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From the coverYOU ARE WHAT YOU LOVE.BUT YOU MIGHT NOT LOVE WHAT YOU THINK.
“What do you love? is the most important question of our lives. With his characteristic ease, energy, and insightfulness, Smith explores in this compelling book not only what it is that we should love but also how we can learn to love what we should.”
— Miroslav Volf, Yale Divinity School
Our modern blinders: Reading the Bible with Cartesian eyes“We’ve become so used to reading the Bible with Cartesian eyes — seeing the world through Descartes’s ‘I think,therefore I am’ lens — that we see it confirming our intellectualism and thinking-thingism. But on a closer reading,when we set aside those uniquely modern blinders, we’ll find a very different model assumed in the Scriptures…In fact, Paul’s prayer (Phil. 1:9–11) is the inverse: he prays that their love might abound more and morebecause, in some sense, love is the condition for knowledge. It is not that we know in order to love, but rather: I lovein order to know…There is a very different model of the human person at work here. Instead of the rationalist, intellectualist modelthat implies ‘You are what you think,’ Paul’s prayer hints at a very different conviction: ‘You are what you love.’”
You are what you worship“If you are what you love, and your ultimate loves are formed and aimed by your immersion in practices and culturalrituals, then such practices fundamentally shape who you are….At stake in the formation of your loves is yourreligious and spiritual identity, which is manifested not only in what you think or what you believe but in what you do— and what those practices do to you. In order to appreciate the spiritual significance of such cultural practices, let’scall these sorts of formative, love-shaping rituals ‘liturgies.’ It’s a bit of an old, churchy word, but I want to both reviveand expand it because it crystalizes a final aspect of this model of the human person: to say ‘you are what you love’is synonymous with saying ‘you are what you worship.’ … We become what we worship because we worship whatwe love. It’s not a question of whether you worship but what you worship — which is why John Calvin refers to thehuman heart as an ‘idol factory.’ We can’t not worship because we can’t not love something as ultimate.”
‘Excarnation’: Disembodying the Christian faith“One of the unintended consequences of the Protestant Reformation was a disenchantment of the world. Criticalof the ways such an enchanted, sacramental understanding of the world had lapsed into sheer superstition, thelater Reformers emphasized the simple hearing of the Word, the message of the gospel, and the arid simplicity ofChristian worship. The result was a process of excarnation — of disembodying the Christian faith, turning it into a‘heady’ affair that could be boiled down to a message and grasped with the mind.”