Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Personal freedom to “do as I choose” has become an absolute, ultimate good in our culture. He defends the credibility of the Scriptures, Jesus’ character and wisdom, His claims of divinity, and the evidence for His resurrection. Your summaries are great and we’re using them in our study group. I think even as a Christian, you are still always battling doubts and incorrect assumptions and ideas about God. Do you scramble to find some framework to make sense of it all in the moment? But the Bible teaches that God is so far beyond our understanding, and inevitably, something comes along to challenge my small perspective. 1: Isn’t Religion Going Away? Phew! Want to be notified of new posts via email? Rebuttal? As always, I welcome any and all feedback! Instead, He promises to faithfully walk with us in our pain and to use it to make us more loving toward others and more trusting in Him. ( Log Out / (Info in About Me section of the blog) I’d love to hear more about you and your group! Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Do you think the “burden of proof” falls more on one side or another? Many modern, secular people argue, “If, Keller has two questions for this “Everyone gets to define meaning and happiness for themselves” worldview – “Is this a cogent, consistent position? If you’ve read the chapter, were there any quotes or sections that were particularly thought-provoking to you? I don’t know. Or do you have a worldview that is objective, immovable, and not subject to the ever-changing circumstances of life. I’m forced to realize that my box is filled with assumptions about God that may not be true, or at least that may not be as complete as I think they are. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. It’s inevitable. Facts > faith, and therefore secularism is more logical and rational than religion, right? I also think this question of how we cope with suffering is so very important. It is as if Keller is saying to the skeptic, “Let’s consider our common experiences of life and the things we most value. Keller encourages us to go through the process of “doubting your doubts.” Like the example explained above in the chapter summary with the problem of evil and suffering, can you isolate a doubt you have and dig deeper to what assumptions are underneath. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. Or some of both? Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window). I’m just not familiar enough with some of the origins and beliefs of other religions to give an authoritative answer. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Chapter 2: Isn't Religion Based on Faith and Secularism on Evidence? As human beings, we cannot live without meaning, satisfaction, freedom, identity, justice, and hope. Pingback: Making Sense of God Book Study – Post Index | Homeward. His aim is to present Christianity in a desirable light so that the secular person will want to explore the rationality and truth claims of Christianity. I know that we all just want to be happy and “reject all negative thoughts,” but trying to stay in a dream world free of pain is not only impossible, it’s setting us up for failure. It’s neat to see the ways this book generates good conversation and questions over different contexts. Religion is indeed very compelling for a number of reasons and it’s growing, so one should at least give it the time of day and try to understand it. The common perception is something like this: the secular worldview = facts, religious worldview = faith. When tragedy strikes in your life, how do you cope? Clarification? Because without the comprehensive Christian theology of God and mankind, there is no standard to keep morality in a fixed place, and it will eventually become “a problem.” The ideas will just be used to wield power when it’s convenient. Virtue will be virtue whether people value it or not. Polanyi argued that all knowledge is subjective in that it is known by subjects who all hold certain beliefs based on tacit knowledge, that is, knowledge that has not been rationally evaluated. | Homeward, Pingback: Making Sense of God Book Study – Post Index | Homeward, Pingback: Let’s Do A Book Study! (47-48). Major influences on his work in these sections are Robert Bellah and Charles Taylor. Tim Keller examines that question in chapter five of Making Sense of God, ... CHAPTER SUMMARY. One minor pushback would be that he writes throughout of “values” rather than of “virtue.” This change in language over history is not insignificant given that the move to speak of “values” conveys a move away from universals and toward particulars. It’s surely no accident that Keller grouped the ideas of meaning and suffering together in the same chapter. This book seeks to demonstrate to skeptics that secularism is based on unprovable assumptions and that secularism cannot account for some of the most basic and important human realities. Making Sense of God, which serves as an apologetic prequel to his previous book, The Reason for God, exudes the same charitable tone and rhetorical skill that those familiar with Keller’s work and ministry have come to expect. ( Log Out / If you’ve read the chapter, were there any quotes or sections that were particularly thought-provoking to you? Introductory post: Let's Do A Book Study! Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. We usually do the same thing when it comes to religion. Enter your email and subscribe below! I certainly want to look into it more now for myself! Making Sense of God Study – Ch. I know that for some people, that last bullet point in the above chapter summary may make very little sense and I’d be happy to help explain and flesh it out better. Our thoughts on this chapter included the observation that there are other world religions that also encourage, teach, and model some of the same ethics and values of the Judeo-Christian faith. $17.70. Keller evaluates all of these goods that most people in the modern Western culture would affirm as good, and shows how Christianity makes by far the most sense of human experience and lends the best tools for dealing with the unavoidable problems of life. At some point in our lives, some form of “the unthinkable” (however you define that) WILL happen. Now, would not this story, if it were true, explain these experiences and values very well? He leans heavily on Michael Polanyi’s as well as Friedrich Nietzsche’s work for support. The provocative thesis of Making Sense of God: An Invitation to the Sceptical is that secularism as well as religion involves faith. 1: Isn’t Religion Going Away? He argues in the first section of the book that “every person embraces his or her worldview for a variety of rational, emotional, cultural, and social factors” (pp. 4-5). Or he calls attention to popular but completely unbiblical views among many Christians, such as “If I’m a Christian and God loves me, there’s a limit to how badly life can go for me.” God never promises in the Bible that we will escape suffering and have success and comfort all our lives. Facts > faith, and therefore secularism is more logical and rational… We live in an age of skepticism. 3: A Meaning That Suffering Can’t Take From You, Making Sense of God Study – Ch. So the wise path would be to ask: how well equipped are you/am I to deal with those moments and even lesser moments of pain and suffering when they happen? In this week’s chapter, Tim Keller examines how various perspectives equip a person to deal with questions about “the meaning of life” and suffering. Do you temporarily adopt a religious framework just to get through and then discard it when it’s not useful anymore? To be fair, he does write of “universal values,” so the idea of universals might be present, but in a post-Enlightenment age that brought on its heels the loss of the universal, and consequently the turn from virtue to values, it would have been a welcome lingual corrective to write of virtue. And does it work practically, for living your life?” (63). New York: Viking, 2016. Keller then differentiates between discovered, objective meaning (outside of one’s feelings or interpretations) and created meaning (subjective from person to person). But I don’t know about ones like Buddhism which started centuries before Christianity. Christianity provides us with unsurpassed resources to meet these needs. This argument has generated a great deal of discussion recently, so Keller’s inclusion of it is pertinent. Preface: The Faith of the Secular Chapter 1: Isn't Religion Going Away? These inconsistencies are not just among the views of the secular. Making Sense of God: An Invitation to the Skeptical. Get emails in your inbox whenever we update! An index of all my posts in this series can be found HERE. . (74) As to meaning, Christianity teaches that all people experience a sense of purposelessness and alienation because of our self-centeredness and sin, which cuts us off “from a direct relationship with the God for whose fellowship we were created.” (75) But God sent his Son to die and experience the full alienation we all deserve so we could be brought back into living for something … Conclusion: It may seem that Keller is saying that if science and reason are not as reliable as we think, then truth is unknowable and there’s no way to “weigh and evaluate such philosophical religious statements.” (53) But to the contrary, his point is “only that using demanding, demonstrable, unquestionable proof for them is inappropriate…Rather than unfairly asking only religious people to prove their views, we need to compare and contrast religious beliefs and their evidences with secular beliefs and theirs.” In other words, whether secular or religious, we all have beliefs that can’t be scientifically proven either way and that are taken in a measure of faith. The secularist has claimed often that his beliefs are based on reason whereas the religious person’s beliefs are based on faith. Our society places such faith in empirical reason, historical progress, and heartfelt emotion that it’s easy to wonder: Why should anyone believe in … But when a loved one dies, suddenly they believe their friend or family member is “in a better place” or “in heaven.” Or if something terrible happens, they suddenly believe in God’s judgment or ask why He doesn’t seem to care to make things right. Second, many people sense intuitively that something exists that is beyond the natural world.
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