

  • Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?
  • Why I Still Think Jesus Hates Religion (and You Should Too
  • Fundies, Fakes, and Other So-Called Christians
  • Religion Makes Enemies / Jesus Makes Friends
  • With Religion, There are Good and Bad People / With Jesus, There are Only Bad People in Need of Grace
  • Religion is the Means to Get Things from God / If We Seek Jesus, We Get God
  • With Religion, If you Are Suffering, God is Punishing You / God Already Punished Jesus on Your Behalf, So Suffering Is His Mercy
  • Religion Says “God Will Love You If…” / Jesus says “God So Loved…”
  • Religion Points to a Dim Future / Jesus Points to a Bright Future
  • Why Jesus Loves the Church (and You Should T00)

Concepts that stick out the MOST to me: people often think they are a Christian, but they don’t know the real Jesus – the way He is portrayed in The Bible.

Instead of experiencing Jesus first-hand, they get a watered-down version or flat out fake-Jesus through media, people, circumstances… people fall into the trap of following a religion, but the Bible so clearly tells stories about Jesus challenging the rule-makers.  Jesus wants a personal relationship with us – there are aides like Bible Study, worship music and church activities to help us do that, but these things can become so ritualistic that it takes the personal-connection (between me & Jesus) out of the picture.  No one is perfect and we don’t need to be. We just need God’s grace.

Jesus doesn’t tell us we will have a perfect life if we follow Him.  In fact, He says we will be sacrificing things in this life in order to follow Him.  His ultimate promise to us, is no suffering in Heaven.  God doesn’t want us to love Him so we can go to Heaven – he wants us to love Him for the relationship.

There’s a lot of incredible insight Jefferson put into this book – and I hope you get to read it.  It’s easy to get at the library and at a minimum you can watch his YouTube video (that inspired the book):

 

 

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