cover image Weird: Because Normal Isn't Working

Weird: Because Normal Isn't Working

Craig Groeschel. Zondervan, $19.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-310-32790-5

In 1989, theologians Stanley Hauerwas and William Willimon shook the American church with a provocative book, Resident Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony, in which they argued that Christians ought to be different from the prevailing culture. Twenty-two years later, Groeschel, senior pastor of Oklahoma's, has reduced the argument of that previous work into a breezy advice tract for people searching for an alternative to today's social pressures. In chapters devoted to time, money, relationships, sex, and values, he offers the evangelical antithesis to what he perceives as the social order. It's unclear that people would want to become Christians because their lives are too stressed or they've taken on too much debt, yet Groeschel offers faith as the answer to all these conditions. Of course, becoming weird, according to Groeschel, "isn't the bad-weird, freak-show, annoying, carnival-barking, somewhat uncomfortable, weird-for-no-reason weird." In his typology, weird is cool; weird is a state Jesus might emulate. Fans of Groeschel may appreciate this volume for its no-nonsense approach to practical issues. Others may find his approach simplistic. (May)