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Never Settle for Normal

The Proven Path to Significance and Happiness


We’re all glory-chasers and pleasure-seekers.

Every human wants to matter and be happy, which is as it should be. God made us to resemble and reflect his worth as we enjoy our true identity in him.

But we too often swap that calling for the trifles of this world, pursuing cheap substitutes to fill the craving of our souls. As Jonathan Parnell puts it, we settle for “stupid normal” over the transcendent, even though this world can never satisfy our hopes and dreams.

In Never Settle for Normal, Jonathan speaks to the heart of both skeptics and searchers by addressing their deepest longings. With insight and passion, he examines the key tenets of Christian faith — creation, fall, redemption, new creation — and reveals the life-changing glory of the Christian story in a fresh, new light.


  • “In moments of true awareness we look around at one another and this world and we know. Deep in our soul we know there is more than what we can see with our eyes. Proverbs tells us to get wisdom and insight; there is no quest as noble as this. The stakes are high and we need real help for the journey. Parnell’s book is a trustworthy guide for all who are seeking God or any who are unsure where to begin.” Gloria Furman
  • “Jonathan Parnell has written an engaging book about our relentless quest for satisfaction that takes us down thousands of culs-de-sac and dead-end streets—until we follow Jesus. It’s refreshing to read about God as a happy, loving Father in a book that doesn’t minimize his wrath against sin. Never Settle for Normal shows sin for what it is and does, exalts Christ, and powerfully portrays his violent rescue of his people.” Randy Alcorn, Director, Eternal Perspective Ministries
  • “Jonathan Parnell shares astounding truth, making what it means to be a Christian understandable for any reader—from the wanderer to the vet- eran in the faith. Never Settle for Normal is a helpful primer and tool for anyone exploring Christianity.” Trillia Newbell
  • “Never Settle for Normal may be the key to help you doubt your doubting of God, because the god you are doubting might not be the real God. And if you lose reality while turning from the imaginary, you lose everything. You long for happiness and signi cance. Jonathan Parnell makes a compelling case that the whole history of the world exists to show you where this is found. This book is a journey from eternity to eternity. You may nd what you are longing for not in a collection of ideas organized around themes but in a kind of earthy itinerary from creation to the end of the world. I hope so.” John Piper, Founder & Teacher,