I love Ed Dobson. Deb and I, both. He was our pastor at Calvary Church (of which he is again a part) when we lived on that side of town. As you may know he has been stricken with ALS. It's the slow moving kind, and he continues to be active in sharing his faith and his gift in the community and beyond. Though at the advice of his doctors he stepped down from being a pastor.
Last evening he was at Baker Book House here in Grand Rapids. Quite a crowd of young and old alike; it was wonderful. He shared about how he came to seek to live a year like Jesus did, living like a Jew, and trying to obey Jesus' commands and follow his example, while being kosher. And sharing about his new book on this as well, The Year of Living Like Jesus. I have my copy and look forward to finishing it soon.
I found it edifying in being both convicting as well as encouraging in what God can do as we seek to be true followers of Jesus in this world. As you may well know Dobson voted for Obama and said he would do the same again, though he acknowledges that he may well be wrong. But he did so on the basis of which candidate of any party he believed comes closest to what Jesus taught. He explains this in a chapter in his book, and his view on abortion and how he wrestled through it. He said seeking to follow Jesus for a year leveled remaining arrogance he had, so that he doesn't think that he is necessarily right on decisions such as his vote. I found his thoughts on politics and the kingdom of God quite compatible with my largely Anabaptist theological understanding.
Christians on the "right" trashed him, telling him they'd never listen to him preach again, or believe anything he says. The ones Ed found it easy to live with were the needy sinners (of course we're all needy sinners) whom he found in bars and drank beer with, and continues to do so as he shares with them his faith and seeks to follow Jesus. Though after the year he dropped the kosher and Jewish laws. As you can well see, he still has his beard, trimmed once a year.
I look forward to learning more, and being impacted for my journey with others in following Jesus.
(I am downloading a video from my camera from last evening so you can hear him, but finally lost patience waiting, and may post it later.
Couldn't post it for whatever reason, so posted the Zondervan video from YouTube instead.)