“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.”
– Matthew 23:13
I’d read somewhere that “Rejecting Religion – Embracing Grace” was the best Greg Albrecht book to date.
This is the 5th one that I’ve read, and I would have to wholeheartedly agree.
I think my previous favorite was “Revelation Revolution: The Overlooked Message of the Apocalypse.”
I’ve gained from each book read, but this newest outing is certainly the “meatiest.”
This book does suffer from some of the same drawbacks as the earlier writings, but they’re minor in relationship to the insight gained. I may be somewhat prejudice, since I communicate with Greg, happily support his wonderful ministry, and have written for PTM publications, online and in print. Still, I think I’ve remained predominately objective 😉
This book is very valuable. There are personal stories, as well as seriously researched information.
The whole thing is pretty much an expose of the 23rd chapter of Matthew, where Jesus “tears into” the religious leaders of the day.
For me, it took the first three chapters to really set the stage. Then, POW! Chapter four, “The Hell of It All,” is well worth the price of the book. If I would have gained nothing from the rest of the book (which, of course, I did) it would have been worth it all just for this chapter. By looking at the scriptures and external historical evidence, this chapter shows how badly religion has distorted the very nature of God.
(I’m currently reading another book that covers the subject in even more detail: “The Last Word, And The Word After That” by Brian McLaren.)
The remainder of the book continues the study of this section of Matthew, concluding with a chapter appropriately titled “Embracing Grace,” which is the second of my two favorite chapters. In this chapter, I found the best commentary on “Well done, good and faithful servant” that I’ve ever read or heard anywhere! One that’s actually in sync with the nature of Father.
I will be re-reading much of this book. I hope you will be reading it, too.
Oh, and by the way, I’m actually IN this book. Not physically, of course. But when Mr. Albrecht refers to his “friend from Indiana,” that’s me!
Buy the book. Click HERE.
From the PTM ad:
Join Greg Albrecht as he examines what Jesus has to say about the kingdom of religion, through an eye-opening study of Jesus’ sermon in Matthew 23. Jesus uses words like woe, hypocrites, blind, greedy, self-indulgent, unclean, desolate, hell and snakes to describe the religious industry, its professionals and the consequences it brings into the lives of those it “serves.” But the kingdom of heaven, in stark contrast to the oppressive kingdom of religion, is a spiritual dimension of freedom and peace. Rejecting Religion—Embracing Grace affirms the ultimate victory of God’s grace—even as the relentless waves of his grace will eventually erode and cover the shifting sands of religion like the waters cover the sea.
And, of course, some QUOTES:
The gospel of the kingdom of God is an announcement that the time has come for religion to go out of business.
To speak of the kingdom of heaven biblically is not to speak of a far away place that you merely go to when you die. In Scripture, it is God’s present relational reality and realm, present now even as he is present forever.
The Kingdom of religion appeals to human vanity…Human performance is the common denominator upon which all religious cons base their empty claims and promises.
Ironic, isn’t it? Christ-less religion places a great deal of emphasis on how it can help you stay out of hell, but Jesus says that religious professionals are actually luring you into hell.
Notice Jesus says that the teachers of the law and Pharisees are already children of hell.
God includes those whom the temple authorities had banned.
Some within Christendom have made the Bible itself into an idol!
The Bible never refers to itself as “the Word of God.”
Intense preoccupation with externals leads to a fascination with trivialities which in turn drives us to hypocrisy.
Hypocritical legalism often leads those it enslaves to police others, in a vain attempt to ensure that no one gets away with anything. Christ-less religion is characterized by zealous attempts to guarantee that everyone gets what they deserve.
Everything Jesus said and did reveals a loving God, rather than the agitated, punitive god pushed by religion.
Hell hath no fury like religion when it is exposed! Religious violence in an inevitable product of Christ-less, fundamentalist, legalistic religion, followed to its most logical and extreme conclusion.
Everything God says and does springs out of love — for love is his fundamental, core essence.
If a voice in your head is telling you that God is not at peace with you, you can bet your bottom dollar that voice is not the voice of God.
Buy the book. Click HERE.