Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters

Timothy J. Keller

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Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters

Counterfeit Gods The Empty Promises of Money Sex and Power and the Only Hope that Matters For the faithful and the seeker the inspiring New York Times bestseller from the author of The Reason for God Harsh economic realities are casting new light on the pursuits of sex money and success

  • Title: Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters
  • Author: Timothy J. Keller
  • ISBN: 9781594485497
  • Page: 393
  • Format: Paperback
  • For the faithful and the seeker the inspiring New York Times bestseller from the author of The Reason for God.Harsh economic realities are casting new light on the pursuits of sex, money, and success for happiness careers, fortunes, marriages, and retirement security have collapsed Many feel lost, disenchanted, and resentful.

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      Posted by:Timothy J. Keller
      Published :2018-09-26T20:34:57+00:00

    One thought on “Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters

    1. Rachel on said:

      Hard hitting, and grace-filled, this book was a perfect book to set the tone for 2017! Here are a few of the gems I found: “An idol is something that we look to for things that only God can give. If we look to some created thing to give us the meaning, hope, and happiness that only God himself can give, it will eventually fail to deliver and break our hearts. To practice idolatry is to be a slave.” 
“God saw Abraham’s sacrifice and said, “Now I know that you love me, because you did [...]

    2. Gene Helsel on said:

      Tim Keller does an excellent job of exposing the idols of money, sex and power and the many various forms that they take today. The first chapter alone is worth twice what I paid for the book. Keller is an able expositor and pastoral "applier" of God's Word. For the majority of this book Keller is very careful to draw his insights and applications directly *out of* the biblical narratives (exegesis.) But a few times he falls prey to the preacher's ever-present temptation of "eisegesis" (reading [...]

    3. Jeffrey Thomas on said:

      This has to be my favorite Timothy Keller book that I've read to date, and easily one of my all time favorites! The ways in which he unpacks numerous of the idols and counterfeit gods that rule our lives through the use of real life stories as well as examples in Scripture reveals the real heart of the issue with each of those. The end of each chapter also does an awesome job of relating each of those idols to Jesus, showing how He is always the thing we need in those unique spaces in our hearts [...]

    4. John Gardner on said:

      As with Keller’s previous two books, this one is very good. In fact, it may be his best yet, which is high praise from a big-time Keller fan like me!In “Counterfeit Gods”, Keller delivers a timely message regarding idolatry in our culture, and in our own lives. He very quickly dispels the common image of an idol as a carved statue that is literally worshiped (though this does still happen and he does address it). Instead, he writes that most idols are, in fact, good things, such as spouses [...]

    5. Luke on said:

      Keller speaks on idolatry, and the power that this sin commands in a world obsessed with materialism, selfish gain, celebrity and greed. Essentially, idolatry is at the root of all sin, as we choose to worship something more than God - to put something ahead of God. Keller makes his point (idolatry sux if you call yourself a christian!) and takes the next 2/3rds of the book outlining different types of idolatry with a few anecdotes segmented throughout. But then things get good towards the end. [...]

    6. Josh Miller on said:

      After reading this book written by Timothy Keller, it is a no-brainer - I will try and read anything by him that I can get my hands on! Talk about an intriguing read! Keller challenges the gods of our current society (and nearly every society) in a masterful way. There are very few intellectuals that are enjoyable to read. However, Keller is one of those. This would make an outstanding "book club" read or a good Bible study by a Sunday School.Although I underlined, starred, and marked many secti [...]

    7. Maggie on said:

      Counterfeit Gods is my introduction to Timothy Keller, guess I'm late to the game, but based on what I read, I plan on reading more of his works. This is an excellent book, one of the most convicting I've read in a while, with a much needed message for our modern culture and society. When many of us think of the word "idol", we either think of teen pop stars or people worshipping before a golden calf and other statues. However, Keller shows the reader what false gods look like in this day and ag [...]

