Phil Ruge-Jones is a pretty bright guy. That’s not hyperbole; you can ask anyone who knows him or knows of his work. ELCA pastor, bearer of a Ph.D. in systematic theology, and professor of theology and philosophy at Texas Lutheran University in Seguin, Texas, Phil is also bilingual en el bendito Español. For close to twenty years, he and his spouse, ELCA pastor Lori Ruge-Jones, have been leaders in the biblical storytelling movement. As a matter of fact, Phil recently recited the gospel of Mark – in two one-hour sessions – for the theological conference gathering of the three Texas/Louisiana synods of the ELCA.
Phil recently took some time to digest Just a Little Bit More: The Culture of Excess and the Fate of the Common Good. Here’s what he has to say:
“Anderson’s book is an extensive chronicling of the people, movements, and streams of thought that have led us on the quest to want just a little bit more. In the role of a theologically aware social critic, he reminds me of Niebuhr. He is deeply embedded in the Christian tradition, but has listened carefully to many other voices and thus speaks a reasonable, balanced, and authoritative public word. Anderson shows us the way back to the North American commitment to egalitarianism that has become lost over the last century.”
Just a Little Bit More describes the dominant American culture of the last thirty-five years – the confluence of commerce, materialism, consumerism – as a religion. It’s been a good religion that has clothed, fed, employed, and sheltered us. But it has a tendency to go too far and when the aforementioned pursuits become excessive, the religion breaks bad and the common good suffers.
Available as a paperback or ebook, Just a Little Bit More is an excellent resource for personal reflection and/or group discussion. Is social inequality the necessary price to pay for the uninhibited pursuit of wealth? Do social inequalities destroy democratic ideals? Is there a connection between the common good and God’s realm or kingdom? These questions, and others, await you in the reading of Just a Little Bit More.
Just a Little Bit More is available through the website of Blue Ocotillo Publishing, www.blueocotillo.com, and Amazon. Blue Ocotillo Publishing – paperback – $14.95 + tax (for Texas residents) + shipping. Ebook format available on Amazon, iBooks, and Nook.