Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Enslaving Power of Idols

"If we try to make something finite fill the place that only God can fill, we will try to extract an unrealistic level of meaning from that idol. When it does not work, it invites us only to try harder. It should not surprise us in a deeply idolatrous society that books on codependency and addiction form a growth industry. People feel enslaved to substances, to unwanted behavior, and to each other. These idols have promised life, but are death-dealing, anti-human, and constricting. It seems to be exactly this role-reversal that the Psalmist has in mind when in discussing idolatry he writes, ‘Those who make them will be like them and so will all who trust in them’ (Psalm 115:8). The idol begins as a means to power, enabling us to control, but then overpowers, controlling us.”

~Richard Keyes, “The Idol Factory” in No God But God: Breaking with the Idols of Our Age, Os Guiness & John Seel, eds. (Chicago, Ill.: Moody Press, 1992), 45.
posted at "The Big Picture"

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