Spiritualized Upward Mobility?

The call to radical transformation of society can feed a spiritualized version of upward mobility.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 157

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But This is to Deny the Gospel

Instead of following the example of John the Baptist, who pointed away from himself to “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29), we offer our own lives and transformations as the good news.  But this is to deny the gospel and therefore to cut off the power of true godliness and neighbor love at its root.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 156

More Than Heroes, We Need a…

Of course, we need people to look up to, especially in an age of acute ambition – which is another good reason to have older saints, mentoring the younger.  More than heroes, though, we need a Savior.  Then we also need ordinary people around us who exemplify godly qualities and take the time to invest in our lives.  Paul even called his young apprentices and churches to follow his example.  Yet the characteristics he mentions are his undistracted focus on the gospel, humility, love for all the saints and contentment (II Thessalonions 3:9)

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 154-155

The Heroes in Hebrews Were not Always Heroic

Hebrews 11, often dubbed “The Hall of Heroes,” is filled with people who – according to the stories themselves – were not always heroic.  The writer of Hebrews uses these examples to build a cumulative case that it was by faith – faith in Christ – that they held fast to God’s promise and thereby overcame the world’s assaults.  The more sordid the scenes of their biography were just as essential to highlight in order to focus on this very point.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 153

Is the Bible Like Aesop’s Fables?

We tend to turn the Bible’s stories into something like Aesop’s Fables or the saccharine “Christian novels” that make these biblical narratives far less interesting – and true to life – than they actually are.  Even when such figures foreshadow Christ, they soon fall short and remind us why they need a Savior as much as the rest of us.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 152