by John Ortberg

Zondervan Publishing

Grand Rapids, Michigan

2005 US $18.99

Reviewed by Claire Eva, Assistant Director, General Conference Stewardship Ministries

Says author John Ortberg, “The central promise of the Bible is not, ‘I will forgive you’ but ‘I will be with you.’” God is Closer Than You Think is a thoughtful, engaging and blessing-filled work on finding out this very fact—He is indeed close.

Ortberg’s initial illustrations that set the tone for the book are Michelangelo’s mesmerizing painting of God and Adam on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and the illusive cartoon character in the book series, Where’s Waldo? In the painting, “God’s arm is stretched out, his index finger extended straight forward; every muscle is taut” (p. 12), as He tries to move as close to the man as possible.

In the series, Waldo is a funny looking little man with a red and white striped tee shirt and black eyeglasses. You are to search for him on each page spread, for he progressively becomes more difficult to find. Sometimes God is there, but we have a harder time finding him. Especially helpful is the chapter on the spiritual pathways. We tend to be more “at home” with the path that predominantly fits our lifestyle, whether it is the contemplative, activist, relational, serving, or another of the seven pathways. There is so much more to share. The book is packed with excellent illustrations. A blessing throughout.