That R-Word

journey

There are many words that probably don’t roll off our lips with ease. One of those words is the R-word: repentance. Perhaps we put up a good front, chant it regularly, but despise it on the inside. That’s been me, at times.

Many might imagine the word repentance as a simple sorry. That’s not what it means.

Many might imagine the word involves self-flagellation. That’s not what it means either.

But it’s a real word. A necessary word. And, yes, even a hard word. Continue reading

Top Reads of 2015

book stack=

In line with an annual tradition here at The Prodigal Thought, I’m listing my top reads from 2015. Due to the commitments of my doctoral studies and book, I was not able to provide my usual review of these. Nor was I able to dive into any fiction this year (until the holiday period).

The list comes in no particular order. Continue reading

Moving Beyond Ideas to the Heart

PrintOver the past few years, I’ve really come to appreciate the work of Jamie Smith. One book in particular that’s caught my attention is Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation.

In particular, Smith looks at how our formation (or he uses the word education at times) is not ultimately about disseminating ideas, but rather shaping hearts and desires. It’s profound to consider this, really. Not just at the Christian university level, but also for the local church setting. In our teaching and preaching, are we primarily just communicating ideas or are we shaping deep desires. As he remarks, education (or formation) is really happening at all times. So how are we forming those in our care?

To give an example, Smith considers the role of the mall within our western culture. Consider how this institution shapes and forms not just the minds of people, but it’s hearts, desires, and even bodies. It is a full five-sensory formational experience, if we allow it to be.

What if Christians recalled that the five senses are good gifts from God and are available to help form us at our core?

For Christian leaders and educators, this is a book worth picking up. I’ve put some quotes below that come from the book. Hopefully you’ll see how Smith begins to flesh this out a bit more. Pretty intriguing stuff! Continue reading