Friday, August 11, 2006

Consumerism & Spiritual Warfare

The great thing about not being in school anymore is that I can read & research anything I want to my heart's content. I think that's part of what I got tired of once I made it to grad school: reading & researching everyone else's subjects and going through everyone else's book lists, which didn't always match with what I was interested in digging into.

Tonight, it was The Church Between Gospel & Culture. I was reading an article by Dr. Paul Hiebert. He talked about two subjects that I've thought some about but haven't read much in-depth about.

So anyway, the two subjects he mentioned that I'd really like to read & think more about: spiritual warfare, and consumerism. (If anyone knows of any book that ties the two together, let me know!) As for spiritual warfare, I'm not interested in the Peter Wagner "territorial spirits" version -- that's just wackiness. I'm interested more in the Walter Wink institutional principalities & powers version. I read Charles Campbell's The Word Before the Powers. It introduced me to a worldview that incorporates principalities and powers, not falling into the trap of what Hiebert calls "the flaw of the excluded middle." Wink seems to be the most seminal in writing about this subject, so I added some of his books to my wishlist.

As for consumerism, it's been an interest for several years. It is such a deep flaw in American culture, and so subversive that we can hardly detect it when it is completely infecting us. Among other things, I think that it helps foster an increasing individualism in our lives & hinders us from forming authentic communities of faith. I'd really love to read a good treatment of American consumerism from a Christian perspective. Does anyone know of a good one? Not really looking to read Karl Marx or Ralph Nader, here ...

1 comment:

David Johnson said...

I didn't know that you had quit grad school. I also didn't know that you were interested in Walter Wink's Powers series.

The only recent book I can think of that deals with consumerism for any length is The Great Giveaway by David Fitch. It's subtitled "Reclaiming the Mission of the Church from Big Business, Parachurch Organizations, Psychotherapy, Consumer Capitalism, and Other Modern Maladies." So even that one isn't a full book treatment.