The challenge facing Christianity today is not a lack of motivation or resources, but a failure of imagination. A growing number of people are disturbed by the values exhibited by the contemporary church. Worship has become entertainment, the church has become a shopping mall, and God has become a consumable product. Many sense that something is wrong, but they cannot imagine an alternative way. The Divine Commodity finally articulates what so many have been feeling and offers hope for the future of a post-consumer Christianity. Through Scripture, history, engaging narrative, and the inspiring art of Vincent van Gogh, The Divine Commodity explores spiritual practices that liberate our imaginations to live as Christ’s people in a consumer culture opposed to the values of his kingdom. Each chapter shows how our formation as consumers has distorted an element of our faith. For example, the way churches have become corporations and how branding makes us more focused on image than reality. It then energizes an alternative vision for those seeking a more meaningful faith. Before we can hope to live differently, we must have our minds released from consumerism’s grip and captivated once again by Christ.
This book is a well-written diagnosis of what is seriously ailing the American church. If you want to address some of what is keeping us from being a positive influence in our society today I highly recommend it. If you want to wake up in your bed tomorrow and go on believing everything is fine, DO NOT READ THIS BOOK! – Neil Cole
The problem with consumerist Christianity is the consumer and Skye Jethani knows that consumer is us. Christian journalists who cover the evangelical religious beat face the easy temptation to become cynical but Skye avoids the easy and digs deeper—not only does he discover our problem, his deft pastoral skills provide a way out—the historic disciplines of the Spirit. – Scot McKnight
Skye Jethani is one of the most insightful thinkers I know. He makes me think and rethink. This book will challenge your assumptions in a way that will result in deeper-held convictions. – Mark Batterson
The Divine Commodity is a probing look at how the tentacles of consumerism have wrapped themselves around the American church, nearly choking it to spiritual death. Jethani manages to name the beast without condemning the many practitioners of consumer Christianity, and he speaks not only the hard word but also suggests ways that can help us break free. One of the more thoughtful critiques I’ve read in a long time. – Mark Galli
Jethani has written a summoning, thoughtful, often humorous report on the pathology of consumerism among us, and its enormous capacity to shape our lives. More than that, he ponders the resources of faith that enable one to resist the power of commodity and to embrace an alternative life in the world. This is as good a book on the pervasive power of consumerism as I have read. Jethani calls things by their right names, and imagines how differently our society could be shaped. This will be a welcome read for those who are willing and able to see us as we are … and still to hope. – Walter Brueggemann
Skye Jethani reflects on the Consumer Church and Consumer Christianity with incisive wit, wisdom, humility, humor and prophetic insight. He juxtaposes the ideal of the ‘franchise’ church with childlike faith, imaginative wonder, and nonconformist community, drawing on the examples of misfits like Vincent van Gogh and his art. Skye doesn’t just talk about the imagination; he captures it. – Dr. Rich Richardson
Navigating American consumerism requires both the aptitude of a scholarly mind and the observational skills of a ‘culture junkie.’ Skye Jethani exhibits both in this book. With care, subtlety, cultural savvy, and theological acumen, he guides us through the consumerist maze that threatens Christian discipleship in our day. In so doing, he makes The Divine Commodity a primer for discerning a new Christian faithfulness amidst the market forces that so dominate American life today – David Fitch
Skye artfully examines ways we have become McChurch in America. He boldly calls us to an alternate way of being without selling out to the consumer culture of our times. Throughout the book, I loved how Skye weaves powerful insights of the church and our values through the lens of van Gogh. This is a great read! – Dave Gibbons, , Author
This book is a top-rate exploration of a critical subject by a really good writer. In this book Skye Jethani skillfully guides us in what it means to be faithful disciples in a culture that has literally sold its soul to the devil of consumerism. The Divine Commodity is a great antidote for the venomous spirit of our age. – Alan Hirsch, , Author
Even if it is doing so seductively and with a velvet glove, consumer capitalism is choking American evangelicalism to death. The church and real Christianity will survive, in various forms. But nothing short of the resuscitation of gospel imagination—a baptized imagination attuned more to faithfulness than to efficiency, more to endurance than to spectacle, and more to quality than to quantity—can now save evangelicalism. As vividly true and quietly brilliant as a van Gogh painting, Skye Jethani’s book is an urgent, loving application of CPR. Evangelicals who read it may begin to breathe again. – Rodney Clapp, , Author
Salted with moments of delightful humor and fortified by sympathetic anecdotes and insights from the life and work of Vincent van Gogh, Skye Jethani’s critique of a church without imagination is as persuasive as it is accessible and engaging. – Phyllis Tickle, , Author
In this well-written and thought-provoking book, Jethani prophetically calls on American Christians to wake up to the extent to which we’ve been co-opted by the values and ideology of consumerism. Jethani makes a compelling case that this isn’t simply a matter of Christians spending too much on themselves (which is true). Consumerism is a diabolic cancer that is subtly undermining the core values and practices of the kingdom. All American Christians need to read, discuss and digest this book! – Gregory A. Boyd, , Senior Pastor
What an irony when the church turns the living God into a religious commodity, a cheap mirror of culture rather than a vivid reflection of God’s revelation. Skye Jethani’s winsome, artful, passionate, and compelling book is an antidote that can help undo this distortion and reopen our imaginations to the God who speaks true hope in Jesus Christ. – Mark Labberton, , Senior Pastor
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