Amy's Reviews > You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit

You Are What You Love by James K.A. Smith
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's review
Jul 03, 2017

it was ok
bookshelves: me

** spoiler alert ** I've been thinking on this book for a few weeks now, and want to get my review down before I forget all together. I'm thinking a list will be best, so I just don't blather:

Things I liked:

1. Mr. Smith got you thinking outside the box about worship, spiritual practices, and the value of tradition, form, and liturgy in our homes, churches, and really the whole of our lives.

Things I didn't like:

1. I felt like Mr. Smith was very reactionary. This problem is one as old as time. There is truly nothing new under the sun. The swinging from one extreme to the other. Our modern worship churches are failing people, especially the younger generation, so let's go back to what we had before. It seems kind of the "thing" right now to return to our roots. Mr. Smith is advocating a return to those more traditional, liturgical-style church experiences. I agreed with him on some of the modern worship practices being little more than entertainment and that there is a lot of value in tradition, form, and beauty of liturgy. However, I felt like he was accusing ALL modern worship forms of being completely vacuous and that ONLY a return to liturgical forms would save the church. It seemed like he was doing the same thing he was accusing the modern worship forms of doing, reacting! Like they were trying to be super relevant, so they aren't staying true to the Gospel, so they are dying. Well, isn't that what many people thought when they left the liturgical style churches? That they were dead and not staying true to the Gospel? I felt like there was a big, fat something missing here. Nothing OUTSIDE of us makes us alive, it is only God living inside that changes us. Different forms of worship, styles of churches, denominations, come and go, but God's Word never changes.

2. I felt like he had some good examples and stories to back up his ideas and thoughts, but unfortunately, he cloaked them in heavy, unnecessary, theological terms, and difficult words and phrases. I felt a little like he was speaking down to the average reader. It wasn't super hard to understand what he was trying get across, yet, why not just state it plainly instead of saying it so cloaked in academical lingo. I realize he is in academia and maybe this is truly how he thinks and speaks all the time, I don't know, I just found it irritating and distracting.

3. I extremely dislike PC topics, "trendy" veins etc and I felt like there was some of that interwoven into his book just for the sake of "being" there. It's hard for me to articulate this, but I felt like rolling my eyes frequently on this.

4. I disliked him using the term "animals" when referring to humans. Like we are "habitual animals". He used that term excessively.

I may have prejudged the author before reading this, as I have a bit different background then him, so that probably clouded my overall experience, so then just ignore this little, 'ole review by me and read on! :)
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Reading Progress

December 1, 2016 – Shelved
December 1, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
April 24, 2017 – Started Reading
April 24, 2017 – Shelved as: me
April 25, 2017 –
page 21
April 29, 2017 –
page 31
June 22, 2017 –
page 46
June 22, 2017 –
page 77
June 22, 2017 –
page 102
July 2, 2017 –
page 149
July 2, 2017 –
page 149
July 3, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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message 1: by Karla (new)

Karla Ouch! Why?

message 2: by Amy (new) - rated it 2 stars

Amy Still thinking about it and trying to articulate it in my mind - also hard to type a review 😉on my phone while on vacation.

message 3: by Amy (new) - rated it 2 stars

Amy Have you read it, Karla, and what were your thoughts? 😊

message 4: by Karla (new)

Karla I read "Desiring the Kingdom" last year but haven't read this one. DK was a little tough to read and repetitive but gave my husband and I some good food for thought. I heard this one is similar but more down to earth with the fancy vocabulary and easier to read. Go ahead and enjoy your vacation! You can always come back and write a little review ;)

message 5: by Silvia (new)

Silvia Cachia Let us know what you think of it, you too Amy. Somehow I am not too impress by much of the modern 'christian' books. To me they are not always substantial or on point. I don't know how to say it, I find it incomplete and biased.

message 6: by Silvia (new)

Silvia Cachia impressed

message 7: by Silvia (new)

Silvia Cachia I can see now you gave it only two stars. (I am sure I won't like it more than you, Amy) I don't like these type of books, I don't get their hype either.

message 8: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa I can see why it was irritating! I have not read this, but I did read Desiring the Kingdom and found some of the same issues. You've just confirmed for me that I don't want to bother with any more of his books, good as his points may be.

As a member of a liturgical church I obviously think liturgical worship is a good thing. But it's not going to save the Church, simply because the Church doesn't actually need saving. Mr. Smith seems to mean well, but he tends to miss the point in some ways.

message 9: by Amy (new) - rated it 2 stars

Amy Lisa wrote: "I can see why it was irritating! I have not read this, but I did read Desiring the Kingdom and found some of the same issues. You've just confirmed for me that I don't want to bother with any more ..."

Thank you for sharing, Lisa. Yes, I agree with you that he's missing something. :)

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