The Reason for God – Part 5

Keller opens chapter 4 of his book, The Reason for God with a quote from a woman named Helen who says, “There are so many people who are not religious at all who are more kind and even more moral than many of the Christians I know.”

The following are excerpts from the rest of the chapter which is titled, “The Church is Responsible for So Much Injustice” (pp 51-67):

  • Many people who take an intellectual stand against Christianity do so against a background of personal disappointments with Christians and Churches.
  • If Christianity is all it claims to be, shouldn’t Christians on the whole be much better than everyone else?
  • The mistaken belief that a person must “clean up” his or her own life in order to merit God’s presence is not Christianity.  This means, though, that the church will be filled with immature and broken people who still have a long way to go emotionally, morally, and spiritually.
  • Violence done in the name of Christianity is a terrible reality and must be both addressed and redressed.
  • Perhaps the biggest deterrent to Christianity for the average person today is not so much the violence and warfare but the shadow of fanaticism.
  • What if, however, the essence of Christianity is salvation by grace, salvation not because of what we do but because of what Christ has done for us?  Belief that you are accepted by God by sheer grace is profoundly humbling.  The people who are fanatics, then, are so not because they are too committed to the gospel but because they’re not committed to it enough.
  • The shortcomings of the church can be understood historically as the imperfect adoption and practice of the principles of the Christian gospel.

~ by toddbumgarner on March 22, 2008 2:57 pm.

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