I've been thinking and studying about materialism and simplicity for quite a while now. I wanted to share some excerpts from a book I'm reading (borrowed from the local library) on this topic. This way maybe you can benefit from the book without having to read the whole thing, or maybe even decide it is interesting enough to read yourself. I'm going to continue with a few more of quotes in the weeks to come. I also discovered some pod casts today on this topic that reference this same author and topic. Isn't it amazing how that happens? If you go in the next few weeks you can listen to them and down load them for free. (You can also subscribe to the Homemakers by Choice pod cast which I HIGHLY recommend. It has been a daily source of encouragement for me.) Check out this link to listen now, or if you missed it go to this link and e-mail them a request for a copy of the "Celebration of the Discipline--Simplicity" pod casts.
Freedom of Simplicity-Finding Harmony in a Complex World by Richard J. Foster
"...Christian simplicity does not yield to simplistic answers. The tension must be maintained: things are good, but that good is limited. Perhaps one more example of paradoxical tension will be sufficient to emphasize the fact that our journey into simplicity will be as intricate, varied and rich as human personality itself. If refer to the attractive ability to be single-hearted and at the same time sensitive to the tough, complex issues of life. It is a strange combination and quite difficult to explain, though quite easy to recognize. It produces focus without dogmatism, obedience without oversimplification, profundity without self-consciousness. It means being cognizant of many issues while having only one issue at the center-holy obedience."
"Oversimplification is a danger in any field of study. But the danger is especially insidious in the study of Christian simplicity, because it can so easily be viewed as a virtue. We have touched on a few pitfalls: however, we have not yet mentioned the area of greatest peril: the danger of assuming that simplicity can function independently of the rest of Christian devotion. Simplicity is the most outward of the all the Spiritual Disciplines and therefore the most susceptible to corruption, and the greatest corruption is to isolate it...Simplicity needs to be seen in the light of the whole. For example, there is an intrinsic relationship between simplicity and prayer, especially that central aspect of prayer which is trust."