Book Review: Simpler Living, Compassionate Life

Simpler Living Cover

This community-building anthology of rare voices, reviewed by David Barnum, Chair of the Diocese of Edmonton Stewardship Committee, sees Henri Nouwen, Cecile Andrews, Richard Foster and others explore our use of money and the practice of simplicity as we live out our faith in our homes and workplaces.

As members of the modern age we sometimes feel disconnected from the world of the bible.

But if we look closely we can see that, although cultures change, our basic challenges stay the same. We still struggle with issues like community, justice, economic stress, political tensions, and cultural and ethnic differences. We continue to struggle with the fact we keep putting God on the shelf, but not into our hearts and lives. How do we discern what this mysterious God wants us to be? How do we unshackle our imaginations to see the opportunities God offers us? How do we understand everything which we hold as ours, is given to us in great trust?

And how does the ethic of stewardship—caring for both our planet and our posterity—compare to the short-term perspective of a market economy? Do we only track our quarterly profit and loss statements or do we go deeper, moving closer toward a value of indigenous people: judging success by how our decisions impact the seventh generation out?

These questions are fundamentally stewardship ones. Editor Michael Schut presents a rare collection of voices: Henri Nouwen, Cecile Andrews, Richard Foster and others who explore our use of money, the practice of simplicity, listening to our lives, widening our circle of community, and other topics at the core of how we live out our faith in our homes and workplaces. A study guide for small group discussion is included

Simpler Living, Compassionate Life is a wonderful collection of essays, prayers and quotations that will inspire, challenge and help us transform ourselves into the stewards that we are called to become.