How about ‘Ordinary Heroes’?

For those of you not (like me) bored with the saga of choosing the title of my next book, here’s the latest suggestion: Ordinary Heroes: Living the Cross and Resurrection.

It picks up an idea in the conclusion. The three people so far who’ve read the conclusion have all cried! I’m not saying anything more about its content at this stage – you’ll have to wait for the book.

Writing the conclusion crystallized for me one of the things I’m trying to do in the book. I want to write a hard-hitting call to radical discipleship. But I also want to say that living the cross and resurrection is not just for missionaries and martyrs, but for ordinary Christians. It picks up one of what I think is the key themes of Total Church, namely the idea of ordinary people living ordinary lives with gospel intentionality. This is radical Christianity for ordinary people in the context of ordinary life.

‘Ordinary Heroes’ is also a paradoxical statement which many of you were keen on in the comments you gave to the previous posts of this topic.

13 thoughts on “How about ‘Ordinary Heroes’?

  1. Good title Tim, I like it. This kinda picks up on a theme I have been thinking about lately, than many who attend our churches don’t have any heroes or role models that work a job and are radical promoted disciples that have an influence on a larger scale or forum. So we end up looking to the full time church leader or missionary as the exemplary mould. This must lead to some frustration in many believers.

  2. I like it.

    As well as having few heroes, we also live in a generation with no aspirations – other than appearing on Big Brother. There’s nothing worth living for; that’s the impression I get from spending time with teenagers. But the resurrection says that what we do for Jesus will last for ever. That’s inspirational!

  3. Hi Tim, I’ve been lurking on your blog for a long time, and resonate with a lot of your thoughts.
    I like this title – and think it captures much of what I’ve been thinking about how the Gospel is at it’s best when it’s seen in the lives of ordinary people. Only problem is, now I have to wait for the book to read the conclusion! :)

  4. I too am a background lurker like Jeff L.

    I love this title – there are a few extraordinary and well known men and women who have impacted me and my walk with Jesus but those who have had the greatest purchase are known to family and friends, they are the ordinary heroes who have walked well, spoken well and lived well at extraordinary cost to themselves for ordinary ‘gain’ for the sake of Christ and His Kingdom.

    I have no doubt that the tears shed at the conclusion of the book are those of hope, repentance, gratitude. I’m looking forward to reading it and crying over it (when it eventually crosses the oceans to the antipodes!). Thanks.

  5. Tim,
    I was a bit sceptical about ‘Ordinary Heroes…’ but on reflection I reckon it might be a goer. I was reading some stuff on Kierkegaard and ‘ordinary hero’ would be a good summary of his idea of the Knight of Faith. I don’t know if you see that as a positive or negative. Anyway, whatever it is called – I’ll read it.

  6. If I only saw the title, I’d think the book was a group of short stories about normal people doing good deeds–kind of a Guideposts/inspirational kind of genre. That’s just my subjective reaction–I may be the only one.

  7. I was also a bit sceptical at first, probably because I always get a bit antsy when folk seem to be down-playing the importance of cross-cultural mission. I would rather say that all Christians should be missionaries and thus potential martyrs, just that for many they do that within the context of ‘ordinary’ lives, but that’s probably just arguing over semantics. Thinking about it I do quite like it, it reminds me of something I heard yesterday about ‘unnoticed excellence’ (or something similar) where those who are the greatest asset to a church are those whom people don’t even notice, because all they do points away from themselves towards Jesus Christ.

    So, in summary, I like it!

  8. “Ordinary Heroes” sounds very American to me :)
    I like it! Now we will all read the conclusion first!

  9. hi Tim
    ‘Ordinary Heroes’ sounds fantastic and I can only echo the comments made above, especially those by Jason Reid and by Levi. For me ordinary people living ordinary lives but in an extraordinary way is exactly what living in Christ is all about, drawing attention away from ourselves and our egocentric, ‘prima donna’, sinful ways and instead pointing towards our humble and loving Saviour. Can’t wait to read the book!

  10. I can see both weaknesses and strengths in the ordinary heroes title – as highlighted in the above comments.
    I would love to see this title:
    Gospel Intentionality: Living the Cross and Resurrection.
    Gospel Intentionality is one of the most helpful, thought-provoking phrases you use in Total Church. Making it the title of your latest book would help give it the prominence it deserves in our thinking. From what you’ve told us, it also seems to be a good summary of your books main emphasis.

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