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You Are What You Love

Added: Thursday, April 7th 2016 at 12:40pm by ZenofKen

You are what you love but you may not love what you think.

James K. A. Smith is a professor pf philosophy at Calvin College where he holds the Byker Chair in Applied Reformed Theology & Worldview and is a senior fellow of Cardus.

You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit was absolutely the most brilliant book I have read in years and years and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

On one level this is a book that is aimed at Christians but on another level it is a book that can, and should be, read by any thinking person.

Liturgy in church forms our hearts to love and worship God but few people realize that modern society has hundreds of secular liturgies that are forming our loves and habits every time we turn on a television or surf the Internet or read a book. Smith says this turns and tunes our hearts to rival gods.

Don't let the God notations turn you off from reading this book if you are not a person of faith because this can be construed on two levels.

GIGO. Garbage in, garbage out. GIGO was the axiom of old IBM programmers and daily we turn our hearts and minds to worship at the altar of secular philosophies that shape and form us into beings we hadn't intended to become and we actually to cease to follow what we thought we loved.

Dr. Earl D. Radmacher wrote a book years aho titled You and Your Thoughts along a similar line but Smith's is a deeper more profound treatment.

If you only read one book this year this should be it.

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.


5 out of 5 Stars

Previous Reviews:


User Comments

yes we are!

if I am what I love, then *takes sunglasses off dramatically* - pizza.


I rather expect the words "You Are What You Love" are a lot more complicated than they sound and imply at a glance.  At least that is what I get out of your comments.  Considering this I best keep my mouth shut so I don't put my foot in it.  Lol. 

You are right. It is a lot more complicated. Or, at least, a lot deeper. The best book I have read in a few years.

You read the greatest books.

Beats television.

I don't know how you have time to read with all you do for your parents and your and Tess and your family.  Gordon reads novels.  He's a speed reader and can get through one in a day or so.  He goes to the library once a week and checks out five or six books.  Me, on the other hand, can never find time to read.  I watch one TV show with G after supper, and another before going to bed.  The rest of the day I'm busy doing something. I enjoy the computer a few hours every night instead of reading.

I am attempting to wean myself off the computer .... Eventually completely.

I read while Tess watches TV.

I think spending some time on the computer and social sites is fine.  But it seems like some are on it all day which makes me wonder how they do it.  Some seem to be single people who live in an apartment so I expect the do have a lot of free time if they don't work. 

All of my antiques are inventoried with photos on the computer.  Sometimes I'm busy when the family takes something so then I have to spend some time figureing out what they took and remove the photo.  I actually just move it to a folder of the person who took it. But it's still a little time consuming.  Needless to say, I'm sort of a fanatic when it comes to keep records.

Hi Speedy. Release date of April 5th. Your report delivered April 7th. Whiz! Looks like a good book, I've got it listed, thx:)

I actually had it in March via Kindle in Canada which had a different release date.

fascinating stuff. And it makes sense. 

Wow!  Sounds llke and lnterestlng book... whlch goes along wlth what l've been observlng.  

It is not a quick read but well worth the time it takes.

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