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The following was recorded at the 2019 CU Cities Conference. (45:50)



Topic

Ambition is a strange phenomenon. In the world, ambition is praised, whereas in the church, ambition is sometimes considered a vice. Is ambition the problem? Or what we’re ambitious for? Success, power, and influence can easily become idols. But the way to avoid idolatry is not to give up in the name of false humility. In this talk, he will look to the ancient church father Augustine as a model for how to “sanctify” ambition.

Speaker Bio


James K.A. Smith is professor of philosophy at Calvin College where he holds the Gary & Henrietta Byker Chair in Applied Reformed Theology & Worldview. Smith also serves as editor in chief of Image journal, a quarterly devoted to “art, mystery, and faith.” The award-winning author of Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism?, Desiring the Kingdom, and How (Not) To Be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor (2014), his recent books include You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit (2016) and Awaiting the King: Reforming Public Theology (2017). His new book, On the Road with Saint Augustine, will be published in October 2019.

Smith also serves as editor in chief of Imagejournal, a quarterly devoted to “art, mystery, and faith.” His popular writing has appeared in magazines such as Christianity Today, First Things, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, as well asthe New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. Jamie and his wife, Deanna, have four children, and live in the Heritage Hill neighborhood of Grand Rapids. They attend Sherman Street Christian Reformed Church.