“Counterfeit Gods” by Timothy Keller


This year I will read all of the Timothy Keller books I own– five of them, and will complete a goal on my 2013 Manifesto. 

The fourth book up on my list is Timothy Keller’s ‘Counterfeit Gods- The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope That Matters“.

Once again, Timothy Keller sums up lessons from the Bible in a succinct and understandable manner. This book explains how different idols effect our daily lives- how things like love, money, success, talent and ability and all the other hidden idols delude us into thinking that we are in control. The book then goes on to explain how to be free of our idols. Idolatry is always the reason that we do anything wrong- the fundamental reason behind lawbreaking.

Idols cannot simply be dealt with by looking at them and determining that we will stop them, or not let them drive us. The deep idols must be dealt with at heart level. “There is only one way to change at the heart level and that is through faith in the gospel.” The only way to be rid of idols is to replace them with the Biblical truth of salvation which assaults our worship of these idols at every step. Jesus’s salvation is received not through strength but through the admission of weakness and need for Him. “Jesus must become more beautiful to your imagination, more attractive to your heart, than your idol. That is what will replace your counterfeit gods. If you uproot the idol and fail to “plant” the love of Christ in its place, the idol will grow back.”

“Rejoicing in Christ is also crucial because idols are almost always good things. If we have made idols of our work and family, we do not want to stop loving our work and our family. Rather, we want to love Christ so much more that we are not enslaved by our attachments. “Rejoicing” in the Bible is much deeper than simply being happy about something. Paul directed that we should “rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4), but this cannot mean “always feel happy,” since no one can command someone to always have a particular emotion. To rejoice is to treasure a thing, to assess its value to you, to reflect on its beauty and importance until your heart rests in it and tastes the sweetness of it. “Rejoicing” is a way of praising God until the heart is sweetened and rested, and until it relaxes its grip on anything else it thinks that it needs.”

With God we have the only wealth, health, love, honor, and security we really need and cannot loose.


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