Tuesday, March 10, 2009


full disclosure:  will samson is a dear friend and a brother in community...and his book is dedicated to this life together we call Communality.  so, if you're looking for an unbiased review you might need to look elsewhere.

i just read Will's new book, "enough: contentment in an age of excess" and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Will sets out to help the reader understand the stuff that surrounds us, this culture of consumerism where everything has a price and life is measured in dollars and cents.  he weaves his own life story (rich discoveries as well as mistakes and struggles) with keen social analysis and biblical reflection.  as he points out in the intro, this book is not a guilt trip nor is it a play-by-play game plan for making your life happy/green/monastic/communal.  Will deals with broader strokes and writes to stimulate the imagination of the reader - to foster a sense of how our lives might move toward a more generous and creative expression.  he writes explicitly to people who would already identify with the person of Jesus and the dominant image/metaphor he uses is that of the eucharistic meal. 


his final two chapters pull together the major themes and suggest we can only resist consumerism within the context of what he calls, "eucharistic communities."  these are morally formative networks of relationships where gratitude, celebration, and giving generously (among other virtues) shape particular lives and the wider group.


and speaking of groups, this will be a great book to read as part of a cell/small group...Will includes mini biblical mis/quotes at the start of each chapter that alone are capable of sparking wonderful conversation.  at the end of each chapter there is also a set of directions to engage or practice the theory.  i hasten to add these are not "to do's" they are principles that will require some effort on the part of the reader to incarnate in their particular context - a wonderful way to invite people to inhabit new insight.


Anyway, a great book that offers this much needed reminder:  contentment is a christian virtue.  how content are you?


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