BOOK OF THE WEEK // ‘Recapturing the Wonder’ by Mike Cosper.

I had the privilege of hearing Mike present on this book at Doxology & Theology Conference in the US last year and immediately I was hooked. Don’t be thrown by the title. This is not a ‘get more disciplined and read your Bible more!’ kind of book. Rather, Cosper goes to the core of why we have lost ‘wonder’ about God in the first place - our cultural obsession with reason and rationality. How can we live a life of faith in such a world? Cosper gently, convincingly, and often humourously reopens the reader’s heart to the absolute transcendence of our God - a God who operates in His own beautiful and perfect ways in His own beautiful and perfect time. That is, in ways and with timing that reason and rationality can never pin down. And that is the unseen economy that we, as believers, have been lovingly welcomed in to. This is the perfect read to start the year. Be prepared to have your spiritual outlook and your heart transformed as you read this magnificent book. //
Greg Cooper
#worship #theology

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BOOK OF THE WEEK // ‘You Are What You Love’ by James K.A. Smith.

So much of modern life assumes that we are what we think. Get the thinking right, and behaviour will follow. Church life is no different, with much of our ministry energy geared towards shaping thinking above all else. Smith skilfully argues that while thinking is important, the heart may be more powerful in shaping behaviour than we give it credit for. Perhaps what the heart loves, the will chooses, and the mind justifies. As Smith says, “Christian essentially counterformation to those rival liturgies we are often immersed in, cultural practices that covertly capture our loves and longings, miscalibrating them, orienting us to rival versions of the good life. This is why worship is the heart of discipleship. We can’t counter the power of cultural liturgies with didactic information poured into our intellects...The orientation of the heart happens from the bottom up, through the formation of our habits of desire. Learning to love (God) takes practice.” I can’t overstate how pivotal this book has been in shaping my thinking on corporate worship. Grab a copy and be ready to highlight a lot! // Greg Cooper
#theology #worship

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The New Year's Narrative

The New Year's Narrative

Greg Cooper

As I prepared to lead singing at church on New Year’s Eve 2017, I was already experiencing ‘that New Year’s Eve feeling’. The one that involves a mental narrative of questions: Did I even achieve anything this year? How will I improve on who I am next year? How will I focus on my goals more next year? And for the Christian – will I be any more godly next year?