A book on idolatry? We might think idolatry is irrelevant today. Kyle writes, “...idolatry is the number one issue in the Bible...” (11) “Idolatry isn't just one of many sins; rather its the one great sin that all others come from.” (22)
Kyle challenges us to see our faith and life through the lens of idolatry. We'll find there is a war going on – a war for our hearts.
It is a worship issue, he argues. It is not God in first place. God will not be part of a hierarchy. He is all there is to worship. Anything (or anyone) that becomes the driving force in our life is an idol.
He asks us to consider our own life and helps us find the roots of idolatry within. He covers the idols of pleasure (food, sex, entertainment), power (success, money, achievement), and love (romance, family, me).
Kyle writes that it is no accident he saved the “god of me” until last. It is the one we grapple with every single day.
Here is a sample of the perceptive way Kyle writes. On romance: “When we look to someone other than God to complete us and define our lives, it's idolatry. It's also futile because God is the only one who can complete us. We are made for him.” (200)
At the end of each “god of...” chapter is an Idol ID section with penetrating questions. That is followed by a Choosing Jesus section that describes how the idol is replaced by Jesus.
Kyle has included lots of stories as examples, from his own life as well as others. The stories give hope, seeing how others have identified and dealt with their idols.
This is a timely book in our age of success and wealth. It is a very good challenge to our way of thinking. Who do we look to as our source of joy, comfort, security, etc.? Anything or anyone other than God is an idol.
Kyle Idleman is Teaching Pastor at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky. He is the author of several books and presenter of several video curricula.
Zondervan, 240 pages. There is a small group kit that can be used with this book. Go here to find out more about it.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from a publicity group for the purpose of this review.