Christian Formation in the Here and Now
James K.A. Smith spoke
in Tyndale’s chapel.
(Photo: Sue Careless)
By Sue Careless
“You can’t think your way to holiness,” American philosopher James K.A. Smith told a conference on spiritual formation held on Oct. 22-24 in Toronto.
Smith grew up unchurched in southwestern Ontario. Now, as a professor at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, he urges Anglicans to appreciate their rich liturgical heritage. He spoke while standing in what was formerly a Roman Catholic convent that today serves as Tyndale University and Seminary, an evangelical Protestant school.
The conference theme was “Desiring the Kingdom,” derived from Smith’s book of that title.
Smith spoke in the beautiful chapel of what had been the motherhouse of the Sisters of St Joseph. The Vatican approved transferring to Protestant hands on the condition that Tyndale commit to maintaining the aesthetically significant chapel as sacred space.
As Smith argued that “humans are more than brains-on-sticks,” and that Christian worship therefore needs to entice the imagination