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Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life Paperback – 2 November 2016
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- Christianity Today's 2018 Book of the Year Winner - Spiritual Formation
- Christianity Today's 2018 Book of the Year - Beautiful Orthodoxy
"Warren's message flies in the face of our culture's love of distraction and pursuit of extreme sensation. We would do well to slow down for a bit and hear her out. . . . Liturgy of the Ordinary isn't the first book written in praise of prosaic moments, and Warren's isn't the first voice to counsel slowing down. But Warren admirably explores these themes from both a theological and practical perspective. Her words can help us grasp what my grandfather learned through a lifetime of commonsense faith―and a lot of sweeping: The 'new life into which we're being baptized is lived out in days, hours, and minutes. God is forming us into a new people. And the place of that formation is in the small moments of today.'" -- Jamie A. Hughes, Christianity Today, December 2016
"To live in the vision that Warren is offering―to find sacredness in the everyday practices of life―will require that we engage with these and other institutional realities in our midst. The small stuff, the daily habits―yes. And we must allow these small, daily habits to help us reimagine some of the big stuff―otherwise it will just be small enclaves of quotidian mysterylovers within the larger structures that inhibit us from receiving the gift of the ordinary from God's hand and being shaped to seek the good of others in this world." -- Kristen Deede Johnson, Comment Magazine, December 1, 2016
"This book asks me to look at the ordinariness of my day with new eyes. It is not something to be skipped over in favor of some shining, imaginary future, in which I've magically acquired all the character and virtue I wish I saw in myself. Instead, by God's grace, the daily rhythm of life is the venue―the only venue―in which a recovering idealist can find the beauty and meaning that she seeks." -- Sarah Puryear, The Living Church, March 30, 2017
"In her debut, Anglican priest Warren shows readers how to turn the mundane and often frustrating aspects of daily life into a reflection on the sacred. Working her way through a typical day―her morning routine, busywork such as checking email, fights with her spouse―Warren seamlessly blends together lived realities with theological reflections. Her writing is lyrical and often humorous, and she has a gift for making theological concepts seem easy to understand and (perhaps most importantly) easy to live. Her struggles with coming to terms with the banality of daily life are instantly relatable; for example, she frets that she spends most days doing dishes instead of leading a revolution, or changing diapers instead of ministering to the poor in some far-off region of the world. But she reminds readers that while they 'can get drunk on talk of justification, ecclesiology, pneumatology, Christology, and eschatology . . . these big ideas are borne out―lived, believed, and enfleshed―in the small moments of our day, in the places, seasons, homes, and communities that compose our lives.'" -- Publishers Weekly STARRED Review, November 7, 2016
"If you take time to mull over and digest the feast that Warren offers, then attempt to implement these ideas, significant formation is bound to occur in your life. I am thrilled at what she has offered to the body of Messiah and eagerly anticipate the fruit this wisdom will bear." -- Seedbed.com, June 23, 2017
"There is much in the evangelical church that appeals to the extraordinary or radical expression of faith. This book is a necessary corrective to this tendency by highlighting the importance of our everyday lives to our formation in Christ. In addition, it is one of the best books I’ve read addressing the question of [how] one could live out one’s faith in routine life on a micro level." -- Mark Friesen, Mennonite Brethren Herald
"Framed around one ordinary day, this book explores daily life through the lens of liturgy, small practices, and habits that form us. Each chapter looks at something author Tish Harrision Warren does in a day―making the bed, brushing her teeth, losing her keys―and relates it to spiritual practice as well as to our Sunday worship." -- in All things, December 8, 2017
"Christians often find it more comfortable to embrace the goodness, truth, and beauty of God in faith principles than to transfer the principles to practice. In reality, more time is spent in the ordinary than in the extraordinary. God is present with us in surprising ways through our daily routine, pointing us to his love, grace, and mercy. This book is an invitation to worship him in spirit and truth, each moment of every day." -- Sandra Gray, Christianity Today, December 13, 2017
"Liturgy of the Ordinary is simple without being reductionistic. It is beautiful without being excessive. It is theological without being heady. And it is orthodox without being pedantic. Walking her readers through a very ordinary day (brushing her teeth, making her bed, fighting with her husband), Warren highlights how all of life is liturgical. For a culture constantly in fear of missing out, Warren points to these sacred everyday rhythms as proof that we're right in the middle of what is happening, if only we’ll take note." -- Lore Ferguson Wilbert, Christianity Today, December 13, 2017
"This is an eminently readable and enjoyable book that draws you into high concept―namely, liturgy in everyday life―through great writing and infectious charm. Warren takes you through a single ordinary day, from waking up in the morning to going to sleep at night, and manages to make connections to just about every important aspect of the Christian life. She is a gifted writer whose stories, rife with humor, teach you deeper things without ever making you feel like you’re being instructed." -- Stan Jantz, Christianity Today, December 13, 2017
