The Year of Living Like Jesus: My Journey of Discovering What Jesus Would Really Do

The Year of Living Like Jesus: My Journey of Discovering What Jesus Would Really Do


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The Year of Living Like Jesus: My Journey of Discovering What Jesus Would Really Do by Edward G. Dobson

“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

“Inspiring, insightful, sometimes infuriating, often funny, a little weird (like its author) and a must read for anyone wanting to become a serious follower of Jesus Christ” —Cal Thomas

“Highly, highly recommended” —Brian McLaren

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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310247777
Publisher: Zondervan
Publication date: 10/09/2009
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

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.

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Year of Living Like Jesus: My Journey of Discovering What Jesus Would Really Do 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Kaylor More than 1 year ago
Living Like Jesus Living a year in Jesus' shoes was a huge undertaking, however, a preacher by the name of Dr. Ed Dobson decided to take it on and try to live for one year like his Savior. When he begins his journey he goes to a Jewish Rabbi and asks him for guidance. He is instructed to listen to the four gospels. He obeys and reads monthly the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Dobson desperately tries to absorb and learn how Jesus must have felt and the way he lived. One of the first of many situations he struggled with was eating kosher. This meant specifically eating by the old Jewish law. This included not consuming cheese and meat together or eating pork. The next piece he struggled with was his ability to act like Jesus by not being judgmental, unselfishly helping those in need and most of all forgiveness. Oddly, the most challenging and what turned out to be the biggest obstacle was his prayer life. He was torn if he should pray to the rosary like a Catholic or like a Protestants or Jew. Toward the end of his life-transforming journey, Dr. Dobson receives part time employment, which really tests his challenge to be like Jesus. The primary message of this book is it is impossible to live like the historical Jesus especially in today's world because it is completely different from the Jewish culture. The main theme was Dobson trying to live like a historical Jew. I really enjoyed reading this book as it helped me understand there is no specific way to pray, eat, dress, etc. I enjoyed the author's humor as well as his seriousness in terms of the different aspects of the book. Initially, I anticipated that this book would be just another boring Christian book. I was incorrect as it was riveting and kept my attention throughout. Undoubtedly, it made me think and ponder the way I choose to live my life. The only complaint I have about this book is it didn't touch on living morally like Jesus. It focused on the prayer life, how he dressed and so on of a historical Jews life. I believe no matter what your spiritual beliefs might be, from a devout Catholic to Buddhist, one must read this book because Dr. Dobson discusses how we all should have religious tolerance. In addition, the book demonstrated how Jesus, an orthodox Jew, lived his life.
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mojo_turbo More than 1 year ago
I have so many unread books now I generally try to read books in "themed clumps." In other words, if I have a bunch of books about Jesus or discipleship I try to read them together so that I am keeping like minded thoughts together. This is how I came to read Ed Dobson's latest book The Year of Living Like Jesus. The title alone and the fact that A.J. Jacobs wrote the introduction to this book led me to believe that for a whole year, Mr Dobson would be trying to live like Jesus. Another indicator that I was going to enjoy this book was the reviewers on the jacket liner. Brian McLaren, Dan Kimball and Rob Bell all gave their thumbs up. "It may appear from the jacket cover that this is a nice book about growing a beard because Jesus did but be warned - you will quickly discover that Ed's adventures takes him, and us deep into the heart of grace...which of course has very little to do with having a beard." ~ Rob Bell Sounds great, right? But the sad thing was... his book really was about having a beard. I think Mr. Dobson mentions his beard, how it looks or how it feels in every single chapter. And it wasn't that the book was bad or poorly written, I just felt the title of the book was perhaps... suggested to Mr. Dobson and at first he wanted to call it something else... maybe The Year of Living Jewish? Because that is what the book is more about. In the book Ed Dobson describes all of the activities he endures to live like Jesus. -prays the rosary -prays the