Dating Jesus – Susan Campbell

February 13, 2009

I received Dating Jesus from LibraryThing’s ER program. I was unsure if I would like this novel because I am not Christian, especially after reading Necessary Heartbreak. Luckily, I am satisfied with the novel, and I am pleased to say that you don’t have to be Christian to enjoy Dating Jesus.

Susan Campbell was raised to be a devout Christian inside a fundamentalist church. As a child, she did everything Jesus wanted her to do. Soon, however, she began to question her faith. How could she belong to a religion that looked down on women so much?

Campbell created a beautiful story about faith and feminism. The chapters about her youth are filled with funny parts like her baptistism and when she knocked on doors for Jesus. Dating Jesus is also filled with plenty of footnotes with references to the Bible or 70s shows.  Importantly,  Campbell stresses that what her church taught her in her youth is different from Jesus’s message itself.

My main dislike about the novel was how the chapters were arranged. The novel skips from when she was in high school and still attending church to when she’s married (after college) and not attending church. I would have liked to know what she did in those in-between years. This in turns, ruins the pace. Two-thirds of the novel deals with Campbell’s youth, and the other one-thirds is when she’s married and not attending church.