The Reason for God – Part 4

Some of my thoughts on and Keller’s words from Chapter 3 of The Reason for God

  • Keller opens the chapter with a question, “Is a belief in absolute truth the enemy of freedom?”
  • Christianity looks like an enemy of social cohesion, cultural adaptability, and even authentic person-hood.  However, this objection is based on mistakes about the nature of truth, community, Christianity, and of liberty itself (p37).
  • If you say all truth-claims are power plays, then so is your statement [which, I’ll add, is a truth-claim].  If you say (like Freud) that all truth-claims about religion and God are just psychological projections to deal with your guilt and insecurity, then so is your statement.  To see through everything is not to see (p38).
  • Christianity requires particular beliefs in order to be a member of its community.  It is not open to all.  This is socially divisive, critics argue (p38).
  • The idea of a totally inclusive community is, (therefore), an illusion.  Every human community holds in common some beliefs that necessarily create boundaries, including some people and excluding others from its circle (p39).
    • Keller uses a two-fold example to show the above using a fictitious board member of the Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Community Center whose had a religious experience and now believes that homosexuality is a sin; and a fictitious board member of the Alliance Against Same-Sex Marriage who discovers that his son is gay.  Both members, ultimately, are banned from their respective groups.
  • Any community that did not hold its members accountable for specific beliefs and practices would have no corporate identity and would not really be a community at all (p40).
  • We should criticize Christians when they are condemning and ungracious to unbelievers.  But we should not criticize churches when they maintain standards for membership in accord with their beliefs.  Every community must do the same (p40).
  • This chapter contains some creative insights into Keller’s own church, Redeemer Presbyterian Church of Manhattan.
  • In the most radical way, God has adjusted to us – in his incarnation and atonement.  In Jesus Christ he became a limited human being, vulnerable to suffering and death.  On the cross, he submitted to our condition – as sinners – and died in our place to forgive us.  In the most profound way, God has said to us, in Christ, “I will adjust to you.  I will change for you.  I’ll serve you though it means a sacrifice for me.”  If he has done this for us, we can and should say the same to God and others (p49).
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~ by toddbumgarner on March 12, 2008 6:19 am.

One Response to “The Reason for God – Part 4”

  1. “Nosce te ipsum” – Know thyself 🙂

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