While David joined the US Marine Corps reserves and enrolled in seminary, I went to college and, like my own father, built a great wall between me and the Lord. While David got married and became a youth pastor at an evangelical church in Pennsylvania, I moved to New York to work in magazines. In , following the invasion of Iraq, David was commissioned as a chaplain in the army and later went to Baghdad. After rotating home, he discovered his wife — and the mother of his two children — had been having an affair.
The marriage ended shortly before his deployment to Walter Reed army medical center, where he worked in the psych and amputee ward with men and women suffering severe trauma. The divorce, plus the crippling depression triggered by his own post-traumatic stress, finally forced a crack in his faith. But that God disappeared on me when I needed him most and I was alone. I distanced myself from everything that represented that God — church, faith, hope and love.
Around the time David joined the army, I moved to Africa to become a freelance correspondent and wound up in eastern Congo, covering a largely neglected war that had killed millions. For three years I reported military operations, massacres, and cholera outbreaks, losing count of how many children I saw buried in some unfamiliar ground where their families had sought refuge. Eighty per cent of Congolese people identify as Christian, and like my own family during the Depression, they leaned heavily on their faith in times of tragedy. God was punishing them for not believing, people told me, for theirs was a vengeful god, much like the one I had grown up with, and the god our politicians often hide behind without conscience.
One day while I was visiting a displaced camp, my guide took me on a tour of tents where babies had died during the night, the mothers still cradling the tiny corpses, catatonic with grief. As I stood in a haze of cooking fires at the forgotten edge of the world, that god ceased to exist. The carnage of war and its heavy psychological toll pushed Tillich to the brink of his faith and beyond. It was a god who met him in darkness when the other had proved trivial and inadequate.
Losing My Religion: Millennials and Faith Loss
David had a similar discovery. One dark night, he found himself alone on his balcony, sobbing and cursing God for allowing his life to crumble. His argument that Christianity is the one true religion also is compelling, certainly it seems to be the one of broadest logical appeal.
Everyone should read the first section, a Powerful. Everyone should read the first section, a great defense of some of the more unfair criticisms of christianity. The hard part is the same as always-the acceptance of Christ as the Messiah who rose from the dead. He acknowledges the difficulty of this in part because of the implications of its acceptance. I like the quote from U2's Bono which pretty much said Christ cannot be accepted as simply another prophet or a teacher, because He claimed to be the Messiah. Since he made that claim, he is either the Messiah or he is a nutcase.
If the latter, you can ignore him. If the former, you must change your life.
On the Road to Damascus Paul Made a Miraculous Turnaround
There's really no in between. Nonetheless, the evidence of the resurrection is hard to believe.
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- Paul's Conversion Bible Story Study Guide!
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Can't help but be skeptical, despite the testimonies. I like the quote from the Bible, that Keller cites, saying that when several of the apostles saw Jesus, after his death, some stared in disbelief. Its comforting somehow to realize that even among the eyewitnesses, this is a tough story to swallow. What makes it doubly difficult is that if one does accept it, you MUST change your life.
Not easy. I go to sunday mass, I like hearing the thoughful teachings, I like taking the quiet thoughtful time to inventory my life, I like to pray, I like the church community. But honestly, that acceptance hasn't come to me.
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I can't explain why not. Not yet at least. Feb 21, Eleasa rated it it was amazing Shelves: apologetics , current-society. It also gets to the he "There can't just be one true religion.
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It also gets to the heart of the matter behind the questions and statements above. Apr 12, Jason rated it it was amazing. Fewer adjectives probably describe the present age better than polarized. Nowhere is this more evident than the struggle between secular modernism and traditional Christian faith. There are probably fewer people who have more understanding of the depth of that struggle and the difficulties in communicating across that polarized gap than Timothy Keller.
Reason for God takes the approach that you communicate not between believers and unbelievers, but between believers and skeptics, for he argues e Fewer adjectives probably describe the present age better than polarized.
Paul's Conversion Bible Story Study Guide
Reason for God takes the approach that you communicate not between believers and unbelievers, but between believers and skeptics, for he argues everyone believes in something. In short, he wants believers and skeptics to look at doubt in two different ways. He urges believers to struggle and come to grips with their doubts, so that an accepted faith is not just passively agreed upon, but plausible and understandable.
And he urges skeptics to doubt their skepticism and compare their belief system with what they oppose, and to see just how solid their skepticism is. So Keller writes like a pastor as much as he does an apologist for the Christian faith. The church the helped to found 20 years ago, and where he serves as senior minister, Redeemer Presbyterian PCA in New York City has sought to address doubts and skepticism seriously and winsomely, within the context of traditional, Reformed Protestant Christianity.
Much of this book is obviously based on discussions held during counsel or during his well-known after worship service question and answer periods, so the book represents fresh attempts to communicate with a modern, urban culture. Keller writes that two large influences in his life are the 18th century pastor Jonathan Edwards and the British professor CS Lewis, and that show up well. He presents afresh, much of the doctrines about God and man, as taught by Jonathan Edwards, and he holds a fresh grip on the reasoning style of CS Lewis.
Yet he also makes good use of presuppositional apologetics, where he doesn't try to argue people into the Kingdom of God, but rather challenges people to see where what the suppose comes from and where it is going. This is a literate, smart, witty, well-written, and winsome book, accessible and challenging to Christian and non Christian alike.
The author makes good use sources ranging from Flannery O'Connor to U2's front man Bono to make his case. Again, going back to the premise of the work, of trying to communicate calmly between portions of a polarized world, you find an author that actually likes and enjoys the skeptics he encounters and learns a lot from them.
But what he presents, and challenges his readers with is a full embrace of traditional Christian faith. Other writers might just stop with a basic, "Apostles Creed" faith, but it can best be said that Keller argues for an "Apostles Creed" plus faith, or fleshing out a more fuller faith; for example, he presents a great argument for what is known as the doctrine of penal substitution and the necessity of growing in an individual faith within a community of other believers something sorely needed to be taught to believer and skeptic alike.
The book is divided into two sections, the Leap of Doubt and the Reasons for Faith, with an intermediary chapter between. The first section is an examination of what quite a few skeptics in this age presuppose, the second is a fresh appeal to traditional Christian faith.
His section on the knowledge of God is exceptionally strong. He argues that no one is really relativistic, as many in the culture world might argue for, but instead, again drawing on Edwards with help from play write Arthur Miller , that men know God, they just suppress what they know. He cannot prove that God exists, for everyone already acknowledges that he is there.
Not everyone will agree with all that Keller has to say. Some will say that he is too strong on some points, and too weak on others, or would prefer a more fleshed out thought on some issues; but this work should at least get conversation started; which appears to be his goal as much as anything. This book cannot be more highly recommend to believers and skeptics alike, especially those active in the early 21st century, globalized world, with all its strains.
Time will tell how it will age, for it does dialogue with many of the issues of our time with traditional truth in a fresh way. Nov 06, Kris rated it it was ok Shelves: religion-christianity. Shallow, arbitrary, and unsound. Disappointing and unsatisfying. I was almost going to give it three stars, but it just kept getting worse and worse, and it still did not end on a good note for me. He is preachy and simplistic, and I guess it's not surprising, as this was written by a pastor, who does not seem to be an academic.
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