John Ortberg

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
John Ortberg
Born (1957-05-05) May 5, 1957 (age 63)
Rockford, Illinois
OccupationTheologian, Author, Minister
NationalityAmerican
SubjectLeadership, Theology
SpouseNancy Ortberg
ChildrenLaura Turner, Daniel M. Lavery, John Ortberg III
Website
johnortberg.com

John Ortberg, Jr. (born May 5, 1957) is an evangelical Christian author, speaker, and the former senior pastor of Menlo Church[1] in Menlo Park, California, an ECO Presbyterian church with more than 4,000 members. Ortberg has published many books including the 2008 ECPA Christian Book Award winner When the Game is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box,[2] and the 2002 Christianity Today Book Award winner If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat.[3] Another of his publications, The Life You've Always Wanted, has sold more than 500,000 copies as of 2008.[4] On August 13, 2012, John Ortberg's book Who Is This Man? debuted at #3 on the New Release chart[5] at Amazon.com.[6]

He was placed on leave from his position in November 2019 after allegations of his prior knowledge of a volunteer’s (later revealed to be his son, John Ortberg III) sexual attraction to minors. Ortberg failed to ensure that his son could not continue to volunteer with minors at Menlo Church after Ortberg III confessed to him in the summer of 2018. He was reinstated in January 2020 after an investigation that found no evidence of wrongdoing and he returned to the pulpit March 7, 2020.[7] On July 29, Menlo Church announced that Ortberg had resigned his position, effective August 2, 2020, citing broken trust and fallout from the “poor judgement” in decisions he had made in allowing his son, Ortberg III, to continue to volunteer with students at Menlo Church after a confession of an attraction to minors.[8]

Background[edit]

Ortberg was born in Rockford, Illinois. He earned his undergraduate degree from Wheaton College, and his M.Div. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Fuller Theological Seminary. He has also studied at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. From 1985 to 1990 he served as senior pastor at Simi Valley Community Church, and then from 1990 to 1994 at Horizons Community Church (now Baseline Community Church) in Claremont, California. He then moved from California to Illinois to serve as a teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois until 2003, when he assumed his current role at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, a multi-campus church in Northern California.[9]

Ortberg is father to three children: Laura, Daniel, and John III. Laura is a writer for The New York Times, New York Magazine, and BuzzFeed.[10] Daniel M. Lavery is the founder, writer and editor of the popular feminist humor blog The Toast[11] and the current author of the "Dear Prudence" advice column for the Slate online magazine.[12][13]

Teachings[edit]

Spiritual formation[edit]

A central theme of his teaching and books is spiritual formation, the transforming of human character through authentic experiences with God. Ortberg argues that the desire for comfort and security often stands in the way of an authentic relationship with God – when people place too high a value on being secure and comfortable they may be reluctant to make the sacrifices God asks of them.[14]

Eternal cravings[edit]

Ortberg has warned against the societal pressures which tell people that bigger is always better, saying "I think for all of us, whatever your ministry or job, bigness will never satisfy the call."[15] In his books he has described his own desire for importance and success, and how achieving them did not ultimately bring him happiness.[16] "Your cravings," according to Ortberg, "if you could get to the bottom of them, are for the eternal."[17]

In media[edit]

Ortberg's retelling of his experience of playing Monopoly with his grandmother was used as the beginning narration of Peter Joseph's 2011 documentary Zeitgeist: Moving Forward.

Speaking[edit]

Ortberg has been a featured speaker at many events, including

Temporary leave from church[edit]

On January 21, 2020, Menlo Church issued a statement indicating that Ortberg had been placed on leave following the revelation that he had allowed a church volunteer (later revealed to be his son, John Ortberg III) to work and travel with children, despite that volunteer's confession of a lifelong sexual attraction to children.[20] Ortberg also made no effort to alert other church leadership to the situation.[21]

The issue came to light when the volunteer, Ortberg's son, John Ortberg III, confessed his desires to Ortberg's other son, Daniel Lavery.[22] Upon discovering that his father had not shared this info with Menlo Church Leadership or the Elder Board, Lavery went to the church's leadership himself. Lavery has stated that Ortberg dismissed his concerns in part because Lavery is transgender.[23]

On January 24, 2020, Ortberg returned from leave. He has stated that he "failed to do the right thing" and apologised for his "lack of transparency".[24] After completing a restoration plan, Ortberg returned to the pulpit on Mar 7, 2020.[25] It has been alleged by Lavery that the investigation into his father's misconduct was inadequate: the lawyer who conducted the investigation has no experience with matters of sexual misconduct, rather he is a specialist in protecting clients from litigation.[26]

Resignation from Menlo Church[edit]

On July 29, Menlo Church announced that Ortberg had resigned his position, effective August 2, 2020, citing broken trust and fallout from the “poor judgement” in decisions he had made in allowing his son, Ortberg III, to continue to volunteer with students at Menlo Church after a confession of an attraction to minors.[8]

Works published as author[edit]

