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5 Reasons You Need to Read Jesus > Religion by Jefferson Bethke

Every once in a while there comes along a book that shakes the comfortable walls you’ve built around yourself to the ground.

This is one of those books!

(If you don’t want to waste your time reading this review you can skip it and buy the book here)

Like 25 million other people I learned about Jefferson Bethke in early 2012 when he published his powerful poem on YouTube “Why I Hate Religion but Love Jesus”. Check it out below if you haven’t already seen it.

Bethke’s poem brings to light the stark differences between the Jesus of the Bible and the religion that Western culture pushes.

I liked the video for two reasons;

1. His message about Jesus was true and life changing!
2. He filmed the video at Stadium High, a 10 minute walk from where I lived for 7 years while attending seminary!

I’ve read the book and it’s good!

Thank you Thomas Nelson Publishing for the pre-release copy!

I want you to read the book too, so here are 5 great reasons to buy the book.

1. It will inspire you even more than the video to live unashamed for Jesus

“But you start investigating and pushing into this guy from Nazareth who lived two thousand years ago, and you will get somewhere. You will have to face up to who he is, what he has done, and what you will do about it.” Page 35

The video gives you a small taste of what this book is like.

  • It’s not a theology textbook but it opens up some deep theological truths.
  • It’s not a pep talk but it will get you excited about Jesus.
  • It’s not a self-help manual but you’ll find truths in it that can and should change your life.

2. It will change your perspective on religion

“All the other religions center on people’s righteousness— what we do and how good we are. Real Christianity centers on Jesus’ righteousness—what he has done and how good he is.” Page 28

Bethke hits hard on “religion” in this book. He shows how much of American thought has changed Jesus’ message from one of freedom and grace to one of law and works. He breaks down these false patterns of thought and shows how religion is hopeless and lifeless compared to what Jesus has to offer.

3. It will help you understand how Jesus and the Bible aren’t “safe for the whole family”

“We have completely neutered grace (my good works save me, but we still call it grace), made God a math equation (God will like me if I’m good), and turned Jesus into Mr. Rogers (“Howdy, neighbor”). But Jesus isn’t rocking a cardigan, and he doesn’t talk softly through his nose. He’s a roaring lion.” Page 12

Many people claim to know Jesus, many think they understand his message but Bethke breaks the mold of Western culture and shows how Jesus is not only a Savior but also a Judge. He’s not “ok” with your sin, he wants you to be holy and he’s got the solution!

4. It’s a message that can change our culture’s false views of Jesus and salvation

“Some people think, I got saved when I was ten, so Jesus is my homeboy, right? Well, yes, but probably not in the way they mean it.” Page 49

The truth is Jesus never asked people to raise their hands while everyone’s eyes were closed, he never said “repeat this little prayer after me and you’ll be saved”.  Jesus called people to believe. He called them to believe in a way that would later be evident in their life.

5. You can support us by buying the book!

Imagine, you get the blessing of this awesome book and you can bless us at the same time!

Yes, we get a generous commission from Amazon if you buy the book after clicking on any link in this blog post! Actually we will get a commission on anything you buy from Amazon so go wild and get a bunch of books!

Buy the book asap!

The more people who buy it now the more likely it will be to make it to #1 on Amazon. That’s important because that means Amazon will promote it and more people will see it and hopefully buy it.

This is a message of truth that America needs. I’m excited to see how it will impact churches and especially youth!

Question: In what ways is Jesus as greater than religion in your life?

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I am a pastor, missionary, and preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Ukraine since 2007. God blessed me with a wonderful wife and 5 amazing children! My greatest passion is to teach, encourage, and exhort others to turn to Jesus, who is Savior, Lord, and God!

  • Savior. Friend. Daddy. Husband. Jesus is SO much more to me than religion. Religion didn’t deliver me from depression. It didn’t give me a purpose. Religion doesn’t give me peace & new mercies every morning. Only Jesus does that. Only He meets my every need.

    • Amen Kari! I think we’ll probably spend eternity finding out more reasons how Jesus is so much greater than religion! Thanks for adding to the reasons!

  • I’ll have to put it on my future reading list.. I’m way too jammed up now, but in the future. That’s quite the recommendation.

    • You’ll be glad you did Floyd! The book doesn’t release until next week so you still have some time 😉 Anyway, I’d encourage you to pre-order it now if you can.

  • Michael C. Byrd

    I preordered the signed edition online. I cant wait I enjoy the videos alot.

    • That’s great Michael! I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

  • Nice review. I’ve had the opportunity to be part of the Street Team and have loved it! Been great to be part of this message. Thanks for the nice write up!

    • Glad to help get the word out there Josh! Thanks!

  • loved his video and loved his humility to say “I don’t have it al figured out but here are my thoughts”- He seems like a solid guy and was just talking to some one today that it isn’t about behavior modification and how language in the church can get misused….meaning….as long as you don’t use vulgar language you’re good and you can use innocent words with venomous and poisonous intent and motive and be good, but as soon as you use vulgar language you have sinned.

    Jeffs heart seems to be about intent and how churchianity can be a dangerous thing in causing our affections for God to be slightly off line. Good stuff Caleb!

    • David, I think you’ll really like the book. Jeff goes into detail about a lot of that stuff in the book, including his own struggle and how he eventually came to put his faith in Jesus. Thanks for commenting!

  • These are some great reasons to buy and read the book. Thank you for posting your review:)

    • The book just released today and it looks like it’s doing pretty well on Amazon. I hope you get a chance to read it Dan!