The Year of Living Like Jesus, A Book Review

Evangelical pastor Ed Dobson chronicles his year of living like Jesus and obeying his teachings. 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. As Dobson discovers, living like Jesus is quite different from what we imagine.

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.


My Review: I was very intrigued by the idea of this book and was very excited about the opportunity to review it. That being said, it didn’t turn out to be exactly what I expected. While Mr. Dobson did go to great lengths to follow a lot of the rules Jesus would have followed as a jew back in biblical times, I thought his focus was too much on the cultural aspect of how Jesus would live, and not nearly enough on how living like Jesus could apply to our modern life today. The focus was more on following Jewish customs, wearing Jewish clothing and eating Kosher. He did touch on some of the teachings of Jesus, but it just wasn’t what I expected or how I would envision trying to live like Jesus.

I was also puzzled as to why he felt learning and praying the rosary would be considered living like Jesus. He spent a lot of time praying it and studying all about it. There was also a lot of time spent explaining over and over again why he voted for Obama. It became a huge part of the book and was way overemphasized.

I applaud his efforts, and I found his journey interesting. It took a lot of energy and discipline to live out his year of living like Jesus.  I learned a bit more about Jewish culture from reading this book, but all in all, it wasn’t what I expected.


*This book was provided for review by Zondervan.


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