Monday, August 17, 2009

Enough: Contentment in an Age of Excess


Contentment in an Age of Excess

by Will Samson

Beware: this book will make you think and evaluate. It may make you wonder how we got to the place of excess, and if there is a way out of this prison. Samson asks some hard questions about consumerism in America. Some of his answers are hard to hear. He touches on some sacred American cows, and, he manages to do all of this without a side serving of condemnation.

What does it mean to have enough? Samson points out that we live in a consumer culture. No matter which way you may turn, someone is trying to sell you something. They hope to convince you that, without it, you will not experience the abundant American life to which sales people will try to convince you that you are entitled.

In the book, Samson explores the results of a consumer culture. He points out the “lifestyle diseases,” and connects them with American consumerism: “We are not well physically and we are not well mentally. Our wealth, status, and privilege have not translated into a culture that is whole.” Samson suggests, among many other things, that we think about where we are investing our time, money, and resources. He asks us to study the Bible and see how our priorities align with God’s—to “re-imagine the way we live.”

Will Samson and his wife, Lisa, have done more than just evaluate and think. They left a comfortable suburban lifestyle in Baltimore, Maryland for a run-down neighborhood located in urban Lexington, Kentucky. Their goal is to move from consumption to being consumed with living out the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in practical, tangible ways.

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