Thursday, December 4, 2014

Book Review: "If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat" (John Ortberg)

Ever wondered what you could accomplish with your life ... if only you could conquer fear?

Ever thought about where you could be in ten years ... and wonder how on earth to get there?

Ever felt called to do something or go somewhere or say something to someone, only to talk yourself out of it the next minute?

Ever struck out and tried something new only to get discouraged and swear off all future risks?

You're in good company.

Meet Simon Peter, apostle of Jesus Christ in the New Testament of the Bible. He spent time wondering, worrying, afraid, and directionless.

But he didn't stay that way.

In his well-known work, If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat, pastor and author John Ortberg reintroduces readers to the story of Simon Peter's walk on the water to Jesus, and how that story speaks to calling and fear today.

With poignant theology, revealing analysis, and real-life applicability, Ortberg addresses each aspect of that Biblical account, from Jesus' words to the wind and waves to fear to the disciples who stayed in the boat and refused to risk.

Ultimately, Ortberg leaves readers with three messages. First,  fear is normal and to be expected, especially when there's change or risk involved. Second, life affords opportunities, some of which you'll find yourself uniquely equipped to handle, if you'll take the risk. And third, for believers, God is big enough to handle any fear, worry, objection, or hesitation you feel.

Ortberg writes with trademark compassion and patience. His approachable writing style kept me engaged throughout the book, and I never felt condescended to, preached at, or lectured. He sprinkles his writing with humor, but the heart of the book spoke to me very deeply. There are even study questions for personal application and meditation at the end of each chapter, to spend time cementing the truths.

If you appreciate Christian nonfiction in general, and anything by Max Lucado, a similar author, in particular, you'll appreciate Ortberg's work. Take time to check it out.

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Title: If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat
Author: John Ortberg
ISBN: 978-0-31034-046-1
Purchase here:

Disclaimer: The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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