Jesus' impact on our world is highly unlikely, widely inescapable, largely unknown, and decidedly double-edged. It is unlikely in light of the severe limitations of his earthly life; it is inescapable because of the range of impact; it is unknown because history doesn't connect dots; and it is doubled-edged because his followers have wreaked so much havoc, often in his name.
He is history's most familiar figure, yet he is the man no one knows. His impact on the world is immense and non-accidental. From the Dark Ages to Post-Modernity he is the Man who won't go away.
And yet . . .you can miss him in historical lists for many reasons, maybe the most obvious being the way he lived his life. He did not loudly and demonstrably defend his movement in the spirit of a rising political or military leader. He did not lay out a case that history would judge his
brand of belief superior in all future books.
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.
His vision of life continues to haunt and challenge humanity. His influence has swept over history bringing inspiration to what has happened in art, science, government, medicine, and education; he has taught humans about dignity, compassion, forgiveness, and hope.
I love John Ortberg’s writing, and this book has not changed my mind at all about his writing or his teaching. In Ortberg’s new book, Who Is This Man? There were some awesome historical contexts around many of Jesus' stories told in the gospels as well as how radical Jesus' ideas were within those political and social contexts. I always thought I knew my bible but after reading Ortberg’s writing of Who Is This Man? I know in my heart and soul that in fact Jesus was human just like we are and He did make His own mistakes, but ended up paying the ultimate price.
“We often do not live in the way of Jesus. It is strange how our heroes have changed.” (Chapter 6)
“You and I are not morally superior to members of the ancient world. We are no better because we live later. But we live in a world that has changed in this regard. We live in a world where the lowliest of the low are seen differently than they were two thousand years ago.” (Chapter 6)
This book is one you will want to keep in your library to read again and for a great reference book. I highly recommend this book to anyone, Christians, and non-Christians alike, you will love to read the historical context, and it is amazing.
About The Author:
John Ortberg is the senior pastor at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church (MPPC). John’s teaching centers around how faith in Jesus can impact our everyday lives with God. He has written books on spiritual formation including, The Life You’ve Always Wanted, Faith and Doubt, The Me I Want To Be, and most recently, Who is This Man?. John teaches around the world at conferences and churches.
Born and raised in Rockford, Illinois, John graduated from Wheaton College with a degree in psychology. He holds a Master of Divinity and doctorate degree in clinical psychology from Fuller Seminary, and has done post-graduate work at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Prior to joining MPPC, John served as teaching pastor at Chicago’s Willow Creek Community Church.
John is a member of the Board of Trustees at Fuller Seminary, where he has also served as an adjunct faculty member. He is on the board for the Dallas Willard Center for Spiritual Formation, and has served on the board of Christianity Today International. John is married to Nancy Ortberg, and they have three grown children. He can be followed on twitter @johnortberg and is on facebook, John Ortberg.
A number of John’s teachings are available on MPPC’s website.
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