Counterfeit gods

Keller illustrates how idols manifest in society and in our own lives.

Andy Taylor | November 2014: Highfields Book of the Month

By Tim Keller - (2009) London: Penguin Books Ltd

counterfeit godsTim Keller sets out his book by looking at some of the main idols that control western society today. Each chapter focuses on one of these idols, for example, love, money and success.  Keller sets the scene and illustrates how each of these idols manifests itself in society and in our own lives. He refers to up to date issues like celebrities and the financial crisis.

For each chapter Keller takes you to a Bible character who struggled with that chapter’s idol. He explains the story and applies it to us. He always points the reader to Christ as the only way to overcome a particular idol.

often we don’t see the idols in our own lives because they control us and we don’t see them as having power over us

The chapters are very long and the application of some of the Old Testament Bible passages are a little stretched and he reads into the text a bit too much. However, this book was very helpful in understanding what common idols we may struggle with and to know how they may manifest themselves in our lives. The chapter “The hidden idols of our lives” is very helpful at showing how often we don’t see the idols in our own lives because they control us and we don’t see them as having power over us. There is the challenge to submit ourselves to the Holy Spirit as he convicts us of sin and trust him to help us overcome it by turning to Christ.

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