Monday, May 19, 2008

MIssing It

There's this guy named A.J. Jacobs who has written a New York Times best-selling book entitled The Year of Living Biblically. Essentially, Jacobs (who is a self-described agnostic) spent an entire year attempting to live by the "rules" of the Bible - as literally as possible.

I have not read the book yet, but I plan to. I have read numerous reviews and excerpts, and it actually sounds hysterical. There's no doubt that the book will be entertaining and side-splitting.

But, in the end, Jacobs missed it. In what could have been (and perhaps still might be) the beginning of an incredible relationship with Jesus, the 365 days Jacobs spent adhering to the Bible was nothing more than a PR stunt.

I just read an interview that appeared in Leadership magazine, and I have to admit that I was a little deflated. Jacobs was asked if his faith had changed at all after having lived "biblically" for a year. He says instead of just being agnostic, that he is now considered a "reverent agnostic." Jacobs says, "I believe there is something very important about the idea of sacredness: prayer can be sacred, the Sabbath can be sacred, family is sacred, rituals are sacred...

"But I never did convert; I never did make the leap of faith to accept Jesus as my savior. As I read the New Testament, I more tried to live by his ethical teachings, which did change my life."

After reading this interview, I emailed Jacobs. Not to start a debate, but to ask him a question. I asked him how in the world he could live biblically (particularly the New Testament) without having a relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus himself said that the most important commandment was to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Jesus also said that the only was to the Father was through Him. So, how could you love God without accepting Jesus?

Anyway, I explained to A.J. that it appeared that he had lived biblically with his mind, but not his heart. And, I feel pretty good about that assessment.

But, God has a mysterious way of working. Jacobs may think that this was a great way to sell books and earn honorariums for speaking engagements; but, God is likely not done with him. Doors are still open, and my prayer is that God will soften his heart and tune his ears so Jacobs can hear who He really is.

And, I'm still gonna read the book. I guess he's got me there.

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