Book Summary – How Much is Enough? Hungering for God in an Affluent Culture

Posted: January 29, 2014 by Todd in Books, Culture, Justice
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how much is enough


How Much is Enough?  Hungering for God in an Affluent Culture

Arthur Simon –  2003, Baker Books

Finished January, 2013

A Preliminary Word
A quick overview of the book.
One: That Seductive Urge
Serve God over mammon.
Two: Fat Wallets, Empty Lives
Christians must become less possessed by “things” and more awakened to how God can use “things.”
“There is misery, says Richard Foster, when people lack provision; but there is also misery when they try to make a life out of provision.” (217-218)
Three: Hope and Purpose
God isn’t merely anti-materialism.  God wants us to use our materials for the kingdom.  [more…]
Four: Rushing to Nowhere
“Purity of heart is to will one thing.”  Kierkegaard
We’re generally busy without any clear purpose.
Five: The Poverty of Riches
Money is addictive and generates anxiety.
“To confuse having with being is to worship the gift rather than the giver, fragments of creation instead of the Creator.”
“Mammon makes a terrible master, but a magnificent servant.”
Six: The Sorrow of Pleasure
Pleasure is good and created by God.  Pleasure becomes idolatrous when we make it our goal rather than a byproduct.
Seven: The Weakness of Power
God likes kenoic power.  Power can be easily corrupted.  Not using your power for good in the face of injustice is also a form of evil.
Eight: Faces of Affluence
Capitalism has produced both wealth and the gap between the rich and the poor.  With great wealth comes great responsibility.
Nine: How Much is Enough?
It’s hard to know where to draw the line.  Yet, we can always receive blessing by giving.
Ten: Living Simply So that Others May Simply Live
Our indulgence can actually prevent nourishment of others.  We can actually not indulge and give money to organizations that help.  It requires personal and public efforts.
Eleven: Love and Justice
Such small things done in wealthy, industrial companies through government policies can have enormous impact on developing world poverty.
Twelve: Saying “Yes” to Life
There are two conversions, according to DT Niles, one from the world to God and then again to the world, but this time with the heart of God.  That is saying “yes” to life.
Thirteen: Filling the Heart with Something Better than Cash
We need to find space to praise and thank God and not just worry about the problems of the world.
Fourteen: The Meek Inherit the Earth
Don’t settle for less than the kingdom God has in store for us.
Postscript: A Few Suggestions

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