  • Grace: An Invitation to a Way of Life (with Laurie Pederson and Judson Poling). Zondervan, 2000 ISBN 978-0-310-22074-9
  • If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat. Zondervan, 2001 ISBN 978-0-310-22863-9
  • Love Beyond Reason. Zondervan, 2001 ISBN 978-0-310-23449-4
  • The Life You've Always Wanted. Zondervan, 2002 ISBN 978-0-310-24695-4
  • Everybody's Normal Till You Get To Know Them. Zondervan, 2003 ISBN 978-0-310-22864-6
  • Living the God Life: Finding God's Extraordinary Love in Your Ordinary Life. Inspirio, 2004, ISBN 978-0-310-80195-5
  • God Is Closer Than You Think: If God is Always with Us, why is He So Hard to Find? Zondervan, 2005 ISBN 978-0-310-25349-5
  • Now What?: God's Guide to Life for Graduates. Zondervan, 2005 ISBN 978-0-310-80282-2
  • When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box. Zondervan, 2007 ISBN 978-0-310-25350-1
  • Know Doubt. Zondervan, 2008 ISBN 978-0-310-32503-1
  • The Me I Want To Be: Becoming God's Best Version of You. Zondervan, 2010 ISBN 978-0-310-27592-3
  • Who Is This Man?: The Unpredictable Impact of the Inescapable Jesus. Zondervan, 2012 ISBN 978-0-310-27594-7
  • Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You. Zondervan, 2014 ISBN 978-0-310-27596-1
  • Wrote the foreword for William Vanderbloemen (2014). Next: Pastoral Succession That Works. Baker. ISBN 978-0801016479.
  • ’’Eternity is Now In Session: A radical rediscovery of what Jesus really taught about salvation, eternity, and getting to the Good Place.’’ Tyndale, 2018 ISBN 978-1-4964-3164-6

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Pastors and Ministers". Menlo Park Presbyterian Church. Retrieved January 9, 2009.
  2. ^ "2008 Christian Book Awards Winners - Christian Life category". Retrieved 2009-10-20.
  3. ^ "The Dick Staub Interview: John Ortberg's Freak Show". Christianity Today. May 1, 2003. Retrieved January 9, 2009.
  4. ^ "Gold / Platinum / Diamond Book Awards Winners". Archived from the original on 2010-02-10. Retrieved 2009-10-20.
  5. ^ https://www.amazon.com/gp/new-releases/books/ref=sv_b_2#1
  6. ^ https://news.yahoo.com/man-john-ortberg-debuts-3rd-releases-top-20-152011676.html
  7. ^ "John Ortberg Investigated After Church Volunteer Confessed Attraction to Minors". Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  8. ^ a b Kelliher, Fiona (2020-07-29). "Bay Area megachurch pastor resigns amid scandal fallout". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 2020-07-30. A Bay Area megachurch pastor has resigned amid growing fallout over his handling of a volunteer’s professed sexual attraction to minors — and the recent public revelation that the volunteer was his son. Christian author John Ortberg will no longer serve as pastor of the 4,000-member Menlo Church, the church said Wednesday, a decision that came after mounting calls for his resignation and a secondary investigation into the volunteer’s behavior with children.
  9. ^ "JohnOrtberg.com: John's Bio". Archived from the original on September 3, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-20.
  10. ^ "LauraTurner.com: Selected Work". Retrieved 2019-09-02.
  11. ^ "Gabbin' About God: Predestination and/or Free Will".
  12. ^ Turner, Julia (November 9, 2015). "Meet Our New Dear Prudence Columnist". Slate. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  13. ^ "Recently in Dear Prudence". Slate. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  14. ^ Duduit, Michael. "Preaching Through Their Defenses: An Interview with John Ortberg". Preaching. Retrieved January 9, 2009.
  15. ^ "Good Drive, Bad Drive". Ministry Mentor. November 2005. Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. Retrieved January 9, 2009.
  16. ^ Creel, Colin (2005). Perspectives: A Spiritual Life Guide for Twentysomethings. Relevant Media Group. pp. 137–138. ISBN 978-0-9760357-8-7.
  17. ^ Trueheart, Charles (August 1996). "Welcome to the Next Church". The Atlantic. pp. 37–58. Retrieved January 9, 2009.
  18. ^ Lee, Courtney (March 8, 2006). "Promise Keepers Announces Keynote Speaker for 2006 Conferences". Christian Today. Retrieved January 9, 2009.
  19. ^ Doane, Guillaume (May 3, 2007). "Westmont Graduation to Honor Students, Mark Departure of Outgoing President". Montecito Journal. Archived from the original on November 27, 2010. Retrieved January 9, 2009.
  20. ^ "Prominent Pastor John Ortberg Disciplined for Failing to Protect Minors From a Volunteer With Attraction to Children". Retrieved March 8, 2020.
  21. ^ "John Ortberg Investigated After Church Volunteer Confessed Attraction to Minors". Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  22. ^ "John Ortberg Investigated After Church Volunteer Confessed Attraction to Minors". Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  23. ^ "Megachurch pastor John Ortberg kept a family member's attraction to children secret. Then his son blew the whistle". Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  24. ^ "John Ortberg Hoping to Regain Trust After 'poor judgment' at Menlo Church". Retrieved March 8, 2020.
  25. ^ "Lessons Learned on Leave".
  26. ^ "John Ortberg's Church Says 'No Evidence of Misconduct' As More Details Emerge". Retrieved July 8, 2020.

External links[edit]