Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Year of Living Like Jesus

Author: Ed Dobson
Publisher: Zondervan
October 2009
ISBN: 978-0-310-24777-7
Genre: Inspirational/Christian living

“Live one year as Jesus lived. Eat as Jesus ate. Pray as Jesus prayed. Observe the Sabbath as Jesus observed it. Attend the Jewish festivals that Jesus attended. Read the Gospels every week.”

Ed Dobson’s radical idea takes Pastor Ed on an adventure that will make many of us rethink the way that Jesus lived. Pastor Ed did make some concessions to How would Jesus have lived… For instance, he rode in airplanes, ate at fast food restaurants, and listened to an iPod—none of which Jesus did. But then he also turned his nose up at shrimp because that is a bottom eater and therefore not kosher, which kind of makes it seem as if he is doing a bit of picking and choosing what is convenient for him.

THE YEAR OF LIVING LIKE JESUS is written in a diary form which makes it easy to follow along with Pastor Ed as he struggles to do what he decided he’d do. What if he gets tired of listening to the Bible every day on his iPod? What if his iPod dies? And his decision takes Dobson on some very unexpected journeys…such as into bars--where he felt free to order beers and drink. He picking up hitchhikers, and entered into some unlikely conversations. Jesus did visit with sinners, but did he participate in their sin with them?

I’m afraid this review is turning pretty harsh, and a lot of people will disagree with me. So I’m just going to say that I know Ed Dobson. I’ve sat in his congregation. He is a very talented preacher who could have the motto “expect the unexpected.” And his book, THE YEAR OF LIVING LIKE JESUS mirrors that. I may not be convinced that if Jesus were alive today he would live like Ed Dobson did, but this is a very well written book, one that will draw the reader in, and may actually teach them a thing or two. $19.99 hardcover. 290 pages.

Evangelical pastor Ed Dobson had a radical idea...

"Live one year as Jesus lived. Eat as Jesus ate. Pray as Jesus prayed. Observe the sabbath as Jesus observed. Attend the Jewish festivals as Jesus attended. Read the Gospels every week."

Dobson's transition from someone who follows Jesus to someone who lives like Jesus takes him into bars, inspires him to pick up hitchhikers, and deepens his understanding of suffering.

Living like Jesus is quite different from what we imagine.

"It may appear from the cover that this is a nice book about growing a beard because Jesus did but be warned- you will quickly discover that Ed's adventure takes him, and us, deep into the heart of grace, mercy and the endless discovery of just what the way of Jesus looks like - which, of course, has very little to do with having a beard."-Rob Bell, Jesus Wants To Save Christians

The Year of Living Like Jesus
By Ed Dobson
ISBN - 0310247772
304 Pages
PUB DATE: October 2009

Ed Dobson, pastor emeritus of Calvary Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, serves as an advisory editor for Christianity Today and consulting editor for Leadership. He holds an earned doctorate from the University of Virginia, was named "Pastor of the Year" by Moody Bible Institute, and is author of numerous books, including Prayers and Promises When Facing a Life-Threatening Illness. He moved to the United States in 1964 from Northern Ireland and now lives with his family in Grand Rapids.

Learn more about Ed at

This book was sent to me by Zondervan for the purpose of review.

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