Book Review of Accidental Pharisees by Larry Osborne

Posted on January 10, 2013

Last year, I ran into Larry Osborne in an airport.  Larry has been a mentor to me for several years and he is one of those guys that just oozes wisdom out of every one of his pores.  So when he asked me if I would consider endorsing his new book, I knew I would say “yes” before I even read it.

Then I read it.

And then I said “yes.”

His new book is called Accidental Pharisees and I think it may be the best and most important book Larry has written (and that is saying a lot).  The tagline says it all:

“Avoiding pride, exclusivity, and the other dangers of overzealous faith.”

That’s right…overzealous faith.  For many of us, we never think we can be zealous enough.  But there is a hidden danger to zealots–they end up killing a lot of people.  Now most of us are unlikely to pick up an uzi and level a parking lot full of people for our faith, but we do resort to what Larry calls “drive-by guiltings,” leveling those we think are not as spiritual as we are.

This is a book I highly recommend you read.  In many ways, it sums up why Larry has been such an influence on me and if you are a Rivite, you will begin to see Larry’s influence on Riverview as well.

Here are a few quotes to wet your appetite:

“Not one of the writers of the New Testament epistles exhorts his readers to head out to the mission field or to join Paul and Peter in planting churches.  In fact, quite the opposite.  Paul instructs the people in Corinth to bloom where they’re planted, and the people in Thessalonica to live a quiet life and mind their own business.  Whatever it means to take up our cross and follow Jesus, these passages have to be included in the mix.”

“The Bible leaves lots of questions unanswered.  It wasn’t written to answer everything I might want to know about God, the universe, or the unseen realm.  Some things are simply beyond my comprehension, unimportant, or none of my business.”

“One of the things that makes legalism so dangerous is that it always flows out of the best of intentions.  Legalists never see themselves as legalists.  They see themselves as obedient.  They never think of their extrabiblical rules as extrabiblical.  They consider them to be profoundly biblical, the careful application of all that the Bible implies.”

You can pick up a copy of Accidental Pharisee here.