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.
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.
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.
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