The very best thing that I loved about this book, was that it reminded me of why I believe what I believe. As others have said, its a fictitious conversation between Jesus and a man named Nick. However as most of this book is written in conversation form, its a great easy read for someone who is a new christian or someone who has questions about Jesus. This book by no means answers everything, but it's a great place to jump off and getting started. I have recommended this book to several people over the years and have never had a negative comment about it.
Dinner with a Perfect Stranger is a very good book, especially for new Christians, to give as a gift to someone to whom you may have been witnessing, or to someone who may be asking the right questions and searching for answers. The story begins with a gentleman by the name of Nick Cominsky receiving a dinner invitation from Jesus; he has no idea who it is "really" from and does not believe it could actually be from Jesus. At first he thinks it may be another outreach technique from a local church, or perhaps a practical joke being played on him by co-workers. He shows up at the restaurant thinking he will find the culprits and is seated at a table where the gentleman waiting introduces himself as Jesus. At first he is very sarcastic, thinking this person is an actor hired by whoever was playing the joke. Every now and then, however, Jesus knows things about his past that an actor could not possibly know.
After the initial meet, "The Seating", and ordering, "The Menu", each chapter begins as a different course in the meal and covers a variety of topics such as, "Who is to say that Jesus' way was any better than_" various religions; "What do you mean there's no path to God?"; "So you're saying no one can make it?" (meet God's standard); "What do you have to do to get it?" - the gift; "Why doesn't God just show Himself to people?" Each time Jesus explains Himself and answers each question in a way that is simple to understand, yet very matter of fact. Many times Nick thought he would be able to trip Jesus up, but the more they spoke, the more Nick wanted to hear.
This book answers very interesting questions in a very unique way. Questions which we may have all had ourselves at one time or another, or perhaps are being asked. This is a great tool, no matter how you look at it. When I was through, I couldn't help but wonder what questions I would ask if afforded this opportunity. Also, it is short (and interesting) enough to read in one sitting, so as a gift, it would not be overwhelming to anyone. I liked it very much both as an interesting read, and a good resource as a witnessing tool. I received this book free from Water Brook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
Dinner with a Perfect Stranger by David Gregory was such a treat. I never read a book so quickly in my life, I just couldn't put it down.
The premise of this book is that Nick Cominsky receives an anonymous dinner invitation. The invitation reads, "You are invited to dinner with Jesus of Nazareth at Milano's Restaurant." Nick believes he is being set up by his co-workers and figures he has nothing to lose by going.
When Nick arrives to the restaurant, he is escorted to the table where Jesus sitting and Jesus introduces himself. At this point, Nick is looking around for his co-workers to see if they're hiding. But as time elapses, Nick couldn't help being intrigued by the conversation.
I honestly felt like I was eavesdropping on their conversation. Not to mention, wishing all the while I could savor what they were eating.
I related with the character Nick; from his work schedule, to his doubts and questions. I found myself laughing at his questions because they were so eerily similar to mine.
Think about it, imagine if you received a dinner invitation from Jesus? What would you do? Quite honestly, I think I would have been just as cynical as Nick was.
Especially by the way Jesus was depicted; he was dressed in a business suit. At some point Jesus even mentions he didn't like neckties. I chuckled when I read this, "God doesn't like neckties. Note that for future reference."
Even though this book was a simple quick read, it is very meaningful and makes you think. I also enjoyed reading the refreshing twist on the Gospel.
I actually cried at the end of this book. I really didn't want that dinner to end, nor did I want Jesus to leave.
I recommend this book to everyone, but especially those who have a lot of questions or are plagued with doubts.
Lastly, I want to thank Waterbook Multmonah for sending me this free book to review.
This little book isn't your typical small, quick, superficial read. It's actually more of the opposite! It may be small but the contents are thought provoking and reflective. For me, it's a book that I'm going to have to read more than once to digest it all!
Skepticism abounds in the beginning of the book. From thinking the invitation is a joke from his friends to doubting Jesus at the beginning of dinner---"Tell me (Yesh), can you turn this wine back into water?". Who can blame Nick? It's not every day you get invited to dinner by Jesus! But by dessert, Nick is trying to decide if this guy is a nut-case, a great actor, or is it possible he's the real thing?
Obviously Nick has a lot of questions and much doubt about this whole thing but he's not afraid to ask the hard questions. As expected, the answers are not always specific or clear cut. They are meant for the reader to ponder and reflect about their own beliefs and values. On the flip side, sometimes the answers touched upon by Jesus are "lessons" that we need to learn.
Dinner with a Perfect Stranger is a splendid read for a book club or bible group. There are several different sets of study guides for group discussions (located here)Ã¢â¬âdiscussions for one meeting, 4 meetings, or 8 meetings. For a 100=page book, 8 weeks of discussion shows the inspiration of the book.
I would give this a 5 out of 5 star rating. The story is very well written, easy to read and understand, as well as a way to discover your own beliefs and views. I'm going to give this to a family member who has quite a bit of "alone time" due to his job. I'm not trying to convert someone with the book but just allowing them explore their own principles and convictions. I'm sure we all could use a little of that.
I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah's Blogging for Books and have given my honest opinion of this book.