Sunday, January 11, 2015

Ordinary: A Review

A Review of Ordinary:How to Turn the World Upside Down, by Tony Merida

I had never heard of Tony Merida prior to seeing an advertisement for this book. Now that I have read it, I;m following the author on Twitter and am anxious to read everything he writes! Merida is the founding pastor of Imageo Dei Church in Raleigh, N.C. He also serves as Associate Professor of Preaching at Southeastern Baptist Seminary in Wake Forest, NC

The thesis for the book is taken from a sentence borrowed from Steve Timmis: "Ordinary people doing ordinary things with gospel intentionality." Merida lists Timmis, David Platt, Tim Keller and Russell Moore as influences on his thought as expressed in this book. The book is about uniting (or better yet maintaining the existing Biblical unity) of gospel belief and proclamation with gospel inspired mercy and service. Each chapter discusses another aspect of kingdom mercy and service: (1) Neighbor Love, (2) Kingdom Hospitality, (3) Care for the Vulnerable, (4) Courageous Advocacy, and (5) God-Centered Humility. Every chapter has both exposition of relevant Scripture and multiple examples and testimonies of how to work the them out in practical ways.

I found the book to be easy to read ,with an argument and presentation that was easy to follow. I also found it very hard to put down, yet I kept pausing to think and ponder over what he was saying. To put it simply, it's a great book and I highly recommend it. I certainly read it more than once.

By the way, a good book to read as a companion to this one might be Tim Keller's Generous Justice: How God's Grace Makes us Just.

(Full Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review purposes, but that does not influence my opinion. See my Policy on Book Reviews)