A Contrarian's Guide to Knowing God
I needed this book. This was the right book at the right time for me. But it could just be that the thought that Larry Osborne offers in A Contrarian's Guide to Knowing God is just a breath of fresh air for those who desire to know God, but struggle.
Have you started a journal only to forget about it or discard it after 2-3 entries?
Have you woken early in the morning to spend time with God only to have fallen asleep?
Have you tried to memorize passages of Scripture but can't get past the first verse?
Please read this book. It will allow you to stop beating yourself up for not living up to a spirituality gauge which people use, not God.
We can please God in ways that are not conventional. We can know God without jumping through certain hoops. Dr. Osborne writes that we all relate to God in different ways. He made us all very different and very unique - so he wants us to relate to him through those ways, not through rules and rituals which have been set up by people. This is not to say that ways which certain people relate to God should be thrown out, just that they are not rules that everyone needs to follow.
I will say that the principles in this book fly in the face of most everything I was taught in Sunday school growing up. I believe that people will either love this book or they will hate it. Dr. Osborne speaks to Christian's (unfortunate) mindset of best practices, how not living up to your potential may be the best, and that God is looking for mediocre Christians.
The idea I really found helpful was that each of us has a unique relationship with God. Dr. Osborne illustrates by using the relationship he and his brother had with their father. Each brother was completely different, and their father related to them in different ways. If their father related to the brothers the same way, one would suffer. Each son was unique, and so their father talked sports and politics with one and music and travel with the other. Neither way was the only way, just the right way for them.
In the same way, if you really get into worship music and I really prefer hiking through nature, neither of us has the only way to connect with God. Both are viable options for either of us to relate with him. We should try one another's approach, but not feel a sub-par Christian if we cannot connect the same way.
I found this book very helpful and really enjoyed Dr. Osborne's interaction with Scripture and his personable writing style.