Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
We Become What We Worship: A Biblical Theology of Idolatry Paperback – November 8, 2008
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
"This stimulating and challenging book will make readers think." (Linden D. McLaughlin, Bibliotheca Sacra, October-December 2010)
"Beale's work--a masterful exercise in biblical theology--is compelling. The book is weighty, but accessible, and Beale's tone is irenic throughout." (Gary A. Parrett, Interpretations, July 2010)
"An excellent example of how to build a theological conviction in light of detailed work in biblical texts in their original languages." (Chris Keith, The Expository Times, February 2010)
"A good example of sound evangelical scholarship. . .A solid discussion of one aspect of idolatry in the Christian Bible." (L. S. Tiemeyer, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, 33.5, 2009)
"Preachers, students, and teachers will find in this exciting book not only original ideas, but also food for thought about the relevance of intertextuality for biblical theology." (Matthieu Richelle, Themelios, 2009)
"As a heavy-weight contribution to this field of research the book is to be commended as a thoughtful, important and impressive piece of work." (Marcus Nodder, Now Reviews, May 2009)
". . .for the interested Christian lay-person, it provides a solid discussion of one aspect of idolatry in the Christian Bible." (L. S. Tiemeyer, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, 33.5 2009)
"If you're studying the subject of worshipping anything that is a substitute for God, you'll surely want to obtain this volume." (The Baptist Bulletin, March/April 2009)
"Think of this book as a thorough resource to use for your sermons, a textbook on idolatry, and a voice of wisdom that is not afraid to call into question the worship of the Church. Worship leaders, pastors, and small group leaders alike will have more than enough in this resource to use for weeks on end; and with a topic talked about this much in Scripture, this is exactly what we need." (Worship Leader, March/April 2009)
"Greg Beale has turned out yet another masterpiece of biblical theology and intertextual exegesis. Beale is a master at letting Scripture interpret Scripture." (Green Baggins (greenbaggins.wordpress.com), February 2, 2009)
"Beale argues that humans are 'imagining' beings, necessarily reflecting one image or another, and do it becomes crucial to determine who or what we are reflecting and to whom or what we are becoming conformed. Having established this thesis, Beale spends most of the book supporting it by demonstrating how the Bible presents this argument. I found a lot of Beale's initial Old Testament exgesis to be fascinating." (On Journeying with those in Exile (poserorprohet.wordpress.com), January 1, 2009)
"I highly recommend that pastors consult this book whenever they are preparing to preach on one of the texts that Beale exposits. We Become What We Worship is a terrific resource that shines light on many passages of Scripture." (Trevin Wax, Discerning Reader (discerningreader.com), December 23, 2008)
"This profoundly insightful study of idolatry brings into the spotlight a topic of exceptional significance. Illuminating a wide range of biblical passages, Professor Beale skillfully elucidates the life-defining and transforming nature of worship, both true and false. Everyone who reads this book will be deeply challenged to reflect afresh upon the way in which what we revere shapes not only our present lives but also our future destinies." (T. Desmond Alexander, Union Theological College, Belfast)
"Nothing else comes even close to this authoritative analysis of the destroying power of idolatry and its comparison to the renewing power of true worship of the one real God. Beale's relentlessly thorough coverage of the biblical material, using a purposely maximalist approach, gives the reader a close look at every possible reference to relevant passages, no matter how obscure or tangential, so that no stone is left unturned in demonstrating how idolatry--ancient or modern--ruins people's lives. Any biblical preacher or teacher would benefit from this book." (Douglas Stuart, professor of Old Testament, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary)
"This stimulating and in-depth study on idolatry is vintage Greg Beale. Beale argues that we become like the idols we worship, and he makes his case through a careful intertextual study of the Scriptures. Insights abound as Beale unfolds the biblical text. We are reminded afresh that idolatry is the root sin, and that it is so heinous because it robs God of the glory and praise and honor that he alone deserves." (Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary)
