The Divine Commodity Summary

  • Last updated on March 25, 2021
"infobox Book"
nameThe Divine Commodity: Discovering a Faith Beyond Consumer Christianity
orig title
authorSkye Jethani
countryUnited States
languageEnglish languageEnglish
genreReligion, Christianity, Leadership
release_dateFebruary 2009
media_typePrint (Hardcover), digital download audiobook, ebook
isbnISBN 0-310-28375-2 (hardcover edition)
The human imagination is the key battleground in the conflict between the kingdom of God and the consumer culture. Drawing from the vivid imaginations of Impressionist painters, particularly Vincent van Gogh, each chapter of The Divine Commodity uses personal narrative, biblical exposition, and cultural observation to show how consumerism has shaped current Christian faith in America, and then challenges the reader to use their sanctified imagination to envision an alternative way of expressing the Christian life in today's culture.The author, Skye Jethani, is the managing editor of Leadership journal, a magazine and online resource published by Christianity Today International. He also serves as a teaching pastor at Blanchard Alliance Church in Wheaton, Illinois.

The Divine Commodity: Discovering a Faith Beyond Consumer Christianity Chapter Summaries


Jesus did not conquer death and evil so that we might congregate for multimedia worship extravaganzas in his name. Today's church is losing its ability to inspire. In a world churning with God's wonders, designed to inspire our imaginations and draw our souls heavenward, the programmatic church is dark by comparison. The influence of consumerism is pervasive in Christian faith and has dimmed our imagination. This book explores spiritual practices that can aid in living a post-consumer Christianity.

Chapter 1: Slumber of the Imagination

How the divine imagination of God's people has been captivated by the conventionality of our culture, and the power of childlike faith to set it free again.

Chapter 2: The Canvas of Silence

How we have reduced God to a controllable commodity, and the power of silence to awaken a sense of holy wonder.

Chapter 3: Branding of the Heart

Shopping carries the spiritual power to construct and express identity, but our identity as the people of Christ is intended to be more than skin deep.

Chapter 4: At Eternity's Gate

Although popular and often genuine, external worship experiences do not bring lasting transformation, but an internal communion with God can change us from the inside out.

Chapter 5: Wind in a Bottle

In our culture institutions rather than people are seen as the vessels of God's power, but any attempt to capture the Spirit of God is a futile gesture.

Chapter 6: The Land of Desire

The endless pursuit of immediate satisfaction has made our culture increasingly immature, but following in the steps of the suffering Christ leads to a greater joy.

Chapter 7: A Refuge for Many

In a culture that promotes choice and customization, homogeneous groups are the outcome, but by surrendering personal comfort we can learn to be a united community again.

Chapter 8: Around the Table

When we view people as products to consume we dehumanize one another and promote isolation, but genuine hospitality can heal the wounds consumerism inflicts.

Chapter 9: Teaching the World to Sing

Marketing tells us that having a big impact is what establishes legitimacy, but the mission of God's kingdom is advanced through the smallest things, and we leave the outcomes to him.


Personally exercised silence, prayer, fasting, love, hospitality, and friendship are what is needed to loosen consumerism's hold on us. It's only when minds are illuminated, imaginations set free, and wounds healed, one by one, that real transformation can come to the church.

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Categories: Christian