thumbnail_image What practices can help us escape excessive consumption? How do we make ethical consumer choices? How do we reduce our environmental footprint?
ISSUE: Volume 27, Number 2, Fall 2015

For the Love of Things

We love things that make our lives easier, more efficient, more enjoyable, more beautiful. We keep objects associated with significant personal experiences and relationships. Yet many of us struggle with having too much stuff—stuff that's draining our energy, finances, and emotions, and turning our earth into what Pope Francis calls an "immense pile of filth."

Part of the tension, then, lies in accepting the material world as a gift, yet not succumbing to the values of consumerism. What practices can help us escape excessive consumption? How do we make ethical consumer choices? How do we reduce our environmental footprint? These are just some of the ideas we explore in this issue. 

Illustration by Brian Liu

Issue Contents

Leading Ideas

Did Pope Francis Study at Regent?

Loren Wilkinson analyzes the theology behind Francis's latest encyclical and cheekily concludes that the Pope could easily have studied at Regent. Francis warns that the earth’s health is seriously threatened by a global consumer culture. more

Leading Ideas


According to blogger Sarah Bessey, we all need to detox from something: buying more, getting more likes on Facebook, or “devouring knowledge for our heads but never letting it seep into our hearts.” A detox can help us achieve the real transformation we crave. more

Leading Ideas

Consumed by Overconsumption

In this work of investigative journalism, Julia Cheung goes on a quest to define what “ethical shopping” really means and how to transform the idea into a personal practice. more


When Christianity Becomes a Brand

Skye Jethani, author of The Divine Commodity: Discovering a Faith Beyond Consumer Christianity, declares that the greatest threat to our faith is not atheism or secularism, but consumerism. more

Jeff's Journal

A Few of My Favourite Things

If Regent College President Jeff Greenman was stranded on a desert island, what three things could he not live without? Hint: he gives serious thought to bringing his food processor. more

Arts & Theology

Love Never Fails: A Shopping Spree and the Ancient of Days

In this gripping story about an extravagant shopping spree in Hawai`i that tests her marriage and her relationship with God, Jessica Lipps finds love, forgiveness, and humility. more

Arts & Theology

The Whole Enchilada: An Interview with Adam Back

Adam Back's mixed media paintings and collages redeem what many of us consider the detritus of everyday life: old books, matchboxes, and trash found in the street. more

Field Notes

The Fair Trade Movement and Level Ground Coffee

Hugo Ciro's fair trade coffee business empowers farmers in the same region of Colombia where he grew up. His business model is based on sustainability, fair wages, and mutual benefit. more

Field Notes

Renos, the Sustainable Way

As the manager of JustRenos, Curtis Ozirney is struck by the unnecessary waste generated by home and business renovations. He offers advice on renovating with sustainability, quality, and longevity in mind. more

Field Notes

Moriah Pie: A Pay-as-You're-Able Pizza Café

At Moriah Pie, Erin and Robert Lockridge serve pizza, soup, salad, and pie from ingredients they've either grown themselves or sourced locally. Customers pay what they can. The café is thriving, and healing a community that was on the decline. more

Thought to Action

10 Reasons to Consume Less

Less debt. Less time caring for possessions. Less lifestyle envy. Faced with this list of "top 10" reasons to stop owning so much stuff, it's hard to justify why we're not all jumping on the minimalist bandwagon. more


Jeff Greenman Becomes Regent College's Fifth President

Jeffrey Greenman was appointed the fifth president of Regent College in February 2015. Jeff's Presidential Installation takes place October 24, 2015. In the Pulse section, you can find more Regent College news, announcements, and events. more

Books & Media

Divine Sex: A Compelling Vision for Christian Relationships in a Hypersexualized Age

Former Regent student Jonathan Grant helps Christian leaders understand the cultural forces that make the church's teaching on sex and relationships ineffective in the lives of today's young adults, and offers an alternative vision. more