Friday, August 16, 2013

Book Review: Gods at War by Kyle Idleman

After reading this book, Gods at War, and his previous book, Not a Fan, I've decided that the best description of Kyle Idleman is hardcore. I've never listened to his preaching, but as far as his books go, they are not light, feel good reading. Not that this is a bad thing. In fact, I'm the kind of Christian reader that if I have to choose between feel good platitudes and getting shook to the core of my being, I'll take getting shook up any day.

This is important for any potential reader to know going in, because you need to be ready for what is coming. Your apple cart will get upset when you read this book. It's not a bad thing because when it comes to the topic of this book, identifying and extricating the idols in our lives, we all need our apple carts upset. But if you are looking for a light read, something feel good and encouraging, this isn't it. Idleman's books are for those serious about getting right with God. They are for people ready to lay it all on the line in order to get closer to Jesus. While there may be a select few new believers that are ready for this, these books are more for those who have been through the paces with God. It is for people who are no longer little saplings that need protected from the elements. This book is for those who are ready for a good pruning.

With that all said, if you are ready to put some serious work into your relationship with God, I highly recommend this book. The first few chapters deal with how God doesn't just want to be first in your life, He wants to be all of your life. Idleman shows biblically how all sin traces back to idolatry and why it is so critical that God be your one and only lord. The remaining chapters go one by one through the most common idols we have. It seems to me that he started with the ones everyone agrees on and by the end was touching on the ones that will really shake up most Christians, such as the idol of family and of self. You can tell by his writing style that Idleman is an intellect, but he balances this well with a quirky sense of humor (don't skip his footnotes).

There is also very little fluff in his books. He gets to the point, makes the point and then moves on. He doesn't mince words or sugar coat anything. His books are meaty. Sometimes books like that read like textbooks, but Idleman's style is so natural that before I realize it, I've read 50 pages more than I intended to in a sitting. That sort of natural succinctness is rare in many Christian books and I very much appreciate it.

Overall, I highly recommend this book to all Christians ready to begin pruning away at their life. If you walk into it knowing that pain and pruning are coming, you can't help but finishing this book a changed person.

I was given a complimentary copy of this book from in return for my honest review.

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