Gods at War: Defeating the Idols that Battle for Your Heart by Kyle Idleman remind and humble me of the power of the cross and how, God, in His infinite mercies, does not give us what we deserve. It makes the 1st and 2nd commandments all the more real by defining idols (and gods) as more than old gods from Rome and Greece.
Filled with humor and insight, Gods at War goes in-depth into the things and people in our life that steal our love and devotion from God.
Gods at War begin with defining idols and speaking about biblical stories that talk about how we define idols. It’s cultural. Gifts God has given us can become idols because we put those gifts higher than God whether it is the love of our children to the love of a football game. Loving that thing or being that person isn’t the issue, but elevating that gift above our love of God becomes an idol in our heart. Gods at War teaches us we need to love the thing or person in context with our love of God. God needs to be higher and seated on the throne of our heart.
The only passage that caused me to feel defensive, even offended, was on page 229:
This last Christmas we had opened presents at my in-laws’ house. I was putting together one of the kids’ toys on the family room floor and my father-in-law was sitting in his recliner watching the hunting channel—the channel that sends the message, “My son-in-law will never be a real man because he doesn’t shoot things or build things.”
While it seemed harmless enough, I couldn’t help but get hung up on that statement. What did his father-in-law think of that statement? Is Idleman anti-gun or anti-hunting? I realize in our politicized world a statement like this is open season for all kinds of assumptions. An asterisk near it mentioned that the editors wanted Idleman to finish that story, but Idleman didn’t want to. Asterisks exist throughout the book and add to the book because of Idleman’s humor. It’s infectious.
In several places, Idleman had me laughing. The parts that had me laughing had to be read to my husband who sat in the other room. This is the kind of book that will successfully bring you down from arrogant to humble within a few pages. I especially loved the personal touch of stories and how Idleman gave a reference where to finish reading those true-life stories. Because of Gods at War’s hard truths and humor, I gave this book four stars. I docked a fifth star because of the quote on hunting.
It made me ask all sorts of questions, like how is the relationship between him and his father-in-law? What does Idleman think of hunting and the second amendment? What did his father-in-law think when he read that portion of the book? I’m not sure that it added to Gods at War.
*Book given by publisher to review.