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Accidental Pharisees: Avoiding Pride, Exclusivity, and the Other Dangers of Overzealous Faith

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  280 ratings  ·  72 reviews
The pursuit of radical faith---high commitment, high passion Christianity---has hidden dangers. In Accidental Pharisees, Larry Osborne explores nine of the most common temptations that can ensnare us on the road to a deeper life of faith and warns against the danger of adding activities onto the teachings of Jesus that 'prove' our commitment to God.
ebook, 208 pages
Published October 9th 2012 by Zondervan
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Roger Leonhardt
Are you a Pharisee, or better yet am “I” a Pharisee?

Why do we always see our motives as sincere, but others’ as vengeful or just plain wrong? Why, when we do something wrong, is it an accident or we misspoke, but when others do the same thing, we consider them sinful,mean-spirited or Judgmental?

This is the main subject of "Accidental Pharisees". We all, whether we admit it or not have a tendency to act like Pharisees. It is in our fallen nature to cover up our sin. Look at Adam and Eve.

Dave Jenkins
The Pharisees generally get a bad rap in Christianity today, and it’s not hard to see why since they were subject to Christ’s hardest and harshest words. Having grown up in the Church, I have seen modern Pharisees parade around like they know everything as if “knowing” everything was the essence of what biblical Christianity is. What is often missed in all of this is the fact that the Pharisees were one of the most if not the most well-educated group of Jewish believers trained thoroughly in the ...more
Jimmy Reagan
I thought that would get your attention. But in truth, you might not be able to handle this volume called “Accidental Pharisees” by Larry Osborne and published by Zondervan. I say this not because it isn’t good, but because it is so good! It tackles many preconceived notions with, of all things, what the Bible actually said. Novel approach? Well, you might not like it when you realize you have believed something yourself that the Bible doesn’t say.

I’ve reviewed several books at this point, yet I
This is a really good book. A must read for Christians; especially for Christians who think they couldn't be accidental Pharisees. The subtitle says it all. Inside are all the scriptures, applications and caveats. Buy it, and read it anyway.

What makes this books so amazing to me is that our pastor made it his "book-of-the-month", encouraging every member of our congregation to read it. That takes courage . . . and humility. Because the second thing you see after you see that all this applies to
Amy Mable
No one wants to be a Pharisee. They were harsh, unloving, unforgiving. They killed prophets and they spent an incredible amount of time baiting Jesus in an attempt to trip him up. Jesus offered Grace, the Pharisees demanded obedience. Jesus offered forgiveness, the Pharisees demanded consequences. And yet, the road to Pharisee Land is hard to avoid.

"We're all susceptible (to becoming accidental Pharisees) in different ways. ... But in the end, the pathway to becoming an accidental Pharisee alway
Accidental Pharisees is about radically extreme believers who are strict on others who aren't living up to the notion of being a true follower of Christ. The based their whole demeanor on the passages of scripture and they expected others to follow the rules. The Pharisees were addicted to legalism and they condemned people who weren't as zealous at following the law. Pride is a big factor of an accidental Pharisees. We must avoid making comparisons with other believer and thinking we're living ...more
Craig Hurst
No one sets out to be a Pharisee, well, almost no one. There was a time before and during the life of Christ where a certain group of religious leaders were actually called Pharisees – and they were proud of it. They thought they were doing God and all His people a spiritual service by making all kinds of extra biblical rules. They were making laws for God’s laws and they believed God loved them all the more because of it. They were zealous about their faith.

Fast forward to today. Being a Pharis
Brandon Lehr
The Pharisees

What were they thinking?

The Son of God himself shows up full of grace and truth, and all they wanted to do is argue over weekends and hand washing! Glad I'm not like those sinners. I wouldn't have been so foolish. It just goes to show that some people, just don't get it!

Wow, I'm starting to sound a little Pharisaical myself. It seems that even when we have the best of intentions to love and obey God, we can sometimes end up fighting against him.

