This series is by RJS (so blame me not Scot)
With this post we start our series looking at Timothy Keller’s new book The Reason for Godand using this book as a resource to grapple with the questions and issues confronting Christian belief in our educated and skeptical age. Timothy Keller was educated at Bucknell University, Gordon-Conwell Seminary, and Westminster Theological Seminary. For the last two decades he has ministered in Manhattan to reach an educated and largely unchurched urban population. The church he founded, Redeemer Presbyterian, currently sees an average attendance of ca. 5000 and has given rise to a dozen or so daughter congregations in the immediate metropolitan area.
In his book Keller draws on his experience to discuss seven common questions posed to deconstruct Christian belief, demonstrating that none of these need be “deal breakers.” He then spends the second half of the book reconstructing “The Reason for God” and of course, the orthodox Christian faith. In this and subsequent posts we will work through many of the issues in both deconstruction and reconstruction.
So – to begin – it is often stated that given what we know about the world today it is simply not possible to believe that there is one true religion. Religion is culturally conditioned – Moroccans are Muslim and Americans are Christian. In addition, the arrogance arising from the conviction that one has access to absolute truth is responsible for much of the evil in our world. Many believe that religion should be outlawed, condemned, or at least relegated to a purely private sphere. It is easy to show that outlawing religion is generally ineffective; condemnation of religion is only possible if one holds to some belief system – and all such systems require a “leap of faith” resulting in an inherent inconsistency; and privatization is never possible as everyone, no matter what faith or creed, brings a value system into the public discussion.
Religion is here to stay in one form or another – be it secular materialism, New Age philosophy, or orthodox Christianity.
How can we make a claim that Christianity is the one true religion and we are the people of God?