Abandon dead, dry, rule-keeping and embrace the promise of being truly known and deeply loved.
Jefferson Bethke burst into the cultural conversation in 2012 with a passionate, provocative poem titled “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus.” The four-minute video of Bethke’s spoken-word performance literally became an overnight sensation, with seven million YouTube views in its first forty-eight hours (and 24+ million within a year). The message hit like a blizzard on social-media sites and in forwarded e-mails, triggering an avalanche of responses running the gamut from encouraged to enraged.
In Jesus > Religion, Bethke unpacks the stark contrasts that he drew in the poem - contrasts between teeth gritting and grace, law and love, performance and peace, despair and hope. With refreshing candor, he delves into the motivation behind his message, beginning with the unvarnished tale of his own plunge from the pinnacle of a works-based, fake-smile existence that sapped his strength and led him down a path of destructive behavior.
Bethke is quick to acknowledge that he’s not a pastor or theologian, but simply a regular, twenty-something, soul-starved searcher who cried out for a life greater than the one for which he had settled. Along his journey, Bethke discovered the real Jesus, who beckoned him beyond the props of false religion.
©2013 Thomas Nelson (P)2013 Thomas Nelson
This book is life changing. I had seen Jeff's videos, and knew that he was on to something different than what I had learned growing up in a Christian home/Christian schools. I have always felt like I needed to "get right with God" before I could really be a Christian and "get into heaven". It was always about not having sex, not drinking, not cussing, etc. --and I was never good enough. Jeff's simple way of explaining the grace of God has completely changed the way I see God and how I want to live my life. I will continue to listen to this book over and over, it has sparked a new desire within me to seek God.
His purposeful and unashamed portrayal of grace and the Gospel were riveting. After Jefferson Bethke came and spoke at Liberty University this past fall semester (fall 2013), I HAD to get his book. Truthfully, I bought this audiobook after reading the actual book, which was the first book I had read for pleasure in years, and I read the whole thing in less than two days (during the hectic beginning of my first semester of college)!
I now know what the phrase "couldn't put the book down" means!
Soon after reading this book, I re-realized my calling to be a pastor. Now I am studying the Bible intensely in college as I prepare for ministry.
This book is incredible and really helps in so many ways in your walk with Christ, and even for those seeking or curious about Christianity.
I would say that, before coming to Liberty University, I had a particularly closed mindset about homosexuality and same-sex attraction. After coming to Liberty, my mind was opened to the actual struggle that this is, and the circumstances surrounding it. Jeff Bethke awesomely establishes what homosexuality is, along with the homosexual lifestyle, and shows how we can love them like Jesus without being the mean Christians that they are used to interacting with. It really helped me in that area.
I loved learning more about Jesus and that he still loves me even though I am not perfect.
Jefferson Bethke is a young adult similar to myself and I can relate to his story more so than other stories.
I used to judge others based on their appearance and whether they followed the ten commandments. I had never read the Bible before for myself and always used to just take for granted what other people would teach me about the bible. I could say I was a religious hypocrite because I would judge others for not following the ten commandments, but I myself would hide my slip ups as I struggled to follow the ten commandments. After reading this book and reading the Bible for myself I have learned so much more about Jesus for who he is personally and how he lived his life. I trust in Jesus lifting up his name more now with confession as a way of life rather than trying harder, doing more, and being good enough.
Absolutely. Not only is Jefferson amazing to listen to, but his story and testament is one that should be heard by all. His break down of the love of Jesus and how it applies to all of us, is phenomenal. It's easy to understand, to get, to relate to. This book is a great way to start the conversation and to share the gospel. For new and old Christians alike.
Every part of it! He was able to verbalize my views on homosexuality and basically my entire world view. He gets it. Finally a person that isn't bogged down by the ties of religion.
Only book he has. I've listened to many of his spoken words on YouTube. He has amazing presence.
Amazing book. I hope Jeff continues to share his story and his thoughts. As long as he stays true and continues to preach the love of Jesus, I will continue to support him through the purchasing of his books.
Awesome, real, relatable.
He was fresh. I'm 19 years old, and hearing someone close to my age speak about God is what really attracted me to this book. Most Christian books are targeted towards adults, and it's nice to hear Christianity from a young adults perspective.
An amazing book from a young person who knows what we must focus on. It is all about Jesus. The church is becoming of this world. Focus on Christ!
all of it
the struggles he went through
Jesus is the Answer!
I would definitely recommend this book!
I loved it all,
Yes! This is a book that is hard to put down,
This is such a wonderful inspiring book!
I loved the book, so it was great to be able to listen to the audiobook too, read by the author himself... However as english is not my first language, I found it quite difficult to follow the narration, as Jeff Bethke speaks so amazingly fast! Sometimes I had to lower the speed to 0,5x. If you've watched any of his YouTube videos, you know what I'm talking about... But anyway, it was a unforgettable experience, well worth the credit. I recommend it to anyone who is strugging with today's religion and desires to meet again the real Jesus, face to face...
I love how Jeff takes the truth of the Bible and presents it in ways that are both understandable and applicable to real life. Looking forward to more from Jeff!
"buy it !"
as a new christian this book spoke to my heart , amazing listening. always struggled with religion absolutely love jesus .
"wow! what a book! you are a inspiration Jefferson."
I really lovedit. Thank you for honesty,you've giving me so much hope. Stay blessed Jefferson.
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