It is not fashionable for a Christian to be “ordinary” right now. We've been encouraged to be radical and revolutionary. We are supposed to transform our culture, change the world.
With all that hype, Horton wonders whether we have forgotten how to be a godly neighbor, parent, or co-worker. He writes, “...I am convinced that we have drifted from the true focus of God's activity in this world. It is not to be found in the extraordinary, but in the ordinary, the everyday.” (18)
He explores the long term Christian walk as opposed to the short spurts. He answers objections, reminds us excellence takes a long time, that ordinary isn't being passive and it is not falling prey to the latest reinventing of the church or Christianity. He covers a number of topics like revivals, ambition, “extraordinary” ministers and ministries, contentment, Christian “heroes”, and children in church services.
This is a book for the rest of us. He writes about being faithful to Jesus in an ordinary life. His book is dedicated to the Christians who cherish ordinary moments, “and to all those believers who consider their ordinary vocations in the world as part of God's normal way of loving and serving neighbors right under their nose each day.” (27)
He includes exercises at the end of each chapter that would be good for a small group to discuss and act upon.
This is a good look at how God, in general, grows His kingdom in the world. It is in the day by day interaction with our family, neighbors, and co-workers, not in the one time glitzy activity. Horton gets a little too theological at times for the lay person, I think. I found myself asking several times why a passage or topic was included in the book. Nonetheless, for those of us who have faithfully plodded to work each day, been Jesus to our family and neighbors, this is a very encouraging book.
Michael Horton is the author of over thirty books and is a professor at Westminster Seminary California. He also hosts the White Horse Inn broadcast/podcast, and is the editor of Modern Reformation magazine.
Zondervan, 224 pages.