Monday, March 7, 2011

Book Review: Counterfeit Gods

This outstanding book written by Tim Keller examines many of the common idols of our day and age. Keller brings conviction to the reader, but thankfully point’s people to the only hope for us, and it is found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. What is an idol? “An idol is something that we look to for things that only God can give.” We often think of idols as bad things, but the truth is idols are often good things that become bad things because of us. Keller explains, “The greater the good, the more likely we are to expect that it can satisfy our deepest needs and hopes.”  

Taking this truth about us, Keller then goes to the Scriptures to illustrate how Bible characters in the past have been deceived by a counterfeit god.  This is my favorite aspect of Tim Keller’s writing; the way he tells a Bible story is phenomenal.  He tells the stories of Abraham and Isaac, Jacob and Rachel, Zacchaeus, Naaman, Nebuchadnezzar, and Jonah. In each story he examines the particular idol in each person’s heart, and in each story he comes back to the death of Christ for freedom from our idols. I was going to give my favorite story in this book, but I can’t come up with one! They all are so good.

Overall I would highly recommend this book, Keller has given us a great resource to identify our idols and take us to the great Savior Jesus. May we say with George Herbert looking at Christ on the Cross, “Thou art my loveliness, my life, my light, Beauty alone to me.”

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