cover image More Jesus, Less Religion: Moving from Rules to Relationship

More Jesus, Less Religion: Moving from Rules to Relationship

Stephen Arterburn, Jack Felton. Waterbrook Press, $12.99 (224pp) ISBN 978-1-57856-250-3

Arterburn and Felton, co-authors of Toxic Faith, here supplement the warnings of their previous book with a more positive vision. In the past, Arterburn, in particular, has invited controversy by confronting problems of spiritual abuse and manipulation in evangelical churches and homes. This sequel focuses less on ""toxic churches"" and the extremes of spiritual abuse and more on the need for promoting ""healthy faith"" in evangelical faith communities. Arterburn and Felton describe healthy faith as one that is centered on the person of Jesus, reflecting His example of mature love, respect for individuals and realism about human weakness. The book takes a compassionate but firm tone, warning against the subtle pressures many evangelicals feel to maintain the appearance of being ""good Christians"" even at great spiritual expense to themselves and their families, making it ""easy to either give up or to get weird trying to earn God's favor."" Like Philip Yancey in What's So Amazing About Grace?, the authors criticize distortions in evangelical religious expression while affirming what evangelicals recognize as their most important commitments--to the person of Christ and the message of the Bible. Although this book can be read as an individual self-help resource, it also has strong potential for study groups and as training material for church leaders. (Feb.)