Sermon: How Much is Enough?

Sermon Text: Luke 12:13-21 Sermon Excerpt Robert and Edward Skidelsky are two academics who happen to be father and son. Together they wrote a book that shares a title with this sermon: How Much is Enough (2012). The subtitle of the book is equally important: Money and the Good Life. So why do I bring this text to your attention?  Because the Skidelsky's get it.  They are on to something that sounds a lot like the wisdom of Jesus in this morning's parable. In a consumer oriented Read More …

Pastoring Isn’t Glamorous

Eugene Peterson (b.1932) is a pastor's pastor. He is the author of the best-selling The Message, which is his translation of the Bible into contemporary American language.  He is an ordained Presbyterian (PCUSA) pastor who served as the founding pastor of Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air, Maryland for twenty-nine years before retiring in 1991. Following his retirement from parish ministry, he served in academia until retiring from that role in 2006.  Peterson is the author of over Read More …

Overcoming Consumerism

Much has been written about the need for churches to move beyond consumer based approaches to ministry and mission.  Philip Nation, Director of Adult Ministry Publishing at LifeWay Christian Resources, recently suggested three different ways to name transition from a consumer approach to a missional one: From window shoppers to community, From gym membership to covenant, and From consumer-shaped bazaar to mission-shaped community. So What? Sometimes it is quite difficult for Read More …

Endless Options

Barry Cooper, director of product development at Christianity Explored Ministries and a part of the team planting Trinity West Church, wrote an article on the false God of endless options in the January/February 2013 edition of Christianity Today.  In this piece he suggests that we have opportunities to choose from nearly endless options whether in life's larger choices like choosing a college major or in everyday decisions like ordering at Starbucks.  As a result many people have become slow to Read More …

Consumerism as Idol

Tony Campolo is an ordained American Baptist pastor, professor emeritus at Eastern University, founder of the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education, author of 35 books, and popular speaker. Recently he wrote these challenging words: . . . the enemy of the Church is consumerism.  We have made an idol out of the things that are being sold.  We bow down and worship the commodities that are paraded before us on television.  We are enslaved to a mindset that tells us that we must Read More …

Consumerism and the Church

Carl Trueman, professor of historical theology and church history at Westminster Theological Seminary, recently explored the impact of consumerism on our society and the church.  In society, Trueman finds that consumerism leads to  the infantilisation of society; huge levels of personal debt; and notions of truth and ethics that are as malleable as the market place. The larger culture of consumerism is now impacting the church in a number of ways.  According to Trueman this Read More …