Since Christians often talk about community as one of their highest ideals it is shocking when they realize that, as Henri Nouwen insightfully noted, "Community is the place where the person you least want to live with always lives." Fortunately, John Ortberg shares our passion for community and is able to teach us how to live with and love one another. With the insight of a counselor and the heart of a pastor, Ortberg has written one of the best contemporary considerations of community.
ISBN-13: 9780310565772 UPC: 025986565770 Availability: In Stock
This is not a book for normal people to learn how to handle difficult people -- there is no such thing. This is a book about how imperfect people can pursue community with other imperfect people. Winner of the Retailers Choice Award.
John Ortberg is senior pastor at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, California. He is the bestselling author of Who is this Man, The Life You've Always Wanted and If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat. John and his wife, Nancy, have three grown children.
There are no normal people, asserts prolific author and pastor Ortberg (If You
Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat; The Life You've
Always Wanted), and the sooner Christians accept this disquieting truth, the
healthier they and their churches will be. In this mediocre treatise on
Christian community, Ortberg implicates Christians who are constantly on the
run and on the most superficial terms with their fellows. Citing numerous
biblical stories where Jesus turned the tables on foes and drew in unlovable
and undesirable people, Ortberg nicely communicates his passion for seeing
past external appearances and delving deeply into people's hearts and souls.
Christians, he says, must learn to communicate on Jesus' terms; they should
practice unconditional love, strive for authenticity and build mutual trust.
While Ortberg warns readers to be circumspect with personal disclosure, he
contends that the modern Christian church has failed miserably in biblical
communication, especially in loving confrontation. Still, the overall message
of this book is upbeat, as Ortberg reminds readers of the positive aspects
found in solid relationships, which he names as genuine forgiveness,
deliberate inclusion and heartfelt gratitude. While this message is ageless,
it is certainly not new; "Christian living" bookshelves are crowded with
volumes on spiritual formation, congregational life, group prayer and
communication. Among these, Ortberg's offering loses its impact quickly
because of poor organization, various tangents and over-long chapters. (Mar.)
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