The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism (2008) is a book and DVD on Christian apologetics by Timothy J. Keller, a scholar and founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. Gehenna is the obvious example that many people know about. They simply cannot risk losing ‘everything’ so instead choose to remain apart from God. The new testament has 2 or 3 words that get translated to hell. “Aionas” does not mean forever, but means “Ages of Ages”. ( Log Out / And he proceeds to lay out a series of clues – “divine fingerprints” – that point to the existence of God. There are many verses in the Bible that support this belief. Previous to this, the title is simply used to break up thoughts. Not always correctly either. There are 10 chapters in this book, and I will attempt to give a brief summary of each chapter while highly recommending that you read this book too. If you love someone and see them harmed, would you not be judging the instigator or would it be better to simply love the victim and the perpetrator? This section is a reminder of his earlier chapter that argued the cultural beliefs of every person influences their interpretation of the Bible. If everyone is going to be saved one day, then why do I need to follow Christ? If our lives have been changed by our relationship with Jesus, shouldn’t we want other people to have that, as well? The introduction to the chapter brings many of the questions that we have all heard or asked ourselves concerning a loving God and hell. I have however studied the concept of hell and salvation greatly within the past year as I have personally wrestled with the issue of how God could send people to hell for eternal punishment. Yes, there were individuals here and there who affirmed universal salvation in the early church, but they were by far outside of the mainstream. 3. I’ve been printing Stefanie’s summary just so I have paper to highlight This subject matter is too deep for me to simply read it digitally. What baffles me more than the reality of a God who judges...is a humanity that claims to stand in judgement of that God. You do have a good point with Aionas. And he wanted Lazarus to do it for him. New York: Riverhead Books, 2008. You can prove calvinism, arminianism or universalism by looking at Paul’s writings. Do we know that God is specifically granting true repentance to those in hell? I’ve always felt it “funny” how we as humans tend to categorize “badness” and like to think of “their” sins vs. “our” sins so differently, even when we are talking about the collective “our”. Especially when the people who pronounce it don’t exactly know what it means, and think they are doing a something noble when they are really doing a disservice to people and turning them away from the church. But, the fact that we are sinners who get our priorities messed up doesn’t make doctrine unimportant, and it doesn’t make calvinism untrue. Unitarian universalists preach that you can believe whatever you want and that’s fine, one day God will reconcile all. Some did, but they were declared to be outside of orthodox Christianity. I just don’t have the time to look for them right now. The Reason for God Timothy Keller Chapter 1: There Can't Be Just One True Religion. But it seems somewhere along the way, we sort of grasped the 'love' concept, and then we became the jury, judge and executioner of all we believe to be wrong. To be truly loving people, shouldn’t we want them to know Christ and all the good things that come along with it? Many people agree on this, as it has been very controversial over the years. Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts. If there were a god, it should be held to the same standards. A God who, instead of flicking this sin twisted world out of his universe, entered into it, served his enemies, and shed his own blood. In an effort to further that, Ransom Fellowship has prepared detailed reflection and discussion questions for each section and chapter of the book. Evil and Suffering May Be (If Anything) Evidence for […] Dealing with the infinite is very confusing. I don’t understand why people are so against universalism. Thus, you are wrong! In chapter five, “How Can a Loving God Send People to Hell?” Keller addresses the common objection that a loving God cannot also be a God of judgment. The Reason For God – Chapter Five Posted October 4, 2008 by Church of the Servant. I’m with you that it sometimes means “age.” However, it can also mean “age” in the sense of an unbroken age or perpetuity of time (thus forever is a fine translation). The Reason for God | Chapter 4. We Can All Make a Difference - 2nd Version from connie johnson on Vimeo. They don't want to be 'controlled' by anyone. Isn’t it entirely possible that those in hell continue to rebel against God? I'm still mulling it over. Reply. In the following chapter, you’ll learn about the author’s arguments on the reason why it is good to believe in the Christian God. I said “You can prove calvinism, arminianism or universalism by looking at Paul’s writings. The former deals with criticisms or issues that skeptics may have for God, while the later gives proofs. It doesn’t matter what you believe. He suggests that the ultimate source of this idea is the Bible itself, and since the Bible claims that God is both a God of love and judgment, we shouldn’t be so fast to conclude that they are contradictory. http://flyinabove.bloghi.com/2006/06/08/universalism-the-prevailing-doctrine-of-the-first-500-years-of-christianity.html. He argues that this objection is based on very specific, alternate beliefs. Boy, that certainly doesn’t sound