The First Commandment: Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me
In Keller’s second chapter, he focuses on love and sex. He specifically shows how our love for other human beings becomes an idol if we place our love for them above our love for God. Following that, Keller expands on the lust for money that is pervasive in our culture. Personally, I was especially convicted of the sin of greed when reading this part of the book. Greed is a subtle, deadly sin. It enters our lives unannounced and, if allowed to grow unchecked, is undetectable by those in its grasp.
After focusing on love and money as idols, Keller turns to politics. This book is worth the price for this chapter alone. It lays bare the misguided hopes and trust that Christians place in human government and brings one of the Enemy’s most potent secrets to light. The warring factions in politics, especially among Christians, can reveal who are trust is really placed in. Individual Freedoms? Our Nation’s Sovereignty? The Ability to Choose? Education for All? Healthcare for All? Or the Holy One, the Living God, Our Father in Heaven. Just as Nebuchadnezzar saw the statue built of human achievement crumble under God’s power, Keller smashes the political idols in our own lives swiftly, painfully, convincingly.
No other Christian writer of our generation is on par with Keller’s work right now. His ability to popularize Biblical truths without sacrificing any of their depth is unmatched. He has been called the C.S. Lewis of our time and it is an apt description. Though The Prodigal God is still his best work, Counterfeit Gods is a close second. You will not find a more enlightening, convicting book – it is must read for every Christian who desires to put to death the earthly idols that consume us.