A Weird Contest Won
One day I saw a tweet which announced a contest to win a new book called Weird. Since free is my favorite price and the title intrigued me, I decided to check it out. One of the ways to win a copy was to promise to write a review of the book as a blog post.
I promised, I won and now I write.
What Weird is About
In the introduction of this book, in a section called “Weird 101”, Craig gives us an idea of where the book is going when he writes:
After a Tuesday night Bible meeting, I walked alone to an empty softball field. NO matter what it cost me – even being normal – I had decided that I wanted to know Jesus and live for him. I wanted to do life his way and not mine. As I knelt beside the dugout and prayed, I left normal behind and embraced whatever it took – being different to the point of the God kind of weird – to follow Jesus. Something melted within me, and I waled away forever changed, with a sense of God’s grace I can’t describe.
To much of society, an all-or-nothing, totally-in following of Jesus looks weird. This is especially true in 21st Century America where we are taught to look after #1, do things our own way and not take direction from anyone.
Too often the church has worked hard at appearing “normal” to the outside world. We try to do things in the way that corporations, civic groups or social clubs do them. We attempt to rely on programs, marketing and techniques, all the normal stuff.
As Groeshel points out, “normal isn’t working.” The churches and individuals that do things the normal way, do not experience the personal and corporate growth (not measured only in numbers) that God wants to provide.
My Perception of Weird
This book convinced me that I may be weird, but not weird enough.
In the book, Craig discusses the impact that a relationship with Jesus should have on our view of time, money, relationships, sex and values. The discussion has challenged me to reexamine the way I approach these topics.
I appreciated the way Craig issued the challenges, even when my initial gut reaction was that he was going a little overboard. For each topic, Groeschel presented principles that apply and gave some clues as to how this worked out in his own life. Craig does this without giving me the sense that he thinks he has it wired and if we only did it his way, things would be OK. By his writing style and the principles he presented, Craig created an environment conducive to considering new points of view.
This isn’t a how-to book. It does not lay out “x steps to spiritual maturity.” What it does provide is thought provoking analysis of what a follower of Jesus should consider as he responds to the challenges of the surrounding culture. The principles are presented and it is up to the reader to work through the principles to figure out how the principles should be applied in his own situation.
Why You Should Get Weird
Near the end of the book, Groeschel writes:
If you have just enough of Christ to satisfy you but not enough to change you, answer his knock and let him make himself at home with you. You’ve purposefully chosen to leave the broad path. You’re gladly traveling the narrow road. Your journey may seem weird to others, but your destination will be infinitely better than anything a settle-for-normal world can offer.
The number one reason I would recommend this book is that it will challenge you in areas where you unconsciously or unknowingly have imbibed the surrounding culture. These areas need to be exposed to the light of Scripture so that we can be “transformed by the renewing of our minds.” (Romans 12:1-2).
This book would be excellent as a small group study resource. The way the material is presented would be conducive to small group discussion.
Craig Groeschel is right, normal isn’t working. Much of Christendom is disarray and decline. For change to take place, we have to get over our fear of being weird. Weird (the book) is a good place to start.