On October 7, 2015, Joshua Becker, Sarah Bessey, and Skye Jethani discussed how our identities are shaped by the things that we own, with moderator Iwan Russell-Jones.
PC or Mac? J.Crew or consignment? Safeway or farmer's market? It's no secret that the consumer society we live in pressures us to continually reinvent ourselves by buying into the latest technology and cultural trends. Brands clamour for our allegiance, promising—ironically—both individuality and connection to a tribe. So are we buying a manufactured identity without realizing it? The consumer mindset can also affect us in more subtle ways, infiltrating our values, our treatment of others, and even our worship practices.
So how do we begin to untangle the complex web of relationships between material things and identity? How does the nature and amount of stuff that we own affect our psychological and spiritual wellbeing? What is reasonable and what is excessive when we talk about consumption? And where, in all of this, is God?
an interview with Skye Jethani by Veronika Klaptocz
Skye Jethani identifies consumerism—and not atheism, or postmodernism, or hedonism—as posing the greatest threat to North American Christianity. In a phone interview, we asked him to elaborate on the themes of his prophetic book.
by Joshua Becker
Less debt. Less time caring for possessions. Less lifestyle envy. Faced with this list of "top 10" reasons to stop owning so much stuff, it's hard to justify why we're not all jumping on the minimalist bandwagon.
by Sarah Bessey
We all need to detox from something: buying more, getting more likes on Facebook, or “devouring knowledge for our heads but never letting it seep into our hearts.” A detox can help us achieve the real transformation we crave.
by Kate Shellnutt
"At the peak of rampant materialism and must-have accessories, we have embraced a less-is-more mentality." But is minimalism just another lifestyle change that brings fleeting satisfaction instead of lasting joy?
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Sarah Bessey is the author of the bestselling Jesus Feminist and an award-winning blogger and writer. Her new book Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith is coming out later this year. She lives in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada with her husband and their four tinies. She blogs at sarahbessey.com
Based on his thoughtful and intentional approach to minimalism, Joshua Becker is one of the leading voices in the modern simplicity movement. He is a Wall Street Journal best-selling author. His website Becoming Minimalist is read by 1 million people each month. He is also the founder of The Hope Effect, a nonprofit organization changing how the world cares for orphans.
Skye Jethani is the author of The Divine Commodity: Discovering a Faith Beyond Consumer Christianity(2009). He co-hosts the weekly Phil Vischer Podcast, which blends astute cultural and theological insights with comical conversation. Between 2004 and 2015, he occupied numerous roles at Christianity Today: managing and senior editor of CT's Leadership Journal and Director of CT's Mission Advancement. He blogs at skyejethani.com.
Iwan Russell-Jones is an award-winning filmmaker, theologian, and writer. He is the Eugene and Jan Peterson Chair in Theology and the Arts and Head of the Christianity and the Arts Program at Regent College. Iwan has over 25 years of experience as a producer and director for the BBC, in both television and radio. He has produced documentaries that include The Crucified King (BBC1 2003), American Prophet (BBC2 2008), and Who Do You Say I Am? (BBC1 2007).