Sunday, December 27, 2009

Quiet Sunday After Christmas

OVER THE NEXT FEW WEEKS, I want to finish Tim Keller's new book Counterfeit Gods on idols and their relentless hold on our lives by writing about how we begin to identify and end their myriad domination. Today, I take a quote from chapter seven of Keller's book, The End of Counterfeit Gods:


The seventeenth-century English minister David Clarkson preached one of the most comprehensive and searching sermons on counterfeit gods ever written. About idolatry he said, "Though few will own it, nothing is more common." If we think our soul as a house, idols are set up in every room, in every faculty." We prefer our own wisdom to God's wisdom. our own desires to God's will, and our own reputation to God's honor. Clarkson looked at human relationships and showed how we have a tendency to make them more influential and important to us than God. In fact, he showed that "many make even their enemies their god......when they (we) are more troubled, disquieted and perplexed at apprehensions of danger to their liberty, estates and lived from men" than they are concerned with God's displeasure. The human heart is indeed a factory that mass-produces idols.

Is there any hope? Yes, if we begin to realize that idols cannot simply be removed. They must be replaced. If you only try to uproot them, they grow back; but they can be supplanted. By what? By God himself, of course. But by "God" we do not mean a general belief in his existence. Most people have that, yet their souls are riddled with idols.

What we need is a living encounter with God.

More on this next week.

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