Three years ago Jefferson Bethke took the world by storm with his YouTube video “Why I Love Jesus But Hate Religion,” and it has now been viewed in excess of thirty million times. I was immediately fascinated with his voice. Not the sound of his voice, mind you, but the things he had to say. He put into words what so many of us who call ourselves Christian had been trying to say for a very long time. He followed that up a little over a year later with his first book, “Jesus > Religion,” a book I was lucky enough to help launch. It took a compelling conversation further, and I still highly recommend it to many as a must read about how Jesus truly is a game-changer who forever changed what church and religion were supposed to be about.
Today, I get the honor of sharing my thoughts with you on his second book, “It’s Not What You Think.” This time around, Jefferson takes on the thought that following Jesus is about more than just going to Heaven when you die. As a lifelong church-goer, I have to admit that up until recent years, I looked at being saved through that very lens. It was, to put it plainly, fire insurance. I just didn’t want to go to hell. What I’ve come to understand in the past few years is that missing hell isn’t even almost the point, it’s just a fringe benefit. Being saved is a jump-off to the real deal behind what Jesus did, KNOWING Him. It’s about relationship, and that truth changes the colors on everything tied to what it means to follow Jesus. Actually, it changes the colors of everything in your world.
It’s with that in mind that this book takes you on a journey with the intention of leading you to a whole new place concerning nine areas of life that are impacted by your faith in Christ. Bethke intends to “flip the script” on what you thought you always knew about yourself, the people around you, worship, brokenness, and more transforming black and white thought processes into new paintings rich and vibrant with color. Two dimensional thinking is thrown out the door in favor of seeing concepts in high-definition giving them new life and meaning. It’s another step in taking the reader from looking at Jesus as an add-on to a living Savior that desires to impact your life and make it FULL! Jesus intends not to just deliver you from punishment; he intends to give you a life fraught with meaning. Everything and everyone has purpose in Jesus’ economy, and Jefferson doesn’t want you to miss what that means for you.
With such deep, rich subject matter, it would be easy to get bogged down in “church speak” losing the reader or even confusing them. The great news is that Bethke goes to great lengths to make every concept understandable to any reader who might decide to take a chance on the book. He also shares many personal stories which give practical application to what he is saying and also give you a glimpse into who he really is. You’ll leave feeling like you were able to sit down across from Jefferson and have a quiet, personal conversation; you feel like you know him and the Jesus he talks about better for having spent the time.
So, I highly recommend that you take a trip to your favorite bookstore or online retailer and pick up this book. If you would like to explore further, you can go to http://www.itsnotwhatyouthink.tv and pick up a free chapter to take for a test drive. You also have the option to order from there as well as learn more about Jefferson and others thoughts on his writing.
My advice to you is to take the plunge and give it a try. Once you do, spread the word! Tell your friends and family about “It’s Not What You Think.” And, if you’re willing, drop back by this blog and leave your comments about the book. I’d love to hear about your experience.