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Jesus > Religion: Why He Is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, and Being Good Enough

Jefferson Bethke, Lecrae
Jesus > Religion: Why He Is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, and Being Good Enough
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Jefferson Bethke burst into the cultural conversation in 2012 with a passionate, provocative poem titled "Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus." The 4-minute video literally became an overnight sensation, with 7 million YouTube views in its first 48 hours. The message also bl... Read More

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Jefferson Bethke burst into the cultural conversation in 2012 with a passionate, provocative poem titled "Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus." The 4-minute video literally became an overnight sensation, with 7 million YouTube views in its first 48 hours. The message also blew up on social-media, triggering an avalanche of responses running the gamut from encouraged to enraged.

In Jesus > Religion: Why He is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More and Being Good Enough, Bethke unpacks similar contrasts that he drew in the poem - highlighting the difference 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 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.

Product Details:
Page Count: 240
Released: 10/2013
  • Product type: Book
  • Format: Softcover
  • Release Date: Oct 7, 2013
  • UPC: 9781400205394
  • Height: 0
  • Width: 0
  • Length: 0
  • Volumes/Discs: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Language: English
  • Audience Age Maximum: 0
  • Audience Age Minimum: 0
  • BISAC: "REL012120"
  • ISBN: 1400205395

Customer Reviews

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Game Changer by Trina on 10/16/2013

Jesus > Religion is a game changer; this book has the potential to shift how an entire generation knows Jesus and to clearly see when He’s being falsified and used, especially in the name of religion.

When Jefferson Bethke’s video went viral in early 2012, what impressed me even more than his spoken word poetry was how he responded to his critics. My expectations therefore were high for Jesus > Religion and Bethke exceeded them all.

Thoughtfully unpacking the message from his video and going much deeper, Bethke is open about his own struggles and shares his faith journey.

Bethke’s strength is in his gift for juxtaposition. He has the humility of someone twice his age, while speaking truth in today’s vernacular. Between intersections of words, Bethke calls us all out on our hypocrisy with directness and grace.

I would highly recommend first reading this book yourself before gifting it to someone who isn’t familiarity with the Bible. While Bethke does a great job of giving context to the stories he uses from the New Testament, especially in the later half of the book, not as much context is given for the Old Testament references. With discussion questions written provided at the end of each chapter, this is a great book to read and discuss with a friend.

A must-read! by Maggie on 10/7/2013

Words cannot describe how incredible challenging, convicting, yet beautifully encouraging “Jesus > Religion” is. So many of my questions have been answered, but the book also brought up a lot of other good questions that stretched me. My faith has been made stronger through this book and I’m already in the process of reading it a second time! Jefferson really dives into why we should completely love others and how God views us as his children. There is hope and victory through Jesus and I really hope that those who read it will realize this!

Worth It by @Called2Luv on 10/7/2013

Have you ever met a new friend, with whom you were like "YES! Someone who understands!"
It's like hearing your heart and thoughts echoed back to you...
That's what Jefferson Bethke's book, Jesus > Religion  was like for me.
Jeff shares pure grace. How we don't have to do (nor CAN'T) do anything to earn or lose the Father's love for us.
"God broke me to fix me because He loved me." -pg 6
"Religion says do,Jesus says done." -  pg 28
"When Jesus told the first disciples to love their enemies,he didn't add " as long as they look like you,talk like you,and act like you". Loving your enemies means loving THEM ." -pg 63
"We don't want to take advantage of it{grace} because because there is nothing better out there to take advantage of it for." -pg 152
This is an encouraging,challenging book that will provide fresh revelations of the Fathers love toward you! It will change how you view yourself,your relationship with the Father,and how you view others around you! WELL worth the time and investment!

Grace overload! by Jan Baez (@accordingtojan) on 10/7/2013

First-things-first, grace overload! This book is saturated with grace.

Jefferson Bethke didn’t go to seminary school nor is he a pastor, which gives him the inclination to say “I’m not really qualified to write this book.” However, he realizes that God is not looking for qualified people, but for people who are broken and willing to admit that they need His grace. Jefferson puts it this way, “It’s like God is saying the only way to qualify is to admit you don’t qualify.” You will learn from reading his book that grace is a scandalous love story, “God’s grace isn’t nice and cute. It’s scandalous.” Grace is for everyone, the broken, the dirty, and the lowest of the lowest. We all need grace, and Jefferson understood that:

“Grace isn’t there for some future me but for the real me. The me who was messy. The one who was addicted to porn. The me who didn’t have all the answers. The me who was insecure. He loved me in my mess; he was not waiting until I cleaned myself up. That truth changed my life, and I’m convinced it can change yours.”

Jefferson is sharing the invitation that was made by Jesus Christ at the cross to abandon dead, dry, rule-keeping and embrace that fact that you are unconditionally loved, and so much more. Jesus>Religion is story of a radical man with a radical message, changing people’s lives in a radical way.

Read a full review at accordingtojan (.com)

This book will change your life! by jkbane on 10/7/2013

In all reality this is a book I believe everyone needs to read. Whether you’re a Christian or not, it is a challenging book. Jefferson walks the reader through his history with religion and Jesus. He communicates a strong message of how Jesus is greater than religion. The resounding theme of the book is everything is about Jesus, it’s a message of the love of God through his Son.

The book doesn’t beat around the bush, Jefferson doesn’t hold back. It is message this generation needs and actually deep down wants to hear. This is your chance to take your faith to a whole new level! I encourage everyone to pick up a copy and when you are done reading, pass it along to someone else. But this is your warning…you will be challenged, you will have to make a choice to face fears and your perspective of people and sin may need altered.

While the book does discuss some heavy topics it is a VERY encouraging book. Many times are I was reading I was laughing, smiling and literally having a good time with the book. I felt as if my life was interacting with the words written. The message is a message of life! You won’t regret reading this book. It is worth the time, the money and investment. It is a message you will want to share with your loved ones.
Happy reading!

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