the year of living like a new kind of christian
The Year of Living Like Jesus, by Ed Dobson, follows the genre of The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs. In fact Jacobs even provides an endorsement of the book. Dobson does as the title of the book states and tries to live like Jesus for a year. Kind of like “what would Jesus do” carried to an extreme. It is definitely more spiritual in nature that Jacobs’ book. Dobson is a devout believer and pastor who seeks to live like Jesus, not so much in the cultural norms and rules of Jesus’ time, though he does a bit of that, but more in the spirit of Jesus, trying to understand his message better and how he would have chosen to live.
One big difference from The Year of Living Biblically is that while Dobson’s book is very well written, it is not as funny or entertaining as Jacobs’ book. Not necessarily a shortcoming, just a different style and purpose. I probably also enjoyed Jacob’s work more because I am more of a “reverent agnostic” (as Jacob’s describes himself by the end of his book) than an evangelical Christian like Dobson.
Dobson is an interesting guy because he comes from a very conservative Christian background, would seem on the outside perhaps to be a very conservative evangelical, but does a lot of things that many conservative people would not feel comfortable with. Not just doing things that makes conservatives uncomfortable, but seeming to enjoy that it does. Dobson actually worked directly with Jerry Falwell for over 14 years.
He is very insightful in the way he learns from others even when he does not prescribe to all their doctrines. For example, he writes about what it means to pray to Mary and say the rosary with Catholic people, and grows in his understandings of these concepts from discussions with Catholic friends. Very humble and I have a lot to learn from his example.
I glanced at the rosary. Maybe I should pray the rosary as part of my journey in following Jesus. As quickly as that thought came, another one followed: that’s crazy. Praying to Mary? You’ve got to be kidding. We only pray to God. Not Mary, not the saints, not anybody! And besides, praying the rosary has absolutely nothing to do with living like Jesus.
Or does it?
I am reading through Brian McLaren’s A New Kind of Christian along with atimetosew. The book is told as a fictional story where the characters end up narrating the points the author wants to make. As fiction, bleh, but the teaching is very good. McLaren discusses what it means to incorporate postmodern thought into his Christian faith, still somewhat orthodox in belief, but new at the same time.
atimetosew feels she may be heading in that direction with her faith, which I can confirm, I think she is becoming A New Kind of Christian, which is pretty cool. Maybe I am becoming a new kind of person too. I think we both find the book pretty great. Some good ways to understand and work out one’s faith in this modern age.