Here’s 7 reasons why I’m reading G.K. Beale’s new book We Become What We Worship: A Biblical Theology of Idolatry …and why pastors, “worship leaders” and serious readers should too!
- Worship is the primary matter of the universe. Every second of every day, we’re worshipping something–either the one true, living, Triune God or some false god, some substitute savior, an idol.This book will help you think more biblically, more truthfully about worship.
- Worship is a life or death issue. Beale’s thesis is “We resemble what we revere, either for ruin or for restoration.” That means there’s no middle ground. True worship brings restoration; Idolatry brings ruin. True worship brings reconciliation; idolatry brings conflict. True worship strengthens marriages; idolatry is the root of “marriage problems.” True worship fuels hope and peace, even in suffering; idolatry perpetrates despair, depression, and isolation. I hope to test this book in every day life so that I’ll be conformed to the image of Jesus to the greater glory of God and the greatest joy of all.
- Idolatry is epidemic. Every time we sin, we’re still worshiping. It’s called idolatry. No one’s exempt. I need teaching to uncover the dangerous reality of idolatry, and while there’s some good stuff out there, I don’t know of a book that so clearly explains the deadly consequences of idolatry.
- Worship is bigger than Sunday. The contemporary church is very ignorant when it comes to biblical worship. All too often we talk about music being “worship” or that “I’m going to worship on Sunday.” As though “worship” is a switch we can flip “On” and “Off” on Sundays! Pastors, gathered worship leaders, leaders, and teachers of every sort need to delve deep into Scripture to understand the life-encompassing, life-defining nature of worship. We Become What We Worship will draw us into God’s total plan and purpose for his people, equipping us to guard against the destroying power of idolatry…and thus restoring a biblical vision for gathered worship.
- Understanding involves rigorous learning. I highly doubt this book will be a top-seller. Maybe among seminary students, but not real people. Beale says so much (p.34). The introduction alone warned me of the struggle this read is going to be. That’s why I had to come with a bunch of reasons why I need to read this (entire) book! However, having been super blessed by Beale’s exemplary teaching on biblical theology (especially the relationship of the Old Testament in the New) I know that the reward will be great! I need the challenge to think thoughtfully, passionately, diligently, rigorously, and prayerfully. I want to understand what the Bible teaches about idolatry. I’m a disciple of Jesus, a life-long learner. It’s not always going to be easy.
- Soak in Scripture. As challenging and thought-provoking as Beale’s argumentation is, I’m looking forward to soaking in Scripture. Each chapter walks you through detailed exegesis of key passages…in their context.
- To fulfill the Great Commandment. Jesus said the most important thing, the greatest commandment is to love God supremely (Matthew 22:36-40), and the second is to love others. I hope this biblical theology of idolatry will help me detect and destroy the idols, the substitute saviors, that I love more than God at times and that keep me from loving my neighbor.
What about you? If you’re reading through We Become What We Worship feel free to leave a comment.