7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess

4.5 66
by Jen Hatmaker
     
 

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American life can be excessive, to say the least. That’s what Jen Hatmaker had to admit after taking in hurricane victims who commented on the extravagance of her family’s upper middle class home. She once considered herself unmotivated by the lure of prosperity, but upon being called “rich” by an undeniably poor child, evidence to the…  See more details below

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Overview


American life can be excessive, to say the least. That’s what Jen Hatmaker had to admit after taking in hurricane victims who commented on the extravagance of her family’s upper middle class home. She once considered herself unmotivated by the lure of prosperity, but upon being called “rich” by an undeniably poor child, evidence to the contrary mounted, and a social experiment turned spiritual was born.

7 is the true story of how Jen (along with her husband and her children to varying degrees) took seven months, identified seven areas of excess, and made seven simple choices to fight back against the modern-day diseases of greed, materialism, and overindulgence.

Food. Clothes. Spending. Media. Possessions. Waste. Stress. They would spend thirty days on each topic, boiling it down to the number seven. Only eat seven foods, wear seven articles of clothing, and spend money in seven places. Eliminate use of seven media types, give away seven things each day for one month, adopt seven green habits, and observe “seven sacred pauses.” So, what’s the payoff from living a deeply reduced life? It’s the discovery of a greatly increased God—a call toward Christ-like simplicity and generosity that transcends social experiment to become a radically better existence.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The central principles of living a Christian life, like tithing, fasting, and prayer, might get short shrift from some people but not Hatmaker (A Modern Girl's Guide to Bible Study). The wife of a pastor at Austin (Texas) New Church aims for a more saintly life by cutting back on possessions, food, stress, and other excesses with funny and lively writing that can get overly self-deprecating. Her goal is to convince the reader that a simpler life is a godlier one, which lends a sanctimonious element to some of the writing. Other parts are earnest and moving, such as the final chapter, in which the book drops snarky humor to offer sincere appreciation for prayer, even if the subject matter is divided between prayer and the couple's adoption of two Ethiopian children. For Christians who desire to live out their New Year's resolutions year round, this is worth reading. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
“Jen Hatmaker is a model for her experiment in radical obedience to Christ. May we all be as committed to Jesus’ Gospel revolution.”
— Richard Stearns, president of World Vision US, author of The Hole in Our Gospel

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781433672965
Publisher:
B&H Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/01/2012
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
24,530
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Jen Hatmaker and her family live in Austin, Texas, where the city motto is “Keep Austin Weird,” and they work hard to do their part. Jen’s eight previous books include Interrupted and A Modern Girl’s Guide to Bible Study. She and her husband planted Austin New Church in an economically and ethnically diverse, socially unique, urban area of the city in 2008. They are in the great- est adventure of their lives, (thrilled to find out where they have planted is known as the “church planters graveyard”) and have made some incredible new partnerships in ministry. They’ve seen their world turned upside down as they’ve considered what it means to ask God how to live and not just what to do. But it’s a good upside down, as part of that discovery will be the addition of two children from Ethiopia set to join the three they already have. Together they will keep Austin weird and seek to glorify God as they do.

