We Become What We Worship: A Biblical Theology of Idolatry

We Become What We Worship: A Biblical Theology of Idolatry
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Beale, G. K.

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Publisher's Description

The heart of the biblical understanding of idolatry, argues Gregory Beale, is that we take on the characteristics of what we worship.

Employing Isaiah 6 as his interpretive lens, Beale demonstrates that this understanding of idolatry permeates the whole canon, from Genesis to Revelation. Beale concludes with an application of the biblical notion of idolatry to the challenges of contemporary life.

About the Author

G. K. Beale (PhD, University of Cambridge) is professor of New Testament and biblical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary. He is the coeditor of the Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament and the author of numerous books, including A New Testament Biblical Theology: The Unfolding of the Old Testament in the New and commentaries on Revelation and 1 and 2 Thessalonians.

Book Details

341 Pages
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
Publication Date: October 2008
ISBN 13: 9780830828777

“This thoughtful examination of a surprisingly significant biblical theme will richly reward all who read it. . . . It offers that rare combination of careful, insightful exegesis and perceptive application from which not only biblical scholars but all Christians can benefit.”
- Frank Thielman, Presbyterian Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School

We Become What We Worship is biblical theology at its best, weaving together Old and New Testament texts into a unified message. Beale's work is original yet traditional, profound yet simple, exegetical yet 'hyperexegetical,' sometimes provocative yet always profitable, for the scholar yet for every serious Christian. His message that we resemble what we revere, either for ruin or for restoration, is convincing and convicting.”
- Bruce Waltke, Professor of Old Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary

“This is an original, brilliant and most satisfying treatment of a theme central to biblical understanding, but often misunderstood or ignored in the modern church. This book requires careful study but it repays far more than it requires.”
- David F. Wells, Andrew Mutch Distinguished Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

“This stimulating and in-depth study on idolatry is vintage Greg Beale. Beale argues that we become like the idols we worship, and he makes his case through a careful intertextual study of the Scriptures. Insights abound as Beale unfolds the biblical text. We are reminded afresh that idolatry is the root sin, and that it is so heinous because it robs God of the glory and praise and honor that he alone deserves.”
- Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“Nothing else comes even close to this authoritative analysis of the destroying power of idolatry and its comparison to the renewing power of true worship of the one real God. Beale's relentlessly thorough coverage of the biblical material, using a purposely maximalist approach, gives the reader a close look at every possible reference to relevant passages, no matter how obscure or tangential, so that no stone is left unturned in demonstrating how idolatry—ancient or modern—ruins people's lives. Any biblical preacher or teacher would benefit from this book.”
- Douglas Stuart, Professor of Old Testament, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

“This profoundly insightful study of idolatry brings into the spotlight a topic of exceptional significance. Illuminating a wide range of biblical passages, Professor Beale skillfully elucidates the life-defining and transforming nature of worship, both true and false. Everyone who reads this book will be deeply challenged to reflect afresh upon the way in which what we revere shapes not only our present lives but also our future destinies.”
- T. Desmond Alexander, Union Theological College, Belfast