"No matter which chapter you’re reading, it's hard not to suffer from writer envy. Liturgy of the Ordinary is a gracious, gospel-oriented, fantastically un-preachy invitation to be a more integrated believer. Warren takes the most basic components of everyday life and turns them inside out to reveal the extraordinary work of God. You don’t have to be liturgically minded to be helped by her thought, experience, and spiritual depth." -- Anne Carlson Kennedy, Christianity Today, December 13, 2017
"This is a book that will touch every reader, leading us to develop the eyes to perceive and ears to detect God’s presence in every moment of life. A mysticism of the ordinary is the purest expression of faith." -- Craig L. Nessan, Currents In Theology and Mission, Winter 2018
About the Author
Andy Crouch (MDiv, Boston University School of Theology) is executive editor of Christianity Today and the author of books such as Culture Making and Playing God. Andy serves on the governing boards of Fuller Theological Seminary and Equitas Group, a philanthropic organization focused on ending child exploitation in Haiti and Southeast Asia. He is also a senior fellow of International Justice Mission's Institute for Biblical Justice. His writing has appeared in Time, the Wall Street Journal and several editions of Best Christian Writing and Best Spiritual Writing. Crouch served as executive producer for the documentary films Where Faith and Culture Meet and Round Trip, as well as the multi-year project This Is Our City, which featured documentary video, reporting and essays about Christians seeking the flourishing of their cities. He also sits on the editorial board for Books and Culture and was editor-in-chief of re:generation quarterly. He also spent ten years as a campus minister with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at Harvard University. A classically trained musician who draws on pop, folk, rock, jazz and gospel, Crouch has led musical worship for congregations of five to twenty thousand. He lives with his family in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.
- Publisher : IVP Books (2 November 2016)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 186 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0830846239
- ISBN-13 : 978-0830846238
- Dimensions : 13.97 x 1.27 x 20.96 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 349,946 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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In this book the author investigates the liturgy of our lives as religious/spiritual people living out each day in our homes, at work, and amongst our friends and neighbours.
Although we may practice our religion at church we spend more of our time practicing it at home. The author traces out her days and clarifies for us how to look more deeply into how we are doing that.
I love its emphasis on rhythms, routines, cycles, rituals, or whatever else we like to call those things we repeat over and over again. Our lives are full of daily, monthly, seasonal and annual repetition. Tish Harrison Warren sets out to explain how there's holiness and dignity in what we easily dismiss as mundane and tedious.
It's structured in the form of a random, typical day from her calendar, beginning with waking up and ending with going to sleep again. She presents fresh ways of thinking of all these moments, and I'll mention just a couple.
In the chapter on bed making, she describes how she used to begin each day checking emails and social media. (That looks very familiar, before my feet hit the floor.) Then she realised that she'd set herself up to expect stimulation and entertainment from the get-go. If you're like me, we're gently encouraged to welcome a bit of quiet sameness, and not to bolt away from mild boredom the moment we get a whiff of it.
There's a chapter on cleaning teeth and all those other mindless rituals which remind us that we're temples of the Holy Spirit. She delivers some good, straight talk here. Using our bodies for false worship is akin to using consecrated bread and wine in a Wiccan goddess ceremony. And denigrating our bodies by our mirrors is like running down a geographical sacred site. Yeah, sometimes we need of dose of this.
The 'Eating Leftovers' chapter leads to an interesting reflection that apart from occasional delicious feasts that wow our socks off, most of our home cooked meals are pretty basic, unremarkable fare, just like the grace of God appears to be. We've been conditioned in our modern era to want the spiritual intensity of meals cooked by celebrity chefs. People who attend church services and conferences are often longing for new truths, emotional experiences, signs and miracles. But life is just made up of good, nourishing food. If we are tempted to equate our scriptures with boring, dry old bread, well she advises us to just keep getting stuck into them anyway, because we'll develop a palate for the truth.
A chapter entitled 'Checking Emails' is about the attitude in which we approach our work. It's easy to be a Martha in our technology driven world, when work is always at hand. Or we can go to the opposite extreme and totally idolise the notion of complete escapism. Warren recommends something in the middle. We do our daily work from a relaxed, peaceful attitude of already being blessed, rather than a mad scramble to prove ourselves worthy. This will help combine the activity of Martha with the reflectiveness of Mary.
The other chapters are equally thought provoking. Losing the car keys, the pleasure of a cup of tea, getting stuck in traffic jams. It all brought home to me how much repetition we have to cope with, so we might as well make peace with it and consider all these routines to be sacred privileges, instead of grumbling about them and considering them to be annoyances. It's a book I'll be wanting to dip into more often just to remind myself.
Thanks to Net Galley and InterVarsity Press for my review copy.
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