Christian Living 

God’s antidote to consumerism

It’s no longer a point of debate that, in the West at least, we live in a consumer culture. Yet this culture, where we are defined more by what we consume than by what we produce, has grown ever more powerful. So much so that this way of life is deemed to be ruining the entire planet. It has its own ‘ism’ – consumerism and this approach to life is generally deemed to be at odds with the gospel. There are of course places where Christianity has sought to co-opt…

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Christmas, consumers, gifts and gratitude

For a blog that is supposed to have a focus on consumerism and generosity it’s been a while since I posted on the subject. However, I have been stacking up a substantial backlog of posts that I’ve noticed but not quite managed to write about it. This post both clears the decks and gives plenty of food for thought. If you hadn’t noticed it’s nearly Christmas, that time of year where we go slightly loco with money and stuff, and it’s a unique event. Rampant consumerism and the celebration of…

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Swipely: Social network for consumers

John Stott is well known for saying that Christians have to take part in double listening, that of ‘listening to the Word and listening to the world, so that we can know how to apply the never changing Word in an ever changing world.’ I admit I often tend to end up doing more listening to the world than the Word but I’m working on it. Anyway, what does it tell you about the world when you come across something like this. Swipely is a new social network (like we…

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Why does retail therapy feel so good?

It is a sign of the consumerist times we live in that ‘retail therapy’ is a familiar part of our vocabulary and Mint.com has an interesting piece (here) about what we gain from a good bit of shopping. Here are a few things that stood out. Firstly, the simple acknowledgement that the US ‘economy rests on consumption’ and its the same here in the UK. If we can agree on that, it just makes discussion of consumerism much easier. I’ve led seminars or workshops and have been asked often enough…

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A vision for the High Street

In 2004 I became one of the owners of a Christian bookshop. I believed that there was a place for a business that made Christian books, resources, music and most importantly the Bible readily available on the High Street. The selection of Bibles in your average Waterstones or WH Smith is, after all, not too great. I believed that this shop could have a different ‘spirit’ to it, run (as best we could) with Christian values, that could offer employment and most importantly be a place that was a witness…

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An exercise in missing the point

While most churches are currently challenging the idol of shopping and consumerism these guys in Italy are blessing it by putting a chapel in a shopping centre. So while it may “accommodate faith and everyday life” it also endorses and blesses the leisure pursuit known as shopping. It’s a “if you can’t beat ’em, join them” mentality. Not that it makes any difference but I can’t say I approve.

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Completely out of step

Following my posts (here & here) on being out of step with culture a huge debate kicked off over at Dave Warnock’s blog. It reminded me of a couple of things, first that there seem to be some debates in which no one changes their mind (or at least very few) – sovereignty/freewill; gender; sex; views on scripture; atonement; heaven/hell; gifts of the Spirit. I’m pretty sure a religious mindset makes it harder to change your mind and I’m pretty sure no one is going to end up in heaven…

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