Thursday, December 30, 2004

Levittown to Newtown

I've been reading the book Affluenza by De Graaf et al. It makes some great points about how Americans (could be expanded in most cases to western Europeans) are caught in a culture of over consumption.

One of my favorite facts from the book is particularly obvious in Bucks County PA. In Levittown, a community built immediately after WW2, homes where built for the average family of 6. Those homes, considered a great economic advancement for many of the day, average 900 sq. ft. in size. Today, one would be hard pressed to find a new home in the Newtown area, less than 10 miles from Levittown, as small as 2300 sq. ft. A good number of new homes exceed 3000 sq. ft. To accent the problem, the average family moving into these homes is 1/3 smaller than those than the post war family.

The downside of the book is the objective of the author is singly focused on saving the environment. While this is a noble goal, there is a greater goal for people. Rather, our goal should be to live the life that God intends. Humble, reflective and people focused. Many of the authors' solutions reflect this mistaken aim. The authors' make an attempt throughout the book to related the principles to Christians. Unfortunately, when they address Christians, the actually address a narrow, liberal theological base.

Evangelical Christians need not fear books like this. Actually, we should take note. What the authors write about are actually very applicable to the Christian world, but the problem is we need to look at the issue from a biblical perspective. Let us now as a Church discover the effects of Affluenza on the people of God.

The Affluenza Project