This is the book I've been looking for. It especially reached me because I went to the same College he describes for his Freshman year. I'd like to tell the author "Thank you". Since I can't, I will spread this publication through word of mouth. Warning: This is not casual reading! This isn't inspiring,...It's either life changing, or life devastating. I pray the reader chooses the first.
Let me tell you, this is NOT a book you can just rush through. I totally mean that in a very positive way. This book definitely gives you some food for thought. His comparisons on Jesus' outlook on things versus the whole religious outlook is spot on. In my opinion, he's not calling Christianity (the truest form...beliefs, His Word, etc.) bad. It's the religion Jesus was against (the man-made and wrong kind) that he does. This book makes you take the time to look deep down inside and truly think about it all. He has interwoven his own personal stories along with biblical truths to show us just how much Jesus loves us and wants His best for us. He pointed out a lot of good points that made me have a few "aha! moments" of my own and, at times, his words would cause an "ouch" or two. This is definitely a book that I would and do recommend :)
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.