You are Invited to a Dinner with Jesus of Nazareth
The mysterious envelope arrives on Nick Cominsky’s desk amid a stack of credit card applications and business-related junk mail. Although his seventy-hour workweek has already eaten into his limited family time, Nick can’t pass up the opportunity to see what kind of plot his colleagues have hatched.
The normally confident, cynical Nick soon finds himself thrown off-balance, drawn into an intriguing conversation with a baffling man who appears to be more than comfortable discussing everything from world religions to the existence of heaven and hell. And this man who calls himself Jesus also seems to know a disturbing amount about Nick’s personal life.
"You’re bored, Nick. You were made for more than this. You’re worried about God stealing your fun, but you’ve got it backwards.... There’s no adventure like being joined to the Creator of the universe." He leaned back off the table. "And your first mission would be to let him guide you out of the mess you’re in at work."
As the evening progresses, their conversation touches on life, God, meaning, pain, faith, and doubt–and it seems that having Dinner with a Perfect Stranger may change Nick’s life forever.
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In Dinner With a Perfect Stranger, David Gregory relates the story of two men sharing a meal. The point of interest is knowing that one man believes he is Jesus. What will the other man think by the time the evening is through? The conversation begins, as one could imagine, scratching the dry hard surface of skepticism and doubt, but gently and persistently goes deeper and deeper, spiraling in from that starting point until they are eventually talking about the true stuff of life; the career drifting off-track, the marriage experiencing its own kind of strain, the life being lived where the philosophical questions of youth have given way to simply coping with modern day-to-day living.
Gregory's book is a refreshing reminder of what evangelical Christianity is at its very best -- a faith enlivened by the personal relationship between the Creator and the created. In the end, evangelical Christians are focused on who Jesus Christ is, and more specifically, who He is to them. Doctrinal stances, theological conundrums, questions about literal or non-literal Biblical interpretation, these are all beside the point for the certain type of Christian whose central focus is the life and person of Jesus.
In the Narnia series, C.S. Lewis touched on some of the core questions of religion, from the Christian viewpoint (is there a hell? What is heaven like, really? How can other religions be wrong, and just one be right?) Taking his cue from Lewis, Gregory does the same, realizing that questions like these come alive when they're in the context of a story, and we can be the third party, watching with interest while they are put on the table and considered. In the end, Gregory's book succeeds because of his willingness to approach interesting, hard questions like these. He is always, undoubtedly, aiming for the heart, but he realizes that to win the heart one must never forget that the mind has to come along for the ride. --Ed DobeasAbout the Author:
DAVID GREGORY is the author of Dinner with a Perfect Stranger, A Day with a Perfect Stranger, The Next Level, The Last Christian, and the coauthor of the nonfiction The Rest of the Gospel. After a ten-year business career, he returned to school to study religion and communications, earning Master's degrees from Dallas Theological Seminary and the University of North Texas. A native of Texas, he now lives in the Pacific Northwest.
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