28/07/2006

If you Want to Walk on Water, You've got to get out of the Boat (by John Ortberg)

Not exactly a concise title, but 'If you want to get out of the water, you've got to get out of the boat' is one of the currently popular Christian books, at least in the circles I mix with. John Ortberg is a pastor - and I'm glad to learn he's no longer at the controversial Willow Creek church. He writes well, with plenty of anecdotes and clear explanations of Scripture, but without being condescending or 'preachy'.

The premise of the book is that too many of us are safe in our comfort zones, afraid to step out and find what God wants for us. He looks, a little at a time, at the story of the apostle Peter who - for a few moments - managed to walk on water. Was Peter a failure because he started to sink? Ortberg insists he wasn't - he at least tried to do something radical. The rest of the disciples just stayed in the boat.

The book looks at reasons we often choose safety over adventure, and gives sound advice for learning to rely on Jesus, however difficult it may seem. There are questions at the end of each chapter, to reflect on what has been written and its relevance to our lives; I didn't find them particularly helpful, but otherwise very much enjoyed this book. Highly recommended.

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