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Living Deeply

Veneer by Timothy Willard and Jason Locy

Timothy Willard and Jason Locy in their new book entitled Veneer have written a winsome, provocative, and radical book helping Christians to wake up from their lives that are too entwined with the culture we live in. The second chapter of the book takes us into the world of the celebrity in which fame and acclaim are touted and humility and sacrifice are deemed unimportant. At one point in the chapter the authors state, "We feel unsatisfied unless we influence over others. We feel irritated unless others approve of us. We feel discontented unless we receive recognition in our work. Influence, approval , achievement; in the celebrity world, these are idols" (45). Not only is their unhealthy imbalance but we are seeking the recognition of others far beyond the commendation from God and his calling us to work for his glory. Willard and Locy rightly relate the that the seeking of celebrity status has no place in the life of a Christian (47), for the believer is not bound by fame but by Christ, and this in turn leads to a life of humility and sacrifice.

The chapter on the Queen is Dead is remarkably accurate about human nature seeking after goods to be in turn defined by them. Willard and Locy write, "But when our sales receipts define us, we reduce ourselves to Christmas trees, beautiful on the outside, perched on our stands, while dying inside. We must not our souls be martyred in exchange for the glitz of the immediate and temporal" (64). What is it about the all-consuming greed of consumption that points us to a never ending feeling of dissatisfaction? The authors hit the nail on the head in saying that external things or objects, whatever they are never truly have the effect of lasting. Even more, these temporary pleasures dull our senses for anything that would be of lasting value because we are so used to the immediate satisfaction. The authors bear witness on the last page of the chapter to the fundamental need for people to have relationship with God, their maker. Meaning starts not from a thing or object but from a person, in this specific sense the Father, Son and Spirit and having our fellowship with them (66).

In the chapter on the Great Vanishing we see the chasm that exists in our world between real people and the viral world we tap into every day. The authors imagine a situation in which 8 associates are at a lunch and are hounded by their electronic devices making no room for important conversation (77-78). We live in a fast moving world that almost has no time for real connection. Yet, we still remain people who are affected everyday by the lack of attention and care by others. The proliferation of media does not expunge the need for real connection with other human beings. "Unlike our computers, our lives cannot shut down, " Locy andWillard write. (81).

This book was a very good look into the idea that many people live with a veneer around them each day. We fail to appreciate the love God has for us in Christ and the connection we need with others. This book was a wakeup call to take account of the way we live, consumerism and all in America. I was encouraged to take account of my own relationship by reading this book. I hope this book will go far in helping students, pastors, teachers.

Thanks to Zondervan for the review copy of this book.


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