These created meanings can serve us well, and we must not tell secular friends their lives have no meaning. ( Log Out / To answer that question,Â Keller offers a concise summary of the arguments presented in The Reason for God. In an earlier book, The Reason for God, the author made a case for Christianity; Making Sense of God starts further back, addressing people who strongly doubt that any version of religion or faith makes sense or has anything of value to offer the contemporary world. We have a universal declaration of human rights, but where do such rights come from? Change ), Alister McGrath talks with Bret Weinstein, The problem of miscarriage for pro-lifers. People have always valued freedom, but in secular societies freedom has become the ultimate good. Making Sense of God - a review Andrew Larkin, Bethinking The book is written for those for whom the issue of God seems fanciful and not even worth considering, so a more accurate reflection of the book is that it is “An Invitation to the Sceptical” to reconsider their views on God. Hasn't science disproved God? Has anyone read the book "The Reason for God" by Tim Keller. ð. And there is the fact of our own mortality. The desire for instant gratification is the enemy of common sense. In contrast, he points out that christian identity comes not from our performance, but from a God who loves us regardless and calls us his children. On the individual level, death is the end of all hope. God Sense vs Common Sense. But this requires humility, and includes giving up our rights to our freedoms. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Secularism struggles to give an account of moral facts or even what comprises “good”, despite secularists having strong moral opinions. Creating a … Also, an extreme focus on individual freedom and personal fulfilment actually threatens freedom itself, as self-absorbed individuals undermine communities and democratic institutions. Timothy Keller’s The Reason for God, published a few years ago, was an excellent exposition of reasons to believe in God and Christianity. Each of these chapters begins with quotes from people Keller has spoken to that encapsulate or exemplify the argument being discussed. Christianity provides us with unsurpassed resources to meet these needs. This means that instead of asking religious people to prove their beliefs, we need to compare religious and secular beliefs based on their evidence, consistency, and success in accounting for our experiences. But at the same time I thought it was well-written, polite, and better than much that passes for christian apologetics. Timothy Keller knows how to promote a thoughtful take on Christianity, and the success of his Redeemer Presbyterian Church in the secular nerve center of New York City … "The Reason for God" is divided into two parts. ItÂ does a thorough job of exposing the assumptions secularism makes about reality, which should make anyone demanding “evidence” for the existence of God a little more cautious in their assertions. A book by Keller after The Reason for God, described by him as a prequel to it, is Making Sense of God: An Invitation to the Skeptical (2016). And, he observes, it isn’t just facts and arguments they want: Believers and nonbelievers in God alike arrive at their positions through a combination of experience, faith, reasoning, and intuition. As pastor and author Andrew Wilson pointed out in his helpful review, Keller offers answers for questions skeptics ask in The Reason for God. Making Sense of God begins from Tim’s observation that, although many in the secular west think religious belief is not just wrong, but irrelevant and even harmful, there are many people who want to consider and discuss belief in God. He does this by outlining cultural illustrations that … Keller argues that secularism makes unproven assumptions just as religious belief does, and that for most “converts” out of christianity, rational argument is only one part of the motivating reasons. If you do buy it, I hope you won’t be disappointed. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Keller begins with preliminary chapters on whether religion is going away as many secularists hope and on the common charge that religion is based on faith while secularism is based on evidence. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Secularism’s best case is that they are self-evident, while Christianity claims our worth is based on our having God’s image within us, giving every human being dignity no matter what their capacity.When it comes to justice, secularism struggles without universal, objective values that religion can provide. Those looking for “proofs” may feel he offers nothing, but I think his discussion is convincing for three reasons. Keller then goes on to ask which of secularism or religion provides the better foundation for human rights. Making Sense of God addresses skeptics’ objections to faith by attempting to create a true secular “safe space” for those exploring faith and ideas. It’s not just that Christianity isn’t overwhelmed by the problem of evil, but that it offers help for a universal problem … Tim Keller is well known these days. Making Sense of God's Will . Again, I don’t think it will convince many people to convert, but I don’t think that is his primary aim. The subtitle of Making Sense of God: An Invitation to the Skeptical should attract an audience who might not otherwise open to such an appeal. The ephemeral nature of satisfaction and our desire for something that the world cannot supply points to our being “made for another world” as C.S. Now Keller has followed up with what could be called a prequel, Making Sense of God, addressing those sceptics who see … I read his first book when it came out, and I was still agnostic looking for persuasive arguments. All reason depends on faith in our cognitive faculties, and the belief that science is the only arbiter of truth is itself not a scientific belief. I remember thinking at the time that it was good, but probably would only convince those who were already questioning their unbelief. When considering religion, this certainly isn’t the only factor to consider, but surely it is one factor – and it is a factor that Keller shows works in christianity’s favour. Naturally, The Reason for God discussed the rational, while Making Sense of God focuses on the emotional and cultural, making the case for Christianity’s relevance in both spheres. Keller says that in most cultures in the past, people gained their identity from tradition, culture, God and the roles each person played in their society. These chapters give a quick overview of the classic arguments that most of us are familiar with, but are intended as an adjunct to the main chapters. Eight years ago he published The Reason for God, a thoughtful book of what we might term “soft apologetics” – that is, he didn’t try to present strong arguments for the existence of God and the truth of Jesus, but rather suggested