Sittema提到的第二颗“狼牙”是物质主义。世俗主义看重现世（here and now），而物质主义则是看重你所拥有的。所以，世俗主义与时间比较有关，而物质主义与空间比较有关（55页）。这里的问题是，西方教会是非常富有的。基本上，如果你有任何可以自由运用的收入，你就属于富有的阶级，大部分美国人都属这个阶层。但是物质会生出贪婪，拥有越多，想要的越多，而人的欲望是无穷的。曾有人问美国的富翁洛克菲勒，拥有多少财富才算是足够，他的回答很经典，足以代表物质主义：“只要再多一点就够了。”物质永远无法填满上帝在人心所造的那个空洞。
广告世界靠的就是物质主义，它用的是不满足的诱饵，刺激你想要得到更多。Sittema指出，这危险在于物质主义否认财富所蕴含的属灵危机（58页）。Sittema不是指财富本身是邪恶的，而是说，拥有越多，诱惑就越大。这看法当然是正确的。在这章其余的部分，Sittema总结了圣经的回应。我认为他提到的最能抵抗物质主义的一点是圣经的管家原则，包括我们当看自己所拥有的财富，是上帝为了祂的国度所讬付给我们的。这会让我们更容易地把钱财施舍出去，因为从一开始，这些财富就不是属于我们的。Phillip Ryken 会这样说：“我的就是上帝的。”
Materialism and the Church
The second “tooth” of the wolf that Sittema talks about is materialism. Secularism is the idea that the here and now is all that’s important. Materialism says that stuff is all that’s important. So, secularism has more to do with time, whereas materialism has more to do with space (see p. 55). The problem here is that the church is incredibly wealthy in the West. Basically, if you have any discretionary income at all, you are wealthy, and that would describe most Americans. But stuff breeds greed for more stuff. It is intoxicating to have more and more. And yet, those who are honest with themselves would admit that it’s never enough. John D. Rockefeller, a very rich American, was asked how much is enough, and his answer was the classic statement of the problem of materialism: “Just a little bit more.” It will not fill the God-shaped hole in anyone’s life.
The advertising world banks on materialism, because it uses the classic hook of dissatisfaction with what you have in order to entice you to want more. The danger here, as Sittema points out, is that materialism denies the spiritual dangers inherent in wealth (p. 58). Sittema is not here saying that wealth is inherently evil. Rather, he is saying that with much comes much temptation, and he’s certainly correct in this assessment. In the rest of the chapter, Sittema outlines a biblical response. I think the most helpful point here that he mentions in combating materialism is the principle of biblical stewardship, which includes a view of one’s possessions as not one’s own, but merely entrusted to us by God to be used for His kingdom. This makes giving away possessions and wealth much easier: it’s not really ours to begin with. Phillip Ryken would put it this way: “What’s mine is God’s.”
And, secondly, we need to realize what a terrible idol wealth has become, and we need to identify it and repent of our own idolatry. Our idolatry may not be as blatant as Rockefeller’s: it may come in the form of desiring our own comfort at the expense of the kingdom of God. But comfort is often just another way of saying “a little bit more.” Comfort is one idol I see up here in the Midwest. And it is not hard to find out why: North Dakota is absolutely brutal in the winter-time. It is not exactly comfortable. But people usually build things in order to make them comfortable here. There are different ways this idol makes itself manifest elsewhere in the US, so I’m not singling out North Dakota, by any means. But that’s just where I am, and that’s what I see.