Would you respond to an invitation for dinner with Jesus? Would you ask tough questions? What would it take to convince you that you were dining with the son of God?
In Dinner With A Perfect Stranger, Nick Cominsky receives an invitation for dinner with Jesus of Nazareth at a high class restaurant. His initial reaction is one most of us would share—disbelief. He assumes some of his buddies are up to a gag, but he’s curious about the punch line so he shows up for dinner. Instead of being seated across from a thirty-three year old man with a shaggy beard and long robes and sandals, a man in a blue suit with neatly trimmed hair introduces himself as “Jesus. My family called me Yeshua.” Scanning the restaurant for his friends, or maybe the cameras, Nick struggles to take the man seriously. He instinctively asks for proof in a hilarious exchange in which Nick asks Jesus to turn his wine back into water. Not without a sense of humor, Jesus calls the waiter over and asks for a glass of water to replace his friend’s wine. Calling back his wine, Nick agrees to Jesus’ suggestion of suspending his disbelief for awhile.
Throughout the four course meal, Nick and Jesus discuss everything from world religions, family, and even the realities of heaven. Nick seems to be a non-religious guy who took some religion courses in college, so while he doesn’t necessarily believe in religion, he is able to talk about with some knowledge. I personally had some trouble with some of the statements that Jesus makes during dinner. He says that there is no path to God because the reality is that through sin we are separate from God. That’s a hard line to swallow if I’m to turn around and believe that good faith will earn my forgiveness. Jesus talks about God as being ultimately Just, so we can’t actually earn our forgiveness. We are only forgiven by the sacrifice of His Son…which Jesus wants us to believe was actually God himself.
This was a super fast read, and it was pretty entertaining to react along with Nick Cominsky through the course of conversation. I don’t usually read religious writings because I have a tendency to become aggravated at some of the statements that are made. This little novel was inoffensive and fun. I will warn some of my readers that this novel doesn’t leave a lot of room for religions outside of Christianity.