Sundays are for Book Reviews: Counterfeit Gods

You might remember, about a month ago, my post about Tim Keller’s book, Prodigal God. The ladies in our church began a study of that parable and the book shortly afterwards, and I’ve been challenged again and again by the material and the fresh, new look at Scripture that I only thought I understood. It was a challenging, convicting, and meaningful book.

I can say much the same for Counterfeit Gods, also by Tim Keller. The book is built on the premise that our lives have the potential to be full of “counterfeit gods.” In Keller’s own words, “A counterfeit god is anything so central and essential to your life that, should you lose it, your life would feel hardly worth living.” He lists some common idols that we may encounter in life — family, love, money, success, power, culture, religion, self — and connecting them to the Biblical accounts of the lives of Abraham, Jacob, Leah, Zacchaeus, Naaman, Nebuchadnezzer, and Jonah, he shows how even blessings intended for good can become idols if we treasure them more than God. Every chapter comes back to Christ, showing how He alone is the true God, worthy of casting away all of other idols, even our modern day ones that are not so recognizable.

Honestly, I could write a three page post full of challenging quotes from this book, but I’ll limit myself to just a few…

“Abraham’s affection had become adoration. Previously, Abraham’s meaning in life had been dependent on God’s word. Now it was becoming dependent on Isaac’s love and well-being.”

“The Bible doesn’t give us a god at the top of a moral ladder saying, ‘If you try hard to summon up your strength and live right, you can make it up!’ Instead, the Bible repeatedly shows us weak people who don’t deserve God’s grace, don’t seek it, and don’t appreciate it even after they have received it.”

“The gods of moralistic religions favor the successful and the overachievers. They are the ones who climb the moral ladder up to heaven. But the God of the Bible is the one who comes down into this world to accomplish a salvation and give us a grace we could never attain ourselves.”

This is definitely a book worth your time!

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