You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of HabitJames K. A. SmithBrazos Press / 2016 / Hardcover$13.99 Retail:5 Stars Out Of 5 2 Reviews
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contemplativereflections5 Stars Out Of 5Book Review: You are What You LoveNovember 2, 2017contemplativereflectionsQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0In "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.
April Fiet5 Stars Out Of 5You Are What You Love - formed by what we loveApril 6, 2016April FietQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5We 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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