Item description for You Are The Treasure That I Seek...: But There'S A Lot Of Cool Stuff Out There, Lord by Greg Dutcher...
Overview With honesty, humor, and compassion, author Greg Dutcher addresses a contemporary problem that most Christians aren't even aware of: idolatry. He reminds his readers that there is a battle to be fought, and what is at stake is our lives, the lives of others, and, most importantly, the reputation of Christ Himself. With winsome anecdotes, references to modern culture, biblical references, and nods to respected theologians such as Charles Spurgeon, John Piper, and C. S. Lewis, Dutcher makes us aware of the problem, helps us isolate it, and then gives us the weapons to contain it. Study questions at the end of each chapter make this a great individual or group Bible study.
With honesty, humor, and compassion, author Greg Dutcher addresses a contemporary problem that most Christians aren't even aware of: idolatry. He reminds his readers that there is a battle to be fought, and what is at stake is our lives, the lives of others, and, most importantly, the reputation of Christ Himself. With winsome anecdotes, references to modern culture, biblical references, and nods to respected theologians such as Charles Spurgeon, John Piper, and C. S. Lewis, Dutcher makes us aware of the problem, helps us isolate it, and then gives us the weapons to contain it. Study questions at the end of each chapter make this a great individual or group Bible study.
With honesty, humor, and compassion, author Greg Dutcher addresses the contemporary problem of idolatry. He helps us understand the problem and then provides the weapons to overcome.
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Studio: Discovery House Publishers
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.58" Width: 5.93" Height: 0.37" Weight: 0.38 lbs.
Release Date May 1, 2009
Publisher Discovery House Publishers
ISBN 1572933097 ISBN13 9781572933095
Availability 0 units.
More About Greg Dutcher
Greg Dutcher is senior pastor of Christ Fellowship Church in Fallston, Maryland. He and his wife, Lisa, have four children.
Reviews - What do customers think about You Are The Treasure That I Seek...: But There'S A Lot Of Cool Stuff Out There, Lord?
Idolatry Antidote Sep 18, 2009
Idolatry is a popular sin, but an unpopular subject. Some theologians believe that idolatry is at the root of every sin. What is idolatry? Simply put, it is exchanging the glory of God for the glory of something else, whether it be people or possessions.
You Are The Treasure That I Seek: But There's a Lot Of Cool Stuff Out There, Lord (Discovery House, 2009) by Greg Dutcher is an accessible book on the subject of idolatry that accomplishes three things.
First, he exposes the hidden places of our hearts in order to bring us face to face with our own idolatry. Much of his book attempts to peel back the layers of our hearts to show us where we are infected with idolatry.
Next, Greg urges us to see the importance of fighting against idolatry. His diagnosis of our condition is unflinchingly negative, but that merely serves to motivate us to fight against idolatry with every fiber of our being. He writes:
"The battle against idolatry is a fight for our lives, the lives of others, and, most importantly, the reputation of Christ himself. I invite you to learn more about this syndrome, its pathology and its remedy, and join me, another recovering idolater, on a journey of eternal significance." (16)
Greg frequently returns to the idea of the "idolatry syndrome." This syndrome flares up every time we desire to find our passion and fulfillment in something other than God himself. Our pursuit of unworthy substitutes cuts us off from our ever-worthy God.
At the same time, idolatry cuts us off from other people. Greg points out:
"Idolatry cuts us off from one another. All of us are locked into personalized prisons of our own making. Is it any wonder that we'd rather chat online with a total stranger than have a day-to-day relationship with our next-door neighbors? Idolatry kills community." (52)
Finally, Greg exposes the deceitfulness of sin. He portrays idolatry as a stealth hunter that seeks to capture us as prey. But Greg doesn't leave us merely with truths about idolatry. He leads us back to the cross of Jesus Christ as the antidote to our sinfulness. Jesus conquers our idolatries and frees us from their enslaving grip.
You Are The Treasure That I Seek is a short book that would be terrific for a small group Bible study. The publisher includes good reflection questions that should foster good discussion. If you are tired of battling individual sins and want to get at the root problem, pick up this book. There is plenty of ammunition that will help you in your battle against idolatry.
