You Are What You Worship

In an interview about his recent book, Imagining the Kingdom, James K.A. Smith explicates why you can’t think your way to God:

Human beings are at their core defined by what they worship rather than primarily by what they think, know, or believe. That is bound up with the central Augustinian claim that we are what we love. Taking Augustine’s teaching that what you love is what you worship and what you worship is what you love, I tried to come up with a model of the human person that appreciates the centrality of love. That propelled me to see that we are ritual, liturgical creatures whose loves are shaped and aimed by the fundamentally forming practices that we are immersed in…The core of the person is what he or she loves, and that is bound up with what they worship—that insight recalibrates the radar for cultural analysis. The rituals and practices that form our loves spill out well beyond the sanctuary.