A Bit Like Jesus is very readable and extremely thought-provoking. Taking stories form the Gospels, and from Christian lives, it helps us to reflect on how we might be able to be more Christlike in the way we live. And it really is ‘we’ rather than just ‘I’. While Gill does challenge us about our choices as individuals, he also raises questions about what a church or society might look like if they embodied the values that Jesus embodied.
He identifies, first, some core values from the Gospel stories: the unveiling of hypocrisy and the practise of compassion, care, faith and humility. These provide the structure of the Lenten readings. Then he helps us think through how these values, these qualities, might be embodied in contemporary life both in day-to-day living and also with regard to very current wider concerns like abuse, HIV/AIDS, social stigma, health care, assisted suicide and palliative care. To try to show the broader resonance of the values Jesus embodied, each day’s reflection ends with a Psalm from the Jewish Scriptures and a Sura from the Qur’an.
My only question is how well A Bit Like Jesus works as a Lent book. Some of the daily divisions cut across the flow of Gill’s reflection, especially in the early stages, so that each section does not always have an obvious point to ponder. Personally, I couldn’t wait – and ended up devouring the book in a day!John Walker