Most people who read this blog have probably never heard of Dr. Dennis Hensley. He is the director of the professional writing program at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana. But more than that, I consider him a friend and an advisor. He has been more than gracious to me on several occasions by sharing advice on my writing. He was even gracious enough to endorse my book. And so when my parents gave me his new book, Jesus in the 9 to 5, I knew I wanted to read it.
It is probably not an exaggeration to say that this is the most unique book I have read recently. In this book, Hensley portrays Jesus as the CEO of a furniture business in the modern world. He shows how Jesus might have recruited workers, handled adversity, shepherded his employees, and many other challenges that face those in business these days. It is his attempt to cast the shadow of biblical texts on today's world. And it works.
Each chapter contains a mix of information and fictitious story. It is easy to tell that he has spent much of his life teaching business principles meant to help people become better at their occupation. For instance, in the first section, he discusses how Jesus handled personnel problems. He explains how Jesus was quick to offer praise and slow to be negative. And then in section nine, he goes into detail on how to be a better manager of your time. I needed those helpful reminders in each chapter, for they are very helpful. They are well thought out. They are committed to biblical truth. But they are not the best part of the book.
The best parts are the stories he tells. Throughout the book, he weaves a fictional story of how Jesus handled different business situations as the CEO of his furniture business. His writing is humorous and engaging. From the characters to the situations, it is easy to identify what Biblical story his is retelling. I only wished this part of the book would have been longer, but then I suppose, I wouldn't have wanted more.
There are a few points in the fictional stories that leave me with some questions about the biblical text. I suppose I'll ask him the next time I get to spend time with him. But it is probably more about me not understanding the genre of fiction than it being textually inaccurate.
The book does end somewhat abrupt. But after watching these videos below, it sounds like a sequel is in the works. It is a fun book to read. It flows quickly and you will finish one vignette only to be anxious to get to the next one quickly. Overall, I enjoyed the book.