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Breaking the Rules: Trading Performance for Intimacy with God

Overview

After years of living with a set of religious demands that he could never live up to, Fil Anderson found himself spiritually bankrupt and emotionally drained. Following a crash-and-burn in professional ministry, he experienced relief in learning to be with God rather than doing for God. Instead of desperation, he found healing, and a rich new life with God.

In Breaking the Rules, Fil invites us to explore what happens when good religion turns bad. At such times we are weighed ...

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Breaking the Rules: Trading Performance for Intimacy with God

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Overview

After years of living with a set of religious demands that he could never live up to, Fil Anderson found himself spiritually bankrupt and emotionally drained. Following a crash-and-burn in professional ministry, he experienced relief in learning to be with God rather than doing for God. Instead of desperation, he found healing, and a rich new life with God.

In Breaking the Rules, Fil invites us to explore what happens when good religion turns bad. At such times we are weighed down with expectations of what it takes to be "right with God"--whether it is the expectations of others, holding up under pressure, fixing what's wrong or accomplishing big things for God.

When we set aside this false agenda, we find the courage to confess our fears and insecurities. We taste the depths of God's love for us. Here is an opportunity to quit trusting in your own ability to live for God, and simply trust in God instead.

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Editorial Reviews

Paula Rinehart
"Breaking the Rules captures the essence of what makes Christianity impossible--and how a wild, unpredictable but authentic relationship with Jesus is the only cure for what ails us. Bracingly honest, these pages will haunt you in the best way possible. I recommend you read them slowly . . . and savor."
Stephen W. Smith
"Breaking the Rules will be like a defibrillator on many hearts which are more dead than alive and restorative to many souls that are lost in the maze of religion rather than in a life-giving relationship with a loving God. Fil Anderson has extended an invitation to live outside the box of religion. I hope you will accept it. If you are more 'churched' than transformed, then this book is for you!"
Nathan Foster
"With precision, patience and vulnerability Fil beckons us to let go of the life-crushing burdens of religion in exchange for the freedom of God's reckless love."
Tom Wilson
"Finally,relief for tired and weary souls. Fil leads leadersto anintimacy with Jesus that does not require unbending rule-keeping. Written withhonesty and compassion, readers can identify withFil's ownstruggles and have reason to hope they toocan plunge into the depths of God's love for us. If you are ready toexperience intimacy, freedom and grace, this is the book for you."
Leonard Sweet
"Few words are as misused today as intimacy. Break it down and to most people it means 'into me I see.' Fil Anderson shows us not only how the word really breaks down--'you're invited into a relational encounter with God'--he also shows us how to embrace the one thing our hearts desire most."
Margot Starbuck
"By unveiling the authentic Jesus--One more true to the biblical witness than the religious rule-abiding killjoy whom too many of our churches have inadvertently endorsed--Fil Anderson opens readers' eyes to the unbridled goodness of the God who knows us and loves us exactly as we are. Anderson's message is irresistible!"
From the foreword by Brennan Manning
"Breaking the Rules heralds the shattering truth that the transcendent God who became visible in Jesus Christ furiously longs for intimacy with us. It assures worn out and weary religious strivers that their life can be recovered. . . .
If you plan on reading just one book this year on Jesus, this is the book that you must read."
Tom Wilson
"Finally, relief for tired and weary souls. Fil leads leaders to an intimacy with Jesus that does not require unbending rule-keeping. Written with honesty and compassion, readers can identify with Fil's own struggles and have reason to hope they too can plunge into the depths of God's love for us. If you are ready to experience intimacy, freedom and grace, this is the book for you."
Margot Starbuck
"By unveiling the authentic Jesus--One more true to the biblical witness than the religious rule-abiding killjoy whom too many of our churches have inadvertently endorsed--Fil Anderson opens readers' eyes to the unbridled goodness of the God who knows us and loves us exactly as we are.Anderson's message is irresistible!"
Brennan Manning
"Breaking the Rules heralds the shattering truth that the transcendent God who became visible in Jesus Christ furiously longs for intimacy with us. It assures worn out and weary religious strivers that their life can be recovered. . . . If you plan on reading just one book this year on Jesus, this is the book that you must read."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780830835379
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press
  • Publication date: 2/9/2010
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Fil Anderson is a spiritual director, conference speaker, writer and retreat leader trained through the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation. He is the founder of Journey Resources and author of Running on Empty: Contemplative Spirituality for Overachievers (WaterBrook).

