It’s Not What You Think – Jefferson Bethke

I had read and enjoyed Jefferson Bethke’s book [amazon_link id=”B00C4ZCZFM” target=”_blank” ]Jesus > Religion: Why He Is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, and Being Good Enough[/amazon_link].

When I was given a chance to review his new book, [amazon_link id=”B00WDJSWVK” target=”_blank” ]It’s Not What You Think: Why Christianity Is About So Much More Than Going to Heaven When You Die[/amazon_link], I jumped at the chance.

I was not disappointed.

Bethke takes on many aspects of Christianity in which we have some misunderstandings. Included in this are:

  • Christianity is more than going to heaven
  • The Temple is not a building
  • The Sabbath is not an outdated set of rules
  • The kingdom is not in the sky
    and much, much more.

Bethke hit on so many things I’ve been pondering in my own life. This book became a conversation for me with a fellow traveler.

His description of humanity bearing the image of God was powerful. “We are a broken, cracked, messed up temple, but still a temple”

His reflections on our value given by God at Creation, but marred by our decision to sin are powerful. In spite of this God still pursues relationship with us; desiring to tabernacle with us. This is so much greater than getting people “saved” and punching their ticket to heaven!

God’s goal was to “fix a tent with us.”


Bethke has some excellent reflections on the baptism and temptation of Jesus. He shows how God communicated his pleasure with Christ before He had done any works.

His identity was settled. It was from that place that Jesus could stand against the temptations from Satan. He knew who He was because God had made it clear.

Likewise, God communicates our identity as approved sons and daughters at the beginning of our journey so we do not have to strive and perform to receive it.

One final thought I will leave you with. He compares the pursuit of truth and knowledge to that of relationship with Christ.

“Would we rather have Jesus give us all the answers or would we rather sit at the table with him?”

Good question. God desires relationship.

Let’s dwell with him.

I really enjoyed this book. Jefferson Bethke tackles some deep and advanced theological issues in the most user-friendly and readable way. He also includes an extensive book list to further the journey from other voices.

This book is deep yet simple. And it is so, so refreshing.

Pick up a copy today.

[amazon_image id=”B00WDJSWVK” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]It’s Not What You Think: Why Christianity Is About So Much More Than Going to Heaven When You Die[/amazon_image]

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255  : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Photo by Greg Rakosy