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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read layman layout
Kyle Idelman does it again first with Not a Fan and now this winner. Book is simply put in laymans terms. Idols are anything that's more important than G-d. In today's age, the idols are money (greed, debt, never satisfied), good times (revelry, drugging, drinking, sexual immorality), people (obession with loved ones) Workaholic syndrome, fantasy land syndrome...
Published 16 months ago by nanigurl

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44 of 51 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Battle's Won
In Ken Idleman's God's at War: Defeating the Idols that Battle for Your Heart, write's of the battle of the heart. Idleman starts with an intriguing statement: "Idoltary isn't an issue; it is the issue." Biblical counseling will often lead us to explore rival hopes. Our heart is naturally inclined to hope and we misplace hope in love of people, places and things rather...
Published 15 months ago by Martin


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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read layman layout, March 16, 2013
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Kyle Idelman does it again first with Not a Fan and now this winner. Book is simply put in laymans terms. Idols are anything that's more important than G-d. In today's age, the idols are money (greed, debt, never satisfied), good times (revelry, drugging, drinking, sexual immorality), people (obession with loved ones) Workaholic syndrome, fantasy land syndrome mentalities. A must read to open ones eyes to what really is your god of choice. Timothy Keller's Counterfiet gods was a heavy duty theological book, a good book no doubt, but Idelman's easy straightforward style keeps you hooked and really lays it out.

The saying goes where you spend most of your money and focus your attention on the most is an indicator of what rules your heart (what you idolize)... Please read this book
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44 of 51 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Battle's Won, April 3, 2013
By 
Martin (Vevay, India) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Gods at War: Defeating the Idols that Battle for Your Heart (Paperback)
In Ken Idleman's God's at War: Defeating the Idols that Battle for Your Heart, write's of the battle of the heart. Idleman starts with an intriguing statement: "Idoltary isn't an issue; it is the issue." Biblical counseling will often lead us to explore rival hopes. Our heart is naturally inclined to hope and we misplace hope in love of people, places and things rather than pursuit of the one true God. So, in a sense, I agree with Idleman, that this is an important issue. However, the issue is our fundamental need for reconciliation with God, which leads us to the gospel. The gospel of Jesus Christ must be the issue that we come back to. Idleman leads us to Christ throughout the book, though the gospel is often not central.

Idleman begins with asking great questions. Rival hopes can be difficult to identify and the timely interrogative can help the diagnosis. Some helpful interrogatives:

What disappoints you?
What do you complain about the most?
Where do you make financial sacrifices?
What worries you?
Where is your sanctuary?
What infuriates you?
What are your dreams?
Idleman rightly states that these things are not bad in and of themselves. It is good and well to dream, to seek sanctuary. The primary issue is when these felt needs are ultimate as compared to eternal needs.

Idleman then walks through several prominent rival hopes found in an affluent Western culture, which he categorizes as pleasure, power and love. They are:

good
sex
entertainment
success
money
achievement
romance
family
me

Though not exhaustive (if this were possible) the list is a great and challenging start. Each chapter on specific rival hopes ends with equally helpful questions.

In each of these sections Idleman takes us to the only hope for this life, found in the person and work of Christ. Idleman wisely helps us see how these rival hopes can be fulfilled in Christ. He says:

Jesus is our portion, our feast
Jesus is our greatest joy imaginable, our satisfaction
Jesus is our passion
Jesus is our purpose
Jesus is our provider
Jesus is our identity
Jesus is our everything

All in all the book does well to point to rival hopes and turn toward Christ. Yet, identification of rival hopes, could become a rival hope. I fear that an unhealthy introspection could result from asking all these good questions and considering rival hopes. The war though, has been won, the battle is over, won by Christ himself. Fight sin, yes, but as you do, acknowledge that you are not the victor, but Christ in his perfect substitutionary death is victorious.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Needed, February 19, 2013
This review is from: Gods at War: Defeating the Idols that Battle for Your Heart (Paperback)
'gods at war' is a very important book for our society and our churches. It's important to not only feel bad about sin or realize that we shouldn't do certain things or behave certain ways. That's all fine. But, biblically speaking, there's a whole lot more going on than just good or bad choices, good or bad behaviors. In fact, those things are relatively minor compared to the real issue: idolatry.

The Bible is pretty clear that life isn't just about behaving certain ways or thinking certain ways; those things are just a reflection of which god (or God) you have pledged to give your allegiance. And there can only be one.

