Wednesday, January 05, 2011

HOW TO BE PERFECT ⏤ One Church's Audacious Experiment In Living the Old Testament Book of Leviticus
By Daniel M. Harrell 

OVERVIEW: Longtime pastor Daniel Harrell spent years teaching the New Testament and telling the story of Jesus over and over again. Yet he couldn't shake the feeling that he needed to preach more of the Old Testament, too After all, Jesus was Jewish, and He preached the Old Testament exclusively, since it was the only testament at the time. So Harrell decided to preach the book of Leviticus. "For Jews, and thus for Jesus, Leviticus is the pivotal book of the Hebrew Bible." Harrell explains, "It's impossible to fully comprehend such key New Testament terms as sacrifice, atonement, or blood without some understanding of Leviticus. to obey Jesus is to obey Leviticus." Harrell wanted to figure out what following Leviticus looked like⏤not just the well-known command to love your neighbor, but the parts about animal sacrifice, Sabbath keeping, and skin diseases, too. Rather than approaching Leviticus by downplaying it, he decided to try to obey it instead⏤as Jesus did. Harrell recruited eighteen church members to join him in a commitment to spend thirty days living Levitically. Holiness was their ultimate goal, but so was experiencing the overwhelming need for God's grace.


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.

MY REVIEW: How To Be Perfect is a fascinating book! At first glance I thought, "Oh yea, somebody's going to tell us how it can be done. And then I laughed. But I was intrigued and I wanted to find out what this silly preacher had to say. Daniel M. Harrell is a funny man⏤but he is not silly! Not by any means. I learned many things good things from this book and was challenged greatly. Harrell "knows his stuff" and he writes in an interesting way. If you are a student of the Word of God you will thoroughly enjoy this book. Will you agree with everything Harrell and his group says in the book? No! But you don't have to. I promise you that you will enjoy the approach they made to Leviticus and what they found out. I read through the book so I could give this review. Now I am going to go back and read it again, making notes and running references.

 ***Special thanks to Sarah Reck,Web Publicist, Hachette Book Group for sending me a review copy.***


Crystal Mary said...

This book does sound very good..and very interesting. I will keep it in mind as that this moment I have so much to read.
One statement you made here and something I wrestle with.. The sabdath.My daughter is S.D.A. and advocates the Saturday as the original and right Sabbath. She says its the Catholic church that has changed the day and we should all have Saturday. I say, it doesn't matter anymore. Jesus put to death all of that on the cross and we are new creations. He rose on a Sunday so we worship now on that day..and yet, I ponder???