Saturday, January 10, 2015

"Ordinary" Blog Tour

Ordinary: How to Turn the World Upside Down
by Tony Merida
What if the path toward an extraordinary life is becoming more ordinary? "Ordinary" is not a call to be more radical. If anything, it is a call to the contrary. The kingdom of God isn’t coming with light shows, and shock and awe, but with lowly acts of service. Tony Merida wants to push back against sensationalism and “rock star Christianity,” and help people understand that they can make a powerful impact by practicing ordinary Christianity.

Through things such as humble acts of service, neighbor love, and hospitality, Christians can shake the foundations of the culture. In order to see things happen that have never happened before, Christians must to do what Christians have always done­. Christians need to become more ordinary.

Let’s think together about how we, ordinary people, doing ordinary things, might turn the world upside down.

About the Author:
Tony Merida is lead pastor of Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. He earned a Ph.D. in preaching from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and serves as associate professor of Preaching at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. His books include Faithful Preaching and Orphanology.

Book Information:
  • B&H Publishing
  • ISBN:  9781433684166
  • Page Count: 140
My Take:
Every year my church chooses a theme that we will focus on that year. Last year's theme was "Loving Our Neighbors," and it was a call to evaluate the things we were doing personally and as a church to show others the love of Christ.
This book, Ordinary, exactly relates to our church's theme during 2014, and was a great reminder going into 2015 that this theme should not be a one-year thing but should be something in which we continue to grow through the coming years.
This easy to read book is filled with "ordinary" ways that Christians can be a loving witness for Christ to everyone in our everyday lives. I will say, though, that sometimes I felt as if the author was giving commands of things that every Christian should be doing, and I am not sure that everything on that list should be done by every Christian. That's why we have the body of the church - we work together to complete the work Christ called us to do. Every Christian can't possibly be involved in every single available ministry, and sometimes the words that were used in this book came across as "beating you over the head" with it - words such as "must" and "should." The Bible commands us to love God and love others, but how each Christian specifically does that might look different.
Our church certainly has been challenged to try to meet more social needs in our community, and I am thankful for the great work that has been done this past year through our church in this area. Many churches we have been affiliated with in the past believe that meeting needs is something to be left to the government or is not something that Christians should be involved in, but Jesus showed us over and over in the Bible how he met the needs of the people and then spoke the word of truth to them. As Merida says in the book, "The "anti-social ministry" people need to also remember that some can't hear our proclamation until they've been delivered physically from injustice and other forms of suffering. Until we pick them up from the road, they won't hear the good news."
Ultimately, Ordinary is a call for Christians to serve like Jesus and to be His witness right where they are.
I will give Ordinary ... 3.5 BookWorms.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from B&H Publishing through CrossFocused Reviews. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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