Friday, April 26, 2013

Book Review - gods at War by Kyle Idleman

For most of us, we think that idol worship is something that is done in the jungles or in third world countries. There is no way that you and I worship idols in modern-day, 21st century America. Sadly, this is not the case. Not even close. In fact, as Kyle Idleman will argue, you and I are probably some of the biggest idol worshipers on the planet.

In his book, Gods at War, Idleman illustrates how prevalent idol worship has become in our culture. Now, we don’t have statues or altars that we bow down to, but that doesn’t mean we don’t worship idols any less. And, as Idleman shows from the Scripture, this is an affront to God. In fact, one of the first commandments is to have no other gods before Him.

In the book, Idleman lists out nine different gods that are running rampant in our culture and trying (oftentimes successfully) to steal our hearts away from the one true God. These gods include the god of food, the good of sex, the god of success, the god of money, and the good of family. While none of these things are bad by themselves, when you and I make them the ultimate thing, they become an idol. Idleman tells a story of how individuals were enslaved by these gods and how, through the Holy Spirit, they were able to turn from the idolatry and begin to worship God. He also provides numerous examples from Scripture. The one that stuck out to me was Solomon and the god of entertainment.

As a youth pastor, each of the gods that were identified are areas that teenagers struggle with. There are teens who struggle with food addiction. There are teens dealing with sexual temptation and sexual sin. There are teens who are striving desperately to make money as a way of earning acceptance. This book will serve as a sermon resource and as a book to be shared with students and parents who are working through these issues.

Like his other book, Not a Fan, Idleman has written an excellent book, one that easily understood and immensely helpful. I would suggest that all pastors, youth pastors, and volunteers read it and become acquainted with the content.