From Publishers Weekly
The often baffling book of laws for Jewish priests known as Leviticus is typically dismissed by Christians as outdated legalese no longer binding on people of the New Testament. Harrell, who served as pastor of the evangelical Park Street Church in downtown Boston for 23 years, doesn™t let that get in the way of his sincere desire to understand God and the Bible in its entirety. Inspired by a secular experiment that became the successful book The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs, Harrell proposes a one-month experiment to œlive levitically. Eighteen church members join him in a quest to œbe holy because I, the Lord your God, am Holy, as the text repeatedly intones. The result is a series of reflections by Harrell and his followers—many communicating with each other via a Facebook page dedicated to the project—on keeping the Sabbath, abstaining from pork, and refraining from sexual deviancy as the Bible defines it. The resulting pastiche of responses is, for the most part, generous, compassionate, and thoughtful. This book will be appreciated not for its historical understanding of Judaism but for its attempt at living devotionally. (Jan.)
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"Thou shalt read this book. HOW TO BE PERFECT is a very interesting examination of commandments both famous and obscure. I'm honored my project helped inspire it." (AJ Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically
"I think what I love most about HOW TO BE PERFECT by Daniel M. Harrell is the outrageousness of the idea. If there's one book that Christians most ignore in the entire Bible, it's got to be Leviticus. And yet Harrell and his posse dove in to the deep end of the levitical pool, attempting to live out the 253 commandments therein for a whole month. The audaciousness of the idea is enough to be admired. But the result-this book-is even better, for it becomes a meditation on what it really means to love and follow the Lord." (Tony Jones, author of The Teaching of the Twelve: Believing and Practicing the Primitive Christianity of the Ancient Didache Community
"Knowing Daniel as a friend, I appreciate the clever way he encouraged eighteen real world, working adults to live the laws of Leviticus. Through their candid, heartfelt, provocative, and at times hilarious journeys, they helped me grasp that wonderful--and sometimes glazed-over--Old Testament book in a more endearing way. What's more, I came to grasp my own faith as a child of God on a deeper level." (Barry H. Corey, president, Biola University, California