Book Review: You Are The Treasure That I Seek Aug 27, 2009
You Are The Treasure That I Seek: But There's a Lot Of Cool Stuff Out There, Lord is written by Greg Dutcher, the senior pastor of Christ Fellowship in Fallston, Maryland. This book addresses a topic that is sadly seldom seen in the "recent releases" section of Christian book cataglogues or overheard in Christian conversation; yet, a topic that in today's culture needs to be addressed as sternly as in any other time throughout history. What topic you ask? In this book Dutcher removes the lid of the human heart and exposes the sin of idolatry. Dutcher writes:
"The idolatry syndrome has enjoyed an almost invisible status in most Christian communities today. One of the reasons I wrote this book is because I just can't find much material on the subject." (p. 80)
With refreshing honesty (even concerning his own idolatry!), helpful illustrations and humour, Greg Dutcher reminds the 21st century Christian that just because we don't surround ourselves with carved wooden idols does not mean we are free from idolatry. In a very biblical way, Dutcher exhorts the reader to "prayerful Bible reading" (p. 82) in order to expose the hidden idols of their hearts. To Dutcher's commendation, he avoids the pitfall of moralism and instead provides the Christian reader with the only solution to idolatry:
"Being enamored with Christ is the best offensive weapon against idolatry...Hearts that cherish, trust, or fear Jesus more than anything else prove to be barren soul for idols. Counterfeit saviors cannot grow in soil that has been reserved for Christ alone." (p. 97)
Making this short book not only helpful for the sole-reader, but for small group study, Dutcher concludes each chapter with several questions to provoke reflection. The book then concludes with two appendixes; the first appendix provides four case studies of modern day idolatry to aid the reader in answering the "now what?" question. Finally, the second appendix is titled "A First-Aid Kit for Recovering Idolaters" which includes selected scriptures, quotations and prayers to nourish and exhort the Christian in their pursuit to forsake idolatry and instead see more of the beauty of Christ.
You Are The Treasure That I Seek has been written in an easily accessible way; however, Greg Dutcher is in no way timid in his expose' of idolatry. I am confident the Lord will use this short book in the war against the idols of my own heart, and as such I would not hesitate to recommend this popular level treatment of an often neglected subject.
Identifying, Diagnosing and Answering Idolatry Jul 17, 2009
What does a young executive with a maxed out credit card and a new wardrobe have in common with a Pygmy visiting a jungle shrine and a preacher who craves Sunday morning compliments? Not much? Think again. There is actually quite a bit that these three characters have in common. The unifying feature is idolatrous worship.
Pastor and author Greg Dutcher tackles this prevalent but strangely neglected subject in his book YOU are the Treasure that I seek. The subtitle helps show his angle, But there's a lot of coll stuff out there, Lord. Dutcher roots his definition and explanation of idolatry in Romans 1. He shows that at its heart idolatry is about exchanging the worship of the one true God for the worship of other people and things. The exchange, says Dutcher, in addition to amounting to "vain glory" is ultimately for "a pack of lies."
It is interesting that Paul simply calls what we traded in for truth `a lie.' It is an all-inclusive term that boldly declares the hollowness of anything or anyone other than God....This is why the most diverse kinds of worshipers can be lumped together. The naturalist worships the earth. the humanist worships man. The atheist worships nothing. Each has traded in the truth of God for a bogus belief system. Each person, then, `worships a lie.' (pp. 29-20)
This is also why Dutcher can group the preacher in with the others in the above example. Instead of craving the glory of God and finding chief enjoyment in God's supremacy the preacher with his pagan hangover finds himself craving his own glory, the perceived worship of others, and feelings of self-supremacy. That is, he enjoys both stealing from God and exalting himself. Ouch!!
But of course it is not just preachers and pagans that are in the sights here. We are reminded that the human heart has a self portrait and self glory as its mental homepage. To show this the author spends considerable time using painful personal and practical examples of idolatry to pinpoint the footprints of idolatry.
Ductcher does not leave us here though. And this is what I really appreciate about this book. He helps us see that the point is not just to stop idolatry but to start worshiping rightly through Christ. We are to find satisfaction, joy and meaning through our full-souled worship of God through Christ. He also is very pastoral in his help for Christians who lapse into pagan thinking and acting:
If you have embrace Jesus as your wrath-bearing Savior, and like me, you're discouraged that you still find your heart cherishing other things more than Christ, then read on. I write mainly for you. While idolatry cannot eternally condemn us any more, it can rob us of the joy that we could have when Christ is our heart's greatest treasure. It can subtly surface when we least expect it and sidetrack us in our love and devotion to Him. We who have been forever freed from idolatry's penalty can devote the rest of our lives to seeking to cherish Christ more than anything else." (p.43)
In addition to tackling an important subject with biblical fidelity and clarity Dutcher is a terrific writer. He weaves in illustrations, word pictures, humor, and pop cultural references into his gospel-centered application. Furthermore, he is quite transparent and comes across humbly. This I think is a key not only as a pastor who claims to preach Christ but as a writer whom we have never met but has something to say about something so intimately personal as our heart's greatest longings.
