Document: Craig Bartholomew and Thorsten Moritz, eds., Christ and Consumerism: Critical Reflections on the spirit of our Age (Carlisle, Cumbria: Paternoster Press, 2000).

Excerpt: Relentless consumerism characterizes the First World today. If Jesus is right that we cannot serve both God and mammon (Luke 16:13), it follows that Jesus’ followers today simply must examine their priorities in life lest we unwittingly take on the spirit of our age. These essays aim to contribute to that process of critical examination. This is not a ‘How to survive consumerism as a christian’ manual — it was never intended to be. Nor is it comprehensive in trying to analyse every aspect of consumerism. We are a group of Christian academics who have tried to address some of the main aspects of consumerism from out of our particular specialities. In the introduction Craig Bartholomew sets out the challenge that consumerism presents to Christians today. Colin Greene examines the different ways in which Christ has been understood to relate to culture and seeks out a model that will be fruitful in our time. Gordon McConville looks at how the Old Testament presents challenges to consumerism and Thorsten Moritz does the same with the New Testament. Craig Bartholomew seeks to establish a way of reading the Bible that inoculates Christians against consumerism. The development of contemporary economics and the question of how we have arrived at our present situation is considered by Alan Storkey. Gordon Wenham interrogates the ethics of consumerism and Nigel Scotland explores the relationship between the church and consumerism. Finally Graham Cray critically explores the connection between
consumerism and the Toronto blessing.

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