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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable & great insights to be gained., 28 Mar. 2010
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This review is from: Counterfeit Gods: When the Empty Promises of Love, Money and Power Let You Down (Hardcover)
Thoroughly enjoyable and thought provoking book.

For those unfamiliar with Timothy Keller he has a very enjoyable way of writing. He is able to convey difficult ideologies in an easily understood manner. In doing so he is able to make his points seem interesting, relevant and thought provoking. Keller's ability to write in this style has lead to him being recognised as a modern version of CS Lewis.

The primary premise of this book, as the title suggests, rests on idols. The book suggests that the bible, as originally illustrated by the 10 commandments, claims that our worldly problems rest on our constant need to make idols of non-godly things. The book addresses the modern materialistic idols of the western world, namely money, fame, culture, power etc. It then attempts to help the reader identify if they share any of these idols. The book concludes that man needs to turn back to God and in doing so will free himself from his worldly attachments and become a happier being.

I can't fault Keller's thought on idols. I gained significant amounts of insight from his book. I would however highlight that the majority of Keller's Theology is specifically Protestant. He draws a lot of reference to Luther's Theology of the Cross, and a lot of his assertions are based on Lutheran ideas.

The only critique I can offer is that at points the book reads a little more like a self-help book than a book on Biblical thought. However, this does not occur enough for me to feel deterred or irritated by the content itself so the critique really is only a minor one.

Overall, I highly recommend the book.
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Initial post: 1 Jul 2010 09:16:16 BDT
Last edited by the author on 1 Jul 2010 17:22:57 BDT
From the most ancient times down to our own era, all the ideologies created/believed by humanity have eventually reached a crisis-point. This crisis of confidence occurs when it becomes obvious to the majority that the benefit of any particular ideology to it's adherants is outweighed by the disadvantages inflicted by that same ideology.

Since European Civilization's high water mark in the Victorian Age, progressive thinkers have encouraged us to abandon the 'old religious attitudes' that underpinned that era's achievements. An 'enlightened' aetheist/socialist ideology developed from the ideas of Darwin, Marx and Freud has been substituted on the promise that when allied to modern technology, this scientific world-view would create a 'New Jerusalem'; amidst which all our spiritual and material needs would be provided for in abundance. As we survey the social wreckage of our 'modern' Western World, it seems clear that this aetheist/socialist ideology upon which orthodox Western thought is now based, has reached that crisis-point.

Far from creating world peace, the 'dog eat dog' attitudes of Darwinism led to the mass slaughters of the 20'th Century as unfettered by religious constraint, but driven by quasi-religious fervour; rival Imperialist, Marxist, Fascist/Nazi, Nationalist and Capitalist factions mercilessly attempted to eradicate each other worldwide. Similarly the egalitarian socialism of Marx led not to the predicted 'Utopia' but to 'Red Terror' and the soulless tyrannies predicted by George Orwell.

Socially, the aetheistic, non-judgemental 'liberal' attitudes promoted by Freud have also failed to deliver as promised; creating obscene differences of weath and power in which tiny 'elites' exist alongside immense multitudes known as the 'underclass'; crime, drug abuse, abortion, family breakdown, mental illness and class/racial hatreds have all vastly increased. This fraught situation can only be compared to Ancient Rome's final years and then as now, many within a deeply troubled population turned to traditional and/or militant religion.

Today's Evolution versus Creation debate is a symptom of this greater crisis, the failure of orthodox Western thought; and will not be decided by logic or science, but by the outcome of this greater crisis.
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