orthodox prayer rope -observes Jewish holidays -reads through the gospels -wears a prayer shawl -and grows a beard And like I said, I enjoyed his stories and his journey, but I didn't see how the criterion he selected helped him live more like Jesus (who was one specific named Jewish man) as opposed to any other Middle Eastern Rabbi. How did observing Jewish holidays, praying the Psalms and growing a beard help him live like Jesus? When I think of all the things that made Jesus stand out and be different than every other great teacher before him, it's not the mundane activity of his day-to-day life that qualifies him. With a title like The Year of Living Like Jesus I expected a book where someone would; try to love their enemies, devote time to driving out wrong teaching and hypocrisy in the church, teach on the streets and make the good news available to the marginalized, someone who fed the poor, someone who spent time with fishermen, and most importantly... someone who had 12 disciples. How do you miss that one? Jesus had a posse. He took his three year ministry and he poured into 12 key people who would take his teaching even further that he did. Why didn't Mr. Dobson see the importance of a simple thing like discipleship? And it's not just Mr. Dobson that I feel missed a key thing here... it's often missed in our churches as well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BlockM More than 1 year ago
Ed Dobson is a tell-it-like-it-is person. His book is direct, truthful, and open-minded. Here is a guy who tackles life with an adventurous spirit and has a thirst for new experiences. I admire this man deeply and regard his book in the same manner.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book for my wife, and we were both greatly entertained and enlightened by Pastor Dobson's journey through the footsteps of Jesus (as deeply as he could make it). In a Christian book market pumped full of false humility, judgmental legalism and political tainting, Dobson presents his journey with true humility, an open mind and open heart, and a new respect for many people whose faith path has differed from his own. A couple of online reviewers have complained that he didn't stick to the expected path of Christian-as-Republican-and-evangelical, but that's precisely the point. Dobson discovered, and leads the reader to discover, just how wrongheaded and off-putting American Christianity has become since the days of the Moral Majority (of which he was once a proud part). His journey from Christian to follower of Christ is very compelling for those who are intelligent and receptive enough to accept his conclusions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posegate More than 1 year ago
Before reading Dr. Dobson's book, The Year of Living Like Jesus, I brought to the table a number of prejudices including, but not limited to, my fandom of Dr. Dobson and my expectations of what someone living like Jesus would do and act and look like. I looked forward to a step-by-step how-to process that one could patent and license to churches all across North America along with clever t-shirts for the franchise such as "Served Over 1 Billion." A list of laws on how to be more like the man who fulfilled all laws from a trusted evangelical source. The welcome slap in the face to bring me out of my fanboy hysteria was when the subtitle finally sank in: My Journey of Discovering What Jesus Would Really Do. This is not a how-to book. This is not some instructional manual tailoring a Jesus wardrobe. This is not a devotional on how being a sacrificial giver will come back to you in a specified outline of prosperity. The guide for how to properly kill a bull for evening meal is nowhere to be found. Instead what I read was an appropriately candid autobiography detailing the author's frustration at just how difficult this task really was. It was a story of his journey to learn more about what Jesus would have done, and his deliberate discipline to execute those tasks. And when he fell short, then he conveyed his feelings and responses to his own shortcomings. This was not a mere task of living the Bible literally. This was an attempt to keep pace with his rabbi so that he would be covered in his dust, not left in it. The disjointed connections of the first and second halves of the book are only a momentary distraction as the content of the second half becomes less broken and more flowing. The difference is not bad, just noticeable and admitted. The break in the month of July was a good joke, and I liked that it went by quickly. The book really shines as Dobson relates his past life experiences to what he is going through at this time. The honest emotional struggles to even accomplish the physical tasks as he is reined in by ALS give an immediacy and tension to something as simple as camping and fasting. The fond and poignant reflections of his own journey that brought him to this place at this time are welcome context for someone unfamiliar with who this smiling, bearded, and bespectacled really is underneath the tasseled undershirt. All of this is to say that this was a good book. It was insightful to the frustrations that come about when trying to mold ourselves to our own interpretation of someone else, while being cognizant of others' interpretations of that same person. Perhaps, more than anything, all of the frustration adds up to an appreciation of God's grace that he made us to be his disciples, and that we don't do that in our own power. We do that in his.
