Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Top 10 books on consumerism

My friend Mark has posted his top 10 books on consumerism. It's a good list and there's quite a few I've not read. That's mostly because Mark is smarter than me. Having read a draft of Mark's book (to be published by Zondervan next year), I'm confident that his book would make my top 10. But it's not out yet so here's my list.

  1. Money, Sex & Power by Richard Foster. Foster just captures superbly the dangers and temptations and with great humility points towards a better way of living. A must.
  2. The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn. From a Christian perspective our treasure lies elsewhere, not on earth, not in earthly things. Get this right and consumerism loses lots of its power. Alcorn very simply with some great lines, points us to better treasure. (Review)
  3. Freedom of Simplicity by Richard Foster. Foster expands his theme of the call to simplicity that is an essential part of the Christian life. A book widely read and widely ignored. He nails it though. (review)
  4. Neither Poverty nor Riches by Craig Blomberg. The most comprehensive and thorough review of the Bible's approach to money and possessions and the relationship between wealth and poverty. This is great theology - that leaves you in no doubt about the issue. His application seems both utterly reasonable, understated and at the same time challenging. Highly recommended.
  5. Beyond Greed by Brian Rosner. A clear understanding that greed is idolatry and that much of what passes for contemporary life should be understood as greed. Challenging stuff. (Review - under a previous title)
  6. Serve God, Save the Planet by Matthew Sleeth. One of the most compelling stories of conversion I've read. From consumption machine to simple living all for the glory of God. It's a changed life. (review)
  7. The Divine Commodity by Skye Jethani. An excellent look at how consumerism has infected the American church. (Review)
  8. Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger by Ron Sider. One of the most influential books in my life. First it helped me see that the Bible was just as concerned by what my eyes were seeing as I was. Secondly, it helped me on the road to seeing the response of Christians in the west should be increased generosity and increased simplicity.
  9. When the Game is Over it all goes back in the Box by John Ortberg. Just great at compelling stories that make you realise that the way to win in life is not to end up with lots of toys. (Review)
  10. Affluenza by Oliver James. Wanting more stuff and finding your identity in it (ie.Consumerism) will probably make you ill or unhappy. Or both.


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