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Who Is This Man?: The Unpredictable Impact of the Inescapable Jesus Hardcover – August 7, 2012
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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?"
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. He also builds a compelling case that Jesus, through a relatively short period of time in his life was able to exert more influence on the way we live and think today than any person before him and really any person since.
If you enjoy historical biography, or if you want to learn more about the life and legacy of Jesus of Nazareth in a concise format, I highly recommend this book. I found it to be inspiring and life giving as I pursue this life of faith in Jesus the Messiah. It made me want to pour over scriptures with renewed vigor to study the life and example of how Jesus lived his life, and to work more zealously to live this life as He would live it, to live my life in service for others, and to truly love my neighbors.
May you enjoy your reading of this short book that illustrates some of the profound and unpredictable impact of the life of Jesus. I know I certainly did.
The author has a way of holding your attention and wanting more as you work through this book. Underlining and creating notes will slow you down a bit as this book unfolds, simply because so many memorable events are described.
Ortberg is obviously a gifted author that really researched before writing this book. "Who is this man?" You'll enjoy meeting him in a new and refreshing way.