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Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power--and the Only Hope That Matters
Dutton / 2009 / Hardcover
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Have you ever thought money, power, or love would bring you happiness? Discover how only God can wholly satisfy our cravings! Keller explores Scripture to demonstrate how our hearts can turn good, wholesome things into idols that drive us. Using classic Bible stories, he reveals the key to understanding our society and transforming our own minds.
Success, true love, and the life youve always wanted. Many of us placed our faith in these things, believing they held the key to happiness, but with a sneaking suspicion they might not deliver. The recent economic meltdown has cast a harsh new light on these pursuits. In a matter of months, fortunes, marriages, careers, and a secure retirement have disappeared for millions of people. No wonder so many of us feel lost, alone, disenchanted, and resentful. But the truth is that we made lesser gods of these good thingsgods that cant give us what we really need. There is only one God who can wholly satisfy our cravingsand now is the perfect time to meet him again, or for the first time.
The Bible tells us that the human heart is an "idol-factory," taking good things and making them into idols that drive us. In Counterfeit Gods, Keller applies his trademark approach to show us how a proper understanding of the Bible reveals the unvarnished truth about societal ideals and our own hearts. This powerful message will cement Kellers reputation as a critical thinker and pastor, and comes at a crucial timefor both the faithful and the skeptical.
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As the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, Tim Keller started his congregation with a few dozen people. It now draws over five thousand weekly attendees who meet in three Manhattan locations. Redeemer has since spawned a movement of churches across America and throughout major world cities. Many pastors model their churches on Redeemer and Tim's thoughtful style of preaching. Dr. Keller lives in New York City with his wife and sons.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Idol Factory...ix
ONE All Youve Ever Wanted...1
TWO Love Is Not All You Need...22
THREE Money Changes Everything...48
FOUR The Seduction of Success...72
FIVE The Power and the Glory...97
SIX The Hidden Idols in Our Lives...126
SEVEN The End of Counterfeit Gods...154
Epilogue: Finding and Replacing Your Idols...165
In Counterfeit Gods, Timothy Keller writes a simple yet poignant proposal to our innate desire to make good things the ultimate thing. While we easily recognize bad things are not God-worthy, the pursuit of good things can assume the image of the divine. Keller further ponders whether the Creator of all things should subjugate to the very things He created as fair? Kellers view of God may seem narrow as described from the crucible of New York City residents, flush with choice amid personal pursuits, cultural fittings, and peer impositions. Yet the tired explanation of idols in a modern context assumes new iterations of family, power, sex, money, and all else, geared toward pride, is exposed under the temporary and shifting position of personal perspective of what works. He proposes that a counterfeit is a temporary solution for a present situation, but a real God will not allow anything but what His desires dictate. Keller delicately and sensitively understands the culture he sympathetically decries, yet questions whether that cultural bent should dictate who God is. His conclusion allows readers to ponder personal choices without fault and to consider what lasts: a God who seems old by description but steadfast when all else crumbles.
Thank God, He is not counterfeit when its time to put your money where your mouth is. Thank Mr. Keller for exposing our tendency to make wrong bets! -- Pastor Daniel Perkins, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Author of The Reason for God and senior pastor of New Yorks Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Keller asserts that the chaos of the global financial crisis offers a rare opportunity, as individuals and as a society, to discern the glittering gods that enslave us. The only way to free ourselves from the destructive influence of counterfeit gods is to turn back to the true one, writes Keller, mercilessly dissecting the things he believes keep men and women from acknowledging their sin and Gods love, grace and centrality. Shadowed by the pastors austere Reformed vision of the depth and shape-shifting forms of human depravity, this sometimes bleak series of linked meditations weaves the spiritual journeys of biblical figures like the Old Testament soldier Naaman with insights from more modern figures, including 19th-century industrialist Andrew Carnegie, contemporary author Malcolm Gladwell and retired tennis star Chris Evert. A work of recession spirituality and cultural criticism, this volume will appeal to those who share Kellers conviction that the journey away from idolatry and toward God can sometimes take a lifetime. (Oct. 20) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
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