Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life
by Elizabeth Scalia
“Creation is supposed to be sacramental: a window into the glory of God. But precisely because it’s so beautiful, we can make the mistake of worshipping and serving created things instead of the Creator."
—Mark Shea, author, blogger
Through a powerful critique of the "gods" we worship today, Elizabeth Scalia reminds us that life's deepest desires can be satisfied only in Christ.
"It is not a bad thing to want to be loved. Even a certain amount of ego and pride is not the worst thing. But left unchecked, they can enslave us."
"'Strange Gods' will leave you shocked by just how many things you've turned into idols, and inspired to turn back to the only one who is really worthy of our worship. A much-needed wake-up call."—Jennifer Fulwiler
What are you putting between yourself and God? Tony Rossi talks with Elizabeth Scalia about unmasking the idols in our lives.
Visit author Elizabeth Scalia's popular Patheos blog here.
Read Elizabeth Scalia's Tuesday column at First Things here.
Publicity for Strange Gods:
Live interview on The Ed Morrissey Show: 4/30/13, 5 pm
Live interview on SQPN Weekend: 4/27/13
Live interview on The Ed Morrissey Show: Date/Time TBA
Live interview on EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show: Date/Time TBA
Taped interview on EWTN’s Faith and Culture: Airing 5-17-13 and 5-31-13
Live interview on Catholic Answers Live: 6-7-13 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.ET
From the serious to the mundane, I can make an idol out of anything that I can make mine, which is everything. We all can.
Knowing that the God who loves us totally wants to be loved totally in response offers a powerful counter to our very human failings.
The idols that we face today are more numerous than those of the ancient world. And the chief idol is ourselves.
Scalia affirms, ultimately, that Christianity as a yes - at its heart is a benevolent and loving God Who really is worthy of all attempts at idol smashing.
Like all really wonderful books, Strange Gods has caused me to make some reassessments in how I'm living my own life.
The seminal idol is always ourselves. All the rest flows from that.
I wasn't sure how an entire book about idolatry could speak to me or even make sense. And yet, in under 200 pages, Scalia has defined and demonstrated the concept so well that I can't go through my life blindly any longer.
People of all faiths would benefit from spiritual conversation like the one I imagine in my dream scenario involving Scalia and Shaq.
I've starred and underlined passage after passage in this book - some made me wince in recognition, others made me laugh, and it all made me think.
When we are reminded of such all-too-human errors -- in good prose, by a writer of assiduous humility and self-awareness -- it dims the bright distractions of our righteous indignation for a little while ... and helps us get our hearts back on course.
Unlike too many faith-focused books I've laid my hands on in the recent past, this book was a literal page turner, with one insight after another worthy of noting, worthy of sharing.
Strange Gods is an open-spirited challenge to all the "musts" that we require in order to be happy, claim success, or live according to the one true faith.
Elizabeth really has something important - and new - to say, and a book was necessary to make a statement.
Reading the introduction, I think this is a book I'm going to relate to. As I look at the chapter headings ... man, I might be in need of a lot of repentance.
We are all, in some way, in some form, always teetering on the edge of going-on-four, with the world revolving around us, with stuff that we will have or things that we will do because the strange god that is the "I" in idol demands to be served.
Other people's idols are usually obvious, but our own tend to be invisible - to us, that is.
Strange Gods gives us a great visual picture of what idolatry actually is: looking at God through something else, instead of looking at Him clearly.
Will Duquette, OP
Love is something you have to make -- something you have to build, every day. If you are not willing to sacrifice your time and effort for someone, you don't love them.
I recommend this book for pastoral ministers, preachers, catechists and any folks willing to have their own idols unmasked.
I cannot see how anyone can read through this book without a resounding palm to the forehead, "what have I been doing," moment.
The reason I was the right person to write the book is because I've been an idolator all my life. Hey, hey, we're the Monkees!