Bob Goudzwaard. Idols of Our Time

Bob Goudzwaard. Idols of Our Time. InterVarsity Press, 1984.

This short book, written nearly three decades ago, though dated in many ways, offers an insightful analysis of modern Western culture and its challenges to authentic Christian discipleship. Goudzwaard is a Dutch economist and politician and a committed member of the Dutch Reformed Church. His writing is clear and focused.

He offers a sharp critique of the myth of progress–especially pointed coming from a professional economist–and shows how ideologies serve as the conduits for idolatry. He then looks at various ideologies, including belief in technology, nationalism and material prosperity, showing how these all stand in tension with biblical message of humanity created in God’s image and called to shalom and compassion.

His concluding chapter, “Hope Awakens Life,” serves as an excellent nutshell description of the contrast between biblical values and those of these modern idols.

This book is long out of print, but inexpensive used copies seem plentiful online. I highly recommend it.

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