A Theology of the Ordinary
Julie Canlis is an award-winning author who has turned her attention to the ordinary. With the surge of books and blogs celebrating the ordinary, she lays a theological foundation for this celebration based upon the Father's blessing of ordinary life, the Son's incarnation in ordinary life, and the Spirit's re-creation of ordinary life.
First, turning her attention to American revivalist roots, she explores how this has seeped into evangelicalism's DNA, pushing ordinary life in Christ to the margins. Then, she begins by turning to the Father's blessing of ordinary life in creation, and the way in which temple-language mimics creation-language, revealing all of the world to be God's temple and, therefore, holy. This is contrasted with the prevailing Gnostic counter-story of a "super" spirituality that transcends ordinary creation.
The Son's incarnation into ordinary life is seen as the supreme blessing upon all of creation. Following the Son's "ordinary" life and the stages through which he passed, the "Seven Days of Re-creation" are seen as pivotal for redemption. This is contrasted with the prevailing Docetist counter-story which seeks to undermine Christ's true humanity, and its setting in ordinary life.
Finally, the Spirit's work of re-creation reveals the hallowed contours of our ordinary life. Working through the Spirit's activity in creation, the new creation, and the church, it is shown that the Spirit works not despite materiality but in it. This is contrasted with the lingering Platonic counter-story that eschews materiality for a higher "spiritual" plane.
The Introduction and chapters of Father, Son, and Spirit have questions at the end of each chapter, making this ideal for theologically-minded small groups.