Have you Betrayed the Gospel? A Review of Gospel Treason: Betraying the Gospel with Hidden Idols by Brad Bigney

Gospel TreasonThere is a huge need in the Evangelical Church for a return to the sufficiency of scripture in dealing with personal problems and struggles. Over the last few decades, we have seen huge numbers of Christians compromising on the authority and sufficiency of the Word. Scientists tell us that the earth must be billions of years old (an interpretation of data, not a provable hypothesis), and Christians scramble to make it “fit” into Genesis 1-11. Now, the rise of Psychology, self-help, and the general refusal to accept personal responsibility for anything has caused Christians to run to integrationalist counselors and those who “help” them by scattering a few Bible verses over a bed of Sigmund Freud, Oprah and Dr. Phil. Brad Bigney is one voice calling the church back to the Bible.

Gospel Treason deals with an area that many of us don’t want to think about- our own dirty, conniving and idol-making hearts. The book is divided into three parts. Part One traces the progression of the problem. Heart idols develop when we drift from the power of the gospel and begin making internal compromises with other things. This takes place in the “heart,” or within ourselves. We soon find ourselves wanting, craving, and demanding things. Maybe it is a relationship, acceptance, control, or a variety of other things. But it begins to dominate. It may manifest itself in anger, depression, lust, stress, or other ways, but it wreaks havoc on relationships and changes our perceived identity in Christ.

Part two works through the solution to heart idols. It begins with being honest about what is really going on inside our hearts. One way to do this is by following the “trail of your time, money, and affections.” What do I think about, spend most of my time doing, and care about above all else? Once we’ve identified our designer idols, we have to begin the process of making our heart follow what we know to be true rather than us following our hearts. In all of this we must develop an accurate picture of Who God is and the role that He plays in helping us defeat these issues.

Bigney closes with a very brief section on what an idol-free life looks like. This is one of the best things Christians can set their eyes on, because it offers hope. Your life can be idol-free. Now, it’s a lifelong battle, and the enemy never sleeps, but it is worth it, not primarily because of the payoff for me, but because through my battle the Creator and Redeemer will gain the glory that is due His name.

If you are familiar with the basic tenets of the Biblical Counseling movement, then Gospel Treason will serve as a basic review of the “heart idol” concept from Ezekiel 14. If you have been constantly “referred out” to secular counselors or have been told that the Bible does not have the answers to deal with many of life’s issues, then this book will serve as a wonderful call back to the need to look at all of life through the lens of the Word of God. Bigney has written a great little book, and I highly recommend it.