Now I understand Matt’s enthusiasm for Alan Hirsch’s book The Forgotten Ways: Reactivating the Missional Church. (Check out this post and this post that Matt wrote.) I may try to write a more organized review later, but for now I just need to tell you to go out and get this book if you haven’t already read it.
Sometimes you read something that you just need to go ahead and post. Hirsch’s thoughts about the threat consumerism poses to Christianity is one of those things:
- “I have come to believe that the major threat to the viability of our faith is that of consumerism” (106).
- “Christianity has become a mere matter of private preference rather than that of public truth” (108).
- “This is our missional context, and I’ve come to believe that in dealing with consumerism we are dealing with an exceedingly powerful enemy propagated by a very sophisticated media machine. This is our situation, but it is also our own personal condition – and it must be dealt with if we are going to be effective in the twenty-first century in the West” (109).
- “I found out the hard way that if we don’t disciple people, the culture sure will” (111).
This section just hit me pretty hard. Consumerism has become so much a part of our culture, even within the church, that we often don’t even recognize it. Hirsch encourages the Church to remember that “discipleship is all about adherence to Christ” (106). And that should impact everything we do, and how we do it.
Finally, please know that this is not the essence of this book. There is so much more, this is just something that really hit me as I was reading it and wanted to put it out there.
So, what are your thoughts? Is consumerism the major threat to American Christianity? Is Hirsch overreacting?