Customer Reviews


5 Reviews
5 star:
 (1)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Power of Consumerism
Mark Powley in his new book entitled Consumer Detox has written a provocative and poignant work about the overwhelming need for people to take a look at consumerism. After reliving a story about his desire for a new pair of running shoes early on, Powley makes the claim that the first step in recognizing the gripping reality of consumerism on your life is to name it...
Published on March 6, 2011 by Sheep23

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lacks Punch
I read this book after it was mentioned in a sermon last summer, and I was excited to see an anti-consumerism book from the Christian perspective. Unfortunately, this book lacked the punch or practical application that I expected.

Consumerism is a huge burden for everyone, but I think Christians have ignored the weight that they add to themselves through their...
Published on March 15, 2012 by Jonathan Hohle


Most Helpful First | Newest First

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Power of Consumerism, March 6, 2011
Mark Powley in his new book entitled Consumer Detox has written a provocative and poignant work about the overwhelming need for people to take a look at consumerism. After reliving a story about his desire for a new pair of running shoes early on, Powley makes the claim that the first step in recognizing the gripping reality of consumerism on your life is to name it (17). There is a certain fundamental recognition of our need for change only when we name it and take it as our own. Secondly, Powley goes on to aptly comment that, "The reality is: unless we can find some deeper roots for our identity, we'll never be able to break out of consumerism" (44). It is not that things are inherently evil, but the temptation of consumerism is that we should people who are always wholly unsatisfied with the things that we have, so much so that we have to reach for the next big thing.

One of my favorite parts of the book is Powley's understanding of how publicity webs work (75). Products and sponsors link their products together in a succesive enterprise that allows movies such as Toy Story to spill over into video games, celebrity endorsements and other seemingly unrelated sponors (Toy Story signs on public transportation and at professional sporting venues). It's kind of like your home internet page which pops up a million different products calling you into a web of more products. This type of painfully evident even in the case of little children. I even found myself at the checkout line buying Toy Story Mac n Cheese because I was so enthralled with the movie. The goal of these publicity webs is that they never let you out of their reach, they are always within arms reach.

So, what is the way forward from the mess of consumerism that we all find ourselves caught in? The early Christians dreamed dreams of the 'empire of God (his kingdom), where truth and love triumph' (83). Not only were the early Christians counter-cultural but they offered a life that was open to all, including slave and free. They loved the unloved by society and treated the poor with great care and concern. As Powley seems to be verging on, the values of the kingdom that the early Christians exhibited ran counter to even the present day Roman rule where power and privlege were of most importance. Much like the early Christians living under Roman rule, Christians today have the privlege of actually limiting their lives in concern for others and the needs that are most important. Rowley points to actions like getting married as not maximizing life's choices but actually limiting oneself for the sake of love and sacrifice (93). Part of the dangerous nature of always trying to live life to the max is that we never take time to enjoy the people around us, forfeiting solid, healthy relationships for surface encounters.

Consumer Detox is a tour de force for the wearied consumer who is burnt out of the rat race of choices. This book in the last few chapters shines a light on the reality of idolatry concerning our consuming and our money. Next, Powley comments on the joy of giving, not just as a quarterly hobby but as a way of life. The last section offers some advice on how to use the individual chapters as an opening to more questions of application (how do we apply the principles of simplicity, giving, and investing in people). Last, this book is a wake up call for pastors, teacher, and others to look inside their own hearts at the destructive forces of consumerism that have taken root and to deal with it appropriately.

Thanks to Zondervan Publishing for the review copy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Freedom!, March 22, 2011
By 
Consumer Detox is a breath of fresh air (pun intended: Powley is also the founder of the Breathe) network. Powley has managed to write a non-legalistic (indeed, liberating) manifesto about freedom from consumerism. Zondervan's done a fine job marketing it, too. They've managed to promote a book on the ancient discipline of simplicity that appeals to modern generations.

Powley tackles the subject in three sections. First, he explains the lunacy of the advertising machine. Freedom from the compulsion to buy what the latest advertisement sells begins by learning their tactics. In the second section he explores what life looks like outside the machine. As godly rhythms take root in our lives, our compulsion to settle for trite marketing becomes replaced with a desire for what's truly lasting. In the final section he shares a potent tactic to spurn consumerism: give stuff away. Live generously.

Mark Powley's book reads like he's talking to you with many one-sentence paragraphs and short poetic fragments. (If you've read any of Rob Bell's books, you'll know the style I'm describing.) It's also stuffed full of humour. He has a self-deprecating manner that makes the reader feel less inept when encountering such a massive shift in worldview.

Whether you've experimented with the discipline of simplicity in the past, or are just a helpless consumer looking for signs of life outside the marketing machine, this book points us all in the right direction.

Disclaimer: A free review copy of this book was provided for me by Zondervan.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Practical and Motivating, January 26, 2011
Consumerism consumes us but we don't have to succumb to it. That is the message of this book as the author makes a case for abundant living with less stuff and more life. It is written from a Biblical perspective as the reader is challenged to seek his or her satisfaction in Christ and simple living instead of the things advertisers convince us we can't live without. As Powley says, if those things are supposed to make us happy, why do we keep going back for the next bigger, better thing because what we have is never enough?

Powley also addresses the myth that we must accomplish much and experience all we can in our short time here on earth, asking the reader to consider whether this actually leads to "busy, self-absorbed lives where we're always worried that we might not be making the most of what we've got." Instead, scripture teaches that life is lived with limits that bring contentment and peace.

I liked the message of this book and how Powley combined practical advice with sound Biblical teaching. He doesn't preach or put readers on a guilt trip but instead helps them take an honest look at how consumerism and the race to do it all and have it all really doesn't satisfy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lacks Punch, March 15, 2012
By 
Jonathan Hohle (Scottsdale, AZ USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Consumer Detox: Less Stuff, More Life (Paperback)
I read this book after it was mentioned in a sermon last summer, and I was excited to see an anti-consumerism book from the Christian perspective. Unfortunately, this book lacked the punch or practical application that I expected.

Consumerism is a huge burden for everyone, but I think Christians have ignored the weight that they add to themselves through their spending habits. How can you feed the hungry, care for the sick, or serve those in need while drowning in consumer debt, student loans, and mortgages? I didn't find Consumer Detox to be convicting nor did I think it contained any "light bulb" passages which I could take away to realign my thinking.

While not written from a Christian perspective, I would recommend that others check out Debt is Slavery: and 9 Other Things I Wish My Dad Had Taught Me About Money or Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence: Revised and Updated for the 21st Century (check them out from your local library). These both contain practical advice on living outside of the consumer driven world and embracing the things that are really valuable in your life.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly insightful, August 16, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Consumer Detox: Less Stuff, More Life (Paperback)
This is one of the best books I've read in a long time. In fact, I purchased three additional copies to have some to give away to family and friends. It's written from a Christian standpoint, but in the witty style of C.S. Lewis. If you're interested in living more authentically, this book is a great place to start!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Consumer Detox: Less Stuff, More Life
Consumer Detox: Less Stuff, More Life by Mark Powley (Paperback - January 4, 2011)
Used & New from: $1.02
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.