You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit
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You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit

Brazos Press / 2016 / Hardcover

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Product Description

Christians are called to transform society, but often culture shapes us. How can we shift our focus from secular gods to the One who made us? Using illustrations from film, literature, and music, James K. A. Smith identifies worship as the "imagination station" that redirects our yearnings to concentrate on God's kingdom as we work to stimulate cultural change.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 176
Vendor: Brazos Press
Publication Date: 2016
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 158743380X
ISBN-13: 9781587433801

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Publisher's Description

You are what you love. But you might not love what you think.

In this book, award-winning author James K. A. Smith shows that who and what we worship fundamentally shape our hearts. And while we desire to shape culture, we are not often aware of how culture shapes us. We might not realize the ways our hearts are being taught to love rival gods instead of the One for whom we were made. Smith helps readers recognize the formative power of culture and the transformative possibilities of Christian practices. He explains that worship is the "imagination station" that incubates our loves and longings so that our cultural endeavors are indexed toward God and his kingdom. This is why the church and worshiping in a local community of believers should be the hub and heart of Christian formation and discipleship.

Following the publication of his influential work Desiring the Kingdom, Smith received numerous requests from pastors and leaders for a more accessible version of that book's content. No mere abridgment, this new book draws on years of Smith's popular presentations on the ideas in Desiring the Kingdom to offer a fresh, bottom-up rearticulation. The author creatively uses film, literature, and music illustrations to engage readers and includes new material on marriage, family, youth ministry, and faith and work. He also suggests individual and communal practices for shaping the Christian life.

Author Bio

James K. A. Smith (PhD, Villanova University) is professor of philosophy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he also holds the Gary and Henrietta Byker Chair in Applied Reformed Theology and Worldview. He is the editor of Comment magazine. Smith has authored or edited many books, including Imagining the Kingdom, Who's Afraid of Relativism?, and the Christianity Today  Book Award winners Desiring the Kingdom (over 30,000 copies sold) and Who's Afraid of Postmodernism? He is also editor of the well-received The Church and Postmodern Culture series.

Endorsements

James K.A.Smith's You Are What You Love provides a user-friendly introduction to the sweeping Augustinian insight that we are shaped most by what we love most, more than by what we think or do. If sin and virtue are disordered and rightly ordered love, respectively, and if the only way to change is to change what we worship-this will lead us to rethink how we conduct Christian work and ministry. Jamie gives a some foundational ideas on how this effects our corporate worship, Christian education and formation, and our vocations in the world. An important, provocative volume! -Tim Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City

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  1. contemplativereflections
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Book Review: You are What You Love
    November 2, 2017
    contemplativereflections
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    In "You are What You Love," James Smith contends that it is our hearts, not our heads, that rules the passions, habits, and routines of our lives. The author points out that contemporary thinking credits our mind as being the one at the driver's seat in deciding how we should order and live our lives. However, Smith argues from Scripture, philosophy, and experience that it is our hearts that need to be recalibrated before any long-lasting, transformative change can take place. The premise of the book is that our surrounding culture pulls us away from God through ungodly liturgies and our best strategy to counter such attacks is by reorienting our hearts through developing godly liturgies and practices. The first step then is to discern what cultural liturgies we undertake regularly without much thought and determine what underlying values are informing such practices. For example, Smith explains how our visits to the mall can be viewed as worship in a modern-day pagan temple as it seeks to attract thousands of restless souls to come find fulfillment and happiness through consumerism. Nevertheless, those who enter are not only unsatisfied but leave with thoughts of envy, self-loathing, and despair. In each chapter, Smith goes on to dissect key areas of our lives to unmask how cultural liturgies inform the way we live. To effectively recalibrate our hearts Godward, Smith proposes that we need to return to the rich heritage of the Christian faith and adapt classical liturgies that the church has practiced through the centuries into the rhythms of everyday tasks and routines. The author argues that rooting ourselves in the trusted old paths of our Christian forerunners is the most effective approach to guide our heart affections through the onslaught of antagonistic provocations by our culture.

    I gladly recommend this book to all Christians as we find society's worldviews to be increasingly hostile to the Christian faith. The New Testament is replete with warnings that the world is staunchly anti-Christ thus believers need to be vigilant and prepared to counter Satan's attacks. Smith asserts that the war for our allegiance is not fought in the mind but in the heart. By integrating the classical liturgies of our robust Christian faith such as prayer and catechisms into our everyday routines, our heart affections will be reshaped to yearn for more of Christ and less of the world. Most importantly, we should not view these liturgies as the ultimate goals but the means of grace by which we can grow in the grace of God and by the power of His Spirit.
  2. April Fiet
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    You Are What You Love - formed by what we love
    April 6, 2016
    April Fiet
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    We are not just "thinking things." We are ritual and habitual creatures always moving toward a goal, a love, a desire, whether we realize it or not. In this excellent book, James K.A. Smith pushes us to consider the ritual and liturgy of our daily lives, the rituals of our worship, and the way those things are forming our habits and loves. As a pastor, one of the things I most appreciated about this book was that it was not only critical, but also offered helpful and thoughtful ideas for making meaningful changes in our lives, our families, the church, and the world. I plan to use pieces of this book with my Christian Education team as well as my Music and Worship team as we consider the ways our worship and education in the church are forming us into the kind of people we are becoming.
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