Instead of an Oasis of Life, It Has Become a Part of the Desert

Instead of being an oasis of life, the church had become assimilated to the surrounding desert of idolatry.  With explicit echoes of Eden after the fall, the image we meet repeatedly in the prophets is of the gardener withdrawing, turning the oasis back to a barren land of thorns and tumbleweeds.  It is not an invading army of pagans that has done this (Jeremiah 12:10).

Yet the day is coming when the owner of the vineyard will send a faithful shepherd-gardener (Hosea 14:4-8)

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 169-170

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What We Simply Need from Our Pastors…

And we need a communion of saints he has chosen and redeemed with us and for us.  We need ordinary believers of every generation, race and socioeconomic background to whom we’re united by baptism to one Lord and one faith by one Spirit.  We simply need ordinary pastors to deliver the word of life and its sacraments faithfully, elders to guide us to maturity and deacons to help keep the temporal gifts circulating in the body.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 165

We Don’t Need Another Hero

We don’t need another hero.  We need a Savior, one who possessed “no form or majesty that we should look at him,” and yet bore our sins (Isaiah 53:2-3).  In fact, we need to be saved from our own hero worship, whether of ourselves or others.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 165

Idolatry and the Loss of Proper Orientation

The idolatry of both the common person and the cultural elite results at least in part from losing sight of the proper orientation.  This idolatry places a burden on the idols to come through for us or else suffer the devastating consequences of our collective disappointment.  However, if God’s pleasure and glory are ultimate and our neighbor’s good the penultimate goal, we will engage culture in the way that God has gifted, prepared and called us to do.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 162