RPM, Volume 11, Number 32, August 9 to August 15 2009

You are the Treasure that I Seek

*But there's a Lot of Cool Stuff Out There, LORD

A Book Review

By Joseph R. Nally

Theological Editor
Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill)

Have you ever been to the Grand Canyon? On the West Rim there is a glass bridge that extends out over the canyon itself. It is called the Grand Canyon Skywalk. 1 From there you may see some amazing sights such as the Tribal Lands of the Hualapai. However, while there are many wonderful sights you may behold, there are also jagged rocks and cliffs below. There is a lot of danger just lurking.

The Christian heart is similar. While it can behold many of the beautiful treasures of a God-given life, there are also a lot of danger. God sees it all, as if He were looking through mere glass. He sees the Clint Eastwood version; the good, the bad, and the ugly. 2 He sees the jagged rocks and cliffs in our hearts. He sees all of our idols — all of our other so-called treasures that attempt to replace Him in our hearts.

Greg Dutcher in his new book, "You are the Treasure that I Seek," takes the reader on a tour of the grand canyon of the heart. Oh, yes, there is beauty, but along the way, he points out the jagged rocks and cliffs. He points out the dangers; that is he addresses the contemporary problem of idolatry in our hearts. He says:

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 idolater, on a journey of eternal significance. (page 16)
According to Dutcher, everyone has a problem with idolatry. Dutcher states our hearts have made a "dark exchange. God has been traded in for a better model." (page 50) The dangers abound. As the subtitle states, "but there's a lot of cool stuff out there, LORD." As John Frame relates in the Forward of the book:
When God tells us not to worship idols, He is not talking only about idols made of stone and wood. An idol is anything other than the true God. And "idol worship" is not just the physical motion of bowing down. It is the whole attitude of mind that puts anything ahead of God in our lives. Understood in that way, all sin is idolatry. (page 7)
And what do we do? "We exchange the truth of God for a lie" (Rom. 1:25).

There is a subtlety and stealth of idolatry. Idols do not just walk up and say they are idols and let them in. They are more like Trojan horses; that is they bring their treachery through disguise. Dutcher states:

Sin—idolatry in particular—is not a showboat. It does its best to work in subtle ways. Like a puma lying low in the gentle grass, taut muscles held in place like a coiled spring sin waits in the "safest" of places…. The capacity for idol worship is alive and well in our hearts. Sin knows this, so it waits patiently for a chance to creep in unaware. (Page 59)
While Dutcher examines human depravity with amazing clarity he does not stop there. While he assists the reader to understand the problem he also provides the weapons to overcome. As one might imagine, Dutcher points the reader toward Christ. He encourages us to cherish Christ more than stuff; that is "the relationship," rather than risky stuff. Dutcher states, "Being enamored with Christ is the best offensive weapon against idolatry." (page 97) On the same page, he quotes Sinclair Ferguson who states, "The evangelical orientation is inward and subjective. We are far better at looking inward than we are at looking outward. Instead, we need to expend our energies admiring, exploring, expositing, and extolling Jesus Christ." 3 (page 97)

The whole book is a journey in truth. I especially enjoyed the Appendix entitled, "A First-Aid Kit for Recovering Idolaters." In it Dutcher brings us to the remedy of the Great Physician discussing: (1) our need for an awareness of idolatry's attacks, (2) the uselessness, danger, and wretchedness of idolatry, and (3) the incomparable beauty of Christ. (Page 123 ff) Herein, one may apply the truths of the book to themselves.

With questions at the end of each chapter and prayers throughout, this book will be especially useful in Home and Study Groups. It is well written and Christ-centered. I would go so far to say this book should even be required reading in our seminaries. Of course, one may find that even seminary may be an idol for some.


1. The glass bridge is suspended 4000 above the Colorado River on the very edge of the Grand Canyon. http://www.grandcanyonskywalk.com/#wait [Last Accessed, 7 July 2009].

2. Sergio Leone's grand epic western movie entitled, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, starring Clint Eastwood, 1966.

3. As quoted in C.J. Mahaney, The Cross Centered Life. Sisters, Oregan: Multnomah, 2002.

This article is provided as a ministry of Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill). If you have a question about this article, please email our Theological Editor.

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