Kyle Idleman does a great job in 'gods at war' of not only identifying that there is a problem, but also helping unpack what that problem looks like in various contexts. And once the problem is called what it is, Kyle provides biblical solutions to the problem that can help our society, which is plagued with idolatry, to overcome it.

With the same readability, humor, boldness, and clarity as 'Not a Fan', this new book can be just as impactful, just as insightful, and just as important to you--to us.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Does God allow rivals, March 2, 2013
This review is from: Gods at War: Defeating the Idols that Battle for Your Heart (Paperback)
Does God allow rivals? Will God allow our spouse, career, children, pleasure, control, or any other activity or desire to supplant his rightful place in our life? These seem like rhetorical questions, with the obvious answer being "No." But why do we allow them to push God aside?

Author and pastor Kyle Idleman cuts to the heart of the matter when he exposes that each one of us struggles with idol worship. In fact, he says it is the number one issue that keeps us from living for God. He explains that at different times in our lives, we worship food, sex, entertainment, success, money, achievement, romance, family, and/or me rather than God. Each one conspires to keep us from the intimacy with God that we desire.

Idleman uses Scripture, personal examples, and current events to explain his points. Each chapter ends with practical ideas on what to do next. As he explains, it is not enough to merely identify and defeat the idol, we have to replace it with something better, namely, a relationship with God himself.

I found the book to be insightful and helpful. I chanced to read the following paragraphs on the same day the Pope gave his final address which included his feelings that "God was asleep at times."

God withholds his blessing in the very areas in which we lift up false gods.

For example, has anyone notice any significant economic problems in our money-obsessed culture lately?

How about problems with food--obesity, junk food issues, nutritional issues?

What about sex? Anybody see any sexual dysfunction in our culture?

How about the entertainment industry? Isn't it interesting that one of the most common complaints of our entertainment-saturated society is boredom?

We shouldn't be surprised. After all, why would the Lord God bless us in the area that represents his greatest competition? So ask yourself: Is it possible that you're seeing a financial drought, a sexual satisfaction drought, or some other kind of challenge, because you want it so bad that it has become a god?

Perhaps it is not that God is asleep, but that we stopped listening to him and started worshipping other gods.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com [...] book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book, intesting topic, May 15, 2013
This review is from: Gods at War: Defeating the Idols that Battle for Your Heart (Paperback)
"Anything at all can become an idol once it becomes a substitute for God in our lives" - Kyle Idleman, Gods at War.

What a timely book for me. I'm noticing that I go through seasons where book after book, show after show, conversation after conversation, lead to the same topic. Modern-day idolatry seems to be the topic de jeur.

Idleman starts the book with a personal story about his daughter. It was a sweet, innocent exchange that provoked his thoughts, primarily about the topic of idolatry. An innocent statement about the 2nd Commandment, that it's the one we don't struggle with, led to this book.

The book is great at demonstrating how we encounter idolatry every day. The quote above clearly defines idolatry, and Idleman expounds on that topic. He is especially skilled at demonstrating how many good things, even godly things, can become idols.

One quote that I found particularly compelling was this, "You can't understand the seriousness of idolatry without understanding the jealousy of God. And you can't understand his jealousy without some understanding of his relentless, powerful love for you, because they are intertwined." This quote demonstrates the tenor and thrust of the book.

I felt that the 2nd 2/3rds of the book droned on. For me, these examples felt like he was "piling on." For many readers, however, the very practical examples could be very helpful.

Overall, this was a good book, and it will be one that I may recommend to those I disciple, as it's a very practical guide to help think through the topic of idolatry and how to guard for it in our lives.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT READ!!!, February 19, 2013
This review is from: Gods at War: Defeating the Idols that Battle for Your Heart (Paperback)
I thought idolatry was something that only occurred during ancient bible times with a gold calf. This book opened up my eyes to modern day idols. God has more competition in our lives these days than ever before. Through this book i have a renewed commitment and have put God back in his rightful place in my heart. I am done allowing false gods to win the war of my heart. Read this book and start seeing the change in your life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Brief Overview, April 28, 2013
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Idolatry is the sin that causes all kinds of other sins. As a Christian who battles idolatry everyday myself, I was looking for something deeper from this book. It is a good primer for those who may not be aware for the sin of idolatry and how devastating it can be. Kyle Idleman does a good job pointing out the different types of idolatry that cause us to worship the creation rather than the creator. He draws upon scripture, but I felt not heavily enough. In the end, there was nothing here that I have not read elsewhere. For those that are just realizing the idolatry in themselves and are looking for a good starting point to better understand what they are up against, then Gods at War is as good a place to start as anywhere.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only way to address our idolatry is put God back in his rightful place in our lives, June 24, 2013
By 
Mike Pettengill (La Ceiba, Honduras) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Gods at War: Defeating the Idols that Battle for Your Heart (Paperback)
Kyle Idleman is the Pastor at Southeast Christian Church located in Louisville, KY, the 5th largest church in America. He previously wrote the popular book, "Not A Fan."

