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We Become What We Worship: A Biblical Theology of Idolatry (Beale)

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InterVarsity Press
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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.


Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. A Foundational Example of Becoming Like What We Worship - Isaiah 6
  3. Becoming Like What We Worship - Evidence Elsewhere in the Old Testament
  4. Becoming Like What We Worship - Judaism
  5. Becoming Like What We Worship - The Gospel
  6. Idolatry in Acts
  7. Becoming Like What We Worship - Paul's Epistles
  8. Becoming Like What We Worship - The Book of Revelation
  9. The Reversal from Reflecting the Image of Idols to Reflecting God's Image
  10. Conclusion - So What Difference Does It Make?



G. K. Beale (PhD, University of Cambridge) is professor of New Testament and biblical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary. In recent years he has served as president and member of the executive committee of the Evangelical Theological Society. He has written several books and articles on biblical studies.



"This thoughtful examination of a surprisingly significant biblical theme will richly reward all who read it." - Frank Thielman, Presbyterian Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School

"This is an original, brilliant and most satisfying treatment of a theme central to biblical understanding, but too often misunderstood or ignored in the modern church. This book requires careful study but it repays far more than it requires." - David F. Wells, Andre Mutch Distinguished Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology, Gorndon-Conwell 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...Any biblical preacher or teacher would benefit from this book." - Douglas Stuart, Professor of Old Testament, Gordon-Cornwell Theological Seminary

"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