When I picked up Jonathan Parnell’s book, Never Settle for Normal: The proven path to significance and happiness, I expected a book addressing the search for success. However, I discovered a book of theology for seekers.
Parnell believes that each of us is searching for a normal, fulfilling life.
Each of us, in one way or another, is searching for the secret sauce, the silver bullet, whatever that thing is that will quench our thirst for significance and pleasure. We all want a “good, happy, fulfilling, and meaningful life.
But we’re not going to find that in the mainstream culture.
There is, however, another path, one different from the one most commonly traveled in this secular age. And that path is found in the Christian story.
After laying out his thesis in the introduction, Parnell spends 10 chapters explaining “the central parts of the Christian story, but not in the form of bland bullet points.” In so doing, he moves through the basic elements of theology, presenting them in a clear, engaging manner.
The author explains that God is a loving, happy creator who created us to reflect his glory. We are glory chasers and pleasure seekers. Because of sin, however, we search for glory and pleasure in the wrong areas. God sent Jesus to bring us back into a right relationship with the Father. He died for our sins and came back to life in the resurrection. When we believe the message of the gospel, we are born again and receive the Holy Spirit. We can experience more of Jesus in our lives by becoming a part of a local church community and by obeying the teaching of Scripture.
The author weaves together biblical teaching, historical illustrations, and personal stories to state his case. While the book was not what I expected, it turned out to be much better. The content is only 124 pages, followed by a study guide and notes to help you go deeper into the topics. It would be a helpful book for those exploring the Christian faith.
I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.