Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Jesus is Still Greater than Religion [Book Review]

Disclosure: I was given a copy of Jefferson Bethke's book, "Jesus > Religion" for review purposes. I was not financially compensated for this post, and all opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links. 

Jefferson Bethke caught the attention of Christians and non-Christians alike when his spoken word, "Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus," was posted on YouTube almost two years ago. Since then, he has challenged Christians and non-Christians to think twice about what they believe. He has opened the doors for many conversations between people from all different types of religious backgrounds.

The front cover to Bethke's book
Yesterday, he released his book, entitled Jesus > Religion, which expands more on some of the themes that Bethke mentioned in the poem. In the first chapter, he talks about his testimony, mostly through college. He talked about his struggle with pornography, parties, and girls, and how he had come to take Jesus seriously in regards to his own faith.

He reminds us that everything about Jesus' life wasn't safe. He actually went against many of the social norms of that time in order to minister to people. Bethke talks about how at some point, we all fall into the category as being one of those "Christians," where we are prideful and sometimes treat church as a chore rather than something we actually want to be at.

What I really appreciated about the book was how he stressed the importance of understanding the differences between Jesus and religion. Religion is a set of rules that you follow with fear of punishment. A relationship with Jesus is because you love Him and He loves you back. Well, that's the short version of the book, haha. If you don't understand that concept still, don't worry, because Bethke goes into many different examples to illustrate his point. A key concept is obligation versus genuine desire to know Jesus and follow Him. Your word versus your lifestyle plays a factor as well.

I recommend this book because whether you agree with everything Bethke says or not, this book will cause you to think twice about your beliefs and even the way you live your life. If you do read this book, however, I also highly recommend allotting a significant amount of time to read and understand what the book is talking about. The book talks about a lot of different concepts and it's important so set aside time between each chapter or every few sections to contemplate and process what you just read. Although I enjoyed reading it, I wish I could've balanced more time between school and the book to get the most out of it. I'll probably read through it again so that I can get the most that I can out of the book.

Interested in buying a copy? There are a few websites, but check it out on Amazon here. You can buy from Barnes & Noble, Family Christian, and other places as well, including the iBookstore if you want it for your iPhone or iPad.

I'd love to know your opinions on the book or what you expect the book to be down below in the comments!

Until then, chau for now ♥

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