Strange Gods: Introduction

Elizabeth Scalia, also know as The Anchoress here at Patheos, has written a book called Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life.

I am not good at book reviews. Instead, I am going to lived blog, chapter by chapter, my reading experience.

Right now, I am sitting in the parking lot of my children’s elementary school on the last day of school. We are waiting to attend the fifth grade breakfast and fifth grade graduation for our second son, Shem.

Scalia points out in the introduction to Strange Gods, that our idols are often people rather than things or golden calves. “We are refined and educated people. We have studied We know our faith. We can recite our creed. We don’t live in a time in which mere things are worshipped,” wrote Scalia, presenting how we think of ourselves when we think about the worship of idols (8-9)

Now on one level, we do worship things. We do not bow down to them or say prayers to them, but we worship them in our heart.

As I look at the cars which drive by as parents drop off their children, clearly the large luxury SUV and super-size pickup truck must be the official golden calf of Wyoming. Of course, my 2007 Suburban is not an idol. I have 3 children. We need the space…and it is our only vehicle which works well. And I would never covet those with nicer vehicles. Never. Not me!

Scalia points out the political figures from Presidents such as George W. Bush and Barack Obama take on idol status. Surely, the party symbols of the elephant and the donkey have taken on idol status as we cherish them above good governance and brotherly love.

Scalia tells us in the introduction, that as we read her book, we will look at how idols block our access to God. I am thinking this is a book that I am going to relate to. As I look at the chapter headings…man, I might be in need of a lot of repentance.

About Chris Henrichsen

Chris Henrichsen has moved Approaching Justice off of Patheos. Find his latest posts and the new Approaching Justice. Thanks!


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