gods at war
by Kyle Idleman
Turning the final pages of ‘gods at war’ prompts the question in your mind, why do I come last? As in, why has Idleman waited until the final few pages to expose the root cause of my ongoing skirmishes with all of the other gods of this world? The answer that he provides brings all of the other enemies into perspective; the god of self is the field officer directing the rest of the pantheon. We are our own worst enemy.
Pastor Idleman turns over no new soil in this book. A quick scan of the table of contents will reveal the walls that you have scaled over and over in your life. Some you have overcome and others, well they continue to sneak up on you when you least expect it. The cohesiveness of these gods is stunning. They are bound together like few other things in this world, and making them more difficult to address is the glue that binds; they all start out as something good that we in our self-centeredness turn bad. It is here that Idleman shines. He absolutely refuses to allow us to point at anything other than our love for self as the reason for this good-bad confusion.
Though it doesn’t stand with ‘Not a Fan’, ‘gods at war’ is a good read and would serve well in a study group. Men will be especially receptive to Idleman’s style and approach as he often portrays himself as having to battle the same false dieties.
Empty Promises by Pete Wilson
If you would just [give,show, serve, pray…] more, then and only then, will you be safe.
Christians habitually segregate the sacred and profane, thus explaining the blind spot that prevents us from seeing how even religion can become one of the idols that weave their way into our lives. They masquerade as good things: ambition, love, food, etc., only to draw and demand all of our attention in an effort to be the source of our satisfaction. Too late we discover that the promise is empty.
Pastor Pete Wilson comes up beside us and holds the mirror that brings these blind spots to our attention. Empty Promises addresses the pantheon of mute idols that commonly appear in the lives of Christ followers and derail our journey. Each chapter effectively points out our snare in the context of the scriptures, letting us see what it has done in the lives of others. Though we are separated by centuries and context, the solution remains the same. Find satisfaction in God; don’t be led astray by the empty promises of sensual or religious experiences.
Empty Promises is well written and engaging and will find a welcoming audience. The challenge that Wilson encounters in our modern day is that this has all been said before. Voracious readers will have already trod this territory many times over, finding the referenced scriptures already underlined in their bibles. This shouldn’t stop you from picking up the book but it may be one that you pass on to a younger reader so they can engage it for the first time.
I’m grateful to Thomas Nelson who provided this volume for review.