God Without Religion
I recently finished Andrew Farley’s latest book, God Without Religion. We went through it with our small group and it served as a great discussion starter about our views of the Bible. Andrew has an incredible ability to cause you to think about the Bible in new ways. He often words things in such a way that at first you don’t know what to think about it but you eventually end up shifting your understanding as a result. I still hear our group members refer to his last book, The Naked Gospel, and there is much overlap in this book. His section explaining predestination is the most powerful and succinct that I have ever read on the topic. You can read an interview I did with Andrew here. Here are a few of the quotes in this book that I particularly loved:
“We shouldnâ€™t read the Old Testament without placing it in the context of the ‘surprise ending’ of the New. Otherwise, itâ€™s very much like laying that novel down thirty pages shy of the end or turning that movie off with just a few minutes to go.” “The big news flash in Paulâ€™s day was that God was calling an entire people group who were historically not his people.” “Thatâ€™s what made John the Baptistâ€™s words so special as he shouted, â€œLook, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!â€ (John 1:29). The new, perfect Lamb had come on the scene to take away sins, not merely cover them. â€œAtonementâ€ is not a new covenant concept.” “Weâ€™re not part of a religion that requires us to look back and imitate a historical figure. Instead, we look within our own hearts, where Jesus literally resides today, and allow him to express himself in and through us, right here, right now.” “Religion tells us weâ€™ll be judged for our sins and collect rewards for our good deeds. God tells us that Jesus was punished for our sins and that knowing Jesus himself is our great reward.”
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