A friend sent me this and this link-both having to do with the book Death by Suburb by David Goetz. The first is a book review by Caleb Stegell (editor at The New Pantagruel) the second an interview with the author.
This seems to be another book which decries consumerism or the American lifestyle. (Others of course are Crunchy Cons by Rod Dreher and Look Homeward America: In Search of Reactionary Radicals by Bill Kauffman) Each has a different take on a solution (although there are overlaps)-but in common, each sees a problem. Now, I haven't read any of these books, but I have read alot about each.
This latest seems to recognize that suburbia has its god: personal comfort and instant gratification: (from the review)
The real spiritual battle, according to Goetz, is overcoming the illusion. Because suburban life so privileges the self—its instant gratification, its desire for greener pastures always over the next fence, its search for ease and comfort—the Christian life aimed at crucifying the old man of sin is handicapped, perhaps fatally. Goetz recognizes that the principle of self-love at work in suburbia manipulates Christian desires and offers the illusion of spirituality and religion as just one more product to be acquired.
And from the interview:
In the rural culture, people are always tied into the agrarian community, and there is a deep understanding of the nature of life in the agrarian community. You are not necessarily in control of your life. There are good years and there are bad years. People are maybe just a little more humble. Here, you are in control of your life, at least you think you're in control of your life.
Sounds like he has a handle on things. It appears that Mr. Goetz does not advocate leaving suburbia-just adjusting it so Christ can be found there. Not knowing the details of his book, I can't comment. But certainly-as we discussed in this post post a week or two ago, we need to discern God's will for us and embrace it no matter where we are. For some it will be to 'flee to the fields'. For others it will be to stay put and live a life of example and giving amongst the needy (materially or spiritually) around us.
Wherever we are: we need a deep prayer life.