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

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This is hardly the first book to contrast Christianity with religion, but of all the ones I have read, this is the first where the author understands and affirms the gospel of Jesus Christ’s substitutionary death and his atoning work. He offers many excellent insights into the joy and freedom of Christianity.
-Challies

Synopsis

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER


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 4-minute video literally became an overnight sensation, with 7 million YouTube views in its first 48 hours (and 23+ million in a year). The message blew up on social-media, triggering an avalanche of responses running the gamut from encouraged to enraged.


In Jesus > Religion, 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.

 

About Jefferson Bethke

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Jefferson Bethke has a compelling story of overcoming a painful childhood of poverty and a broken home, and this gives him a unique perspective on the grace of God and the work of Jesus in his life and the lives of others. It's this perspective that has catapulted him into the national conversation regarding religion and spirituality, allowing his message to connect at a heart level with an audience ranging from atheists to nationally recognized religious leaders.
 
Published October 14, 2013 by Thomas Nelson. 214 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Oct 27 2013
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Challies

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Reviewed by Tim Challies on Oct 08 2013

This is hardly the first book to contrast Christianity with religion, but of all the ones I have read, this is the first where the author understands and affirms the gospel of Jesus Christ’s substitutionary death and his atoning work. He offers many excellent insights into the joy and freedom of Christianity.

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