What Jesus Would Say by Lee Strobel
This is another one I've had on my shelf for years and finally read as part of my plan to increase my spiritual reading. I didn't realize quite how old it was but some of it is quite dated. Having said that, I still think it's worth reading for the truth it contains.
The author's concept with this book is to look at what Jesus might have to say to various high profile people in today's word. When the book was written "today" was 1994 so much has changed. Some of the people are deceased and in 20 years the lives of the others have changed dramatically. The list of subjects are Rush Limbaugh, Madonna, Bill Clinton, Michael Jordan, Bart Simpson, Donald Trump, Murphy Brown, Madalyn Murray O'Hair, Mother Teresa, David Letterman and "You", as in all the rest of us.
The thought of telling anyone what Jesus would have to say to them sounds presumptuous, and even arrogant, but the author bases everything he says on scripture and he does it with humility and kindness. I think a lot of us would expect some scolding if not outright condemnation, but there is none of that. Every chapter is encouraging and hopeful and that, I think, makes it worth reading even if some of the references are a bit outdated.
Rather than condemnation for the less admirable things these individuals have done with their lives, there is encouragement to use their positions of public influence for good. We, the readers, are urged to be agents of real change by praying for people in public positions rather than spending our time making fun of them and criticizing their mistakes, a habit all to easy to fall into even when we have good intentions. The final chapter addresses the rest of us - the non-famous, ordinary people - with a similar message of hope and encouragement to live our lives spreading love and peace instead of scandal. That's a message that will never be outdated.