Sunday, March 21, 2010

Counterfeit Gods by Timothy Keller

Pages: 240.

How it was obtained: I bought it for my kindle.

Time spent on the "to read" shelf: 0 days.

Days spent reading it: 5 days.

Why I read it: We are working through a sermon series based on this book in my church. I am scheduled to preach based on two chapters from the book, so I imagine I really needed to understand the whole argument before I preached my part of it.

Brief review: In Counterfeit Gods, Keller forces us to search our hearts and our souls for the idols that keep us from following God. His words are like a prophetic call against our culture and everything we hold dear but God does not. I enjoyed the basic structure of this book. In each of the chapters he covers an idol of our heart, and how our culture has generally embraced that idol as an ultimate thing. He also uses one Biblical account for each idol he talks about. For example he uses the story of Zaccheus when talking about the idol of money. Keller tackles the big "idols" like power, love, and money. In every account he challenges each individual to take account of how a particular idol may be dwelling in our hearts without us even knowing it.

I thought Counterfeit Gods was a solid effort by Keller to expose and redeem some major ailments in American culture. It was challenging, informative, and insightful. I admit when he was talking about some economic and political policies I felt in a little over my head, but it was not Keller's fault as much as my own ignorance of the topics themselves. I felt this book echoed, in broad terms, some of the same ideas found in The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer. This is not a dismissal of Keller's work, just an observation that similar topics were handled and sometimes in similar ways.

I would recommend Counterfeit Idols. I think Keller is a decent writer, but more importantly his words need to be heard and applied. He believes very strongly in exposing the sin of individuals and societies, but also in redeeming those sins through the work of the Cross.

Favorite quote: "The human heart is indeed a factory that mass-produces idols."

Stars: 4 out of 5.

Final Word: Relevant.


bcschjenk said...

I got your mass produced idol right here!! I do like your reviews and if my kids would sit through my reading Crime and Punishment out loud I could move on to other books like this one. ;) Actually I have kept a list of books you recommended and I am hopeful I will get to them.

Rob said...

Sounds very good.