God’s grace does not come to people who morally outperform others but to those who admit their failure to perform and who acknowledge their need for a Saviour.
I read “The Meaning of Marriage” by Timothy Keller after watching his Google talk and hearing buzz around his writings. I hope to review that book soon, but the next Keller work I needed to digest was best-selling “The Reason for God: Belief in the Age of Skepticism.” The Reason for God is separated into two sections: “The Leap of Doubt” and “The Reasons for Faith.”
Half of the book deals with questions/doubts about Christianity from skeptical thinkers. How can you say there’s one religion? Why do good people suffer? Why should I follow a church responsible for so much injustice? How could God send people to Hell? I love the writings of Timothy Keller because he is an academic to the core. Highly educated, Keller pastors Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan–a church of 6,000 people–largely inhabited by young, single, likewise-educated city professionals.
I love being challenged to think differently. As a Christian, I want to ask questions about my faith. Something neat about following Jesus is the acceptance of our doubts. I can come to the Lord in prayer and say, I don’t believe you’ll do this. And I want to believe it. But I don’t. So show me why. Faith does not have to be blind. Regardless of your faith (believing Christian or skeptic) Keller will challenge you with arguments that will force you to define why you believe what you believe. Some of my favourite quotes from the book are below. I had to stop typing every underlined section because the book is too chock-full of goodness. Please pick up a copy, you won’t be disappointed. Rating: 5/5
“Christianity alone among the world religions claims that God became uniquely and fully human in Jesus Christ and therefore knows firsthand despair, rejection, loneliness, poverty, bereavement, torture and imprisonment… So, if we embrace the Christian teaching that Jesus is God and that he went to the Cross, then we have deep consolation and strength to face the brutal realities of life on earth. We can know that God is truly Immanuel–God with us–even in our worst sufferings.”
“To understand why Jesus had to die it is important to remember both the result of the Cross (costly forgiveness of sins) and the pattern of the Cross (reversal of the world’s values). On the cross neither justice nor mercy loses out–both are fulfilled at once. Jesus’s death was necessary if God was going to take justice seriously and still love us.”