Thursday, January 8, 2015

Book Review: Ordinary: How to Turn the World Upside Down

I have known many people who struggled with the balance between social justice and theological understanding for the Christian life. There are churches and Christians that only focus on good deeds toward those in need and still others whose main focus is gaining intellectual knowledge of the Bible.

Tony Merida answers this dilemma in his book Ordinary: How to Turn the World Upside Down. By using gospel-centered, sound doctrine, Merida motivates his readers to pursue "mercy ministry" as a way of life for every believer.

Merida argues that loving our neighbors like the "Good Samaritan" is not just for the "Super-Christians," but should be a regular part of every Christian's life. "Most gospel ministry involves ordinary people doing ordinary things with gospel intentionality." (p. 52)

With a right and deep understanding of the gospel - our salvation, our adoption, and our advocate, Jesus - we should be motivated to follow our Savior's example of mercy ministry to love, show hospitality, and care for the orphans, widows and vulnerable people around us.

Merida does a wonderful job of making the truth of Scripture on this subject very practical with many options of involvement. He doesn't call everyone to adopt an orphan or volunteer at a shelter, but he does challenge every reader to prayerfully consider these and many other options of being involved in gospel-ministry by serving those in need.

It is easy, after reading a book like this, to want to be involved in everything to change the word. But as Merida suggests to his readers, I will prayerfully consider which specific mercy ministry I can focus on to incorporate in my daily life to love others like Christ has loved me.

P.S. Lifeway currently has this book on sale for $5
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*Special thanks to B&H Publishing through Cross Focused Reviews for providing this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

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