Julie Canlis on the Theology of the Ordinary

I’ve really been enjoying Julie Canlis’s little book A Theology of the Ordinary. She does an excellent job exposing the myriad of pressures—from modern culture to wrong theologies—that end up problematizing everyday life. Here is a nugget from pages 27-28:

The cultural air we breathe fuels our hunger for the extraordinary, yet in Romans 12 we are told that our everyday, ordinary lives are worthy of being offered to God as a true sacrifice to Him. This is because we have the resounding, “IT IS GOOD” from the Father tumbling down to us from Genesis right into our present lives. The blessing of the Father was not reserved for the special exotic animals. Nor was it reserved for Adam when he had done something really heroic. It was on creation itself – creation with its limits, its rhythms, its extraordinary ordinariness. Without an understanding of the blessing of the Father on creation itself – on life on earth as our place of communion with Him – we will be seeking a higher spiritual experience, like the ancient Gnostics. We will always need to convince ourselves that we really are “sold out” or passionate. We will not trust the good that the Father has laid out before us. We will not integrate rest (called “Sabbath”) into our routine. We know that if we only pushed harder, prayed longer, read more, we would be vaulted into the spiritually elite experience we’ve been waiting for.

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