    8. Michael on said:

      This is one of the books I'd categorize as a must read. Keller's thesis is that idolatry lies behind all sins, and he plumbs the idols that we all have in our lives (money, sex, power, theological, political, economic, and many others). He's at his best in identifying these idols and illustrating them in the lives of different biblical characters (Jonah, Jacob, Leah and Rachel, and others). More light could have been shed on replacing these idols with God, but that's rightly the material for ano [...]

    9. Steve Hemmeke on said:

      Good book. Here are some highlights:An idol of politics"One of the signs that an object is functioning as an idol is that fear becomes one of the chief characteristics of life" (98).Keller goes on to show how fear leads to reviling and demonizing political opponents, making a toxic instead of healthy atmosphere for political discourse. This comes from making politics an idol, for fear that we will lose political stability if our politicians and policies don't SAVE us. We can SAY politics isn't a [...]

    10. Justin Lonas on said:

      Short, to the point, and kindly ruthless.I was put off at first by Keller's somewhat pedantic style (he typically writes for a broad audience, especially for non Christians, so his rehashing of basics can seem insulting to some), but after finishing the whole book, it seems like a good fit. He pares away rhetorical flourishes, side-notes, allusions, and deeper discussion to cut the chase, a bruising theological argument that all sin begins as idolatry.Keller doesn't sugar-coat the accusation tha [...]

    11. Jeremy on said:

      This is a very simple and well laid out book helping us to understand that idolatry isn't a relic of the Old Testament or obscure tribal communities but rather a universal human condition. Keller deftly lays out the primary "idols" of American society and discusses how one can identify and replace the idols the reader is specifically wrestling with.I will definitely use this book in discipleship relationships.

    12. Tara on said:

      This book really dives into the tendencies of human behavior to show us how we have made gods of earthly things. Identifying why we struggle with finding real peace and job. It can be a rough journey to better understand yourself, but I would recommend exploring your own personal idols.

    13. sharon on said:

      I often hear Christians comparing Keller to C.S. Lewis in his ability to distill complex theological ideas into manageable, everyday language. While I know that there is a need for this level of discourse for large swathes of people, religious and non-religious alike, and appreciate that Keller's books often serve as an entrypoint for further exploration, it was this very "toning down" that I found frustrating about Counterfeit Gods (and tend to find frustrating in general with Keller's books, p [...]

    14. Mikelkpoet on said:

      Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. [...]

    15. Angela Romine on said:

      Loved this book! It helped to focus my attention to the idols that may be in my life and warn me of others that can be hidden. I would recommend this book to anyone!

    16. David Sarkies on said:

      Idols of the Modern Age6 September 2011 - Paris I found that this book was very confronting and challenging and it is difficult to criticise these types of books as I tend to feel that I am attempting to justify actions that I know in my heart are wrong. To put it bluntly this book is about modern day idols, though the way that Keller describes idols is not in the sense that we understand them, that being lifeless statues that we worship, but rather ideas, goals, and passions, that we set our he [...]

    17. Justin Hairston on said:

      Convicting and uplifting. Drags a bit in the middle, but the use of examples both secular and biblical aids the points well, and several tidbits of wisdom from the book have popped into conversation numerous times since reading it.

    18. Matthew on said:

      I was a big fan of Tim Keller’s first 2 books, The Reason for God, and The Prodigal God. Speaking largely as an apologist in the former and a pastor in the latter, Keller demonstrated his immense intellect and knack for offering keen observations of culture as it relates to the gospel of Jesus Christ. These strengths are applied directly to his latest work, Counterfeit Gods. This is Tim Keller at his finest as he subtly, yet powerfully, points out the things people, and particularly Americans, [...]

    19. N. on said:

      I have to come back to this book. A single, quick read is rather insufficient to reap the full benefits of it. I will probably have to do a second review as I haven't quite digested its content. Needless to say, it is a book that makes you look inwardly, and honestly and thoroughly so. This book has left me somewhat bare, but not with a hopeless, damning shame. Instead, it has revealed my need to be clothed with the righteousness of Christ Jesus, in whom alone by grace can I ever be adequately a [...]

