Monday, August 2, 2010

what I'm reading: some words on idolatry from The Briefing

The Briefing has long been my favourite magazine (long before they ever published anything I wrote!) and I read it cover to cover every month. It's like an old friend who's grown over the years, becoming less prickly and more warm and engaging. It's stretched and shaped my thinking and encouraged me in my Christian walk again and again.

I was particularly struck this month by a couple of paragraphs in Ron Serje's review of Greg Dutcher's You are the Treasure that I Seek (But there's a lot of cool stuff out there, Lord). It's a book for "Christian idolaters" about the idols we worship - not generally Buddhas or Krishnas, but idols like food, sex, or recreation (or less tangible things like peace, perfection or pleasure).

The review says,

Idolatry is rooted in and grows out of the heart. This means we take our idols wherever we go. Idols are remarkably portable; we can worship them anywhere, anytime, all the time...

Flee from your idols. That's right: run, don't walk. This might be inconvenient, painful and even disruptive; we are usually very fond of our idols. So don't be surprised if you discover that your thoughts, habits and routines have settled into a smooth, effortless orbit around your favourite one.

"A smooth, effortless orbit": that's spot-on, isn't it? If you need help identifying your idols, have a look at this questionnaire and this one; and for more on idolatry, see what desires do you need to turn from?.

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