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The Advocate

Weird by Craig Groeschel

Reviewed by Dale Lewis

"Weird is an excellent follow-up to Groeschel’s The Christian Atheist! They are both challenging and complimentary exhortations."

From my first days of Sunday School and flannel graph lessons to my spiritual upbringing at home, it was ingrained with my ever expanding mind that as Christians we were supposed to be different from those who have not received the gift of salvation. As I look back with maturing hindsight, sadly that difference was only defined in a list of do’s and don’ts, us and them. The line drawn was distinct, but it certainly wasn’t inviting and it was definitely confining to those who lived by the list.

Yet the opposite extreme is that we are just as normal as the person next door who doesn’t go to church or claim to be transformed by the amazing power of God’s grace! The distinct way in which we intentionally live our lives based on Christ's life and the words of Scripture should set us apart.

Craig’s thesis in Weird is that when it comes to God, the majority believe in him, but the teachings of Scripture rarely make it into their everyday lives. Purity, virginity, and a healthy married sex life doesn’t even register a blip in our realities. Normal is living for a paycheck and spending our free time stressed, exhausted and overwhelmed. Living the normal life isn't working!

Groeschel knows how to present his message in a digestible and easy-to-swallow manner. He is a gifted communicator. It is not always comfortable, nor will you jump up and down in agreement with everything he states, but you will be spurred on to reconsider all the ramifications of “normal” versus “weird.”

He uses a balanced approach as he deals with “all people” issues like time-management, responsible financial decisions, marriage, parenting, sexual purity and having a relationship with God. His conversational writing style presents real-life, practical solutions through personal stories and biblical insights.

Here are a few memorable quotes: “One of the foundational lies we’ve absorbed about the value of busyness is that it indicates our spiritual worth. If we work hard and get our lives together and do as many good and valuable things as possible, then God will be pleased.”

"Therefore we’re never satisfied, always wanting more and never appreciating all that we’ve been given. Once again, being normal is killing us.”

"The reason people fall into any sexual sin is because they get too close to the opportunities.”

Weird is an excellent follow-up to Groeschel’s The Christian Atheist! They are both challenging and complimentary exhortations. Being a nerd or geek in high school, not so good . . . being weird because normal is not working . . . very good!

Dale Lewis now mans the front desk at the EFCA (The Evangelical Free Church of America) National Office in Minneapolis, MN. He was the graphic designer/pre-press production artist for over twelve years before being asked to step into this new role. Prior to that, he was the publications manager at his alma mater, Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN in the public relations office as well as the adviser to the college’s yearbook. He's a director/actor/writer for the Hope Church (Oakdale, MN) adult drama worship team and was the senior editor of the church newsletter. He's also written two collections of poetry, “Whispers of Assurance” and “On Life: Constant Communion Without Ceasing” as well as a devotional entitled “Eternal Education.” He and his family live in Oakdale, Minnesota.