ideas that would give readers answers to questions and reasons to believe, without being too “pushy”. It has produced the “harm principle”, where we believe we should be free to live as we please as long as we don’t harm anyone else. But I personally find the arguments about meaning, ethics, free will, identity, etc quite convincing, more perhaps than he does, so I really appreciated the discussion and the references to other thinkers, sociologists, psychologists, philosophers, etc. Keller has already explained the issues with deriving meaning and satisfaction from created things. In the first, Keller addresses seven of the most prevalent arguments against the existence of the Christian God. Finally, Keller examines the problem of moral obligation. Creating a True Secular Safe … What is the meaning of life? A Reformed pastor who is hip. Religion is commonly seen as an even greater enemy of freedom, but while he recognises the harm sometimes done in the name of religion, Keller argues that christianity gives us many freedoms that secularism cannot give. Firstly, Keller notes the disdain postmodern culture treats having meaning in life. It is hard to say how you would find this book. In Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering he spends a solid third of the work showing the way secularism has a very high bar to meet when it comes to making sense out of suffering as well. He is arguing that christianity is a more, Scientific (and historical) hypothesis are tested by how much of the evidence they. I tried to hint at this in my initial comments without being too critical. A Sense of the Transcendent. In chapter six, Keller moves on to our personal identity, noting the differences between the traditional concept of the self being “defined and shaped by both internal desires and external social roles and ties”Â and our modern, Western identity based on individualism and detachment. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple” (Psalm 19:7 NIV). God willed for this thing to happen.” If God willed it, then God actually caused it to happen. In an indifferent universe, the only meaning is that which we make ourselves. carefully. God adopts people who are completely unworthy, because He adopts on the basis of His grace. So absolute freedom is not an end in itself, but rather a means to an end. So his book attempts to argue that christian belief is culturally relevant, that it makes “more sense of a complex world and human experience” than do secular worldviews. 2016 **** This book is considered to be a prequel to Tim Keller’s excellent 2008 book Reason for God.The author wrote the book to bring secular readers to a place where they might find it even sensible and desirable to … Instead, they contain premises like these: “Whatever begins to exist requires a cause” “Whatever can fail to exist requires a reason for its existence” Traditionally secularism has believed in the idea of progress, but optimism is beginning to crumble in the light of issues such as climate change.But humans are future-focused, and we need hope. In what is probably his strongest chapter, Keller introduces the moral argument for God’s existence, noting that it has influenced many sceptical friends. A second reason why, even in our secular age, religion continues to make sense to people is more existential than intellectual. Keller’s approach is to firstly compare the foundations of Christianity and secularism – the latter being the view that denies the existence of a supernatural realm and is concerned with the here-and-now.Â He begins by challenging the idea that religious belief is inevitably declining, citing statistics that show Christianity is thriving in the non-Western world. In his final chapters, Keller reviews his comparison of secularism and Christianity, and concludes that Christianity offers a far superior narrative. 12 Days. Smith’sÂ How (Not) to Be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor. In terms of key facets of human life, meaning, satisfaction, freedom, identity, hope and justice, Christianity makes sense. It is well-written, well-researched, and on point. He has gone on record stating that Making Sense of God is a sort of prequel to his best selling The Reason for God. Take human thought. I found eveything he put forwards unconvincing, even though I was hoping to be convinced. I have addressed this question in What is the meaning of life? Making Sense of God is a prequel to The Reason for God. No-one can “assume an objective, belief-free, pure openness to objective evidence”. Since God is our master, we must be His … But christianity provides a basis for human rights that secularism cannot provide. Viking. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. Most atheists would argue that there is no “given” meaning to life, we are free to give life whatever meaning we choose. DVD. But in modern western societies we are urged to get our identity from our own free choices, running our own race. Â If they are willing to put serious effort into their reading of Keller, it certainly should. Making sense of God by Timothy Keller. Demographic studies that show that religious populations are more likely than secular ones to grow through higher birthrates and greater retention of members, and sociologists of religion now generally accept that secularisation isn’t going to happen as once expected. Even if we eschew material success and base our identity on the love of another, if this is lost we will be devastated. Hi Eva, nice to hear from you. As you’d expect, Keller argues that christian faith provides the sense of satisfaction that secularism struggles to give. So, he argues, we should not only look at the obvious evidence and arguments for and against the existence of God, but we should consider the internal coherence of all belief systems, and whether they actually “work” in life, before we make a judgment on which is most likely to be true. Instead, people saw no reason to be unselfish, and it was the rare person who could self-sacrifice. In Making Sense of God Keller offers questions for skeptics who believe they already have the answers to the big questions of life. What if God is just an illusion of the mind? I’ll have to give this one a go in light of your recommendation. But is it true? Rather reason, emotions, experiences and intuitions have a role in forming our world views, regardless of which worldview we adopt… Yes, there is the danger of becoming the oppressors when confronting oppression, and Christianity has often done so, but this has always contradicted theÂ gospel. God’s answer to Job, if I may translate into the contemporary idiom, is that the divine is “trans-rational.” At the end of the day, the human thought process can only get you so far when it comes to God. Secularism struggles to explain the ethical feelings that everyone has, and to provide a source of the shared morality that all societies need to function. 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