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I found James KA Smith quite revolutionary in his writing especially the liturgy of the mall and how liturgy shapes our habits and desire instead of just the mind. Holistic Christian development. I highly recommend it.
The main point of this book is about the importance of habits. The author explores how habits are formed and how they form us based on what we love. It is both a battle and challenge reminding of the Apostle Paul speaking in Romans 8. He goes to great lengths to highlight the necessity of using our imagination and church tradition in shaping both the present and future. It was a good read.
I've read 7 pages and I've already had a tear to my eye and i've become a much purer person. This has been written by an absolute genius. It's easy to miss his teachings but for the right people at the right time this is an absolute gem! But I'm only 7 pages in.. heh heh heh
I learned a good deal from this book about my daily habits, my culture and milieu, and their significance--on levels I would never have conceived of. We're being formed by everything in our environment, whether we like it, or know it, or not. Powerful people understand this fact, and harness it for their own benefit--at our expense. Don't worry; it's not that tricky to disengage from the wrong processes, and nurture good ones. I found this book very insightful and to reveal phenomena I found really interesting--and practical--to discover.
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.
I highly recommend this book if you have experienced the shallow offerings of some well-intentioned attractional models of church, and are left wanting. Thoughtfully articulated, this book calls believers to remember the rich inheritance of rhythms passed down to us that bend our hearts towards Christ through spiritual disciplines and corporate worship. I couldn’t put this book down! I was challenged in many ways, and particularly appreciated his discussion on practical ways to incorporate liturgical rhythms of grace in the home as a means of discipleship within the family.
James K. A. Smith is at it again, but I thought this might the first book I would use to introduce friends to him. He has gathered up themes he has explored before in a compact form . He is convinced of the importance of habit on spiritual formation, something which has been impressed on me in recent years. The issues of addressing factors arising from experiences and from contemporary culture which would distort are emphasized again. So he reflects on them, and on education. He demonstrates the value of availing ourselves of the riches of the past. The signal role of living and learning in community comes through loud and clear. And he is very quotable!
Ever wondered why what you 'know' has such little influence on what you desire and what you do? Ever wondered how God desires to be worshiped or what the chief aim of worship is? If so, this book will inspire you to rethink your faith in the context of culture, your career, your world and in your practice.
I have a more informed view of an old term I disliked a great deal, 'liturgy'. If we become what we love, restorative, life forming habits must be an essential component of our journey.