Book Review: Gods At War

godsKyle Idleman is the Pastor at Southeast Christian Church located in Louisville, KY, the 5th largest church in America. He previously wrote the popular book, Not A Fan.

This book explores idolatry in our lives. He refers to our idols as gods that compete for status against the one true God. Anything can become an idol once it takes the place of God in our heart. In the book the author focuses on the idols of food, sex, entertainment, success, money, achievement, romance, family and me. None of these things are sinful in and of themselves, but in our modern western culture these are the top candidates to become idols in our lives.

Idleman tells us the problem is that the instant something takes the place of God, the moment it becomes an end in itself rather than something to lay at God’s throne, it becomes an idol. Anything at all can become an idol once it becomes a substitute for God in our lives. What you are searching for and chasing after reveals the god that is winning the war in your heart.

Idleman’s first book, Not A Fan, was a little short on theology. It was a pleasant surprise to see the author beef up the theological substance of his writing in this book. The author tackles a major issue in our modern church and provides sound theology to support his efforts. Addressing this topic is a brave task for a pastor in today’s modern western church. Idolatry is one of the biggest sins in our lives today and one of the most glossed over topics in our modern churches.

The author provides a strong balance of theology, analyses and case studies to help the reader to see his idolatry from many angles. The book helps us to see that the common responses; turn off the TV, put internet filters on your computer, unsubscribe from your cable’s sports packet are addressing only the symptoms of our problems. The only way to address our idolatry is put God back in his rightful place in our lives.

Gods At War does not break new ground concerning the age-old sin of idolatry. But, it is a wonderful tool to help in our modern context. Our modern western brand of Christianity has sat by quietly and watched as idolatry has grown in our hearts and done little to dissuade believers of its offense to God. Idleman has done a fine job of exposing light on the idols we have turned from sins to virtues in our lives.