I spent a fair bit of time reading, pondering, and taking notes on this book. It is well-written, insightful, and it made me think harder about some important matters.
My three star ranking is due to one fundamental issue that kept nagging me throughout the book, namely the claim that worship precedes thinking/doctrine/beliefs. There is no doubt we love things many times before we can properly explain them, but I do not find the clean progression of moving from worship to thinking about our beliefs the right alternative. It seems there is a more dynamic interplay rather than the clean progression Smith argues for.
Today (April 5, 2016) I landed upon a generally appreciative review of Smith's latest book, You are What You Love. It is by New Testament scholar, Patrick Schreiner. You are What You Love is a more accessible version of Desiring the Kingdom. Schreiner has much positive to say about Smith's work (I agree with these sentiments, especially with respect to Smith's terrific book, How (not) to be Secular). However, Schreiner voices a mild concern which is similar to the one I stated above:
"I still personally wonder if the picture he [Smith] paints is actually too neat. Maybe the process of theological anthropology is too complex to break down into humans primarily being this or that. Because isn’t the intellect a part of the body’s and heart’s process of desiring?"
- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Baker Academic (1 August 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0801035775
- ISBN-13: 978-0801035777
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.4 x 22.9 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 426 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 299,632 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)