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August 2013
Rescuing the Church from Consumerism

Mark Clavier
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This engrossing book seeks to demonstrate how deeply the Western Church has been impacted by the all-pervasive ‘religion’ of consumerism, and to suggest how the Church might re-establish its independence.

Mark Clavier examines how people are initiated into a consumer culture during childhood and thus drawn into pursuing a vocation as consumers by means of various quasi-sacramental rites and practices. The upshot of this is that the Church today is composed primarily of men and women whose lives are situated more within a consumer culture than within a distinctively Christian one. And because consumerism transforms all it touches, the Christian sacraments are alienated from their own narrative community. Not only that, mission and worship are shaped by consumer interests, as is apparent in some of the underlying theology of Mission-shaped Church and Fresh Expressions. For the Church to free itself from consumer culture, it must reclaim a sacramental identity that is grounded in a narrative tradition and realized in real, local worshipping communities.

Rescuing the Church from Consumerism is a fascinating book, full of both warning and promise. It pours light onto the often unrecognized death traps of some forms of church culture and offers deep wisdom by which churches could re-orientate their lives. Read this book, wince at its truths, and then be encouraged by its hope. John Pritchard, Bishop of Oxford

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