Enough: Discovering Joy Through Simplicity and Generosity – Adam Hamilton
Abingdon Press 2009
Adam Hamilton is the Sr. Pastor of United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood Kansas. In 2008 he recognized the economic challenges facing the nation had not bypassed the Christian community and many were looking to the church for leadership in how to meet these difficulties.
The result is a little book entitled “Enough.” In it Hamilton hopes to offer “an invitation for you to rediscover truths previous generations knew – wisdom that was drawn from pages of Scripture. It is meant to be a guide and a source of encouragement and inspiration.” The book is a concise 4 chapter read that addresses the challenge of how to live as a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ in our consumer driven world.
‘Enough’ could at first appear to be dated as it was written at the height of the economic crisis but with foreclosures still on the horizon and new unemployment trends it is clear the Church will continue to navigate through rough financial waters. As long as consumerism continues to drive our lives there will be a need for people to be reminded of biblical principals that have served previous generations so well.
In the opening chapter Hamilton helps to identify how we got here. He suggests the American Dream has become the “American Nightmare” highlighting the nations overwhelming need for, “stuff” that has created a disease he refers to as “affluenza” and “credit-itis. In the next chapter Hamilton provides a model for readers to discover their divine purpose for living and develop a plan to achieve what is most important. The plan is basically about developing a budget and sticking to it. In the third chapter he suggests a need for “cultivating contentment” and finally for living generously.
Hamilton shares his own personal tithing practice which shows his clear understanding of leadership in this difficult area. Ministers don’t like to talk about money – he does so and in a context that makes it accessible to everyone not just clergy!
While much of the material here is not new with stories, analogies and techniques many will have all heard before, ‘Enough’ is a quick read, (it took less than three hours) and is a manageable resource for even the busiest of people. The material is accessible and can be used in a variety of ways. At the end of each chapter are questions for consideration. ‘Enough’ could be used for an individual or short term group study. As many prepare for fall stewardship campaigns this would be a useful book to have congregations read and may give an independent view of the need to provide a proportion of all our resources to God.
Reviewed by the Rev. Dr. Carolyn Scanlan
Senior Minister of Avon Christian Church, Avon, Indinana.