I have been studying the theology of idolatry for some time now.  Greg Beale’s book, We Become What We Worship, is an outstanding and convicting study of the destroying power of idolatry.  David Powlison’s article, Idols of the Heart and “Vanity Fair”, was similarly excellent, enlightening and exposing! Tim Keller’s new release, Counterfeit Gods, has been just as helpful.  He defines an idol as “anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give” (p. xvii).  Keller goes on to say, “there are personal idols, such as romantic love and family; or money, power, and achievement; or access to particular social circles; or the emotional dependence of others on you; or health, fitness, and physical beauty.  Many look to these things for the hope, meaning and fulfillment that only God can provide.”

There are idols everywhere and everything can be turned into one.  Our blog is named ‘Pursuing Joy’… we want to encourage you as we labor alongside the body at Five Points as we pursue our joy in God alone!  Along the way, everything in Vanity Fair calls out for our attention and entices us to find pleasure in the endless ocean of idols that the human heart can craft.

“The way forward, out of despair, is to discern the idols of our hearts and our culture.  But that will not be enough.  The only way to free ourselves from the destructive influence of counterfeit gods is to turn back to the true one” (p. xxiv).  Keller’s words bring to mind Psalm 16:11, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”  As we pursue joy together, with Vanity Fair crying out to us from the right and the left and our idol-factory hearts crying out to us from within, let us remember that the idols will always lead to destruction, but the One True God gives fullness of joy and everlasting pleasure.