Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Gods at War: Student Edition - Kyle Idleman

It may be a little early, but I'm starting to collect a library of books for my boys, the oldest of which will be a teenager in 2 years. (Wow...it's strange to even write that!) I'm on the lookout for books that will keep his interest while at the same time teaching him truths that I want him to learn.  It is with this task in mind that I began reading the student edition of Gods at War. 

The first few chapters explain what idolatry looks like in society today.  We are no longer bowing to idols made of wood or stone, but we do worship idols when we "look to something or someone to do for us what God was meant to do for us".  For example, "Instead of looking to God as a source of comfort, we turn to mindless entertainment.  Instead of looking to God as our source of significance, we turn to our accomplishments... Instead of looking to God as our source of joy, we look to our family, friends, or a boyfriend or girlfriend."  You get the picture.  These idols, or "gods", are at war for our hearts.

The rest of the book looks at specific "gods" that many youth (and adults as well!) tend to worship.  Topics include drugs/alcohol, food, sex, romance, entertainment, appearance, materialism, achievement, relationships, and ourselves.  I think that Kyle Idleman does a great job of explaining the dangers of trusting in these things to meet our needs, and he presents it in a simple and humorous way that teenagers can relate to.  I wish I would have read this book as a teenager!  At the end of each chapter is an "Idol ID" section which asks questions to help the reader identify whether that idol is a problem for him/her.  There is also a short section explaining how Jesus is the answer.  After all, "Idols are defeated not by being removed, but by being replaced."

Talking about all these issues as "gods" took a little time to get used to for me, but I understood the message and it's given me a lot to think about.  I hope that in the years to come it will resonate with my boys as well. 

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookLook in exchange for an honest review.

No comments: