Jonathan Franzone's Reviews > The Life You've Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People

The Life You've Always Wanted by John Ortberg
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did not like it
bookshelves: physical

I really did not like this book much at all. There were a couple of redeeming chapters, particularly the one about the discipline of celebration, taking time to celebrate God's blessings in our lives. Aside from those couple of bright spots, though, I found it to be extremely "seeker-sensitive" (whatever that means) and self-help oriented. When I think about spiritual disciplines, the first thing that comes to my mind is a proper intake of the Word of God, but Ortberg spends little time discussing this and only about halfway through the book.

Theologically, I had several problems with the book. Ortberg seems to operate under the assumption that God is just begging and waiting for people to respond to him. He even uses Moses and the burning bush to illustrate that, his point being that, just as Moses could have walked by and ignored God, we too can ignore God and just keep going about our lives our own way. I believe in a sovereign God and that it was always God's plan to uses Moses. He sprinkles this type of thinking throughout.

Finally, my biggest concern was the chapter on hearing from God. He seems to hold to the charismatic belief that we should try to train ourselves to hear the "still small voice" from God. I won't go into an argument against that. If you are charismatic, then you'll probably love the book. Regardless, he mentions at the very end of that particular chapter that there are dangers in attempting to hear God in this way... but then he just walks off and leaves the door wide open.

If you are truly looking for a book on spiritual disciplines, then I would highly recommend Donald S. Whitney's book, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life. I would liken Whitney's work to a fine cut gem, in the same way that Ortberg's would be a dirt clod.
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Reading Progress

January 5, 2016 – Shelved
January 5, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
January 5, 2016 – Shelved as: physical
January 11, 2016 – Started Reading
January 11, 2016 –
page 26
9.03%
January 16, 2016 –
page 40
13.89%
January 30, 2016 –
page 75
26.04%
February 8, 2016 –
page 90
31.25%
February 18, 2016 –
page 106
36.81%
March 1, 2016 –
page 139
48.26%
March 7, 2016 –
page 156
54.17%
March 22, 2016 –
page 192
66.67%
March 28, 2016 –
page 207
71.88%
April 4, 2016 – Finished Reading

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