Friday, October 18, 2013

G54 Veneer; Living deeply in a surface society

Title of the book: Veneer; Living Deeply in a Surface Society

Author: Timothy Willard, Jason Locy

Publisher: Zondervan

Publishing Date: 2011

ISBN: 978-0-310-32563-5

Summary:

You aren't who you think you are.Culture tells us that in order to be liked we must masquerade as someone other than who we are. So, we lacquer ourselves with credit cards and plastic surgery and status updates hoping no one will see the person underneath. This 'veneer' allows us to silence our real selves as it gives voice to the alter ego we'd like others to see. But, is this all there is to life or have we been duped? Does material success equal significance? Is our only identity the one we steal from Hollywood? God's idea of humanity is altogether different from the world's. There is a way to live that sees beauty in our imperfection and, as Tim and Jason put it, once we realize this we can strip our veneers and live an unveneered life of freedom, honesty, and beauty.

Other Works: 

Neither of the authors have written anything before.

Background of authors: (from book-flap)

Tim Willard had reasons to leave his faith behind. As a pastor's kid, he saw the church he adored divide into pieces and soon after, experienced his own reckoning when he was abrputly expelled from a prominent christian university. But this story would have a twist. The next seventeen years would galvanize his passion for the church. He would tour the country as a musician, teach students around bonfires, write full-time, and earn a master's in religion specializing in christian thought from gordon-conwell theological seminary.

Jason Locy has always seen a divided religion. Growing up in a small southern town, he experienced firsthand a faith disconnected from society. Over time he would realize there should be no divide; all of life is sacred. Now, Jason embodies this philosophy as a sought-after creative director and principal of FiveStone, an award-winning branding and design firm that moves organizations from standard marketing hype to long-term sustainable strategies. His work has garnered national and international attention.

Theme: 

"Each day-from morning toast to evening television-certain tensions surface. The life you want and the life you live cannot find each other. The world around you seems perfect, but your life feels like a wreck. A little part of you wants something more. You do all the right things: wear the right clothes, have the right job, live in the right neighborhood, but something's missing." (14)

Problems addressed: 

Basically, human beings don't need veneer but they can be their true selves through jesus and god.

Summary of the content:

As of now human beings measure success and worth through materialism and accumulating different things, which isn't the right way. There is use of jesus and his disciples as well as simplicity and to wonder at the power of nature instead of being caught up in materialism. Also moments and relationships with people are very important.

Thesis:

Its important to care for people and not to treat certain things like tasks.

Main Points:

*Prelude: Crazy Breed: The Language of culture
*1. Sawmill-Seeing the Veneer
*2. Celebrity Me- Wanting Our Fifteen Minutes of Fame
*3. The Queen is Dead-Long Live the Queen-Recognizing Consumption
*4. The Great Vanishing- Wrestling with Progress
*5. Oh, Inverted World-Understanding Society
*Interlude-An Ethereal Plane: The Language of God
*6. Whale Stars-Encountering the Magnificent
*7. The Violence of Bees-Discovering a True Relationship
*8. Transcend-Reaching beyond Ourselves to Grasp Love
*9. Vapor Sunshine-Finding Meaning through Abiding
*10. End Veneer-Pursuing the Uncommon Way
*Postlude: Back at the sawmill: The language of restoration

Why its not:

I have to admit that I'm the wrong person to read and review the book. I think at the time I entered, I hadn't realized that the book would be heavily religious. A lot of things didn't really apply to me or to my life, not to mention the religion idea kind of turned me off from this book. I assume that for christians it does have interesting ideas, but for me it might as well have been written in a foreign tongue that I don't understand.

Supports thesis:

I would assume that it does support thesis. "And yet hope persists, drawing us away from this scenario. It exists in another language that empowers us to resist the language of culture. Through this language we discover how relationships form our very lives, inside and out; we uncover a love that calls us beyond ourselves; we begin to understand what it means to abide with one another and with god. We see, finally that when we view our lives through the lens of holy redemption, we have no use for veneer." (15)

Address Issues:

People accumulate material goods and possessions at the cost of the spiritual sides and souls. In here an example is brought of up of how tolerant and almost expected it becomes when a cell phone rings and so forth. In the end, the authors argue, this materialism doesn't equal happiness.

Agree/Disagree: 

On some points I do agree, but I do admit that I read this rather quickly with rarely anything going into my mind and staying there.

Sources: 

This book does have plenty of sources, all secondary of course, including the christian testament and some books and some history too. I found the history of consumerism quite interesting.

Conclusion: 

If you are a christian and looking for a way to become happier, then read this book, if you aren't, then I wouldn't advise for this book to be read.

Quick notes: I won this book on goodreads.com thus this review will appear in its entirety on goodreads as well as the blog  I am really the wrong audience for the book; for one thing I am not christian, and jesus happens to be one of my anger triggers. I won this by accident, and my view is that while this does have cool ideas, I would have liked it better if it was without religion. 

1 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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