"So much of what draws us to our personal gods has to do with where our needs are, where we hurt, why we hurt, and how we desire that pain to be satiated. It also has to do with our culture and what is promoted to us. In my experience standing in front of the towering stone sphinx, I wasn’t moved to worship, mostly because my Western culture hasn’t sold that to me. I’d be more tempted by a giant ice-cream cone. Preferably one with peanut- butter chunks."
--Kelly Minter, in No Other gods: Confronting Our Modern Day Idols.
Here's Tim Keller on what's an idol...
What is an idol? It is anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give… [T]he human heart takes good things like a successful career, love, material possessions, even family, and turns them into ultimate things. Our hearts deify them as the center of our lives, because, we think, they can give us significance and security, safety and fulfillment, if we attain them… An idol is whatever you look at and say, in your heart of hearts, “If I have that, then I’ll feel my life has meaning, then I’ll know I have value, then I’ll feel significant and secure.” There are many ways to describe that kind of relationship to something, but perhaps the best one is worship.
--Timothy Keller, Counterfeit Gods (Dutton, 2009)