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Enough: Contentment in an Age of Excess [Kindle Edition]

Will Samson , Shane Claiborne
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

How much is enough?

In an age of conspicuous consumption-of designer sunglasses, jeweled cell phones, and five-thousand-square-foot homes-is it possible to be content? In a society where children spend more time worrying about their weight than their grades, is it possible to find peace? In a world being drained of its natural resources, is it conceivable that we do nothing? And with a universe of dazzling temptation at our fingertips, will we still seek the God of all creation?

Will Samson is good at opening thoughtful dialogue; a recent conversation was about social justice. In Enough, his latest wide-ranging, insightful book, Will addresses the idea of finding contentment in this age of excess. With a casual, accessible writing style, he discusses consumerism, contentment as a Christian discipline, and the notion of stewarding our resources. In four sections, Will outlines the ideas that drive a consumeristic mindset; the effects those ideas have on ourselves, our communities, and the earth; conclusions about the situation; and practical solutions for negotiating everyday life once we understand that our abundant God is, in fact, enough.

If you're exhausted from keeping up with the Joneses, or if you're looking for the balance between what is necessary and what is too much, just stop. Enough is enough.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Lisa Samson is an award-winning author who has written over twenty novels; her most recent, Quaker Summer, received a starred review from Publisher's Weekly. Will Samson is a PhD candidate in sociology at the University of Kentucky, where he is working on research in the areas of sustainability and Christian community. The Samsons live with their three children in Lexington, Kentucky as part of Communality, an intentional Christian community dedicated to living out the call of the gospel in tangible ways.

Will Samson is a Visiting Professor of Sociology at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky. He, his wife, novelist Lisa Samson, and their family are participants in the life of Communality , a missional Christian community in Lexington, KY. Will serves on the coordinating group of Emergent Village, and serves on the Board of Directors of The Relational Tithe and Seedleaf, a community gardening initiative.

Product Details

  • File Size: 736 KB
  • Print Length: 176 pages
  • Publisher: David C. Cook; New edition (May 1, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005S2DAKW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #654,774 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Publisher's Weekly Review March 18, 2009
Enough: Commitment in an Age of Excess

Will Samson. David C. Cook, $14.99 paper (256p) ISBN 978-0-7814-4542-9
Tailor-made for an age of anxiety, this volume, written particularly for Christians, attempts to address and answer the author's question: "What would it be like to be formed by communities consumed by God and God's vision for the world?" The author, a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at the University of Kentucky, indicts Christians for supporting a cultural obsession with consumption, a constrictive view of morality and a narrow view of God. Threading his own conservative evangelical background and his family's present experiences as part of an intentional community throughout the book, the author also uses Scripture to delineate an alternative vision: countercultural "Eucharistic Communities" that offer their resources to the world. The first chapters of the book include cultural, sociological and theological analysis of the dilemmas of consumption and contrasts them with the writer's vision of God's call to abundant life in Christ. In the second part, Samson offers detailed, practical ideas on how believers can make lifestyle changes aimed at embracing wholeness in connecting belief and practice as the people of God. (Mar.)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What Consumes Us? April 10, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
[ This review originally appeared on ]

There are any number of books being written at present about economics; many of these that have been on my reading list have to do with the sorry state of the global food economy. Take, for instance, The End of Food, a thorough and necessary account of food economies, but one that commonly assumes a default of "a food economy...defined by scarcity." Indeed, the buzzwords of current economic discourse all seem to connote doom and gloom: "economic downturn," "recession anxiety," etc. So how welcome is Will Samson's new book Enough: Contentment in an Age of Excess, which goes right to the heart of modern economics, namely that "we are people consumed by stuff" (notably, this point is missing from almost all conversation about "the economy"). Further, as Samson goes out of his way to make clear that he understands this problem to be theological as much (or more) than just cultural, he posits that "we are not consumed by an incarnational God the same way we are consumed by stuff."

