Item description for A Contrarian's Guide to Knowing God: Spirituality for the Rest of Us by Larry Osborne...
Overview Since there's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all spirituality, Osborne helps readers discover their personal path to deeper knowledge of God that truly fits their unique personality, strengths, and needs.
Publishers Description "Contrarian thinking at its best simply asks, "Is this really true"? It speaks up when the politically correct answer or the conventional wisdom doesn't match reality - when things simply don't work the way everyone says they should." - Larry Osborne If you don't fit the mold... If you're tired of adjusting to other people's definitions of spirituality... If traditional spiritual disciplines just aren't working for you... If all the standard answers aren't enough... ...but your deepest desire is to know God more... Here's Spirituality for the Rest of Us
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Larry Osborne has served as the senior pastor and directional leader of North Coast Church since 1980. Under his leadership, the church has grown from 128 to 6,500 in weekend attendance and has been recognized as one of the 10 Most Influential Churches in America. In 1998 North Coast Church pioneered the use of Video Worship Venues as an intentional ministry strategy offering a variety of worship styles and locations. These venues expanded the demographic and geographic outreach of the church to the point that it now offers 23 worship options on five different local campuses each weekend. Known for its innovative approach to ministry, North Coast also pioneered the use of sermon-based small groups (a lecture/lab model that delves deeper into the weekend message). For 21 years the church has maintained a participation level of over 80% of the weekend adult attendance. In addition, Larry serves as an adjunct professor for the doctoral and graduate programs at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Simpson College. He has traveled around the country speaking to business and church leaders about building healthy teams and innovative leadership. Larry's down-to-earth teaching style brings God's word alive with insightful real-world application sprinkled with humor. His deep love for the local church and his passion to help pastors and leaders succeed is always evident. He is the founder and president of the North Coast Training Network and has been a frequent contributor to LEADERSHIP JOURNAL. His book, THE UNITY FACTOR is now in its fourth edition.
Reviews - What do customers think about A Contrarian's Guide to Knowing God: Spirituality for the Rest of Us?
Recommended To Me: I Recommend It To You Jun 27, 2008
This book was recommended to me by a speaker who visited our church for a seminar. Dr. David Frisbie spoke here at a single parenting seminar; after one of the sessions a whole conversation broke out about the "emerging church" and what that term meant.
Dr. Frisbie recommended that all of us read "Contrarian's Guide" as a helpful way of seeing spiritual development and spiritual growth with new eyes. Many of us decided to buy the book that day; I went home and ordered it on-line immediately.
Want to know God better? Worn out by trying? Convinced you'll never be one of those "spiritual people" in the world? WOW, this is a great book. I am so glad that someone recommended it to me; now I am also recommending it to you.
How to grow up --- written in an entirely fresh, new way.
Lauren Hodge Apple Valley, California I also highly recommend: Raising Great Kids on Your Own: A Guide and Companion for Every Single Parent
A book for such a time as this Jan 21, 2008
This is an excellent book. I highly recommend it. It's best read and studied in a study group with strong Christian Biblical discipline, values and leadership. It makes for provocative discussion and personal growth as Christians today.
Essential truths about a right relationship with God Nov 7, 2007
This book is just superb. Each chapter challenges some widely taken-for-granted aspect or assumption of contemporary spirituality. Most of the chapters are convincing, and open one's eyes in important ways. Most re-examine some key Bible passage and show us that we have been missing something important in reading it. Other chapters are weaker but still useful.
The key purpose of the book, however, is not to help us understand scripture better, or simply to critique contemporary spirituality, but rather to help us overcome the numerous ways in which religion has become an obstacle to achieving a right relationship with God.
In this respect, Osborne emulates the way in which Jesus rebuked the Pharisees, and he likewise helps us to separate the important from the incidental.
This is a book I will periodically read again. I'm sure I will need to be reminded again and again of these essential truths.
An inspirational testimony of "common-sense" Christian spirituality Aug 5, 2007
Lead pastor of North Coast Church in northern San Diego County Larry Osborne presents Contrarian's Guide to Knowing God: Spirituality for the Rest of Us, an examination of spirituality and The Big Questions for anyone jaded by or distrustful of the dogma of established religions. Chapters explore such themes as "What does it mean to know God?", "How does spiritual growth happen?" or "What does God want?". Contrarian's Guide to Knowing God does not purport to have all the answers, but makes an extraordinarily strong case for the answers it does provide. "Great relationships don't just happen. They take hard work and significant mid-course corrections to stay healthy over the long haul. A relationship with God is no different. While God never needs to grow, makes a mistake, never misunderstands, and never chooses the selfish route, we do. And whenever we get off course, it usually takes some significant changes on our part to get the relationship back on track." An inspirational testimony of "common-sense" Christian spirituality drawing from real-world wisdom as well as the study of scripture.
May become a classic Jul 13, 2007
I recently completed Larry Osborne's book, A Contrarian's Guide to Knowing God. I first heard about Osborne about a year ago. He pastors North Coast Church in Southern California. I like the way he thinks and I would highly recommend this new book.
For years, I've often wondered how Christians grew spiritually without access to a Bible, study course, Sunday School class, or small group. We place so much emphasis on reading. In fact, to the Christian in the Western hemisphere, spiritual growth is not possible without books. But the Gutenberg press wasn't invented until the 1500's. Only in the past couple of centuries have Bibles and Christian books been available. How did Christ-followers grow in their faith without their own personal copy of the Bible? How did they survive without Christian publishers?
Osborne talks about this briefly to make the case that the Church has designed conventional paths to spiritual growth for certain types of people, i.e., people who like to read and study. Now, you have to understand that this is descriptive of me. I love books. I have three stacks of books that I'm wading through now! So this is not an indictment on readers. Instead, it is a concern that we have made the path to spiritual growth too narrow.
Like new cars on the showroom floor, we've developed two types of Christians: the basic model including only the necessities and the super-deluxe package with all the extras. The basic model Christian attends Sunday services and might sit in on a Bible study once a week but he doesn't read all of the latest books on the Christian best seller list or study the Bible with a highlighter in his hand. In addition, the basic model Christian doesn't show up for Sunday or weeknight classes or services, serve on any important committees, or otherwise take full advantage of all of the "features" that the Church offers. The super-deluxe Christian, of course, does all of these things.
Is this right? Does the basic model Christian suffer from a lack of commitment or have we created a faulty paradigm of what makes for a "committed" Christian? We too often debate over sound doctrine and nitpick over what a Christian should or should not do (legalism). But Jesus spoke of the kingdom of heaven belonging to those who are like little children (Matthew 18). Jesus is pleased by a simple childlike faith. Why isn't that good enough for the rest of us?
A contrarian is a person who asks, "Is this really true?" Larry Osborne is brave enough to ask questions about many things that we assume are true, Biblical, and right. But you'll find that we (the Church) have made up some things that aren't necessarily accurate according to the Bible. It's an interesting and eye-opening book. In case you're skeptical of this contrarian, Osborne is a solid Bible teacher who uses the Bible as the foundation to question some of our methods and models that the Church has created.