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Who Is This Man?: The Unpredictable Impact of the Inescapable Jesus Hardcover – August 7, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Ortberg is the senior pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church (MPPC) in the San Francisco Bay Area. His bestselling books include Soul Keeping, Who Is This Man?, and If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get out of the Boat.  John teaches around the world at conferences and churches, writes articles for Christianity Today and Leadership Journal, and is on the board of the Dallas Willard Center and Fuller Seminary. He has preached sermons on Abraham Lincoln, The LEGO Movie, and The Gospel According to Les Miserables. John and his wife Nancy enjoy spending time with their three adult children, dog Baxter, and surfing the Pacific. You can follow John on twitter @johnortberg or check out the latest news/blogs on his website at www.johnortberg.com.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (August 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310275946
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310275947
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (267 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,668 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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 Me I Want to Be; Know Doubt; When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box; God Is Closer Than You Think; The Life You've Always Wanted; Everybody's Normal Till You Get to Know Them; If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat; Love Beyond Reason; and (with Kevin Harney) the multimedia curriculum Old Testament Challenge. Now that their children are grown, he and his wife, Nancy enjoy surfing the Pacific to care for their souls.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 72 people found the following review helpful By David Carreon on August 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
"Who Is This Man?" challenges the reader to get "outside" of Christianity and to try to think of Jesus as any other man, one separate from theology and the miraculous. With familiar and (more often) unfamiliar facts of history, Ortberg challenges us to take seriously the positive revolutions that occurred because of Jesus in learning, compassion, women's empowerment and sexuality. He traces the foundation of the University, the Hospital and Civil Rights to Jesus. He paints the man Jesus as an inexplicable paradox: a vagrant who inspired the greatest architecture of our race, one crucified as a slave who founded a kingdom that remains to this day.

This is one of those rare worldview books, one that is able to marshal a large and diverse set of data from many sources and present a common story that explains the world we live in. Gladwell does this skillfully in social science. GK Chesterton does it in The Everlasting Man. Ortberg does it here. The writing itself is spectacular, even when compared to Ortberg's other writing. The book moves well and the chapters flow smoothly. It is somewhat academic but by far the most readable book of its kind.

The story is about the human condition and all variety of witnesses come forward. It is a fascinating courtroom where testimony from both Augustine of Hippo and Conan the Barbarian are admissible. It is immensely interesting to hear the story unfold with contributions by first-class scholars, Saints of Old, and Ortberg's own eclectic life experience. Ortberg has the rare ability to see symbol and prophecy in the otherwise too-familiar Gospel stories. He is able to bring the events to life, explain them in their historical context, and show how Jesus' life and teachings were a violent and absurd challenge to the ancient world.

This book bestows on readers, both secular and religious, fresh eyes with which to consider the central figure of history and to ask "Who Is This Man?"
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By chanchanchepon "Billy Williams" on October 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I ordered a copy of this book, Who Is This Man?, online, and when it arrived, one of the first things I noticed was the litany of blurbs about the book. Many authors and theologians who I deeply respect and appreciate had written a snippet about the value they saw in what Ortberg's book had to say. People as diverse as Dallas Willard, N. T. Wright, and Shaine Claiborne had good things to say about this book, and remarkably, former US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice wrote the foreword to the book.

But the book didn't stop being quality at the end of the foreword. In fact, the array of comments had served the author and the book well by building a solid foundation from which to build and move forward. The book is not an apologetic for Jesus being God. It is not a book that lays out steps to salvation or anything like that. It is more of an examination of the truly unpredictable impact that Jesus has had in the twenty centuries since his life.

Chapter after chapter, Ortberg sets the stage for what was considered normative at the time of Jesus, and how Jesus' life has shaped for generations from then to now what values we tend to admire, how we treat others, and even how we have arrived at some of the systems we have today, like our education system.

I am really tempted to go into detail regarding some of the key insights of each chapter, but I don't want to give too much away for you. I will say this. John Ortberg lifts up historical context around many of Jesus' stories told in the gospels that allow us to see how truly profound his statements and teachings were.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Daniel L. Marler on September 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
If you were to ask people, "who is the most significant and influential person who has ever lived?" many would say, "Jesus." Even people who are not Christians or people who are not particularly religious would be inclined to say that Jesus is the most influential person who has ever lived.

I would be quick to agree with that answer. But if you were to say to people, "give me specific examples of how Jesus has impacted areas like the arts, or education, or deeply ingrained attitudes about humility, or forgiveness, or the treatment of children," most of us would probably not be able to offer specific details.

In this book, "Who Is This Man?" by John Ortberg, the specific details are provided.

I find the content of this book to be interesting, compelling and, even, exciting--I should probably admit that as a Christian I have a fairly strong bias in favor of Jesus. But when a book is really good it also has to with the fact that the author of the book is a wonderfully gifted communicator. Even with my bias in favor of Jesus, I have read a number of books about him that were... um... well... a bit dull.

That is not the case with "Who Is This Man?" John knows how to tell stories, he knows how to use humor well, he knows how to communicate in a way that resonates with a reader (at least, he knows how to do it with this reader).

I read approximately 80 books every year. I can confidently tell you this is one of the best books I've read in the past 4 to 6 weeks.

(I'm kidding... it's one of the best books I've read this year! Seriously, it is.)

Dan Marler
Oak Lawn, IL
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