Outlook Issue 15 Winter 2011
News and Views from St. Mary's Woodbridge
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Good read
Seeing is believing Earlier this year, doing one of my bookshop wanders, I noticed a paperback book. Both the title and the cover caught my eye. The cover was mostly in pure white with eye catching lettering loudly calling out the title of the book “God is Closer than you Think.” The author is John Ortberg, a teaching pastor in California. Despite its title, the book is not an over-heavy religious read. In fact the author offers a humorous but still serious take on religion as he looks at how we can find God in our everyday lives and provides some clear, very accessible explanations of how and why the Bible continues to be relevant. The book really has been written with a lot of thought, particularly when you think that there will be people skimming through it who are very doubtful about the existence of God. Even among believers, most of us at some time in our lives will have felt this way – particularly when disaster or death has occurred to someone we love deeply or terrible things have happened to others in the world. But the author gives us hope. There is a passage in the book when Ortberg is querying why we cannot see God. “You will never know where he will turn up,” he writes “or whom he will speak through or what unlikely scenario he will use for his purpose. After the Resurrection, Mary Magdelene was looking right at Jesus but she thought he was the gardener!” This book is well worth a read. I cannot promise it will change your opinion on the existence of God, but it will make you think and wonder about the question millions of us ask daily: is there really a God? Ultimately, the conclusion you come to will be one that is very personal to you. To help, John Ortberg goes over many theories which should at least get you thinking about the meaning of God and religion. The book may or may not change your current opinion but it’s well worth giving it a try. God bless you, Peggy God is closer than you think by John Ortberg (Zondervan, 2005, paperback edition, RRP £8.99)