From Goodreads: Did Jesus have bad habits?
In our culture, we have a tendency to describe Jesus in ways that soften his revolutionary edge. Len Sweet uncovers and presents to us the offensive and scandalous Jesus described in the Bible. Did he disappear when people needed him most? Yes. Did he refuse to answer questions directly? Yes. Did Jesus offend the people of his day? Absolutely, yes. Popular author and speaker Len Sweet examines the words and actions of Jesus and places them in context. We need to understand who Jesus really is if we are to follow him wholeheartedly. That is why it is so crucial to see the “rebellious rabbi” for who he is and not for who we may imagine him to be.
The Bad Habits of Jesus will help you see the untamed Jesus, who isn’t sanitized for our culture. That Jesus just might transform how you live out your life.
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc
Publication date: 1st November 2016
Leonard Sweet is a United Methodist clergyman based at Drew Theological School, in Madison, New Jersey. He is also a preacher and scholar, and an author of several books. His latest contribution, The Bad Habits of Jesus is about how Jesus challenged the ideas, beliefs and customs of the day through his behaviour, and how these behaviours, if adopted by today’s churches, would transform what we know and understand as Christian behaviour. This book is as much a call to the church to really look at its own behaviour in comparison with that of Jesus as it is to Christians as a whole to do the same. The author considers a number of aspects of Jesus’ life which could be described as bad habits, and looks at them with a revealing set of eyes. According to Revd Sweet, Jesus not only was offensive, but also disappeared when he was needed most, refused to answer questions, and told stories which didn’t make sense, among many other annoying habits.
I was first drawn to this book because of its title “The Bad Habits of Jesus”. I was very curious as to what these bad habits were, but did not really know where this statement would lead. It’s always a risk to read an author you’ve never encountered before but I wasn’t disappointed with Leonard Sweet. His writing style was very easy to read and follow, and I found it very difficult to put the book down.
Each chapter challenges the readers’ understanding of scripture, and then makes suggestions as to how the church could incorporate and/or change its way of doing things to come into line with how Jesus behaved, and therefore be able to minister more effectively to people’s needs. When I was reading this book I was enjoying it so much that didn’t want to find anything wrong with it. It was an inspiring and beautiful piece of work. Having said that, however, I did find that, in the complimentary pre-publication copy provided for me by Tyndale House, Revd Sweet seemed to labour a point a bit too much near the end, and this irritated me just a little. In spite of this I would gladly re-read this book without hesitation.
Overall, this was a brilliant book and is a great resource. I have recommended this book to my husband, who is studying declining attendances in the Anglican Church. Due to my experience of this book I gave it 5 stars, not a rating I give easily. Well done, Revd Sweet. I look forward to reading more of your work in the future.
Recommend for: Anyone