He also contributed to Transformation of a Man's Heart: Reflections on the Masculine Journey (IVP). Educated at the University of North Carolina in Wilmington and Fuller Theological Seminary, Fil served on the staff of Young Life for twenty-five years.

Fil and his wife live in Greensboro. They are the parents of three adult children. For more information and to contact Fil, please visit Journey Resources.

Manning is the author of A Glimpse of Jesus (HarperSanFrancisco, 2003).

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Brennan Manning
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Breaking the Rules
1 Is Your Faith in God or Religion?
2 The Myth that Jesus Thinks Like Us
3 Beauty in Brokenness
4 What's a Picture Worth?
5 Right Rules or Right Relationship?
6 Worse than Blindness
7 Why This Waste?
8 Doing What We Can
9 The Gift of Memory
10 Throwing In the Towel on Religion
Notes
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Loudly tossing out religion.

    His thesis and life experience proclaims- we are to do what we can, that's all Jesus asks of us. I find it to be a valid and thought provoking point- it is a covenant between us and Jesus- using our time, talents and resources to deepen our personal walk with Christ and further the kingdom of God here on earth. And that is our response to His unconditional love- not an attempt to qualify or earn it through religious dogma. I get that.

    What I don't get is found throughout and especially toward the end of his polemic on the failure of "religion." He uses Matthew 23 1-7 as an example of the problem with "religious" people. Verse 5- "They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for their phylacterties are broad and their fringes long." Or as Fil notes on page 227 "You love to be regarded highly. You crave respect. You love the best seat in the house where everyone can see you".

    At times I think Fil falls into a similar trap- how proud he is of his break with "religion" or more accurately the Christian Church. He never defines what encompasses religion or the specifics that lead him to conclude,(page 214) "I am utterly convinced that religion was invented in the devil's workshop." And later on the same page, "The theology of religion is simple and operates on a single tenet: Exploit and marshal whatever power is obtainable to achieve whatever goal you believe is a smart endeavor."

    Maybe such vitriol would make sense if put in context- but it lacks authenticity, witness, it relies on sweeping generalities and is devoid of any specifics. And that's the fallacy in his rhetorical style- guilt by association not by specific deeds in place or time.

    All of his references to harken back to rabbinical law and how Jesus railed at them and "Broke the Rules" just as He was sent to do. There are no examples of todays "religion' behaving as such. I have to wonder why not?

    So where has religion driven the stake through Fil's vision? Not at my church. Our small Methodist Church in Odessa De. challenges each of to do so and share our walk with others, for others to witness to the power of Christ in our lives. I would like Fil to visit our church and explain how it is born of the devil's workshop and how we exploit power.

    I love his message of doing what we can because of of Jesus' unconditional love- not in order to win or earn it and Fil's willingness to shine light through the breaks in his armor. I think there is still a break he has yet to reveal and that is the anger that drives him to vilify "religion" with nary of mention of Christ's instructions at the last supper or where two or more or gathered there He will be and little mention of Christian community.

    Many terrible acts have been committed in name of religion and many more will be. Religion is made up of humans, sinners, very fallible people prone to the seven deadly sins. It is also make up of many beautiful people who give what they can for Jesus so they can be his hands and feet in our broken world. I can show him some in Odessa De that I've been on mission trips with, served the homeless with and mourned and laughed with.

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  • Posted March 13, 2010

    Couldn't Put It Down

    Breaking the Rules is a must read. The transparency in which he writes is amazing. He had me from the first page. This book is a must for anyone who is seeking a closer, more intimate relationship with God. Read it, savor it, talk with God about it. Breaking the Rules is life changing and I'm will read it many times over.

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  • Posted March 13, 2010

    Life changing....

    Every once in a great while you are privileged to be party to a life changing, game changing conversation...such is the case in my reading of Fil Anderson's book, Breaking the Rules. I've practically highlighted the entire book. If you have ever wrestled with the heaviness of rules and regulations and believed you always came up a bit short..this is the conversation to help set you free. If you have struggled with dogma that seems at odds with your head and heart, this is the book for you. Fil Anderson reveals his own personal story with brilliance, respect, and profound love captivating the reader with both challenge and celebration. It is a story not to be missed. It is a message resonating with anyone who has grappled with working so very hard to "be more, to be better, to be worthy." If in any way, you might relate....buy the book. Read the story. And if you are lucky enough....young enough...to not yet relate to such weight...read this book as a pro-active measure against ever being entrapped by well meaning, but sadly misdirected doctrine. Fil's book is an insightful voice that both compels the rebel and embraces that which is worthy of rebellion. So, buy the book. Read the story. It is a life changer. It is money and time very well spent.

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