Tag Archives: Tim Keller

Does God Make Sense?

Does it make sense to believe in God? Author and pastor Tim Keller thinks so, and has written a book to explain why. I’m convinced it’s one his best efforts, as well as one of the best books I’ve ever read.

The book is called Making Sense of God, and it’s particularly helpful in challenging many widespread beliefs associated with modern secularism, including the idea that belief in God is based on non-rational faith, while non-belief simply makes sense of the facts. Following Dave’s excellent sermon from last Sunday, reading the book would be a great next step for anyone wishing to strengthen his or her own belief, or grow in the ability to engage contemporary challenges to truth and reasonableness of Christian belief.

By all means pick up a copy for yourself, but here are a few quotes to give you the flavor of the book:

Does God Care About Our Good or His Glory? (Yes.)

One of the most encouraging truths I’ve come to understand about God could be put this way: his glory is not the opposite of my good. That is, far from being adversaries, God’s concern with his own glory and honor actually coincides with him bringing about what will ultimately result in my joy and happiness.

It’s a worthwhile point to make, especially when you realize that God seems to be relentlessly concerned with demonstrating, protecting, and magnifying his own glory. A careful reading of virtually any story in the Bible bears this out, from the creation account in Genesis, to the new heavens and the new earth in Revelation.

That God is so concerned for his own glory and honor can tempt us to think—if we’re honest—that he seems a bit self-centered. And frankly, our experience with self-centered people (including ourselves) is that they rarely take much thought for the good of others. So if God concentrates so much on his glory, does he give much thought to us and our needs?

Something I came across recently reminded me that, yes, in fact he does…and that when God pursues his glory it results in very different things from when we pursue our own.

A Most Terrifying Prayer for Your Kids

There’s a lot of things I pray for when I’m praying for my son, James: for God to protect him, to keep him healthy; that he would sleep well and fully; that one day he would marry a woman who loves the Lord; that he would grow up in a community of believers, etc. But ultimately, I pray that God would know him and that he would know God.

Of course, this last one is what James needs the most, yet I find that when I pray for this, it unexpectedly terrifies me. It’s easy to pray for the circumstantial things, because there is a part of me that so wants his life to be one of comfort and ease, protected from any pain or grief. I can’t bear to think of him being hurt or made fun of or coming face to face with an insurmountable obstacle. But it is hard for me to give his life to God, to truly want God to do anything in his life in order that James would know and trust him.

Because isn’t that what is true for most of us? In the desperate times of suffering, in the revelation of the depths of my own depravity, and in the trials and somber valleys I’ve walked through – it’s in those times that I have learned to rely on God the most. It’s in those times that I have known his presence more fully and deeply. It’s in those times that I’ve seen my true need for a Savior. I want these things for James, but as his mom, it is terrifying to think that it likely won’t be smooth sailing and comfortable living that will get him there. He just might have to stagger through the wilderness in parts of his own story.

Trying to Fill The “Forever Empty”

Thanks to Justin Dyer for today’s guest post:

Two thoughts – one from Tim Keller and one from Louis C.K. – came to mind as I watched the 2015 NCAA national wrestling tournament in St. Louis a few weeks ago. In a short study of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Rome, Tim Keller describes coveting as an “idolatrous longing” for something other than God. Of course, Keller doesn’t claim any novel theological insight here. Christians have long insisted that only God can satisfy our deepest desires. Looking to some created thing rather than the Creator as our ultimate source of satisfaction is worse than futile: it is idolatrous.

Following Augustine’s famous prayer that his heart was restless until it rested in the Divine, Christians often claim that we have a hole in our hearts that only God can fill. Put this way, the claim sounds trite, perhaps, but it reflects a deep reality that many atheists and agnostics appreciate and acknowledge even if they do not share the Christian’s hope that the hole can or will be filled. In an interview with Conan O’Brien, the skeptical comedian Louis C.K. insightfully described the experiential reality as a sort of deep melancholy:

You Don’t Want To Be on the Wrong Side of History Do You?

“You don’t want to be on the wrong side of history do you?”

That’s a question regularly posed to people who may not be excited about a direction our culture seems to be trending in at any given moment. And it goes almost without saying that, as Christians (and even more specifically those who view the Bible as authoritative), we sometimes find ourselves in that group.

So how to respond?