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Provocative Book, Very Convicting
on April 16, 2010
This book was undoubtedly assembled and prepared with Keller's sermons as a starting point. The main theme of the book is that we have a habit of taking the good things that God has given us and turning them into counterfeit gods. We take temporal things and make them out to be ultimate things that take more of our devotion and time than God himself.
In a chapter about Jonah, Keller contends that Jonah's god was the nation of Israel, and that's why he had a hard time doing ministry in the city of his enemy. It sounds quite plausible. but since the text itself doesn't confirm this, it should not be pressed to hard in my view.
For Abraham in Genesis 22, his god may have been Isaac. He waited all those years to have the promised son with Sarah, and perhaps their was a temptation to be overprotective of his boy, and that's why God said he had to "give up his Isaac." Again, plausible, but the text itself doesn't spell this out.
The chapter on Naaman the Syrian follows the same pattern. An idol is assigned to Naaman that the text itself doesn't necessarily bear witness to, and the whole premise is tenuous.
The rest of the book's chapters are stronger, and even the three that I mentioned are compelling and convicting. I don't think this book is as timeless and as memorable as the author's book The Reason for God, but it is a tasty and zesty offering of expositions around the theme of idolatry.