The inescapable Jesus

Book review: Who is this Man? by John Ortberg (Zondervan, 2012)

John Ortberg says he prefers teaching to preaching, though most of us who have seen him in action would suggest he’s equally accomplished at both. He has also written 15 books, including the popular If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get out of the Boat (see the Christian Science Sentinel, December 29, 2003).

His latest book is Who Is This Man? subtitled The Unpredictable Impact of the Inescapable Jesus, which pretty much says it all. With his totally predictable and inescapable humor, Ortberg suggests that Jesus is as hard to nail down as Jell-O. In Jesus’ day, no one knew quite what to make of him. But, says Ortberg, when you understand more about his life, you awaken as if from a dream to realize his influence is something you always somehow knew: “His life and teaching simply drew people to follow him. He made history by starting in a humble place, in a spirit of love and acceptance, and allowing each person space to respond.” 

Similarly, Ortberg allows readers of any religious persuasion to respond in their own way to his summary of the largely unknown influence on every facet of life of this most dominant historical figure of the last two millennia.

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