Reason for God – Part 11

Some excerpts from chapter 9 (pp. 143-158)  Tim Keller’s, The Reason for God. The title of the chapter is “The Knowledge of God.”

  • I think people in our culture know unavoidably that there is a God, but they are repressing what they know.
  • It is common to hear people say, “No one should impose their moral views on others, because everyone has the right to find truth inside him or herself.” This belief leaves the speaker open to a series of very uncomfortable questions.
    • Aren’t there people in the world who are doing things you believe are wrong — things that they should stop doing no matter what they personally believe about the correctness of their behavior?
    • If you do (and everyone does!), doesn’t that mean that you do believe that there is some kind of moral standard that people should abide by regardless of their individual convictions?
    • This raises a question. Why is it impossible (in practice) for anyone to be a consistent moral relativist even when they claim that they are?
    • The answer is that we all have a pervasive, powerful, unavoidable belief not only in moral values but also in moral obligation.
  • We do not only have moral feelings, but we also have an ineradicable belief that moral standards exist, outside of us, by which our internal moral feelings are evaluated. Why? Why do we think those moral standards exist?
  • There is only one way out of this conundrum. We can pick up the Biblical account of things and see if it explains our moral sense any better than a secular view.
    • If the world was made by a God of peace, justice, and love, then that is why we know that violence, oppression, and hate are wrong.
    • If the world is fallen, broken, and needs to be redeemed, that explains the violence and disorder we see.
  • We all live as if it is better to seek peace instead of war, to tell the truth instead of lying, to care and nurture rather than destroy.
    • We believe that these choices are not pointless, that it matters which way we choose to live. Yet if the Cosmic Bench is truly empty, then “who sez” that one choice is better than the others?
    • We can argue about it, but it’s just pointless arguing, endless litigation.
    • If the Bench is truly empty, then the whole span of human civilization, even if it lasts a few million years, will be just an infinitesimally brief spark in relation to the oceans of dead time that preceded it and will follow it.
    • There will be no one around to remember any of it. Whether we are loving or cruel in the end would make no difference at all.

~ by toddbumgarner on April 18, 2008 5:49 am.

One Response to “Reason for God – Part 11”

  1. I liked that, good on you mate

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