The Jesus Experiment - Book Review

“WWJD” (What Would Jesus Do?) is a simple question with a not-so-simple answer. Yet it almost seems cliché to ask the question. But before we DO something, we are thinking something, and feeling something, both of which potentially impact how we do something.    When I’m in a specific situation where I have a choice to make, I have rarely stopped to ask myself “what would Jesus THINK?” or “what would Jesus FEEL?”

The book The Jesus Experiment, by Bill Perkins, brought the mental aspect of being like Jesus to my attention.  Conforming my thoughts and feelings to those of what Jesus might think or feel impacts what I will say and do.   To get such a grip at the very front on my thoughts and feelings would truly be life-transforming and this book was just what I needed to begin moving my head in this direction. 

Bill Perkins states that the purpose of the book is to show how to have a real-time on-going connection with Christ so we can test His promise to give us abundant life. If we line up our feelings, thoughts, words, and deeds to be guided by Jesus, we will experience the abundant life He offers.  He dares us to try the experiment and see what happens.  But be aware that the abundant life is not based on a health/wealth prosperity-gospel life.  Rather, the abundant life (by his definition based on Scripture) consists of having our basic needs met, a life of power and purpose, a circle of close and trusted friends, and accomplishing God’s will. 

This practical book is divided into twelve weeks of looking at what Jesus did and thought in private, in public, and with people, with each chapter ending in reflection and Bible study.  Each chapter looks at some aspect of what Jesus would feel, think, say and do in the situation we are in and comparing it to what we are feeling, thinking, saying, and doing.  Does it line up? If not, how can we prepare for the next time we’re in a similar situation?

As Bill Perkin’s personably and honestly relayed his own weaknesses, he encouraged me to keep striving even as I lament how much unlike Jesus I am. I must note that I disagreed theologically with his interpretation of what Jesus laid aside when he came to earth as referenced in Philippians 2:5-8 (I think it was status, not divine attributes), but he is still able to make his point soundly with other Scripture passages that point to how Jesus depended completely on the Father.  I highly recommend this book and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for a review. 


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  2. Paula,
    Thanks for the great review of the Jesus Experiment. I'm a bit confused regarding your comment about the the hypostatic union--the union of two natures in Jesus. You said you think Jesus laid aside his status and I, in the book, said he laid aside his divine attributes. Yet, I emphasized that he did not lay aside his attributes, only the use of them. Read page 42 again and let me know what you think. I'm glad the book encouraged you.
    In his steps,
    Bill Perkins

    1. Bill - What an honor to have you read my review! For some reason when I write reviews, I never expect big authors to actually read them. I returned to page 42 and read what you are talking about. You indeed said that he laid aside the USE of his divine attributes. However, I still think He used his divine attributes (calming the storm, knowing people's thoughts, miracles, etc.). I still think Philippians 2 was referring to status. I'm willing to be wrong. It's a minor point and probably not even worth mentioning in the review as it was truly a wonderful book.

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  4. Paula,
    Again, thanks for your kind words. Your interpretation is shared by many. I just wanted to make it clear that I didn't say Jesus laid aside his divine attributes during the incarnation--I wrote that he laid aside the use of them. You might want to read, Birthright, by David Needham. He's a theology prof at Multnomah University--Bible College. He explores in biblical detail the question regarding the incarnation and whether or not Jesus acted out of his divine nature, or relied on the Father to work though him. I appreciate your blog