Monday, September 19, 2011

How I Read It: The Divine Commodity

A few thoughts after finishing The Divine Commodity by Skye Jethani.

Quotable: "We are very fickle about community. When things are going well, we're eager to jump into the boat and join the fun. But when community requires sacrifice, perseverance and hard work, we can find ourselves on the shore acting like we don't know those crazy people in the boat... We make calculated decisions about which community will offer the most comfortable environment, and our commitment to that group lasts only as long as the comfort endures... This is the tension that exists in a consumer society."

Go without Van Gogh: Skye uses the life and art of Vincent Van Gogh throughout the book.  Each chapter contains a short story about Van Gogh's life and a description of his artwork that is meant to support the overall point of the chapter.  To be honest, he could have done without it.  Maybe it's because I'm not an art-guy, but the Van Gogh references were more of a distraction than a help. 

An Artwork by Itself: Van Gogh aside, the book is a masterful piece of work.  I was skeptical when the intro claimed: "The chapters that follow are impressionist in form. They are comprised of short, seemingly in congruent scenes... with distance and reflection they fuse in the mind's eye to create a discernible theme."  Now that I've finished, I have to admit that Skye totally pulled it off.  With the book finished I'm left thinking a lot clearer about the church, consumerism, and how they collide.

Don't Buy Stuff:  My take away? The same as last Monday's post.  Don't buy stuff.  And don't treat God, the church, and following Christ as a consumable commodity either.

2011 Personal Impact Ranking:
  1. Church Planting Movements by David Garrison
  2. One thing You Can't Do in Heaven by Mark Cahill*
  3. The Divine Commodity by Skye Jethani
  4. Fight Clubs by Jonathan Dodson*
  5. Humility by CJ Mahaney*
  6. Why We Love the Church by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck*
  7. The Problem of Pain by CS Lewis
  8. Samson and the Pirate Monks by Nate Larkin*
  9. Switch by Chip and Dan Heath
  10. Crazy Love by Francis Chan*
  11. It's Better to Build Boys Than Mend Men by S. Truett Cathy*
  12. The Exemplary Husband by Stuart Scott*
*I own these books, let me know if you want to borrow them. I'd love to share.

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