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Evangelical Pharisees: The Gospel as Cure for the Church's Hypocrisy (Reeves)

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Scripture warns believers of hypocrisy—called the “leaven of the Pharisees”—and its potential to spread quickly in the church. Outwardly appearing as devout religion, this legalism hides destructive pride, idolatry, and even apostasy. Unfortunately, pharisaism is still a problem among evangelicals today. How does Jesus instruct the church to recognize and defeat one of its deepest theological issues?

In this clear, compelling call to spiritual reformation, Michael Reeves helps believers reject pharisaism and embrace gospel integrity. Studying 3 essentials of Christian doctrine that the Pharisees misunderstood—their approach to Scripture, understanding of salvation, and disregard of regeneration—Reeves shows readers how to embrace a biblical, Trinitarian, and creedal understanding of the gospel necessary for true reformation.


Michael Reeves (PhD, King’s College, London) is president and professor of theology at Union School of Theology in Bridgend and Oxford, United Kingdom. He is the author of several books, including Delighting in the Trinity; Rejoice and Tremble; and Gospel People.


“Jesus warned us about becoming like the Pharisees, and Michael Reeves reminds us in this winsome and penetrating book that we need to heed that warning today. We all are prone to trusting in ourselves and longing for the praise of people instead of resting and delighting in the gospel of God’s grace. We never move beyond the gospel or the need to repent of our self-dependence, and thus this book is a spiritual tonic for our souls.”
Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“In Evangelical Pharisees, Michael Reeves addresses a subtle but fatal threat facing the church today. Christ’s diagnosis of the heart of the Pharisee was that ‘they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God (John 12:43).’ If we want to preserve the purity of our faith, we must do more than hold fast to our confessions and creeds. We must humbly examine ourselves and ask whether the celebrity culture of our day and the tribalism that is on the rise within our ranks are fueled by something more akin to the motivations that drove the Pharisees of Christ’s time than we would like to admit. Evangelical Pharisees is a great place to begin that inquiry.”
Kenneth Mbugua, Senior Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church, Nairobi, Kenya