Reason for God – Part 13

Some excerpts from chapter 11 (pp. 174-185) Tim Keller’s, The Reason for God. The title of the chapter is “Religion and the Gospel.”

  • Christianity teaches that our main problem is sin.  What then is the solution?
  • Why must the solution be Jesus and Christianity?  Why can’t some other religion do as well, or just my own personal faith in God?
  • If you are avoiding sin and living morally so that God will have to bless and save you, then ironically, you may be looking to Jesus as a teacher, model, and helper but you are avoiding him as Savior.  You are trusting in your own goodness rather than in Jesus for your standing with God.  You are trying to save yourself by following Jesus.
  • The Christian gospel is that I am so flawed that Jesus had to die for me, yet I am so loved and valued and that Jesus was glad to die for me.
    • It undermines both swaggering and sniveling.
    • I cannot feel superior to anyone, and yet I have nothing to prove to anyone.
    • I do not think more of myself nor less of myself. Instead, I think of myself less.
    • I don’t need to notice myself – how I’m doing, how I’m being regarded – so often.
  • It is critical for anyone reading this book to recognize this fundamental difference between the gospel and religion.
    • Christianity’s basic message differs at root with the assumptions of traditional religion.  The founders of every other religion essentially came as teachers, not as saviors.
    • They came to say: “Do this and you will find the divine.”
    • But Jesus came essentially as a savior rather than a teacher (though he was that as well).
    • Jesus says: “I am the divine come to you, to do what you could not do for yourselves.”
    • The Christian message is that we are saved not by our record, but by Christ’s record.
    • So Christianity is not religion but irreligion.  It is something else altogether.

~ by toddbumgarner on June 30, 2008 5:55 am.

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