To begin to address the question of consumerism, the "way of thinking about stuff that believes the consumption of what will...make us content," Samson makes some general remarks that guide the rest of the book, and that I hope will inform an even broader conversation:

"Is there enough for everyone? This is an economic question, and in our discussion here I am certainly going to try and address the question from an economic perspective. But it is not just an economic question, is it? In fact, the question of whether there are sufficient resources in this world may be one of the most important theological questions of our time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What it Means to Follow Christ May 26, 2009
When I first started this book, I half-expected it to be a diatribe against modern culture, focusing on the sins of our excess. While the book does mention those excesses, what I found instead was a call to live into true church community. Will encourages us to say "enough" to the consumeristic tendencies that have overtaken our personal lives, our churches, or friendships, and our theology and return to a Christ-centered practice instead.

The book is divided into two main sections. The first is an accessible exploration of the ways we have let consumeristic mindsets control who we are. And the second is a practical section that explores the areas of our lives in which we can say "enough" and provides broad suggestions for alternative ways of living. Both sections are easy to read, full of stories and examples, and do a good job of explaining ideas and trends in culture. While I personally found myself wishing for more substance in parts of the book, I found it as a whole to be a great introduction to the idea of exploring how our lives reflect what we believe.

The main call in the book is for us to live eucharistic lives. Living eucharistically "is to find ourselves in a community of others seeking the same, seeking to follow God in the way of Jesus.". But instead of living radically in that way, Will argues that we make do on low-cost, low-commitment substitutes. We exchange Christian community for the easy "personal decision for Christ." We exchange the command of stewardship for a "eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die get raptured" theology. We have failed to realize that what we do, where we live, and what we buy reflects our theology.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I needed more. September 23, 2009
Will Samson's "Enough," ironically, left me longing for more.
There were a variety of different things happening in this book which, if each idea had been catalogued in a single book, could have been much more developed, poignant and persuasive; however, as Samson himself noted in a number of spots in the book, he is somewhat tangential which I feel muffled some of his more potent ideas. I know that he was trying to make this book palatable to his probable audience (those who are concerned with the effects of consumption who, stereotypically, reside on a specific arc of the political spectrum) but his subtle commentary with sarcastic references to political ideologies also kept me from fully engaging in the book and seemed to detract from the gravity of American and Christian consumption. And I think that the most difficult component of this is that he recognizes the significance of Christian consumption and, yet, neglected to really spell out the potentially cataclysmic effects.
So, that being said, here is my response to the book.
To begin, (again, as he notes) the structure of the book is "a bit more wonky" (27). This is me being nit-picky but had he structured his book the way he detailed it on the previous page (26) it would have presented a much more cogent argument with a more fluid transition from idea to idea.
There could have been much more time spent on chapter 2. At the core, the issue of Christian consumption is derived from a misinterpretation or misunderstanding of certain biblical narratives, it has become exacerbated by the American civil religion which has wed American ideologies (in all of its facets: war, good and evil, consumption, morality, etc.) with Christianity.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy To Consume
Will Samson's "ENOUGH: Contentment in an Age of Excess," is a very good book - well written, easy to consume. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Introductory, informative, and specifically for Christians.
Enough doesn't try to be everything to everyone. Will Samson is writing as a Christian for Christians. I appreciate that he put that out there in the beginning. Read more
Published on July 7, 2011 by Brian Sun
5.0 out of 5 stars We need to read this book.
It's one of those books that isn't pleasant to read, because it's so challenging. But if you think of yourself as a follower of Jesus, and actually want to follow in his footsteps,... Read more
Published on November 30, 2010 by Ephraim Risho
4.0 out of 5 stars Have You Had Enough?
When I picked up Will Samson's book I figured I had found an angry author who had an axe to grind against society and the church. Anyone who titled his book, "Enough! Read more
Published on June 24, 2009 by Chad Estes
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Well Paced & Challenging Read
ill Samson hooked me early in this new book. He paints an image of the communion table where one person eats all of the elements. Read more
Published on June 17, 2009 by William A. Guice
4.0 out of 5 stars Every Contemporary Christian Should Read This Text
Will Samson had a typical childhood background growing up in the typical American church. Samson is white, middle class and suburban. Read more
Published on June 10, 2009 by
1.0 out of 5 stars no one is safe
Unless you believe exactly like Mr. Samson, look out! There is no one he doesn't hesitate to attack in his ultra-critical book. Read more
Published on March 29, 2009 by Diane Bishop
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