Normal? Who's normal?
Not you, that's for sure! No one you've ever met, either. None of us are normal according to God's definition, and the closer we get to each other, the plainer that becomes. Yet for all our quirks, sins, and jagged edges, we need each other. Community is more than just a word--it is one of our most fundamental requirements. So how do flawed, abnormal people such as ourselves master the forces that can drive us apart and come together in the life-changing relationships God designed us for?
In Everybody's Normal Till You Get to Know Them, teacher and bestselling author John Ortberg zooms in on the things that make community tick. You'll get a thought-provoking look at God's heart, at others, and at yourself. Even better, you'll gain wisdom and tools for drawing closer to others in powerful, impactful ways. With humor, insight, and a gift for storytelling, Ortberg shows how community pays tremendous dividends in happiness, health, support, and growth. It's where all of us weird, unwieldy people encounter God's love in tangible ways and discover the transforming power of being loved, accepted, and valued just the way we are.
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.