Six months ago published my article “We Need Boring Christians.”  They re-published it on the site in December—seems as though was one of the most shared articles on their site for 2011.  I had no idea the reception would be that strong.  I suppose a nerve was struck.

We Need Boring Christians

In this series of posts I am responding to the responders who added their comments in the discussion thread (I know, I am a little late!).  Relevant‘s forthcoming print edition for Mar/Apr will have a revision of the original article, so I am blogging about the whole concept to make sure I do not exclude myself from the conversations being generated.





A Complementary Voice vs. an Alternative Voice

First, it is important for us to distinguish between alternative and complementary voices.  An alternative voice is one you listen to instead of another.  A complementary voice is one you listen to alongside another.  My intention in these articles is to offer more of the latter than the former.  There are many solid voices out there calling for radical discipleship and global engagement.  Wonderful!  My message is not designed to replace those exhortations to set sail for distant shores.  My message is intended to harmonize more than create dissonance.  What I think I am adding to the mix is a call to sobriety about the grim realities of “the nations” we so easily generalize and romanticize.  I am also calling for some serious self-evaluation.  Plane tickets are easy to come by these days—so easy, in fact, that we often check our luggage before we check our motives.  Listen to the call to board, yes…

…as long as you are also listening out for the call to go back home.

More is coming….


5 thoughts on “Revisiting the “We Need Boring Christians” Article (part 1)”

  1. Hi Andy –

    I realize I’m a little bit late: Your recent article on anti-intellectualism and the church led me here. (because I have a Master’s degree in historical theology but I no longer attend church, your article seemed to hit a nerve.)

    When I was younger (in high school and early college), all I wanted to do was go on mission trips to other countries. Helping, serving, meeting new people, and traveling – that was when I felt most alive.

    But then I felt “guilty” – or I felt at least like I was running away from something. And I stopped. Now, I’ve “settled” in NYC. I’m a twenty-something, and single, planning to live in the city’s “slums” for a while (because it’s affordable, for one). And I think you’re right: stage-of-life does have a lot to do with it.

    But a lot of my friends who’re in their mid-twenties are already married, with houses and steady jobs, about to have kids(!). That to me is boring in a way that shouldn’t be.

    I love my ‘boring’ grandparents. And I feel anchored when I visit my married friends – NYC isn’t called the City That Never Sleeps for nothing. But I’m not sure these Christians need encouragement to be ‘boring.’

    That said, I love your distinction between ‘complementary’ and ‘alternative’ voices. Keep on keeping on!

    1. Thanks, Jeffrey! So glad you popped in at the blog. I know what you mean about feeling anchored when visiting the stable, quiet environment of one’s grandparents’ home. A place where you can hear a clock tick-tocking and it is not threatening….

      I would love to hear more of your story on slipping away from church, if you are up to sharing. My email is Thanks again!


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