James K. A. Smith's Desiring the Kingdom is a book which has the potential to revolutionalise people's approach to preaching and the Christian. To be human is to be a lover. That is the starting point for Jamie Smith's latest work, Desiring the Kingdom, in which he presents an important. James K. A. Smith, Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation. Cultural Liturgies, vol. 1. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, , pp.


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He is simply drawing upon the Patristic mode of knowing known as "bringing the nous into the heart.

Liturgies teach us in pre-cognitive ways. Do you learn how to pray by reading treatises on prayer or by actually praying?


In the first chapter Smith gives a very lucid account of how phenomenologists like Heidegger and Husserl, echoing Augustine, describe pre-cognitive desiring the kingdom of desiring the kingdom. He also analyzes alternatives to worldview talk.

But Smith argues that the fundamentally non-cognitive, affective nature of humanity entails that the telos of love must be construed as a picture, otherwise it will not actually move us.

Desiring the Kingdom

We feel our way around our world more than we think our way through it. Our worldview is more a matter of the imagination than the intellect, and the imagination runs off the fuel of images that are channeled by the senses. Desiring the kingdom our affective, noncognitive disposition is an aspect of our animal, bodily nature.

The result is a much desiring the kingdom holistic and less dualistic picture of human persons as essentially embodied.

Desiring the Kingdom: Why Worldview is Not Enough | Matthew Lee Anderson | First Things

What has this to do with knowledge and education? Smith argues that the concept of worldview is insufficient if taken as primary precisely because it fails to account for desiring the kingdom pre-cognitive, embodied nature of humanity.

Worldview language is not enough because the Christian faith is fundamentally a set of worshipful practices that undergird our doctrinal commitments. And insofar as an understanding is implicit in practice, the practices of Christian worship are crucial—the sine qua non—for developing a distinctly Christian understanding of the world.

Each has communal practices liturgies that shape what matters to desiring the kingdom.

Desiring the Kingdom: Which do you want?

Which letter is left of F on the keyboard? How do you catch desiring the kingdom baseball hopping down the third-base line? The liturgical lens helps congregations notice ways that their worship might be like going to the mall or to a concert and lecture.

Then they can ask whether or how desiring the kingdom services train people to be more like individual consumers or spectators than like a community of Christ followers.

Smith finds, however, that asking Christians in the U. This question pushes people to face conflicting kingdom identities and loyalties. Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation. He teaches philosophy and congregational ministry at Calvin College.

He trusts that Christian liturgy will form his kids to see certain cultural practices for what they are and to become, instead, people who remember to hope.

Altogether I highly recommend this book, especially to those in Christian education and church leadership who have been granted the authority to construct rituals and liturgies which are desiring the kingdom of Christian communities.

While this work is useful for research since it has many footnotes which connect the reader to various scholarly works which support the discussion, it does not overwhelm the readability of the work.

This work has several excurses containing either an illustrative narrative or a challenge to the reader's thought, which serve to enhance the current volume for use as a textbook.

Sedlacek, Stone-Campbell Journal "Smith offers a coherent and thoughtful picture of the human being as a lover that will challenge other theological and philosophical anthropologies to offer more robust pictures. Yet Smith does not simply write with an eye to the academy. This is theology done in light of the contemporary culture.

Desiring the kingdom the Kingdom's style. Throughout the text, Smith inserts short engagements with popular culture. Both new students and tenured faculty alike will be refreshed and encouraged to seek all that education must entail, and pastors and worship leaders will be energized to create desiring the kingdom worship services that help the participants practice the faith that is gripping their hearts.

This is an important book that deserves attention particularly from Smith's intended audience:

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