“All of us are engaged daily with works of art, even if we are neither professionals nor amateur artists. We read books, we listen to music, we look at posters, we admire flower arrangements. Art, as I am using the word, does not include just “high art”, that is, painting, sculpture, poetry, classical music, but also the more popular expressions – the novel, the theatre, the cinema, popular music and rock. In fact, there is a very real sense in which the Christian life itself should be our greatest work of art. Even for the great artist, the most crucial work of art is his life.”

“Our desiring model – our romantic theology – has emphasized that we are creatures who love first and foremost. The most basic way that we intend the world is on the affective order of love. This love constitutes our fundamental and governing orientation to the world. As such, our love is always ultimately aimed at a telos, a picture of the good life that pulls us toward it, thus shaping our actions and behavior. This orientation is something that comes before thinking; thus we’ve described it as precognitive. It is more at work at the level of the adaptive unconsciousness or the “social imaginary”. Our love is aimed from the fulcrum of our desire – the habits that constitute our character, or core identity. And the way our love or desire gets aimed in specific directions is through practices that shape, mold, and direct our love.”