A few years ago I’d never heard of Tim Keller, but I’m very glad I do now. Counterfeit Gods: When the empty promises of love, money and power let you down is his third book in a short space of time.
It’s not a long book (210 pages) but in it he brilliantly dissects the idols of our age. Idols are those things of some value which we give ultimate value to. Those things that if we lose life doesn’t become worth living. Keller points out that anything can become an idol, and those things are often good things – family, jobs, homes but when we put all our hopes on them they let us down.
Keller uses the biblical stories of Abraham, Leah, Zacchaeus, Naaman, Nebuchadnezzar, Jonah & Jacob to illustrate each idol and does so with the skill of an artful storyteller and teacher. He draws widely from theology, psychology, economics, journalism and experience to delve deep into the human heart which is at root an ‘idol factory’. Each chapter ends with how one of the biblical character points to Christ and how idols can’t simply be torn down they must be replaced, and replaced by a greater affection. An affection for Christ.
If you want to understand the idols of our age and the idols of your own heart and how they can be challenged then this must be on your reading list. And yes, consumerism is an idol that must be challenged. Nice to know I have esteemed company in thinking so!