Next week my book, Ordinary, is being released. I’m grateful that there’s interest in the message that I tried to communicate in these few chapters.
Already, though, there are a lot of people speculating about my intended “target” in this book. A number of folks point out the similarity between my cover and David Platt’s Radical. In the interest of full disclosure, let me be clear: I’m not going after Radical.
For anyone who reads the first chapter, the target will become crystal-clear: I am the target. I’m terrified of boredom; I’m scared of being mediocre; I’m not eager to be “there” for others when I could be “making a difference.” I point out even in the opening paragraphs that what I have in mind is pervasive and that I’m actually in favor of a lot of things that defenders of “radical discipleship” have in mind: such as being committed to others to the point of stepping outside of our comfort zone.
It never occurred to me when I saw the picture of the cover that it was similar to Radical’s. Those who think I am going after the book admit that they haven’t read mine yet, but they suspect that Radical is the target. It’s not. In fact, the review of Ordinary in the current issue of Christianity Today observes, “Seeing the cover, I expected a few juicy remarks about megachurch pastors like Platt. My expectations were disappointed, which is a good thing.”
I do call into question “radical this-and-that,” but this is a long and broad theme in all of our circles, even my own Reformed and Presbyterian camp. It’s both the strength and weakness of evangelicalism. To whatever extent some things that I say have relevance to emphases in Radical or any other book, I hope it generates conversation rather than acrimony.
So, again, thanks for starting a conversation about what we should all see as a big issue. I hope you’ll join me in agreeing that the target is “we,” not “they,” and that it’s time for all of us to rediscover the extraordinary grace that God dispenses to us—and through us—in ordinary ways.