Monday, October 26, 2009

Modern Idolatry: Keller and Powlison

Tim Keller's newest book was released last week, and when we heard that Westminster Bookstore (whose prices are often as good as or better than Amazon) was running a great deal on it, Steve instructed me to order it immediately :) We're big Keller fans--especially after hearing him speak live back in January--so we'll be fighting over this one when it arrives, I'm sure.

The book is called Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters. It's about a topic that I think confuses a lot of Christians: idolatry. I think when many of us hear the word, we typically picture the Israelites bowing down to a golden calf--but the problem of idolatry is just as pervasive today. We're not exempt just because we don't worship wooden statues; our idols are even more insidious, because they are usually invisible.

The class I've been taking through the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation this semester has been really monumental in helping me identify idols in my own life and understand how idolatry is at the root of all sin. One of the most powerful pieces I've read on the subject of modern idolatry is an article Dr. David Powlison (the class lecturer) wrote many years ago called "Idols of the Heart and Vanity Fair."

Apparently, Keller cites Powlison's article as a major influence in his thinking about modern idolatry. The article was originally published in The Journal of Biblical Counseling, and CCEF has generously made it available online (in PDF and html) for free!

I cannot recommend this article highly enough. It is well worth your time to pore over and learn about what idolatry looks like in 2009 and how to fight it in your own life.

No comments: