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Everybody's Normal Till You Get to Know Them Hardcover – 11 Feb 2003

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (11 Feb. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310228646
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310228646
  • Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 2.3 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 400,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Normal? Who’s Normal?

Not you, that’s for sure! No one you’ve ever met, either. None of us are normal according to God’s definition, and the closer we get to each other, the plainer that becomes.

Yet for all our quirks, sins, and jagged edges, we need each other. Community is more than just a word—it is one of our most fundamental requirements. So how do flawed, abnormal people such as ourselves master the forces that can drive us apart and come together in the life-changing relationships God designed us for?

In Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them, teacher and best-selling author John Ortberg zooms in on the things that make community tick. You’ll get a thought-provoking look at God’s heart, at others, and at yourself. Even better, you’ll gain wisdom and tools for drawing closer to others in powerful, impactful ways. With humor, insight, and a gift for storytelling, Ortberg shows how community pays tremendous dividends in happiness, health, support, and growth. It’s where all of us weird, unwieldy people encounter God’s love in tangible ways and discover the transforming power of being loved, accepted, and valued just the way we are.

The need for community is woven into the very fabric of our being. Nothing else can substitute for the life-giving benefits of connecting with others—not even God. He won’t preempt the way he himself has designed us to reflect his own intensely relational nature.

But there’s a hitch in our experience of community, says John Ortberg: We’re all weird. Folks around us may seem normal enough, but just wait till we get to know them—and they get to know us. The unhealthy, sinful ways we respond to life in a fallen world are hardly God’s idea of "normal," and they can make us as unhuggable as porcupines. We face the "porcupine dilemma," says Ortberg: We need each other, but how do we get close without getting hurt? How do we get past all those quills and grow together in Christ?

In Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them, Ortberg once again reveals his gift for sharing profound insights using a lighten-up approach. With winsome humor and a fondness for well-spun stories, he pops the myth of normalcy and hands us the keys to creating and sustaining relationships. "God’s dream for community encompasses the redemption of all spheres of life," he says.

Who doesn’t want like to be liked, to be wanted, to have solid, satisfying friendships! Ortberg shows what such relationships are made of. He reveals the benefits of authenticity—what it means to live with an "unveiled face," as the Bible puts it. He encourages us to trade the stones it’s so easy to cast at others for acceptance. He opens our eyes and heart to empathy, the art of reading people. And he takes us through the ins and outs of conflict, forgiveness, confrontation, inclusion, and gratitude.

The principles and discussion questions in this book are down-to-earth. They’re for real people living in a real world, and are intended to help us count the practical cost of relationship and then pay it—because in all the rewards and struggles of community, we’re investing in something beyond our comprehension. You could call it heaven. You could call it home. It’s the place where all of us are headed, all of us belong, and all of us will be normal at last.

About the Author

John Ortberg is a teaching pastor at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, California. He is the author of Everybody's Normal Till You Get to Know Them, Love Beyond Reason, and the bestseller If You Want to walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Steve Humphreys on 6 Nov. 2003
Format: Hardcover
If you've ever felt that you were probably the only person in the world who felt so messed up, or thought that people only liked you because they didn't realise how horrible you are inside, this is the book for you.
John Ortberg writes challenging books that also provide comfort for those who struggle along the way, and "Everybody's Normal..." is no exception. Starting from the theological concept of "depravity", Ortberg explains in an easy-to-grasp way that all human beings are like the goods in the "slight seconds" part of the store; we all carry an "as is" tag that means we have a fault somewhere. We can try to hide our faults by becoming high achievers and feeling superior to everyone else, often putting others down in the process, or we can withdraw into superficial relationships, never revealing ourselves for fear of how others will react.
However, this book suggests, there is another way, and so introduces the main theme of living in community. Much of the book is taken up with exploring what it means to live in community with others, and the attitudes and behaviour that genuinely make community a spiritually nourishing place. Again there is a clear theological base for this, with a discussion on the relational nature of the Trinity that presents an extremely complex idea in a way that fits in with the reader-friendly tone of the rest of the book.
While possibly not a book for those who have no knowledge of the christian faith - Ortberg refers to concepts and stories which he explains in simple terms, but still assumes his readers will be aware of them - this could easily be read by someone new to christianity who wants to make a difference in his or her life, as well as by a person who knows the in and outs of the faith and wants to be challenged afresh.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By "eksatrianto" on 23 Nov. 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is a book that will keep you reading it until the last page. It's easy to understand and reflect much of our lives (common people). The author focuses on the human desire to build friendship and community. You will be able to determine to whom should you tell all about yourself. There are a lot of humor in this book, so you won't get bored. The illustrations are very live, I bet you haven't heard in any sermon. If you're looking for a book that will change your perspective, I just recommend this book.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Leonard on 2 Jan. 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the best books I have read in a long time - it challenges us about what is means to live in God's community, transforming the way we look at people and our relationships with others. It uncovers struggles as well as providing new ways to tackle difficulties and attempts to restore God's heart for community to the centre of ours. This is a great read, and addictive. Rarely does one find such a 'Christian' page-turner as this. Easy to read and understand, this is a fun and also challenging book! Enjoy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. N. Moffatt on 24 Oct. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been truly gripped by this book.

The effortless and engaging way in which it is written more than compensates for the fact that it is not really about normality. The title is a route into moralistic religious writing of the highest, non-dogmatic standard. That I am an atheist and thoroughly enjoy his many words of wisdom probably says it all. He has had the sense to back up his ideas with appropriate research findings, and these really adds weight to his carefully constructed stories. Parables almost. A fine, enlightening read for all.
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Format: Paperback
A very interesting book about community and how we all fit into it. As you would expect it contains a lot of reference to God / Christianity, which to start with is fine, but as the book continues I found that it became a bit too much God referenced. I read it as part of my church group, and it has provoked some very interesting discussions. It didnt give me any new information, but did make me think deeply about some areas of my life.

Would recommend it if you are already a Christian, but probably not if you arent. My DH is an agnostic, and he found it very annoying and gave up reading it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. L. Page on 9 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback
Excellent book for those struggling to live in a Christian fashion in relationship with other people. Thoughtful exploration of nature of community.
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Format: Paperback
If you are a house church or house group, this is a very good tool to measure what sort of relationships you have. John Ortberg opens up the life of Jesus to show us what it sholud be like to be live in community properly, as the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit have done from the begining. Jesus said "let them be one as we are one", this book takes you on that journey. Welll worth reading
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
John Ortberg's words just flow across the page and there's such insight into the human person. I first read "If you Want to Walk on Water, you Need to get out of the Boat" and felt I needed to learn more of what the author had to offer. I believe that non Christians would also benefit from reading this book.
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