Counterfeit Gods

keller-counterfeitgodsThe book is not coming out until October 20th, but you can read the Introduction to Tim Keller's new book, Counterfeit Gods, for free here. I don't usually read the free, pre-release chapters of any book uploaded to the web - even of those books I'm eager to get to. Reading a good book online is like listening to good music through the speakers on your laptop. It works, but... meh. So, I just assume wait for the book to hit my mailbox. But, we're talking Tim Keller here, and he's the exception that proves the rule. And unless you're like Steve McCoy - Keller's biggest fan(boy) and got a pre-release copy before the final edit, this Introduction is as close as we can get before the book is out. I decided to read the intro this morning. Wow. Don't be a paper snob (like me), download the intro and read it today. Here's a quote.

What is an idol? It is anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give.

A counterfeit god is anything so central and essential to your life that, should you lose it, your life would feel hardly worth living. An idol has such a controlling position in your heart that you can spend most of your passion and energy, your emotional and financial resources, on it without a second thought. It can be family and children, or career and making money, or achievement and critical acclaim, or saving “face” and social standing. It can be a romantic relationship, peer approval, competence and skill, secure and comfortable circumstances, your beauty or your brains, a great political or social cause, your morality and virtue, or even success in the Christian ministry. When your meaning in life is to fix someone else’s life, we may call it “codependency” but it is really idolatry. An idol is whatever you look at and say, in your heart of hearts, “If I have that, then I’ll feel my life has meaning, then I’ll know I have value, then I’ll feel significant and secure.” There are many ways to describe that kind of relationship to something, but perhaps the best one is worship.

Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters

Download the the Introduction to Counterfeit Gods here.

Idolatry of the House

In some cases it is not so much any one object of home, but the whole that steals the heart from God—a comfortable home, made up of relatives, a commodious house, plenty, health; in short, a quiet and agreeable domicile. The pleasures of the domestic circle are some of the sweetest known on earth; and he who has a happy home, has to resist one of the most powerful rivals and competitors with God for his heart. To return from the scene of his daily toil—to a quiet home greeted by the smiles of a devoted wife and affectionate children, with plenty on his table, and ease in his mind, oh! what danger is he in, of feeling that he has little need of God's favor or heaven's glories to make him happy; of saying, or at least feeling, "This is my temple, my God, my heaven!"John Angell James, Spiritual Idolatry