Saturday, June 30, 2012

Identity Theft

Since we are learning to sniff out idolatry, you really ought to read Kevin Bauder's recent essay "Identity and Idolatry."

When people reject God, however, these secondary factors are used to form their primary identity. Things that are merely derivative are treated as if they are ultimate. We seek to know who we are in relationship to created things.

By themselves, however, those things are utterly incapable of telling us who we are. They cannot support our identity. The more we rely upon them, the more hollow we find them to be. We cannot really live as if we are simply our country, our family, our job, or any combination of such finite elements. We cannot live as if such things were ultimate. The attempt to do so leads us ineluctably into frustration, contradiction, and despair. Our existence becomes inauthentic.

He concludes,

If we wander from the God in whose image we are made, then the first thing that we lose is ourselves.

Read the whole essay here.

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