05 September 2009

processing: Tim Keller- The Reason for God: Belief in An Age of Skepticism

Catching up on posting for some of my end of summer reading:

I am intrigued by Tim Keller. He's one of those names that you here again and again as someone doing big things, and seemingly doing them the right way. Keller seems to combine intellectual rigor and appeal with pastoral concern and care, no doubt a proper cocktail for the urban ministry he heads.

While, generally proofs by reasoning and apologetic for God only marginally interest me (one can't afford ignore the Mere Christianity's & Simply Christian's), Keller's accessible and widely-read erudition holds great appeal. I don't know many "hot" Protestant ministers engaging with care and creativity minds and work from Flannery O'Connor to Niebuhr to Foucault.

Various Excerpts:
[referring to the charge of injustice and fanaticism] "What if, however, the essence of Christianity is salvation by grace, salvation not because of what we do but because of what Christ has done for us? Belief that you are accepted by God by sheer grace is profoundly humbling. The people who are fanatics, then, are so not because they are too committed to the gospel but because they're not committed to it enough (57)."

[referring to the response to Jesus' use of miracles in Matthew 28:17] "The most instructive thing about this text is, however, what it says about the purpose of Biblical miracles. They lead not simply to cognitive belief, but to worship, to awe and wonder. Jesus' miracles in particular were never magic tricks, designed to impress and coerce...Instead, he used miraculous power to heal the sick, feed the hungry, and raise the dead. Why? We modern people think of miracles as the suspension of the natural order, but Jesus meant them to be the restoration of the natural order (95)."

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