A few years ago an author, Rachel Held Evans, took up the challenge of seeing just what the life of a "Biblical woman" really was. As friends responded to a resurgence of traditional views of marriage, home and deserted careers she was moved to act. "What does God truly expect of women, and is there really a prescription for biblical womanhood? " So, for a year she lived the life of "Biblical Womanhood." From covering her head to wearing a sign to inform people of the outstanding nature of her husband she lived up to all the expectations many traditional groups maintain the Bible demands of women today.
A.J. Jacobs took up a similar quest to explore life lived Biblically. The Year of Living Biblically explores all the rules and comes up with some interesting - and often funny - observations about how even the most literal minded fundamentalists tend to still 'pick and choose.'
I was reminded of her book, and learned of his, in some recent research related to one of my own projects. I found myself wondering if we - men and women - could take up a similar challenge and actually live out for a year all that we say is demanded of us as Christians?
What does it mean to actually 'love our neighbors', live peacefully with one another, care for others more than ourselves, give ourselves to the work of the Gospel and so much more?
We - people in general- seem to function well with lists of 'thou shall not' items but can we think our way out of a paper bag of gray area ethical issues and remain in tune with the mind of Christ? Can we be of 'one mind', can we be rich in spirit, can we cast all our cares on God?
What would "A Year Living Christian" look like? What would we learn? Could we recognize and make the necessary corrections or are we just too set in our ways or defensive of our accepted dogmas?
An intriguing question and , I believe, the far more important challenge.