“I suggest that, on one level, Victoria’s Secret is right just where the church has been wrong” Desiring the Kingdom p. 77.
I so wanted to put that quote on Facebook without any explanation. Of course, that would be confusing and unhelpful, but what a statement.
James K.A. Smith’s Desiring the Kingdom is the most important book I’ve read in seminary thus far. Smith seeks to change the understanding of humanity from primarily thinking creatures to primarily desiring creatures. This understanding, which I believe to be correct, fundamentally changes how we do church and how we disciple. This explains the quote above – shopping malls, and the stores in them like Victoria’s Secret, do a better job of shaping people than the church typically does. The concept of seeing all of life’s activities as shaping is probably the most important take away from the book. We are not brains on a stick that can be moved solely by receiving information. We are desiring bodies that also think.
This book deserves a better review than this (German is killing me so I’m not going to write one). Therefore, I’ve enlisted the help of my friend Sam Haist. While searching on Google, I came across a review he wrote of this book, which can be found here.