Looking in the mirror can be a dangerous glance. Usually I scare myself once with that opening morning glance, wondering what happened? And then I can get to work to getting ready for the day.
Reading Accidental Pharisee by Larry Osborne was a look into the mirror that caused me to ask what happened? What happened to grace int he life of the Christian? What happened to civility? What happened to putting the best construction on a situation? What happened to checking the facts before laying out the condemnations? And why would a Christian want to condemn another since we all stand before the cross on common ground?
I must admit I enjoyed reading this book a whole lot more when Larry was writing about someone other than me, a bit more challenging in those parts when he was writing about those tendencies in me. That’s why this book was such a good read. I quickly saw the danger in others, and wisely saw the danger at work in me.
Accidental Pharisees is written to help avoid the dangers (and disasters) of overzealous faith. The danger when we “draw straight lines with crooked sticks.” The danger of wanting to “protect the flock but we divide the flock.”
The book covers 7 parts with 21 chapters that begins with a look at the danger and darkside of overzealous faith and then a look in the mirror that reveals pride, exclusivity, legalism, idolizing the past, the quest for uniformity, and gift projection.
My favorite chapter in the book is chapter 3 with the look at Joseph of Arimathea. He’s one of my favorite disciples because when everyone ran, he stayed to care for the dead Jesus. Everyone gave up, and he crossed the line and got involved. Turns out Jospeh of Arimathea had his own weak spots and his own God-given strengths.
I give Accidental Pharisees 4 out of 5 stars. It is well-written, thought provoking, but at times it seemed a bit pharisaical about those accidental pharisees. The book felt judgmental at times than grace driven. That’s a fine line to live and to write about, and once in a while I felt it was crossed.
My thanks to Zondervan and Booksneeze for a free copy to review. I wasn’t required to give a positive review, just an honest one. I recommend this book to all Christ followers willing to take a look in the mirror at their own heart and who seek to live out of the heart of Jesus Christ.