As I read 1000 Days by Jonathan Falwell, a familiar Charlotte Bronte (Jayne Eyre) quote came to mind. “Life is so constructed, that the event does not, cannot, will not, match the expectation.” This was my reaction to this book from a family known for founding a college and championing social and political change. It defied my every expectation.
1000 Days is not a chronological or historical compendium; although it does begin at the disciples’ calling and concludes with a short chapter on the resurrection. It is not a deep theological treatise nor a verse by verse study but it does contain scripture and numerous word studies. What 1000 Days is surprised me. It is a personal reflection on Jesus’ earthly ministry.
In 182 pages Jonathan reflects on the values driven leadership of Jesus which reminded me of Aubrey Malphurs’ approach. However, this writing is much more personal. Through family stories and other contemporary references Jonathan correlates the values of Jesus’ ministry in the gospels with life today.
At the conclusion of each chapter there are discussion questions and at the end of the book a reader will find a thirty-five page Bible study guide. Those expecting an academic or scholarly compendium will be disappointed and call this book lacking. Those seeking deep theological discussions or political agenda will no doubt call this work shallow. Those seeking to authentically walk with and talk about Jesus will smile. I found chapter seven on hypocrisy and chapter eight on the joy of less to be profoundly intrusive to my way of life. Challenging and encouraging in all the right ways.
Jonathan Falwell does not seem interested in meeting anyone’s expectations for him. He appears focused on being a true follower of Christ. For this I hope men like Len Sweet encourage him to keep writing. After all no one understands the crushing weight of expectations like Jesus in His 1000 days of ministry.
I’ll follow your writing as you continue to follow Jesus, Pastor Falwell, thank you for pointing to Him.
This review was written in return for a free copy of this book from the Thomas Nelson publishing group.