Making Sense of God

Making Sense of God

An Invitation to the Skeptical

Book - 2016
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We live in an age of skepticism. Our society places such faith in empirical reason, historical progress, and heartfelt emotion that it's easy to wonder: Why should anyone believe in Christianity? What role can faith and religion play in our modern lives?

In this thoughtful and inspiring new book, pastor and New York Times bestselling author Timothy Keller invites skeptics to consider that Christianity is more relevant now than ever. As human beings, we cannot live without meaning, satisfaction, freedom, identity, justice, and hope. Christianity provides us with unsurpassed resources to meet these needs. Written for both the ardent believer and the skeptic, Making Sense of God shines a light on the profound value and importance of Christianity in our lives.
Publisher: New York : Viking, ©2016.
ISBN: 9780525954156
Characteristics: viii, 327 pages ;,24 cm.


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Feb 26, 2017

Written for skeptics, this also is a worthwhile read for the "ardent believer" as noted in the blurb above.

I have read many of Keller's past books (one of my favorites is "The Prodigal God") and have great respect for the pioneering ministry he has in Manhattan. My church Redeemer Fellowship has benefited greatly from the work there and other metropolitan churches that also work for the good of the city they inhabit.

This book is a valuable tool to help the skeptics and the believers of our time understand each other. I believe a good portion of the angst in this past election cycle can be attributed to the "follow your heart" message in secularist culture.

The problem is that my heart may be telling me something is right, but your heart does not say the same. Who is to say which of our hearts is correct? The secular view tells me to look within and be tolerant, but if I believe your heart is telling you to do wrong or you believe the same of me, it is difficult to be tolerant -- nearly impossible in some cases. The bottom line is this: whether you are a believer and follow biblical principles set forth by God or your are a secularist and follow your heart, there is a standard that your heart is following (most likely influenced by your friends, family and media habits).

Contrary to popular belief in this country, religion is not declining nor need that result be inevitable in a modern society. According to Keller, "Neither religion nor secularity can be demonstrably proven--they are systems of thinking and believing that need to be compared and contrasted to one another in order to determine which makes the most sense."

Another quote: "Ultimately, nonbelief in God is an act of faith, because there is not way to prove that the world and all that is within it and its deep mathematical orderliness and matter itself all simply exist on their own as brute facts with no source outside of themselves."

In the final section of the book we look at Jesus, for in the end he is the main reason for why we should believe Christianity. Keller writes: "in him we see qualities and virtues we would ordinarily consider incompatible in the same person. . ."Readers can discover for themselves his unbending convictions but complete approachability, his insistence on truth but always bathed in love, his power without insensitivity, integrity without rigidity, passion without prejudice."

"In the whole history of the world, there is only one person who not only claimed to be God himself but also got enormous numbers of people to believe it. Only Jesus combines claims of divinity with the most beautiful life of humanity."

The book ends with a quote from Reinhold Niebuhr:
"Religion is not the place where the problem of man's egotism is automatically solved. Rather, it is there that the ultimate battle between human pride and God's grace takes place. Insofar as human pride may win the battle, religion can and does become one of the instruments of human sin. But insofar as there the self does meet God and so can surrender to something beyond its own self-interest, religion may provide the one possibility for a much needed and very rare release from our common self-concern."

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