RTN Theology #19- Hearts on the Run: a Fourth Century Saint Still Speaks w/James K.A. Smith

January 23, 2020
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RTN Theology podcast launches out on it own with a new season featuring Christian philosopher James K.A. Smith. Bob and Chris talk with Jamie about his new book On The Road With Saint Augustine: Real-World Spirituality for Restless Hearts (Brazos Press, 2019). By deeply exploring the primal image of the journey for our human condition, Smith unlocks the many ways St. Augustine knows us better than ourselves when it comes to core human longings for freedom, ambition, friendship, and desire. Augustine’s is a wisdom which comes not from above, but from alongside of us in our darkest, most confused, and restless. Augustine’s magnum opus, Confessions, reveals that the antidote for a restless heart is not more running on the road, rather to find rest in the Home which only God gives and is for us.


James K. A. Smith is professor of philosophy at Calvin College, where he holds the Gary and Henrietta Byker Chair in Applied Reformed Theology and Worldview. Trained as a philosopher with a focus on contemporary French thought, Smith has expanded on that scholarly platform to become an engaged public intellectual and cultural critic. An award-winning author and widely-traveled speaker, he has emerged as a thought leader with a unique gift of translation, building bridges between the academy, society, and the church.

The author of a number of influential books, Smith also regularly writes for magazines and newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Slate, First Things, Christianity Today, Books & Culture, and The Hedgehog Review. He serves as editor-in-chief of Image journal.

He and his wife, Deanna, are elementary school (!) sweethearts with four children in college. Natives of Stratford, Ontario, they lived in Philadelphia and Los Angeles before settling in the Heritage Hill neighborhood of Grand Rapids. They are committed urban dwellers who enjoy gardening, travel, wine with friends, and curling up on the couch with their maltipoo, Kirby.

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Featured music: A.S. Wilson is a songwriter currently based in Providence, RI after stints in Durham, Chicago and New Orleans. After numerous bands buried as a result of moving, his current project is a turn towards the solitary, simple, and direct. With songwriting touchstones like Damien Jurado and David Bazan, Austin’s songs are concerned with what poet Jack Gilbert calls “the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of this world,” filled with characters realizing that suffering doesn’t make us unique, but might instead open the door past solipsism into empathy. His album Convinced Friend, will be out later this year if he keeps telling other people it will.

Bandcamp /// Spotify

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Episode theme music: Jesus Said by David Childers

Episode edited by Gary Fletcher.

Episode produced & hosted by Bob Crawford & Chris Breslin.

If you enjoyed this episode, you may also enjoy these similar RTN Theology episodes:

RTN Theology #1 w/James K.A. Smith

RTN Theology #5 w/Jeremy Begbie

RTN Theology #11 w/Stanley Hauerwas

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