The introduction to the book starts by listing what counterfeit gods are in our lives. Gods such as beauty, fame, power, money, achievement, and the shrines we build to them i.e., office buildings, spas, gyms, studios etc… They all play a part in our individual lives. The author Timothy Keller also brings to light what we are doing with good things in our lives like a healthy family, successful career, loving wife, and even our family and making them ultimate things in our lives that trump all else even our love and desire for God. Keller reminds us of Ezekiel 14:3 “these men have set up their idols in their hearts”. He says that anything in out lives can turn into an idol and become a counterfeit god.
Keller says early in chapter one that there is an inevitability in our lives that we will form idols and worship them instead of God. In Romans 1:25 Paul talks about serving the created thing rather than the Creator and then Keller reminds the reader that “every human must live for something…but without the intervention of the Holy Spirit, that object will never be God himself.” How does one stay away from this type of life? The answer is just a few pages later when Keller says “when the magnitude of what He(Christ) did (cross) dawns on us, it makes it possible to finally rest our hearts in Him rather than in anything else.
This book touches the topic of money, sex, and power which are the main idols and counterfeit gods of our time, but also from ages past. Humans are always looking for something to fill the void and even Christians search sometime look for something instead of turning to God to fulfill their lives.