Christ Lutheran Church - Marshfield, WI

New to the Church Library: The Unholy Trinity: Martin Luther Against the Idol of Me, Myself, and I

New to the Church Library: The Unholy Trinity: Martin Luther Against the Idol of Me, Myself, and I

It’s been said that 2020 has been a year for toppling idols. Many things we put our trust in have been shaken, the crutches we used to prop ourselves up have been torn out from under us.

The Unholy Trinity, published in 2016, takes an incredibly insightful dive into idolatry that hits all the closer to home during a pandemic. While we don’t bow down to statues anymore, idolatry infiltrates all of our lives. Today we might identify idols like money, fame or political parties, but idolatry takes even more subtle forms.

What can be considered an idol? In his explanation on the First Commandment, Luther explains that everything we fear, love, and trust more than God is our idol. Therefore, says Lockwood, three main features of idolatry are misplaced fear, misplaced love, and misplaced trust.

Whatever we trust to provide for us instead of the Father, to justify us instead of Christ, to know God without the Spirit, reveals our idols. This takes many forms — works righteousness (page 97), denial of the Law in favor of a distorted gospel (page 107, 125), and false understandings of God (page 108, 131, 198).

How do we get rid of these idols? Not through our own efforts, but it’s God’s work through the Holy Spirit, “who dethrones the idols in our hearts and creates in us true faith in the true God” (page 209).

My personal understanding of idolatry and how it manifests in everyday life was greatly enhanced by this fantastic book. This is just a surface summary of its rich depth (245 pages worth). I highly recommend The Unholy Trinity to anyone who wishes for a greater understanding of the role of idolatry beyond the carved image.

Kaylin Speth
Volunteer Church Librarian

Good Quotes:

“For Luther, the faith of the Christian is not interested in itself and its own experience and feeling. Instead, it is wholly captivated by Christ and his promise of salvation.”

“Whoever seeks righteousness apart from faith and through works denies God and makes himself into God.”

Further reading on idolatry at the CLC Library:
Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up? 12 False Christs by Rev. Matthew Richard. (A highly readable and informative book about false ideas of Christ.)

Library Announcements:

Callings for Life: God’s Plan, Your Purpose
Faith in the Shadow of a Pandemic
Waiting: A Bible Study on Patience, Hope, and Trust
A Simple Explanation of Holy Communion; Heaven and Hell (booklets located in library for in-church browsing)
Questions and Answers for Parents of Curious Kids
The Reason I Believe
Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Convictions
12 Arch books for Kids
(Courtesy of Pastor Daryn):
The Lutheran Difference: An Explanation and Comparison of Christian Beliefs
Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World
Men of Sunday
Synod materials on the Lord’s Supper, Prayer, End Times

The Unholy Trinity and other new additions to the Church Library are currently on a cart in the Library (through the Fellowship Hall). Simply fill out the card located in the back of the book to check out a resource. Recommended check-out time is 2 months.

The Church Library is located by the Sunday School office and includes fiction and nonfiction titles, children’s books, Lutheran Witness magazines, A Simple Explanation booklet series, an audio Bible on CDs, music and DVDs, Arch and other kids books, plus a new Young Adult section!

Browse the online catalogue on the church app. Many of the new books have been published in just the last few years and were sourced from Concordia Publishing House, the publisher of the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod.

Don’t miss the ongoing book sale of retired library books in the Fellowship Hall. Funds will be used to purchase new resources (especially from Concordia Publishing House) for the church library. Donations toward the Library Fund are greatly appreciated to continue developing an updated, theologically sound resource for the congregation.

Please get in touch with church if you are interested in donating a title or contributing to the Library Fund.
The Hammer of God by Bo Giertz
On Being a Theologian of the Cross by Gerhard Forde
Misquoted: Rethinking Commonly Misused Bible Verses by Dan Suelzle
The Spirituality of the Cross by Gene Veith
Boldly Speaking: Sharing God’s Word Every Day by Edward Grimenstein
Demystifying the Proverbs 31 Woman by Elizabeth Ahlman
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