    20. Jo on said:

      “Every human being must live for something. Something must capture our imaginations, our hearts most fundamental allegiance and hope. But the Bible tells us, without the intervention of the Holy Spirit, that object will never be God himself.” (pg 3) Thus Keller begins to build his case. He starts by establishing the fact that the human heart is an “idol factory,” willing to grasp at any number of things to replace God. At one point in the book he expresses the idea that Bible is filled w [...]

    21. Jeremy on said:

      I stumbled upon this book while scrambling to find a book to read on the plane. I've been to Tim Keller's church a several times so I figured I'd give it a shot. And I'm glad I did. This book was both challenging and restorative. I ran into many penetrating questions that I couldn't escape, all of which asked me to examine whether I love others things more than God--my family? my girlfriend? my career? It was also restoring because Keller suggested several ways we can replace--not remove--our id [...]

    22. Tiffany on said:

      I read the book in a day, which is really not normal for me and a Tim Keller book. It's summertime in India, and this is the first time I've been surrounded with so very many idols andwell, gods. This book is an enjoyable read that helps you clamp down on some of the idols in your life that can be a bit ambiguous. So often, I hear bells ringing, smell incense and I pray another prayer for a neighbor. This book helped me to identify some idols I haven't properly dealt with in my own life. I've lo [...]

    23. Joel on said:

      What impresses me most about Keller is his ability to express truths that are really complicated and muddled in a way that is clear, avoids simplifying it, and resonates with the reader. Even when the topic is something potentially offensive, like idolatry. There are two pages where he deconstructs the idolatry of religion (131-132, if I remember correctly) so clearly and precisely that I had to stop and think about it, then I read it to my housemate so we could discuss it before I moved on. Thi [...]

    24. Aaron Downs on said:

      Counterfeit Gods by Tim Keller, proves to be both a quick and thought provoking read. In his book Keller attempts to expose idols that are being worshiped by the average Christian. What! Christians are worshiping idols? Well, yes, we are. We may not have a golden calf set up in the back yard, but we do have our own idols. Keller defines an idol as something that we look to for things that only God can give us, which means they may, in fact, be good things. "We think that idols are bad things, bu [...]

    25. Steven Wedgeworth on said:

      Ok, so I listened to this on Audible a few years after it was released, and thus I felt like I had heard most of it before. That means I can't be entirely fair to the book. Its central thesis, that idolatry redirects our heart from Christ to worldly false saviors, is correct and very powerful. This is an important concept that pastors should study more, and it has a long pedigree working its way through the psalms, the prophets, the gospels, and into church history, notably John Calvin's works. [...]

    26. Sharon on said:

      One of those books (Like "What's so amazing about Grace?") that everyone living in the modern world and its climate today, should read. Although I do agree that people who are already Christians will find it more useful that a non-believer. I found this book very interesting and loved the examination of idolatry through the stories in the Old Testament (Jonah et al) Although some of it I had already guessed at or discerned for myself (such as those trying to fulfill themselves through relationsh [...]

    27. Lady Jane on said:

      Newsweek heralded Tim Keller as "C.S. Lewis for the 21st century," which is to say that Rev. Keller communicates gospel truths simply, to a broad audience, in easy to understand terms. Keller's post-modern, largely Biblically illiterate or semi-literate readers are different than Lewis', which should be taken into charitable consideration when evaluating his work. Counterfeit Gods is a relevant examination of idols, intrinsic to Western culture, with which Western Christians are prone to blindly [...]

    28. Ethan Boggs on said:

      Timothy Keller a brilliant mind, who has the ability to communicate with clarity the symptoms of a broken culture while at the same time giving the remedy for it. Very sharp thinker. Recommend it!

    29. Brent McCulley on said:

      I read this book about a year and a half after reading The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism and was overall pleased throughout the course of the exhortation. Keller does a great job at pointing out how easily idols can creep up into our life. His friendly prose is once again comforting, yet I felt that the diction of this book - in comparison to 'Reason for God' - was largely more elementary and base. This has nothing to do with Keller's brilliance by any means! but rather, with th [...]

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