How Much Is Enough?

Hungering for God in an Affluent Culture

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Why, in the face of unprecedented affluence, do so many feel discontented? Because possessions may capture the heart, but they cannot nourish the soul. How Much Is Enough? maintains that only the source of joy can give us joy. It points the way to release from captivity to things and to the joy of following Christ.


"This is one of the easiest books you will ever read--and one of the most difficult. Though there is not a word here that will be unintelligible to anyone, the challenge that Art Simon presents to every reader will leave you gasping for breath at times and at other times may prompt you to hurl the book across the room. Within the context of the United States of America at the beginning of the 21st century, this book may even strike some as a kind of obscenity--how dare he speak to us this way! It is, in fact, a sign of contradiction for our age, the very thing we don't want to know about, the only way that can bring us peace."--Thomas Cahill, author of How the Irish Saved Civilization, The Gifts of the Jews, and Desire of the Everlasting Hills: The World Before and After Jesus

"Arthur Simon is best known for his current leadership with Bread for the World. To that task and to this book he brings a lifetime of reflection on issues of Christian stewardship and discipleship, a pastoral sensitivity, and informed awareness of the crisis of hunger in the world. He understands the systemic dimensions of that crisis and the way in which intentional intervention by caring people through societal structures can make a difference. The outcome of his many gifts of heart and mind is a book that is direct, concrete, deeply rooted, and compelling. The reader will be empowered and summoned by Arthur's good words."--Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary

"We have waited too long for this book--since the election of Ronald Reagan and the capitulation of U. S. Christian churches to American affluence. May its compelling biblical and evangelical critique help ignite the long struggle with justice we badly need."--Larry Rasmussen, Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics, Union Theological Seminary, New York City

"As a pastor Arthur Simon radiates his deep knowledge of the Gospels. As a moral leader he helps the readers of this moving book to understand the emptiness of a society based on the sterility of consumerism. How Much Is Enough? teaches you how to find the presence and the beauty of God in a world obsessed with avarice and greed. Simon has created a precious collection of parables, preaching, and prayers that every reader will cherish."--Robert F. Drinan, S.J., professor of law, Georgetown University Law Center

"How Much Is Enough? is a non-violent assault on consumerism written, as it is, more in hope than in anger. It is a profound and moving book, full of biblical insights informing both our personal behavior and public policies that, in short order, could change the world to a more just and peaceful place."--Rev. William Sloane Coffin

"Art Simon combines a pastor's heart with an activist's commitment. The result is a wise, gracious, and life-giving book that invites us into fuller expressions of Christian discipleship. With an engaging and winsome style, Simon reminds us that our choices about money, power, gifts, and time are profoundly important to God and to other human beings. His writing touches a deep chord as he exposes the connections between spiritual and physical hunger. This book gives powerful witness to the freedom and joy that accompany a life of generosity and thoughtful responsibility."--Christine Pohl, professor of social ethics, Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky

"This book is rich with grace--compassionate and forthright; sharply probing, yet gently freeing us to change; wise and insightful, spurring us into deepened commitment for the sake of global justice. Art Simon deepens our trust in God's bountiful grace and thereby empowers us to apportion our wealth more openhandedly. Share this book with everyone you know--the world can't wait for justice!"--Marva J. Dawn, author of Unfettered Hope: A Call to Faithful Living in an Affluent Society

"It's easy to write a book about poor people that makes rich people--meaning most of us!--feel guilty. Art Simon has done something much more difficult: He invites us to a new way of living that, freed from the shackles of consumption, is the way of gratitude and generosity. And he leaves it up to each of us to think through, and pray through, exactly what that means for us."--Richard John Neuhaus, author of American Babylon: Notes of a Christian Exile

"In How Much Is Enough, Arthur Simon has integrated a lifetime of accumulated wisdom. He combines sound biblical teaching, an array of stories and personal confessions, and a comprehensive, fresh understanding of our relationship to God and others. Even though our emphases differ at one point--his on public action; ours on the potential billions of dollars that church members could command through increased giving to help others in Jesus' name--page after page of this remarkable book provides rich and challenging insight. For example, Art Simon emphasizes family life and offers a roadmap to all those attempting to make sense of contemporary culture within their own homes. We recommend this book to every church member and congregation who wants to know how to be rich indeed."--John and Sylvia Ronsvalle, empty tomb, inc.

"Superb. The distilled wisdom of a lifetime of faithful obedience and creative leadership. If American Christians would truly read and understand this powerfully simple book, the result would be a cascading abundance of joy and justice."--Ronald J. Sider, president, Evangelicals for Social Action, professor of theology and culture, Eastern Seminary

"Arthur Simon invites us to say 'yes to life' by discovering the good life of God is the life given away. I highly recommend How Much Is Enough? as an excellent study resource to enable Christians to learn how God wants to more fully use our lives to make a difference in a needy world."--Tom Sine, author of Mustard Seed vs. McWorld and Living on Purpose

"Art Simon's wisdom is precious--not just to guide us to feed the hungry, but to help us see the meaning of life even if we think we are full. His Sabbath advice is itself worth the price of the book."--James W. Skillen, president, Center for Public Justice

"Making meaningful and challenging connections among our Christian tradition, our personal lives and our global community, Simon invites us to make the critical move in consciousness and action from personal compassion to public justice. The book lends itself to use personally, in parish study groups, book clubs, adult education and college classrooms."--Mary Ann Zollmann, BVM, president, Leadership Conference of Women Religious

The Author

  1. Arthur Simon

    Arthur Simon

    Arthur Simon is the founder and president emeritus of Bread for the World, a nonpartisan citizens' hunger lobby. His books include Bread for the World, a national Religious Book Award winner; The Politics of World Hunger, coauthored with his brother, former Illinois...

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