This is exactly the sort of thing Larr
Lisa Johnson
Title: Accidental Pharisees
Author: Larry Osborne
Pages: 208
Year: 2012
Publisher: Zondervan
Okay, I’ll admit it…I didn’t want to read this book at first. Why? Probably because I know my tendency to be a Pharisee in different areas of my life and it is hard to look at honestly. The Lord knows how many times words with an attitude slip out of my mouth or fingertips when I am typing an email then have The Spirit touch me. Ouch! Yes, I admit and confess I wrestle with it often. If it weren’t for God
Kevin Thompson
Excellent book. It is thought-provoking and incredibly convicting! I had my doubts at first that it would be anything more than fluff - but boy was I wrong!
Every Christian needs to read this book. Period.

Good Points:
1. And it’s at this point that your personal pursuit of holiness can morph into something dangerous: a deepening sense of frustration with those who don’t share your passionate pursuit of holiness. (loc 103)

2. If you continue farther and farther down the path of contempt for those who fail to keep up, you’ll end up in a place of arrogance. Fewer and fewer people will measure up to your definition of genuine disciple. Inevitably, being r
Loraine Alcorn
I was able to read Accidental Pharisees by Larry Osborne through book sneeze and I have to say its a great book and one I think every Christian today needs to read. This important book shows us how to stop this kind of behavior before it becomes second nature to us and I have learned so much from it.

Accidental Pharisees by Larry Osborne get to the heart of the matter and shows us just way its so important for us to never judge others or become prideful in the way we walk with the Lord.


Bob Hayton
Books on the Pharisees make many people nervous or defensive. No one wants to be labeled a Pharisee, and we're all sure that whatever they were, they weren't us. Larry Osborne approaches this from a more gracious angle, he describes people as "accidental Pharisees" in his new book "Accidental Pharisees: Avoiding Pride, Exclusivity, and the Other Dangers of Overzealous Faith." If you're already suspicious of that title, let me encourage you to give it some thought. With everything in the Gospels ...more
Jason Raines
It might come as a surprise that a mega church pastor would write a book warning Christians not be be overzealous in their faith during a time in which secular humanism is growing more dominant, but yet, the book is as relevant as it is timely. Those that are familiar with the story of Jesus know that the ancient sect known as “Pharisees” were singled out for strong criticism by Jesus and his followers. They had a reputation for being very legalistic in their interpretations of religious teachin ...more
Larry Osborne has written a wonderfully helpful and witty book about the prevalence of Pharisaism in our culture. Pharisees were known to be the most spiritual of their day, wearing the name like a badge of honor. But the term is now synonymous with hypocrite—no one in their right mind would want to be called a Pharisee today. Yet, because of the proclivity of the human heart, we all tend to think we're doing it right and somehow everyone else is not measuring up to God's standard (though, in tr ...more
Teena Myers
Close, but I didn't finish the book in one day. I started reading Accidental Pharisees while on a cruise and had no access to the internet. I read it in three days. Once I started reading, I could not put it down. It's been a long time since I read a non-fiction book with this much wisdom. In fact I had stopped reading non-fiction except for the Bible. The title caught my attention because the modern day Pharisees I've encountered in the church has made attending church difficult. But I never be ...more
Jeff Short
Reading this book is uncomfortable. No one will get through it unaffected. Like me, you will have been guilty of some of the things he addresses and will have been a victim of the others. You read the title and subtitle and you immediately think of someone, or many someones, who need this book. But when you start reading it, you start feeling the cuts to your own heart.

