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Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World

According to current popular books, the best life for a Christian is radical, crazy, emergent, innovative, or restless. Authors such David Platt, Francis Chan, Jennie Allen, Shane Claiborne, and Kyle Idleman have dominated the best-seller lists by challenging “comfortable Christianity.”  Yet Michael Horton believes too many Christians are chasing the next big thing, a bigger and better faith adventure, which may not be conducive to the slow-growing fruits of the spirit. Instead, Horton advocates for an ordinary and sustainable faith, the type that changes the world dramatically through daily faithfulness.

In his new book, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World, Horton suggests that the greatest fear of most modern Christians is boredom—a deep sense that they are missing out on the radical life Jesus promised.

Horton, a noted pastor and author, admits his own struggles with boredom in the Christian life: “Even more than being afraid of failure, I’m terrified by boredom. Facing another day, with ordinary callings to ordinary people all around is much more difficult than chasing my own dreams that I have envisioned for the grand story of my life.”

In the first half of Ordinary, Horton dissects the current “radical and restless” Christian subculture. Far from a pointed critique, Horton shows culturally how Christians have become addicted to the “next big thing,” ambition and the cult of personality. The second half of the book shares personal and prescriptive ideas on how living an “ordinary and content” life more accurately reflects the call of Jesus and the glory of the Gospel.

Horton writes in Ordinary: “We have forgotten that God showers his extraordinary gifts through ordinary means of grace, loves us through ordinary fellow image bearers, and sends us out into the world to love and serve others in ordinary callings.”

Convicting and ultimately empowering, Ordinary is not a call to do less; it is an invitation to experience the elusive joy of the ordinary Christian life: “My theses in this book is that we must turn from the frantic search for ‘something more’ to ‘something more sustainable.’ We need to stop adding something more of ourselves to the gospel.”

Horton shows how the church has been transformed for thousands of years, through ordinary, faithful lives of ordinary, nameless saints. This is how God chooses to work, he says, in the hidden and humble places, transforming families and countries through the very ordinary lives of people who live for the glory of God.

“CNN will not be showing up at a church that is simply trusting God to do extraordinary things through this ordinary means of grace delivered by ordinary servants. But God will. Week after week.”

Michael Horton is the author of more than 20 books and host of the nationally syndicated radio program, “The White Horse Inn.” He is a professor at Westminster Seminary California and the editor-in-chief of Modern Reformation magazine. A popular blogger and sought-after speaker, Horton resides in Escondido, California with his wife and four children.