Smith, James K.A. Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2009.
Introduction, “Beyond Perspectives: Faith and Learning Take Practice” pp. 17-35.
A distinctively Christian education leads to the development of a distinctively Christian perspective. Smith asks whether education is too often about what we know rather than what we love. His book will argue for “Christian education as a formative rather than just an informative project” (Smith 2009, 18). This requires the learner and the teacher to be aware of all of life as an educational context, and specifically Christian worship as a means of formation (Smith 2009, 19). To spark awareness, Smith makes an extended comparison of a shopping mall and a worship experience. His purpose is to increase understanding that all our experiences have underlying context and meaning (Smith 2009, 23). As a result they serve to instruct and guide our lives. If the Church wishes to address culture, it is necessary for it to have a different liturgical pattern than the greater culture (Smith 2009, 25). Smith views us as being shaped by our liturgies, rather than by abstract ideas (Smith 2009, 25). Therefore, education is a series of practices which embed an idea into the character (Smith 2009, 26). At its root, Smith finds a physical cause of class and societal attitudes (Smith 2009, 29). However, much of Christian education has merely worked with ideas, separate from the physical (Smith 2009, 31). This will not do. Smith therefore will re-envision Christian education as working with body and mind together.