Idol-bashing Gospel

Here is a helpful discussion by Tim Keller (click on name to listen to lecture) regarding the correlation between all idolatry and a lack of the Gospel.

Things that Keller discusses:

·        Idol = something that you will die for or without (dying either emotionally, psychologically, or otherwise)

o   Ending up angry enough to die!  (Jonah 4:3)

§  Because that something was lost.

·        Gospel = Christ’s person and work

o   May at times prove to be nothing more than a mere abstraction

§  “Yes, I know Jesus died that I might live (Rom.6.8; 2Cor.5.15; Gal.2.19; 2Tim.2.11), but I can’t live with having lost…”

·        Sin = Idolatry

o   All sin is ultimately rooted in idolatry (1Cor.10.13-14; 12.2; Col.3.5; Jn.5.20-21)

§  Every wrong behavior has an idolatrous motive.

§  Every wrong thought has an idolatrous nature.

o   All idolatry is a disbelief in the Gospel

§  Idolatry is our being functionally self-righteous (or seeking to be)

·        Idolatry rooted out (expelled) by the Gospel

o   Mere behavior modification will never break the bonds of idolatry

§  Unless there is an ‘overmastering passion’ for/in Christ…there will be no ‘dispossessing of passion’ for idolatry

·        It is a question of what’s the ‘reigning affection’ of the mind.

o   We all were made with the capacity to idolize (Col.3.1-5)

§  Idolatry is the idolizing of anything other than God in Christ

·        Having something (besides Christ) as your ‘functional lord’

§  Maintaining Christ as Idol happens in a daily renewal, putting on the mind of Christ (Col.3.10) through the word of Christ (Col.3.16).

“The human heart is a factory of idols…Everyone of us is, from his mother’s womb, expert in

inventing idols.” John Calvin


See also C.J. Mahaney’s article  — _Idol Factory_




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