This book explores idolatry in our lives. He refers to our idols as gods that compete for status against the one true God. Anything can become an idol once it takes the place of God in our heart. In the book the author focuses on the idols of food, sex, entertainment, success, money, achievement, romance, family and me. None of these things are sinful in and of themselves, but in our modern western culture these are the top candidates to become idols in our lives.

Idleman tells us the problem is that the instant something takes the place of God, the moment it becomes an end in itself rather than something to lay at God's throne, it becomes an idol. Anything at all can become an idol once it becomes a substitute for God in our lives. What you are searching for and chasing after reveals the god that is winning the war in your heart.

Idleman's first book, "Not A Fan," was a little short on theology. It was a pleasant surprise to see the author beef up the theological substance of his writing in this book. The author tackles a major issue in our modern church and provides sound theology to support his efforts. Addressing this topic is a brave task for a pastor in today's modern western church. Idolatry is one of the biggest sins in our lives today and one of the most glossed over topics in our modern churches.

The author provides a strong balance of theology, analyses and case studies to help the reader to see his idolatry from many angles. The book helps us to see that the common responses; turn off the TV, put internet filters on your computer, unsubscribe from your cable's sports packet are addressing only the symptoms of our problems. The only way to address our idolatry is put God back in his rightful place in our lives.

"Gods At War" does not break new ground concerning the age-old sin of idolatry. But, it is a wonderful tool to help in our modern context. Our modern western brand of Christianity has sat by quietly and watched as idolatry has grown in our hearts and done little to dissuade believers of its offense to God. Idleman has done a fine job of exposing light on the idols we have turned from sins to virtues in our lives.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Right ON!, February 20, 2013
By 
Myrna Moore (4277 N. Woodstock Dr. Clarksville, TN 37040) - See all my reviews
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Kyle Idleman does it again. We just got this and have read enough to know that this is a "must read" for those who want to put the ax to the root of the problem, not just deal with symptoms. Realize it or not, we have idols in our lives that need to be dethroned to REALLY be under the Lord's control. He will not share us with other gods.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good content, I just have a hard time reading his writing style, May 28, 2014
By 
Chad Feight (CEDAR RAPIDS, IA, US) - See all my reviews
i recently read "Gods at War" by Kyle Idleman and came away thinking it was OK. Feel free to read on for more impressions:

Kyle Idleman has gained a bit of a "following" since his book, "Not a Fan" came out. Idleman's style is straight-laced and at times humorous. However, he pulls no punches. Idleman is one of the growing number of leaders of the "you can't claim to follow Jesus if you don't prove it in your lifestyle and live a little extreme" movement (OK, so maybe that isn't exactly what it's called, but that's the basic gist of it). In this book, he continues what he started in his "Not a Fan" book.

Idleman is determined to make sure that Christians are living biblically (which is a good thing). So, he goes on a rampage of sort through the different idols people have in their lives. An idol, by the way, is anything that has taken the place of control or glory in your life. Some of the idols Idleman addresses are: good (as opposed to the best), sex, entertainment, and money. He also deals with some that aren't usually covered in Christian books like family and romance. Idleman really wants to make sure that only Jesus is the one that we are most concerned about in our lives.

While I like the premise of the book and most of the material (I have a few disagreements with him), I just had a hard time reading it. Honestly, he's just not my kind of writer. I found myself bored and wanting to skim rather than read (although I refrained most of the time because his content is rich enough that I didn't want to miss anything). With that being said, though, I was a pretty good book. However, not one that you want to curl up on the couch with on a rainy day and just get lost in. This is a book about making real change. Because of that, you'll probably have to read one chapter at a time, then make some adjustments and come back later.

Overall, if it wasn't for the writing, I would give this book 4 or 5 stars (out of 5), but the writing brings it down to a 3 for me. If you like Idleman, though, you'll probably love this one.

P.S. Just for full disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book to review by Zondervan and Booksneeze.com in exchange for this review. I was not obligated to write anything positive (or negative for that matter), however. What you read is what I thought.
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Gods at War: Defeating the Idols that Battle for Your Heart
Gods at War: Defeating the Idols that Battle for Your Heart by Kyle Idleman (Paperback - February 17, 2013)
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