Local theologian gets USA Today blurb on Consumer Christmas

Oregon Faith Report note,

USA Today opinion writer and Associate Vice President of Public Affairs and Communication and Lewis and Clark College Tom Krattenmaker spoke on the commecialization of Christmas with his article entitled “You can’t buy the real gifts of Christmas” (link here).  Below is an excerpt.

Another Christian thinker troubled by today’s rampant consumerism is Paul Louis Metzger, a professor of theology at Multnomah Biblical Seminary in Portland, Ore., and the author of a book on consumerism in church culture called Consuming Jesus. Despite the clear tension between materialism and Christian teaching, he believes that consumerist values have infected much of the church.

“Many thriving prosperity-gospel churches appear to have thoroughly embraced the American ideal of upward mobility and material well-being,” Metzger says. “It makes one wonder if these churches’ leaders think Jesus was a savvy entrepreneur on the rise, who would have become rich had his career not been cut short.”

Consumerism promises that we can buy our way to fulfillment. But the falseness of the promise lies at the very heart of the system. For consumerism depends on our contentment having a short lifespan. The system requires our continuing to need more, to buy more, in an endless cycle of desire-gratification/desire-gratification/desire-gratification. The cycle cannot abide the modest material desires and pursuit of deep, lasting gratitude promoted by religion.

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