Osborne is right. No one thinks they are a Pharisee, or even close, and many of us end up there accidentally. I have personally
I think this is a great reminder to all who follow Christ to not be a Pharisees and to repent of pride. Great humor and sensitivity was used in dealing with this common and widespread issue. I originally was attracted to the title for "others" I knew, but it was God's way of dealing with me about this very issue. My Pride and exclusivity and overzealous faith and how I am that pharisee! Thank you Larry Osborne for this gift!
Matthew Johnson
Osbourne is frustrating at times to read (I sometimes crossed out entire sections of the book) but then other times he has brilliant insights. Sometimes he is frustrating because he deserves criticism for his ideas, and then other times he is frustrating because his criticism of yourself is spot on and convicting.
Having said that, Accidental Pharisees is a must read because it is a convicting read. Osbourne challenged me. I would think over a lot of his criticisms and come to conclusion that he
With his typical wit & pull-no-punches honesty, Larry Osborne tackles the variety of ways in which those who are serious about following Jesus can become more serious about their own rules rather than Biblical truth.

I'd be interested in Larry speak on the intersection of these ideas with his Sticky Teams book... it would be an intriguing discussion.
Christine Hoover
I really liked this book, even though (especially because?) it was pretty convicting to read. I would recommend it to anyone struggling with guilt over not doing enough for God, anyone in church leadership, and anyone who secretly thinks they've pretty much got the Christian life down. I think I'll be re-reading this one!
Wonderful, challenging book on how we grow and live together as believers in Christ in a way that encourages one another. Really humbling and biblical look at how easily we can all become self-righteous.
Charles Roberts
I have just submitted a review on this book to Amazon. You can also read it on my blog,
Very accessible, challenging to our pharisaical biases, and comforting to those on the end of pharisaical abuse.
Joshua Nelson
Definitely one of the next books you should read

Through reading this book, I was impressed upon the power of grace. It is so beautiful that Jesus loves us when we fail. We all will. So why do we look down on others who "can't cut it" in the spiritual race.

It's easy when others put you on a pedestal to begin to feel like you're making it. This was a radical reminder of God's grace - for the pastor, the missionary, the average worker, and the stuck-in-sinner. Make it one of your next reads. It to
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. ...more
This book would make an excellent Sunday Night Service series. (If only shared in the correct spirit)

Larry Osborne asks the question: is it possible to be too zealous for God? The answer, found in this book, is obviously.

Osborne begins by giving a little love to the group of fellas known as the Pharisees. Many Christians view them with disdain because they were the brunt of Jesus' verbal attacks. What we may not realize is these Pharisees had a passion for God. They were people who wanted to bet
Liz Terek

Before the time of Jesus’ crucifixion, being a Pharisee was a title of honor. After Jesus began His ministry, being a Pharisee was equated with arrogance & hypocrisy. In ‘Accidental Pharisees’, Larry Osborne takes a look at how today’s Christians fall into the same Spiritual tracks that the Pharisees did in Jesus’ time plus how to avoid it.

I had first heard of this book via the internet from a lady whose church used it as a Bible study tool. Upon hearing her story, I very much anticipated
Pharisee now is a word that is worse than sinner. Most people would rather be called a sinner than a Pharisee but that is what a Pharisee is. I appreciated Mr. Osborne's teaching on this and how we can check our hearts against the heart of the Pharisee because when it comes down to it, it is a condition of the heart. Mr. Osborne is careful not to make issues a debate. The right way or the wrong way. Such as women in leadership roles, the purpose of the Sabbath, etc. Our need to be right or our r ...more
Jessie Rayos
I thought it was a book that every Christian needs to read. It is very easy to accidentally go down the path of a Pharisee without even knowing it. This book will help you identify some of the ways that we can lean towards the Pharisee mindset in society today. As a whole this book would have been tremendous for me as I was first coming to know Christ but I have messed up enough along the way to not really fit the Pharisee mindset. However dont get me wrong the book is still a great read right h ...more
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“When it comes to our unity in Christ, we constantly have choices to make. How will we respond to our brothers and sisters in Christ we wouldn’t have chosen if we had been given the choice — in light of our spiritual unity or in light of our earthly differences? The choice is ours. We can always find a way to get along. We can always find a way to pick a fight. But the choice we make will always have huge ramifications, not only for us but also for all the people we hope to influence and reach for Jesus. They’re not too likely to listen when we’re beating each other up” 0 likes
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