Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A Year of Living Biblically

Many Christians and those in the Christian blogosphere would say that we try our best to "live Biblically." I know I do. And I know that the longer I have walked with Christ, and the more I study Scripture, the more grateful I am for God's grace as I daily try to walk according to His Word. I was intrigued yesterday to catch an interview of an author who spent a year literally adhering to Biblical "rules." You can watch his "Today Show" interview here. It is fascinating.

The author, A. J. Jacobs, who describes himself as an agnostic, spent 52 weeks living as "Biblically" as he could. Right down to wearing robes, growing out his beard, playing the lyre, changing his eating habits, and of course, following the Ten Commandments. (He even stoned an adulterer! Seriously!) The whole thing is interesting to me on so many levels, and I'm sure there will be much discussion of his book in the blogosphere, but one thing I heard him say struck me yesterday:

Matt Lauer asked him "On your average day did you find that you were unable to fulfill this or were there days where you could absolutely fulfill it for 24 hours at a time?" His response was, "Never. You're always going to break rules. Especially the rules like coveting, gossiping, and lying. I was astounded by how much I sinned once you start to pay attention." "Really?" Matt replied, "So in other words you had a rude awakening that on a daily basis you covet and you lie?" A.J. responded, "Absolutely, and I never really followed all the rules, but you can try. You can try to become a better person... hopefully."

"I was astounded by how much I sinned..."

What a statement! This interview, and his book which details his "experiment," highlights the need for Christ, the need for a Savior. He looked into the law and it reflected back his own iniquity, and he saw it! He described himself at the end of the interview as still an agnostic (a "reverent agnostic," actually) and that he has incorporated certain Biblical principles into his life, like the Sabbath and thankfulness. He found that there are things that just... work. Things that bring peace. But what I think is the most amazing thing is that he showed that even those who don't acknowledge God realize they fall short. We can't keep the commandments on our own. We sin daily, all day. We are fallen.

At the end of the interview, Matt says, "Think fast, when's the last time you broke one of the Ten Commandments." A.J. replied, "Probably during this interview." Matt, laughing, asked, "Which one?" to which he said, chuckling "I don't know... it's hard to keep track..."

It sure is.

Oh, how I'm unspeakably grateful that it's not my ability to keep the commandments that has brought me into a relationship with God, but that it was Christ's sinlessness and payment on my behalf that make me righteous before a holy God. I am thankful every. single. day. that I'm not simply trying in my own power not to sin, or to prove myself worthy. Thank you God, for drawing me. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me!

15 comments:

Mindy said...

This is fascinating.
Odd but fascinating.
I do feel a little sad for him that he spent a year living biblically but still doesn't believe in God.
That is quite sad.
BUT I agree that it is fascinating to see he realizes his own sin. Maybe he will soon realize the grace that comes from our Lord too....
have a great day!
In HIM -
Mindy

Mindy said...

I also find it interesting that this was all about following all the OT rules.
It does give credance to our need for a savior though. We humans aren't capable of following all the rules and need Jesus to restore us.

e-Mom said...

Excellent thoughts! This post is a wonderful testimony to the power of the Holy Spirit--and how necessary his indwelling is for right living. I feel sorry for this agnostic man... and yet, perhaps one day he'll be saved. As Paul says, the law is a "tutor" or "schoolmaster" to lead us to Christ. Blessings! e-Mom

Lauren@Baseballs&Bows said...

Wonderful post! There is no hope for any of us without Jesus!

Susanne said...

I fail miserably. And doesn't it say somewhere in the NT that the law was given to show man his sinfulness and need of a Saviour? It must have been quite a year for him. I pray now that he realizes he's a sinner, He may meet the Sinless Savior of his soul.

penguinsandladybugs said...

I agree....fascinating, just fascinating. Jesus was missing, it seemed....I am nothing without Jesus!!

Linda said...

Another great post Cyndi. I, too, am so grateful for grace. Not too terribly long ago I decided that I would not tell lies any longer - not any. In the process I have come to realize what a flagrant liar I truly am. Examined carefully much of what comes out of my mouth is just a "shade" untrue. Perhaps I'm just making the story sound a bit more interesting, or I'm trying to make myself look a little bit less guilty in a given situation.
Just as this man discovered, the law definitely shows us our need of a Savior. It's too bad he didn't make that final step.
I am always encouraged to realize that no matter who is doing it - the truths in scripture work. They must - they are His living word.
Thanks for this Cyndi.

Kelly said...

I read a print interview with this author last week. Utterly fascinating. A real-life illustration of Romans 1-3.

Sue @ praise & coffee said...

Wow, I missed this interview, sounds very interesting!

Sye

Deidre said...

I saw something recently about this guy, but didn't know if it was for real.

We need the Savior to complete us, or the rest of the 'following' is just pointless.

The Preacher's Wife said...

I love this!! I hadn't heard of it but this is fascinating stuff...

Wouldn't you think at some point people would just get it ??

I'm going to look for some more info on this..

eph2810 said...

Very interesting interview. Yes, I do fall short every single day to keep all His commandments. I so agree with your last sentence:
Thank you God, for drawing me. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me!

Chris @ Come to the Table said...

This is very interesting Cyndi!

lori said...

I am trying to put my mind around all that he said...wow...
thankful really that I already KNOW what I need....I need that Savior, I need my God...

there is hope...
as usual...wonderful thoughts Cyndi...thanks for sharing...

Jenny in Ca said...

how interesting Cyndi, I was just reading today on law and grace, and the purpose of the law. I am really surprised that someone tried this, it made me a little sad at first as I was reading, until I got to the part where he realized how sinful he was. Wow, someone who doesn't care for God actually got the point of why the law was given. wow. -May he find the easy yoke of Christ.