Sunday, January 16, 2011

How To Be Perfect

Author: Daniel M. Harrell
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: FaithWords
(January 5, 2011)
ISBN-10: 044655717X

Book Description:

Influenced by A. J. Jacobs's The Year of Living Biblically, Harrell managed to recruit 20 members of his Boston congregation to join him in a month-long effort at living Levitically. Holiness was the ultimate goal, but so was learning.People who take the Bible seriously never know what to do with the book of Leviticus. And yet Leviticus is historically considered by Jews, and thus by Jesus, as the pivotal book of the Hebrew Bible. It's impossible to fully comprehend such key New Testament terms as sacrifice, atonement, or blood without some understanding of Leviticus. The "second greatest commandment," which Jesus said was "Love your neighbor as yourself," comes from Leviticus (19:18).As a longtime minister and preacher who had successfully skirted Leviticus for most of his life, author Daniel Harrell wanted to come to grips with all that Leviticus teaches--not just loving neighbors, but the parts about animal sacrifice, Sabbath-keeping, skin diseases, homosexuality, and stoning sinners, too. Yet rather than approaching Leviticus with a view toward mitigating its commands, he decided to simply obey them. The surprising lessons they learned impressed on Harrell both the power of obedience and the necessity of grace. This book traces the adventures of a group of people eager to understand the Bible by living it.

About the Author...
Daniel M. Harrell is senior minister of Colonial Church in Edina, Minnesota. For 23 years he served as a minister at Park Street Church in downtown Boston. He is the author of Nature's Witness: How Evolution Can Inspire Faith as well as numerous articles that have appeared in Leadership Journal, Christianity Today, The Christian Century, and Regeneration Quarterly. He holds a PhD in developmental psychology from Boston College and has lectured at Fuller Seminary, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Gordon College, and Boston University. He lives somewhat obediently by grace in Minneapolis with his wife and daughter.

My Review:

It seems the nature of man is to desire perfection in one's self. Pastor Daniel Harrell found 20 church members who agreed to enter, with him, into an experiment involving Old Testament teachings. They would follow the commands of Godly living as recorded in the book of Leviticus. What would they find out about themselves at the end of this experiment? Could they actually obey the teachings? Could they obtain godliness?

What the group finds are surprising personal weaknesses, hard lessons in obedience, and that God's grace is sufficient.

4 stars****

(Thank you to Hachette BookGroup for my review copy.)

1 comment:

Diane said...

Very interesting experiment he did. Good review. :O)