Theology in Aisle Seven: The uncommon grace of everyday spirituality
Christianity Today Essentials
In 1995, when I first heard Carolyn Arends sing “Seize the Day,” I became an instant fan. With a simple tune, the singer/songwriter looked at ordinary, everyday life and found the eternal. I wasn’t the only one to believe in her gifts. Fifteen of her songs have hit the top 10 charts in both the United States and Canada. She has won two Dove Awards, three Juno Nominations and was recognized as the West Coast Music Awards’ Songwriter of the Year.
She took her gift for spiritual insights into a new realm four years ago when she became a columnist for Christianity Today. Her newest book, Theology in Aisle Seven: The uncommon grace of everyday spirituality, is a collection of 25 of these columns. In each chapter Arends continues to weave words and thoughts into a rich beautiful tapestry of everyday Christian life.
Throughout the book, Arends picks simple topics, ranging from having laryngitis, buying office supplies, potato chips, power washers, and three-toed sloths, to reveal deeper truths.
In the chapter, “Letting God of God: Trying to organize a God who transcends,” she compares her love for office supplies with the challenge of trying to understand – and organize – a God who exceeds the human mind.
For those who ponder faith verses work salvation, being innocent as doves or wise as serpents, or whether God is a mystery or a revelation, in “Expansive Faith: Why the narrow way is huge,” Arends answers these questions with a simple, “Yes.”
In the chapter, “Schooled by an Usher: Humility” she opens with a story of two seminary students discussing a recent exam. One guy asks, “You know that question on humility? I nailed it.” Then she compares that with an usher at church whose simple prayer request was that God would help him remember the names of the people he committed to pray for.
Each chapter in Theology in Aisle Seven contains no more than 800 words, making it easy to use as a month-long devotional. However, like Arends’ love of potato chips, these brief chapters are addicting; once you pick up this book, it’s hard to put it down.
Available in both Kindle and Nook eBooks, Theology is Aisle Seven: The uncommon grace of everyday spirituality is a beautiful and refreshing reminder to look around and see God speaking through the simplest moments of life.