Office Hours: Horton On The Ordinary As An Alternative For Young, Restless, Radical Christianity

Office HoursAmericans believe in and really like the extraordinary. We speak frequently—and not without some reason—of American exceptionalism. Since the 1720s Evangelical Christianity in America has been dominated by a desire to see and experience the extraordinary whether that be the attempt to replicate the Acts of the Apostles or an encounter with the risen Christ that is unmediated by the preached Word or sacraments. We struggle with the ordinary and in late modern culture we are also best with ennui, i.e., in the words of the New Oxford American Dictionary, “a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement.” So evangelical leaders seek to inspire us with calls to “radical” Christianity. Mike Horton, however, says that there is another way, that we can break the endless cycle of restless questing for the Next Big Thing. His latest book is Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World. It’s available for pre-order now.

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  1. I hope the number of comments here don’t reflect the number of listeners to this excellent interview which is full of wisdom and Christian maturity. Mike was in Sydney Australia recently and was a great blessing at both the Presbyterian Christ College and to the Anglicans at Moore College.

    • My previous flippant comments interpreting “The Ordinary” to mean “The Ordinary of the Mass” were justly censored, possibly because Dr Clark might have sensed that I hadn’t actually listened to the interview (I don’t have iTunes). However, he gave a link by which we can listen to it by any means our system gives us and I now HAVE heard it. It raises a serious point from my flippant comments: We can only respect “The Ordinary” as being ordained, if it has truly been ordained of God. “The Ordinary of the Mass” has not been, though it’s contents would not be unacceptable in extempore worship or as part of a congregationally agreed liturgy (Even where liturgy is rejected, it often gets in through the habits of those worshiping extempore) – The only detestable enormity about it, not committed by Protestants who use it, is an insistence that its wording has been ordained of God. The popish Canons are another matter.

  2. That part when Michael mentioned that keeping the law is ordinary, yet we are incapable of keeping it, is gold. Pushing for things beyond the ordinary seems to be a way of adding law above what is already present and yet beyond our ability to keep; it is adding loads on people that radical preachers with their spouses and children cannot themselves carry.

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