Jewish Journal


January 6, 2009

Christian tries not just acting like Jesus but living like him too



I’m surprised this shtick actually worked again.

Forget WWJD. A former pastor read A.J. Jacobs’ “The Year of Living Biblically” and decided he wanted to take to hear HWJL—how would Jesus live.

Ed Dobson, the vice president of spiritual formation at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Mich.,—you know Cornerstone, it’s like the Princeton of the Midwest—didn’t shave, ate kosher and kept the Sabbath for an entire year. He also read through the Gospels every week, though this obviously wasn’t something Jesus did:

“I would often go down to the bar, sit up at the counter, drink a beer and talk about God, which Jesus was accused of being a glutton and a drunkard,” he said.

The most difficult part of the challenge, Dobson said, was obeying Jesus’ teachings, particularly the idea of blessing the people who persecute you.

“My youngest son did two tours in Iraq, and on the last tour, a friend of his was killed in action and my wife and I went for the visitation and I was overwhelmed with grief and also with anger for the people who had made the roadside bomb, planted it and detonated it,” he said. “And then I finally realized I had to pray for them and bless them, which is very, very hard to do.”

Dobson even voted in the presidential race as he thought Jesus would. Dobson pulled the lever for Barack Obama, saying it was the first time he ever voted for a Democrat.

“I decided since I had read through the gospels at that point over 30 times, I wanted to know who best represented the fundamental teachings of Jesus, and I felt that he more than any other candidate represented the teachings of Jesus, so I voted for him,” Dobson said.

Dobson’s message to others heading into the new year is to start reading the Bible, which he acknowledged can be demanding.

“I would encourage people, whether you’ve ever read the Bible or not, begin reading the Bible, and just listen to what God has to say.”

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