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7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess 4.5 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 66 reviews.
TXAmy More than 1 year ago
The author identifies 7 areas of excess in her family's life and chooses to focus on changing their ways in each area. By focusing on one area for 4 weeks, they could see which changes to make and get to work. I enjoyed the book thoroughly. I liked the author's approach... self deprecating humor with truth bombs sprinkled throughout and all tied to her faith. I also understand how overwhelming changing habits of excess can be all at once... I appreciate she tackled them one by one. Easy read that leaves a lasting impact.
skhmom23 More than 1 year ago
Well written: just when it gets pretty serious she throws in funny stuff. This is a good wake-up call for all of us who can afford to buy the book. We have a whole lot of stuff we don't need! Even if you don't do the things she does as drastically, moderation is what we need to remember to apply to our daily lives.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If your "closet" is overflowing with food, clothes, money, waste, stress, etc. and you don't have room for one more thing, then this book is a MUST READ. Jen Hatmaker struggles, falls to her knees, rises up again and triumphs in this experiment with excess. She did it not only for herself and her family, but for all of us who question our own "full closets". I found this book to be insightful, helpful, hilariously funny, and demanding. Jen Hatmaker backs all (or most) of her opinions up with His word and what He expects of us. I will be rereading this book, suggesting it to friends and requiring my husband to read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book will quickly help point out any possible excess you may have in your life and/or force you to think about how others survive with what they have and how you might change your lifestyle to help others. After living the 7 experiment, you can't help but thing of "things" differently.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
By the time I was half-way through the second chapter, I had already ordered 3 more books for my friends and family to read. This struck a cord in me, a sense of ingratitude that I couldn't shake...still can't. Even if a person just improved on one of these areas in their life, they and their community, would be the better for it. Great job, Jen!
mhrussell More than 1 year ago
I was asked to join a handful of women to go through 7 beginning in September. I had no expectations but was left more than a little bewildered after our introductory meeting in June. I just finished the book and my world has certainly been turned upside down. I work at a mega church much like the ones Jen describes and cannot shake the eerie notion that Jen is right ... if members of the early church walked in to our doors they would be totally bewildered and think God's word must have really been altered since they read it. Looking forward to meeting with my group tomorrow night to discuss. As far as wearing only 7 articles of clothing in September ... that I'm not looking forward to as much, ha!
JonJor More than 1 year ago
For me, time is of the essence - so if I'm going to read a book, I prefer that it is non-fiction and ultimately enriches my life somehow. This book is that and so much more. Recommended as an excellent book by one of our pastor's wives whom I respect very much, I purchased two copies - one for me and one for my sister who reads even less than I do. We each devoured our own copy, reading slowly, allowing it to marinate in our minds. Coming together on our lunch hour, excitedly sharing our thoughts, ideas and reactions...and ultimately our convictions, we are determined to follow in Jen's footsteps, who definitely appears to be following in God's.
RLyons More than 1 year ago
Another great book by Jen Hatmaker! She challenges you, but in a humble way, sharing her own struggles & difficulties, all while making you laugh hysterically!
ErinKv More than 1 year ago
A friend asked some friends to read this book to discuss. I am an avid reader and decided to check it out. I was a little skeptical reading the summary but the book truly changed my perspective on my Christian walk. We are not called to continue to bless the blessed. We are called to those less fortunate. To the unlovely. To the lost. I am using this book as a discussion point in a new women's group I am starting to help women find their calling. Where does God want you to be?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's sounds cliche but this book was life transforming for me. In the best possible way. Not only did this book make me laugh all the way through, but it made me take a closer look at so many things that have become so 'normal' in my day-to-day life. She makes you really give thought to the excess in every area of our lives, but in a way that will make you feel enlightened, encouraged, empowered to change what you'd like to, and always does it with scripture and the most wonderful kindness with people at the heart. Her writing makes me want to be a better person.
Anonymous 3 months ago
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Jak3088 More than 1 year ago
This book has changed the way I view things in my life. I have already gone through and started to donate things to the homeless and I'm making more room for God. I think Jen is supper funny and I totally can relate to her feelings on a lot of things. What an amazing ready. You will cry, laugh and feel goosebumps as you feel God working on you while you read this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My biggest concern in this book is some of the sources that Jen has used in a couple of chapters. In the chapter on waste Jen uses a source names Rosemary Radford Ruether. Look her up on Wikipedia and see all of her accomplishments and what she believes. She is a feminist and an new age earth lover who believes that all creatures, plants, animals insects have a soul. Jen must like Ruether because almost all of page 116,119 and the bottom paragraph of 120 is all her writings. Most of it is word for word form Ruethers work. Jens book is covered with a social gospel message which believe if we as humans try hard enough, we can fix the worlds problems. The problems of the world are all symptions. The root cause is sin. The last thing I will comment on is the last chapter of the book titled Stress. This chapter is another thinly veiled guide to pagan practices. The source for The Seven sacred pauses is Macrina Wiederkehr. Please look her up, she has a website that is full of religious pluralism, that many religious belief systems are equal, valid and acceptable. I encourage anyone wanting to use this book to please review the sources. I would not recommend this book to anyone.
katelyndoodle More than 1 year ago
An eye opener to say the least. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love her writing style. Makes one think about how spoiled Americans really are. Makes one think about how grateful we should be for what we have. And, how giving we should be as a people of excess.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She came across as way too superficial and materialistic for me to even finish this book. I gave it some time, hoping it would get better, but by Chapter 6, I gave up. She's incredibly boastful and repetitious in her book. Hatmaker most certainly did not behave as a woman of God.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this would be a good book about clearing out my stuff. Hatmaker instead taught me some serious lessons about how little I really need to be happy and how important it is to really love your neighbor. She is super funny, too! Love the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jen Hatmaker is such a "real" person! Her books always make me think . . . do I do that? Am I like that? Her faith inspires me to try harder and relax more. I loved 7. I loved how she was honest with how each month went: seven items of clothing and forgetting to pick a coat in winter, eating chicken for a month, how her kids and her husband felt about giving up technology . . . 7 sounded so drastic when I first read about it, but as I read each month, I kept thinking, I could do this! I could learn to live with less and it would be good for me to get the "stuff" out of the way so I can listen more. I loved how she backed up each month of 7 with facts on consumerism, hunger issues, poverty facts. It was thought provoking and really made me exam how my family and I live our lives. Are we caught up in the "isms"? Do we perpetuate the problem? Could one person or one family make a difference? I think that is the whole point that Jen was getting at. By changing her lifestyle, she changed the lives of those around her. Now her book is out there making the rest of us think? I know because I read 7, I stop and think before I spend money on something, before I throw stuff out, before I shop in the grocery stores . . . is the best choice I can make for my family? For myself? If you feel you need to make a change and get rid of the stuff in your life. If you need to listen to God more or even just listen to your family more? If you need to get your family to listen . . . 7 is the book you should read!