"This is an original, brilliant and most satisfying treatment of a theme central to biblical understanding, but often misunderstood or ignored in the modern church. This book requires careful study but it repays far more than it requires." (David F. Wells, Andrew Mutch Distinguished Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary)
"We Become What We Worship is biblical theology at its best, weaving together Old and New Testament texts into a unified message. Beale's work is original yet traditional, profound yet simple, exegetical yet 'hyperexegetical,' sometimes provocative yet always profitable, for the scholar yet for every serious Christian. His message that we resemble what we revere, either for ruin or for restoration, is convincing and convicting." (Bruce Waltke, professor of Old Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary)
"This thoughtful examination of a surprisingly significant biblical theme will richly reward all who read it. . . . It offers that rare combination of careful, insightful exegesis and perceptive application from which not only biblical scholars but all Christians can benefit." (Frank Thielman, Presbyterian Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School)
About the Author
G. K. Beale (PhD, University of Cambridge) holds the J. Gresham Machen Chair of New Testament and is professor of New Testament and biblical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary. His books include The Book of Revelation (New International Greek Testament Commentary), 1-2 Thessalonians (The IVP New Testament Commentary Series), The Right Doctrine from the Wrong Texts? Essays on the Use of the Old Testament in the New, John's Use of the Old Testament in Revelation, The Temple and the Church's Mission and We Become What We Worship.
Top customer reviews
Beale demonstrates that this idea about idolatry and worship permeates the Scripture. He looks primarily at Psalm 135:18 and the account of the golden calf in Exodus 32, but shows how this same idea is entwined implicitly all throughout the Old Testament and into the New Testament. He does an excellent job and gives a compelling case for his assertions. He certainly has changed the way I read the Old and New Testament in light of idolatry.
Disclaimer: This book is a heavy and academic (yet thoroughly biblical) study of idolatry. As such, there is a lot of deep exegesis and heavy theological groundwork - so it is not primarily directed to laypeople and is not a light read by any means. Beale does try to give some practical application at the end of the book, but even in doing so his insights tend to be more abstract and academic, and he shows himself to be a professor at heart. So if you are willing to spend some time working through his exegesis and theology, then I'd encourage you to read Beale's work.
Beale is a scholar, not a pastor or preacher; therefore, there isn't a lot of application or relevance in his writings, and when he attempts to do so (e.g., pp. 284-310) he's not very good at it. Further, he's so in tune with the material and topic at hand that he easily makes connections between scriptures that are either very subtle or perhaps not even there. Unfortunately, many or his conclusions emphatically follow suit. Here following is a snippet of some of Beale's more significant applications to his topic on idolatry.
We resemble what we worship or reverence, either for ruin or for restoration. ... All of us are imitators; there is no neutrality (309). When we worship an idol we too will become like them; viz., unable to see, hear, and understand--lifeless! Cut off from the source of life, we cannot but fall into the pit of ruin. In the place of the One True God, a modern idol is anything else:
* Worshiped, valued, committed to, or reverenced (285).
* "The heart clings to for ultimate security", value, relevance, purpose, ... (165, 176).
* Substituted as the chief object of desire, which of course can take many forms, including the worship of self; in this form of idolatry, we:
o Deify our own capacities.
o Become our own moral authority.
o Seek to be our own sustainer and creator of goodness, healing, joy, etc.
o Develop "god-like self autonomy, self-set goals, and boundaries" (135, 138-39).
Idolatry can also involve turning good, godly things into idols by making them the chief object of our life, the obsession of our soul: e.g., a bigger savings or retirement account, a nicer house, a different job, a new car, more education, a ministry position, our health, etc. The same could be said for neutral things: e.g., a sports team. In Jesus' day, Israel's idolatry was clinging to and valuing a religious tradition and a form of godliness instead of the living God.
Most recent customer reviews
Interesting and factual concepts. I knew many of them, but had not applied the thought and research this author does.
Definitely worth reading.