It’s an odd experience to be reading three books on the Christian life at once, and what makes the experience oddest is that the books couldn’t be more different. I’m focusing here on John Ortberg’s new book, The Me I Want to Be: Becoming God’s Best Version of You
, but I’ve been reading John’s book alongside Tom Wright’s After You Believe and Eugene Peterson’s Practice Resurrection.
Wright’s book sets the stage for the practicalities of John Ortberg’s, so if there’s an order I’d suggest Wright then Ortberg. Which leaves Peterson. First or third? I’m reading Peterson in the evenings, one chp at a time, pondering here and there. But this is about Ortberg’s new book.
First, this book is part of a massive project called Monvee
. Which means there are several products: the book, the participant’s guide, the curriculum kit, and a teen edition with a participant’s guide for that one too. In other words, this book is designed for the whole church. Monvee is a full-scale online program designed to evaluate a person’s spiritual status and growth. Ortberg’s book will provide a guiding voice on the growth dimensions of the project.
So, what’s in The Me I Want to Be? Let’s be honest: some of us will be put off by that title, thinking it is just too individualistic. I read the book, and it’s about a person’s personal development in being conformed to the image of Christ. Yes, it’s about the individual; no, it’s not a denial of the corporate and communal dimension of the Christian life. It’s a challenge for an individual to become what God designed that person to become.
And how can that happen? Precisely how Tom Wright suggested: by developing the virtues, or habits, that will lead to transformation. Ortberg covers finding my identity, flowing with the Spirit, renewing my mind, redeeming my time, deepening my relationships, and transforming my experience.
Vintage Ortberg; hilarious stories, insights from social studies, and theology and Bible all woven into readable and very practical chapters.