Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Good Life Myth #3: I Want My Neighbor's Life

The latest message in my sermon series called The Good Life: Redeeming Suburbia through Counter-cultural Living is up on Believers Fellowship's sermon audio page.

In the series, I have been comparing the myths of suburbia about living the good life with the message of Jesus as presented in the Gospel of John. This week's suburban myth was "I want my neighbor's life." Suburbia tells us that the secret to happiness is owning the things that our neighbors own. This leads us to a life of rampant consumerism. In contrast, John the Baptist lived by the mottos, "A man can only receive what is given to him from heaven" and "He must become greater, I must become less." We looked at how these mottos challenged the suburban lifestyle of consumerism.


Scott barger said...

Sounds similar to a book I read titled "Death by Suburb." Read it?

Matt said...

Yes, I did read Death By Suburb. It's a great book.

Each of the sermons in this series is loosely based on ideas in Goetz's book. However, Goetz is concerned about "the thicker life" and he focuses mostly on spiritual disciplines. While I do talk about disciplines, I am focusing more on social justice.

IOW, Goetz wants to know how to have a good spiritual life in suburbia. I want to know how to live like Jesus in suburbia.

Other books I am using are Exiles by Michael Frost, The Forgotten Ways by Alan Hirsch, The Suburban Christian by Albert Hsu, The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claibourne, and The Jesus of Suburbia by Mike Erre.

My approach to John is a combination of Richard Bauckham and Raymond Brown.