S P I R I T U A L ~ P R O F I L I N G
Spiritual Profiling by Tom Hovestol
How Jesus Interacted with 8 Different Types of People and why it Matters for You

Spiritual Profiling book by Tom Hovestol

Jesus’ world was far more religiously pluralistic than most of us imagine. He grew up and headquartered His ministry in “Galilee of the Gentiles.” He regularly rubbed shoulders with polytheistic and superstitious Romans, with philosophical and sophisticated Greeks, with hard-partying pagans, and with God-fearing Africans.

The Bible tells us that Jesus, unlike His fellow countrymen, did not avoid the despised and syncretistic Samaritans. Nor did Jesus shun the Jews who were considered persona non grata in the local synagogues, like those who worked for the occupying government, or who rejected Hebrew ways in favor of Greek, or who lived hellion lifestyles. Moreover, Jesus interacted with individuals representing all of the major sects of Judaism – Sadducees, Pharisees, Zealots, and Essenes. And these included a huge variety of spiritual expression from the emotional to the contemplative, from the spontaneous to the staid, from Bible-thumpers to compassion-lovers, from those who push religion to the four corners of their lives while others passionately seek to push it to the four corners of the globe.

"Here is a fresh reading of Jesus’ ministry, a creative tutorial developed for every hungry disciple who wants to “re-centralize” Christ in their faith. With a pastor’s grasp of his time and a prophet’s passion for true-hearted devotion, Hovestol helps us critique the “spiritual fraternities” of our own day. – Dr. Andrew J. Schmutzer (Professor of Bible at Moody Bible Institute)

  • Is there some way to categorize, organize, and understand the varieties of spiritual expression that Jesus encountered?
  • Is it possible that the kinds of people Jesus dealt with in His day are similar to the ones we face today?
  • Are there prototypical and stereotypical religious patterns to which people gravitate? And why do we do so?
  • If we lived in Jesus’ day, what spiritual “camp” would be most like ours?
  • How would Jesus approach us?
  • What would he do with us?
  • What would our Spiritual Profile be?

"Spiritual Profiling is really about understanding that we have different kinds of neighbors we are called to love and engage. Pastor Hovestol takes us through the different types of people who inhabited Jesus' world and how he interacted with them as a way to help us with the different kinds of people we meet. The study is solid and intriguing. It will lead us to consider how to relate well to the variety of people around us, a profitable study, well worth the time." – Dr. Darrell Bock (Professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary and New York Times Bestselling Author)

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"Pastor Tom Hovestol’s very readable work draws attention to a reality of life that Christians commonly overlook as they consider ministry to others. By means of copious references to the Scriptures (specifically, to the examples provided by the Lord Jesus Himself), the author provides insights and appropriate instruction for how Christians might show respect for the diversity of viewpoints held by different people. This offers valuable guidance both for those who wish to evangelize wisely and those who want to be salt and light in a 21st century world. The author’s style is irenic and respectful, exactly what we would expect from an individual who has spent many hours drinking from the well of Jesus’ wisdom." – Dr. Ken Bickel (Professor of Pastoral Studies at Grace Theological Seminary)