SheilaCE More than 1 year ago
When Ed Dobson, an evangelical pastor truly dedicated to the following of Christ's teachings, learned that he had ALS, a radical idea came to him. He decided to live for one year as Jesus would have lived, and what he learns is chronicled in his new book The Year of Living Like Jesus. Of course, adhering to the values of Christ's life involves eating only kosher foods, reading the Gospels with a certain degree of regularity, and observing the Sabbath, but Jesus had a very distinct approach to existence from many in our own time and his own, as Dobson discovers through his remarkable journey. It is Christ's approach to the treatment of those who suffer that was integrated into Dobson's own life and allowed him to receive many insights into what it is like to live just as Jesus would have lived. Those insights are communicated with sincerity, humility, and a touch of humor by Dobson throughout this surprising and genuine struggle to understand what it takes to embody the values and principles of Christ's teaching. The Year of Living Like Jesus comes highly recommended for those who wish to better understand their own faith and what ways we can incorporate Christ's teachings into our own lives to better serve him and one another throughout our life's journey. And here the book trailer for those that would like to get a better feel for it.
Writer777 More than 1 year ago
I thought this book would be more about how Jesus lived in the respect of teaching about the Kingdom of Heaven, discipling others, etc. Instead - although I'm only 3/5 through it - it's been mostly about Ed finding different ways to pray. The majority of the book is spent reciting the rosary, and Protestant prayer beads. I don't get it. I doubt Jesus spent most of his time praying liturgies. I don't know, I'm hoping the final 2/5 will show me if I've missed anything.
Eutychus More than 1 year ago
This was an exciting, yet challenging book. I especially like the fact that it is in a daily journal form, so one doesn't have to read the whole book to get all of its messages, and you can read a couple of days at a time and not feel as though you're missing something if you don't read more right away. Ed challenges us to be honest in our proclaiming our faith by being obedient in our actions. His self examination reminds of me of when King David prayed, 'search me, O God, and know.......'[Psa.139.23]; only Ed carries it the next level by obediently following God's findings. I strongly recommend this book. Eutychus
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author is a Christian minister (for several decades) who decides to try to spend one year living "like Jesus." (Right, I know! Who have all those ministers been trying to emulate ?!? -- apparently not Jesus ??) He ends-up (ah-hem) obviously, living Jewishly, but he makes sure to complain about every step along the way. (So, in short, just read-up a bit on Judaism and you will be ahead!) Also, it is interspersed with random preaching episodes which do not fit the story line, but do fall in with his pastoral roots. Again, is this about trying to live like Jesus? -- pretty sure Jesus didn't give away half of his clothes and then drive a late model sportscar to his second-home in Florida and then wait - around for his ritzy friends to offer free food (wait, did you want me to say: 2-year-old Corvette?!? - that's super Jesus-like.) Basically, This book summarizes everything your Agnostic friends hate about organized religion. If I can figure-out a way to demand my money back, I will! The author seems like a decent guy, who does, legitimately have ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). But, this is in no way a year of trying to suffer as Jesus did. The author, during his modified (2-day) 40-day fast at a campground not only attempts to pack a coffee-maker (now, there was Jesus -- in that empty box!), but (proudly) counts his number of prayers then (gluttonously) circles around the camping grounds hoping to be offered free food... Well, obviously I could go on ad nauseum. But, this is exactly why there agnostics in the world. If you aren't already, you will be after reading this selfish crap. And, remember, this man has made his life through religion, so your tithes go to THIS! -- enough to make anyone who's travelled to the "third world" physically ill.