There are two helpful appendices. The first shows idolatry through things like text messaging, sex, pornography and materialism. Second, the author provides a boatload of resources; quotes, books and prayers to combat idolatry.
Finally, the each chapter concludes with some questions for application. In addition to being personally helpful they would be ideal to serve as discussion starters in small groups studies. The author has really made it easy for you if you want to help yourself and others to hate sin and love Christ more.
Biblical Cure for an Age-Old Problem Jun 9, 2009
I spent a few minutes yesterday reading about the new iPhone--the iPhone 3G S. It sounds spectacular. With every generation of the phone the wizards at Apple get one step closer to what people wanted the iPhone to be from the outset--an amazing, innovative, gizmo that does so many things so well. Watching the videos, reading the descriptions, I can feel my heart begin to long for that phone. I know that if I don't watch myself, if I don't guard my heart, I may just find myself dedicating way too much time to pursuing that phone and rationalizing all the reasons I need it. Of course the problem is not with the phone, but with my heart--a heart that longs for what it does not have. Idolatry, it seems, is alive and well.
We are prone to believe, I think, that idolatry is a problem we have evolved beyond. Those ancient Israelites bowed to a golden calf and tribes in South America prostrated themselves before wooden sculptures. But we, in the demystified west have no idols, do we? Greg Dutcher thinks we need to rediscover this little word, idolatry. "My prayer is that this book will help you in this regard, but in order to press forward, we have to take a look at an ugly word, and it's a word that gets little press today. Idolatry is an old-fashioned word, consigned to social studies classes and Clive Cussler novels. But what if it's alive and well, even in America? What if it's a problem of such epidemic proportions that our unawareness of it is only making it worse? ... The battle against idolatry is a fight for our lives, the lives of others, and most importantly, the reputation of Christ himself." In You Are the Treasure That I Seek, Dutcher seeks to expose this idol and to equip Christians to battle against it.
Like any book that deals with a specific sin, Dutcher has to begin with bad news. He has to expose this sin and show how it is alive and operative in the lives of people today--people far removed from the day of stone gods and wooden idols. He defines idolatry as "cherishing, trusting, or fearing anything more than we cherish, trust, or fear God himself." And in that light we can see how this is a plague in our day. How easy it is to cherish something, anything, more than I cherish God. "If a woman cannot find God's presence and power sufficient to sustain her through a day, then idolatry has hunted her down. If that student's Xbox fantasies shift from fun entertaining to ceaseless obsession, then idolatry has slipped through the back door and made itself at home. And when a husband stops seeing his wife as a God-given life partner and treats her only as an object for his own pleasure, then idolatry has done a good day's work. None of these victims may realize how deep in the throes of God-substitutes they actually are, but that's just fine with idolatry. Idolatry is a stealthy hunter."
Having provided the bad news, and having encouraged Christians to hunt down idolatry in their own lives, Dutcher provides biblical wisdom to help them begin to deal with it. And, as we might expect, the cure for idolatry is finding hope and joy and true delight in God. "Being enamored with Christ is the best offensive weapon against idolatry. When idols call for our attention, we should flee, yes, but in fleeing we need to ask God to show us the excellencies of the Savior. Hearts that cherish, trust, or fear Jesus more than anything else prove to be barren soil for idols. Counterfeit saviors cannot grow in soil that has been reserved for Christ alone." The one who finds joy and delight in Christ will find only a reflected joy in anything or anyone else.
The book concludes with a helpful pair of appendices, the first providing four solid case studies in idolatry with idols being as disparate and unexpected as hardwood flooring; text messaging; acceptance through sex; and pornography and the second providing a long list of Scripture passages, quotes and prayers useful in engaging idolatry.
You Are the Treasure That I Seek is a small book, but one that packs a punch. Dutcher exposes the myth that idols are made of wood and stone and shows instead that they can be anything that draws our hearts, our minds, our affections away from the Savior. The remedy he suggests is Bible-centered and gospel-focused. Well-illustrated and well-written, this is a book I am sure I will recommend often.
As for the iPhone, well, at some point it may make good sense for me to have one. But I know I cannot get one until I sort out my heart issues to make sure that if and when I do buy one, I am doing so for only the right reasons.