Idols for Destruction

Idols for Destruction

The Conflict of Christian Faith and American Culture

by Herbert Schlossberg
Publisher: Crossway Books
Trade Paperback, 344 pages
Price: $30.00

This book isn't for everyone, but it's a book every Western Christian should read. It's not for everyone because it's scholarly, academic, and philosophical; it's for every Western Christian because it ably identifies the problems of our modern world, what we can expect, and how Christians should respond.

Don't let Herbert Schlossberg's scholarship turn you off. Though he wrestles with tough ideas, his writing style is engaging and easy to follow, and his message is essential. We are poised, he says, near the end of Western civilization, and the optimistic visions of secular intellectuals have largely degenerated into despair and nihilism.

At the root of this general deterioration Schlossberg identifies nothing short of idolatry. The chief idol of the West, he says, is secularization. Since this idol is often manifested in and through ideas that gradually translate themselves into action, Idols for Destruction deals mostly with ideas of a secular nature.

Each chapter deals with a specific kind of idol: the idols of history, humanity, mammon, nature, power, and religion. Schlossberg ends with a chapter on the effects and consequences of the embrace of these idols, and another on the Christian vision of righteousness, intellectual endeavour, and Christ-centered missions.

Idols for Destruction is subtitled "The Conflict of Christian Faith and American Culture." While those who want to call the United States a Christian society will rankle at statements like this, Schlossberg goes to great lengths to support his claims, and adequately proves that our national preoccupations are idols destined to destroy us rather than tools to aid our evolution.

Again, this is a dense and at times difficult book. But the message Schlossberg preaches is so pertinent and so well-argued that no one who wants to understand the reasons for or extent of our culture's corruption can afford to ignore it. Read slowly, read carefully, and let this book help you build a defense against those whose eyes have been blinded by the appetite, hedonism, and idolatrous ideas of our man-centered, God-rejecting society.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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Exodus Rating:
Summary: Schlossberg shatters the modern idol of secularization and the many lesser idols it's spawned.

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