Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Divine Commodity by Skye Jethani

Search for title: HCL  RCL  SPPL  MnLINK


The human imagination is the key battleground in the conflict between the kingdom of God and the consumer culture. Drawing from the vivid imaginations of Impressionist painters, particularly Vincent van Gogh, each chapter of The Divine Commodity uses personal narrative, biblical exposition, and cultural observation to show how consumerism has shaped our faith, and then challenges the reader to use their sanctified imagination to envision an alternative way of expressing the Christian life in our culture.


The blessing - and curse - of owning a Kindle is the sheer number of books one can effortlessly carry.  The benefit is that  you never lack for a good book.  The penalty is... well, you often take lonnnnnnnnger to finish any one book. 

This book is one I picked up for free in the frequent "free book" offers on Amazon - and I've been reading at it for months.   It is a very good appraisal "consumer Christianity."  Fortunately, thanks to the "notes" features from the Kindle/Amazon, I can easily reel off pithy quotes from my reading - some examples:

In Consumer Christianity, our concern is not primarily whether people are transformed to reflect the countercultural values of God’s kingdom, but whether they are satisfied — often measured by attendance and giving.

Consumerism has focused us so fully on the individual, that we’ve lost the corporate and social dimension of the gospel.

In his book Following Christ in a Consumer Culture, John Kavanaugh argues that our lifestyle of guarded isolation is the result of grounding our identities in external possessions 

the door to God’s kingdom has no peephole. Unlike our Facebook profiles, God’s kingdom has no filter. And unlike our consumer churches, God’s kingdom has no target audience


Star Trek: Mirror Universe: The Sorrows of Empire by David Mack

Search for ISBN: HCL  RCL  SPPL  MnLINK  ISBNdb.com  WorldCat
Search for title: HCL  RCL  SPPL  MnLINK



One man can shape the future...but at what cost?

"In every revolution, there is one man with a vision."
Captain James T. Kirk of the United Federation of Planets spoke those prophetic words to Commander Spock of the Terran Empire, hoping to inspire change. He could not have imagined the impact his counsel would have.
Armed with a secret weapon of terrifying power and a vision of the alternate universe's noble Federation, Spock seizes control of the Terran Empire and commits it to the greatest gamble in its history: democratic reform.
Rivals within the empire try to stop him; enemies outside unite to destroy it.
Only a few people suspect the shocking truth: Spock is knowingly arranging his empire's downfall. But why? Have the burdens of imperial rule driven him mad? Or is this the coldly logical scheme of a man who realizes that freedom must always be paid for in blood?
Spock alone knows that the fall of the empire will be the catalyst for a political chain reaction — one that will alter the fate of his universe forever.

A book that starts with the murder of Captain Kirk by Spock definitely starts out with a bang.  Scratch that - the assassination  of mirror-Kirk by mirror-Spock.  For this book is the story of Spock's life AFTER the Star Trek episode "Mirror, Mirror."  Informed by all of Trek history-as-we-know-it, Mack has great fun tracking the career of Spock and his vision for the Empire.  Terrific fun!