Book Review: Accidental Pharisees by Larry Osborne

If I were to describe my church leadership by saying they were Pharisees, you probably would never want to make my church your home. However, the group we associate with legalism and works based religion actually started out right. Over time, their zealous faith became the driving force in their pursuit of holiness and exclusivity and pride took over. The kicker is that not one Christian today would describe himself or herself as a Pharisee and yet every one of us can be an “accidental Pharisee.” In this book, Larry Osborne carefully reveals the motivation behind Pharisaical thinking. He makes the following observation:
“We’re all susceptible in different ways. The dark side of my zeal may look quite different from yours. But in the end, the pathway to becoming an accidental Pharisee always starts with the same three steps. It begins with a failure to grasp the true gravity and depths of my own sin. It’s followed by a heightened disgust for the sins of others. It’s then justified by a cut-and-paste theology that emphasizes some of the hard sayings of Jesus while pretty much ignoring those that speak of his compassion, mercy, and grace. “
I could see my own propensity to be a modern day Pharisee from the moment I picked up the book and began reading. I mean, it was scary to see myself revealed by my tendency toward cynicism in the church and thinking that my obedience to God somehow meant that I was up for preferential treatment. Those are just a few of the things the author brought to light. From taking liberties with God’s Word to suit our own devices to looking back through the Church’s past with rose colored glasses every reader will feel convicted.

I received a free copy of this book to review from Booksneeze.


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