Posted by: berencamlost | 2007 November 27

Idols of the Left, Right, and Center

Idols for Destruction

While reading Idols for Destruction by Herbert Schlossberg, I came across some quotes that resounded with my last post on “Sacrificing Children on a Republican Altar.” Quoting Neibuhr, he describes the prevailing national religiousity as a “perversion of the Christian gospel,” aggravating the nation’s problems.

In other quotes he says:

A pluralistic society heralds the virtues of paths that have no exits. George Forell, a theologian at the University of Iowa, has described the political movements that range across the spectrum from left to right as “rival deck stewards competing with each other about the arrangement of the deck chairs just before the Titanic hits the iceberg.”

The struggle between Forell’s deck stewards may usefully be thought of as a clash of idols, beckoning to us as antinomies: capitalism and socialism, individualism and collectivism, statism and libertarianism, rationalism and irrationalism, nature worship and historicism, conservatism and liberalism, reaction and radicalism, elitism and equalitarianism. The conflicting parties and the media create false dilemmas, and the ecclesiastical leaders lunge at them as if the only response to a dilemma were to impale themselves on one of its horns.”

The participants in this struggle, along with their ecclesiastical admirers, insist that we have to choose between left and right on every issue, that there is no third way. But if we are successful in identifying the first two ways as idols, then it is reasonable to conclude that there must be a third way. The final purpose of this book is to make some progress towards finding out what that is.”

Time to begin throwing off the idols of culture and the world and embrace a Christ centered view of culture and politics.


  1. Great quotes!

    I think Schlossberg does us such a great service in that book. If Christians would just realize the idols they bow down to on a regular basis and repent of it, I thnk we would see a significant change throughout the world. Imagine if the Church was salty once again?

    Oh wait, salt is bad for us isn’t it? Hmm. Well, maybe we can just pretend we’re salty by using a couple of our favorite bible verses, offer free coffee, and play hug the hipster in the corner. Yeah, that sounds like a much better idea.

  2. We have recently added Schlossberg’s chapter 5 of ‘Idols for Destruction’ to our audio collection and is available free for anyone that might be interested.

    God bless!

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