right, does it? For this reason Keller requests that we consider our cultural location when we are offended by the teaching on hell. Thanks for exploring this SuperSummary Plot Summary of “The Reason for God” by Timothy J. Keller. That is what early christians believed and it makes the most sense. Either we have free will to choose God, or there are a certain elect who God choses as his people. And to skeptics, atheists, and agnostics he provides a challenging argument for pursuing the reason for God. Tim Keller is a smart guy...I've only read his book on idolatry though which was really good. Can you recall hearing a sermon on the wrath of God, the final judgment, and/or the doctrine of hell? Well the one problem with you assuming these things is that they are nowhere to be found in the Bible. They should just be avoided as it is something that is very vague in the Bible and preaching salvation is counterproductive. In addition, there are places in the NT where aionas is used with God or Jesus as the subject and it would be inappropriate to translate it as meaning anything other than forever or eternal in those contexts. Free download or read online The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism pdf (ePUB) book. So if we can make things right in our little world, why would we need God to do that? So why do different denominations define themselves by salvation doctrine? You can also disprove each using other texts by the same author. This chapter is really about absolute morality. I’m not denying that there were early Christians who accepted universal salvation; what I’m saying is that their number was few. The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism. I'm still mulling it over. God was capable of keeping his universe completely free from pain, suffering and death. It talks about absolute truth being the enemy of freedom. You can also disprove each using other texts by the same author.”. The Reason for God, Chapter 2 Quite a few people have recommended that I read the book The Reason for God. It occurred to me that I've never shared the wedding pictures, shame shame. He therefore admonishes us not to be so quick to allow Western cultural sensibilities to be the final arbiter in judging whether Christianity is vaild or not. Understood in this way, God’s wrath flows from his love for what is good, beautiful and right since God himself is all of these things. I will concede the fact that I can find no passage that indicates that this is the case, but I believe it’s less of a stretch to this conclusion than it is to say that God works in and changes the hearts of those he is punishing. I tend to have the view of hell as separation from God. Lewis says that the steps to the bus trip. It is untrue that all early Christians believed in universal salvation. Wright Family USA - Are these kids all yours? LitCharts Teacher Editions. However, Keller also argues that the belief in a God of love is not found in other faiths, so the central tenet must have come from within Christianity. However, I disagree with you. The only remedy for such a sickness is to have our hearts rewired by the grace of God in Christ. The Reason for God by Tim Keller: Chapter 7. You assume that people sent to hell will be truly sorry and repent. When a passage speaks about final destinies, it is appropriate to translate aionas as “eternal” because final destinies involve the final age which is eternal. I do not agree with this. Keller uses literature, philosophy, real-life conversations, and reasoning to explain how faith in a Christian God is a soundly rational belief, held by thoughtful people of intellectual integrity with a deep compassion for those who truly want to know the truth. I can point you to many presbyterian churches that are not only helping the poor, but modeling for the church at large how to do this well. In fact, many of these cultures find the Western objection to divine judgment odd. This is terrible rationale. For example, “Aionas” means everlasting or eternal. I have studied the word Aionas. Lewis’ book The Great Divorce, he compares hell to a busload of people who are asked to leave behind their sin and depart the bus – but refuse. Keller argues against the point of view that Christians belief system naturally makes them narrow-minded. Okay, it was a hit so I will share, with the disclaimer that in my opinion you just can't beat scalloped potatoes from the oven, but i... My sweet friend Stacy is hosting Christmas Frenzy for the third year! I think the answer to your question of “why do presbyterians focus more on calvinism than helping the poor” is that we are sinners. Yes, it may be due to sin, but accepting the fact is not working towards God’s kingdom. So many arguments against Biblical teachings are based on cultural beliefs. It almost defines their faith. We insist that the individual is the ultimate determiner of right and wrong and that no one is in a position to condemn me for what I believe. Keller says. Keller approaches the question in a couple different ways: While the love of God depicted in the Bible is not controversial here in the West, the wrath of God is. Many people cite the misery in the world as evidence that a benevolent god … No-matter what people say. We see people who are self-absorbed, indulgent and ruthless. Now I can agree with you that universalism can be dangerous. In his 1952 book by the same name, C.S. Naturally, the teaching on divine judgment is very foreign and even offensive in this cultural milieu. My whole point is that it doesn’t matter what you believe on the issue. 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