Love Beyond Reason (by John Ortberg)

I’ve enjoyed all the books I’ve read by John Ortberg, over the past ten years or so. He doesn’t seem to have written any new ones, so I decided to start re-reading them. They’re well worth it - he has an engaging style, including some family anecdotes and a lot of dry humour, which seems to be somewhat unusual in an evangelical American Christian.

I last read ‘Love beyond reason’ in 2008, and had pretty much forgotten what it was all about. The subtitle of the book is, 'Moving God's love from your head to your heart'.  I’ve read it over the past couple of weeks, just ten pages or so each day, as there was much to ponder.

Not that it really said anything unfamiliar, or radical. But it was an encouraging read. It starts by introducing us to Pandy, the author’s sister’s rag doll, who was much loved despite becoming more and more scruffy. When Pandy is accidentally left behind on a family holiday, there’s simply no option but to turn the car around and go to look for her...

The analogy is clear. We are like rag dolls, often more rag than doll, yet God loves us with an abiding passion, and will look for us wherever we stray. The parables of the lost sheep and others demonstrate this admirably, but it’s refreshing sometimes to have a more modern viewpoint, one that we might not have thought ot.

The book looks at God’s love from different angles, giving plenty of examples from the Bible (with dry asides, at times, to lighten them) as well as the author’s own memories and relevant anecdotes. It drew me in, made me think, and encouraged me immensely... although there’s nothing that really stood out, or which I shall be thinking over for months to come.

Highly recommended to anyone, particularly those who might feel that God could not possibly love them. Available in Kindle form as well as paperback book, and still in print on both sides of the Atlantic.

Review copyright Sue's Book Reviews, 25th June 2013

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