I recently finished Counterfeit Gods, The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters by Tim Keller. Honestly, had it not been for my brother Andy, who gave me this book for Christmas, I probably would not have read it. I’ve heard for quite some time that Keller’s books are amazing, but the title of this book just seemed so “I already know what that’s about.” So, I wasn’t planning on reading it, but with Andy’s encouragement, I embarked on this rather accessible book and came away enlightened for the better.
Counterfeit Gods is a more in-depth study of the some of the themes in Louie Giglio’s book, The Air I Breathe. If you like that book, and it’s examination of the worship that every person is offering to something or someone, then you’ll love Counterfeit Gods. Keller begins with many of Giglio’s same tenants – 1) everyone worships something, 2) we can make an idol out of anything, 3) God is the only thing that will satisfy us, etc. – but he examines these ideas more thoroughly. Reading this book will convict your heart, reveal personal idols that you were unaware existed, and draw you towards the glorious gospel of Jesus.
One of the most intriguing parts about Counterfeit Gods is Keller’s ability to unveil truths within biblical stories that previously seemed absent. Listening to Keller explain a biblical story is like hearing the story for the first time. Without stretching the biblical text one iota, Keller unveils newfound understandings and exposes untold truths. This to me is Keller’s greatest accomplishment within Counterfeit Gods. He helps the Bible become alive.
I would be remiss not to mention that Keller also accomplishes the task of relating all of this Biblical understanding to modern day culture as he waxes eloquently about culture. He effortlessly relates everything to current cultural examples. He’s a well-read guy and it shows.
I cannot thank Andy enough for turning me onto this book. I honestly would have ignored Counterfeit Gods had Andy not sung its praises. This is a seriously good read that is convicting and timely. God has used it to speak into my life and reveal idolatry that I scarcely knew was present.