I don’t understand why people are so against universalism. If everyone is going to be saved one day, then why do I need to follow Christ? I know the stuff mentioned on that website are not backed up with figures and statistics. The Reason for God Timothy Keller Chapter 1: There Can't Be Just One True Religion. I think it’s very abstract and counter-productive. Evil and Suffering Isn’t Evidence Against God2. Isn’t it entirely possible that those in hell continue to rebel against God? Yes, there were individuals here and there who affirmed universal salvation in the early church, but they were by far outside of the mainstream. 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. Acutally, Universal Salvation is a very old doctrine and was accepted by early Christians. But I think that the opposite is also wrong. 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. Jesus, thank you for taking the wrath for my sin, and giving me the one and only way to escape eternal separation from God. The Reason for God by Tim Keller: Chapter 7. I'm still mulling it over. You don’t punish them forever. Further, the fact that we were made to be in relationship with this God means that our capability to thrive, flourish, and achieve our highest potential is lost when we forsake relationship with him. Our ninth child and opening up the blog again... At Which Point We Nearly Went To See Jesus. Of course it's a subject that is difficult and our modern human sensibilities and limited understanding can struggle with it...but placing ourselves as moral judges over God and redesigning him to suit our most modern preferences? All three are very difficult to grasp and understand. He completely dissects the argument by demonstrating that a narrow-minded view is one that argues that there is no eternal consequence of sin. We have been rescued, redeemed, and regenerated not because we are such great people,....but because of the actions of a great God. We worked hard, then played hard with the kids before crashing early. But instead continues to complain to Abraham about his surroundings and even bully Lazarus, the beggar, just as he had during their lives on earth. Someday every knee will bow and tongue confess. You can prove calvinism, arminianism or universalism by looking at Paul’s writings. A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay topics. He still wanted to be served, even in hell. The literal translation of forever is ages of ages, which can be read as a finite time period. Jesus is still the way the truth and the life and people can only experience the Father through him. If God is capable of one day saving people out of hell why wouldn’t he? this is what the noun Sheol describes. SUMMARY. The Reason for God will most likely be judged a “classic,” a book that resembles Mere Christianity and other apologetic works that have impacted the Christian church. 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. 5 – Suffering, injustice, and calamities don’t oppose God’s existence. I tend to have the view of hell as separation from God. So many arguments against Biblical teachings are based on cultural beliefs. yikes. They want 'freedom.' I pray that God will one day save all people through Jesus, and I do not think I am going to go to hell for hoping for this! So, we are fine with inflicting punishment ourselves, but just can’t stand a God to do it. I think Laura is right to say that the reason we don’t care for the poor is because of sin. $16.00. Interesting chapter. Part of the objection, he says, lies in a more general objection to the idea of a God who has standards of right and … I will agree that God is entirely capable of doing this. The book is broken into two parts - The Leap of Doubt, and The Reasons for Faith. I think that Christians who focus on saving people’s souls while ignoring their physical needs are wrong. ( Log Out /  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. The Reason for God is worth reading, reflecting on, and discussing with friends—both Christians and non-Christians. http://flyinabove.bloghi.com/2006/06/08/universalism-the-prevailing-doctrine-of-the-first-500-years-of-christianity.html. Even our "good works" are tainted by our own pride and sin...Jesus says only God is good. Neglect of the poor isn’t a presbyterian problem; it’s a people problem. 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. It is a prison of eternal self-centeredness, misery, and torture. Doctrine is not unimportant because the story is not unimportant. This chapter is really about absolute morality. And when they truly are sorry and repent, you do not continue punishing them forever. 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. "Someone had to die before the Christian God would pardon us. 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”. Repentance comes from God changing a person. I’m not denying that there were early Christians who accepted universal salvation; what I’m saying is that their number was few. The summary from Stefanie's blog: The introduction to the chapter brings many of the questions that we have all heard or asked ourselves concerning a loving God and hell. The main characters of this christian, religion story are , . I don’t share your view that doctrine is unimportant. Sin, most basically, is building our identity, our very lives, on anything other than God. They simply cannot risk losing ‘everything’ so instead choose to remain apart from God. "I doubt the existence of a judgmental God who requires blood to pacify his wrath " said a frowning Hartmut, a graduate student from Germany. Reply. Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S®6 active, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone. I think you have a great heart, and I’m not trying to separate people by doctrine as I believe we are all one. I believe everyone needs to have a relationship with Christ, but maybe someday ALL will, as Christ died for all. Previous to this, the title is simply used to break up thoughts. Dealing with the infinite is very confusing. The Christian faith is the most exciting drama that ever staggered the imagination of man-and the dogma is the drama.”, Universalism is Biblical, as I mentioned in both of my previous comments. First off, the old testament understanding of hell was basically synonymous with death. To be truly loving people, shouldn’t we want them to know Christ and all the good things that come along with it? So, we are all hoping for our wicked world to be made right and are looking forward to the coming of God to fix our fallen messed up world. He argues that “all loving persons are sometimes filled with wrath, not just despite of but because of their love.” In other words, God’s wrath points us to his opposition to sin – the cancer which eats aways at his good creation. rather than ending the pride of selfishness, people double down in the mistaken belief that they would rather have freedom than salvation. In an effort to further that, Ransom Fellowship has prepared detailed reflection and discussion questions for each section and chapter of the book. God is, in fact, a sound and rational one. Where being saved is a contractual law-binding proclamation of faith that Jesus is God’s son rather than a change in lifestyle which leads to caring for the poor (this doesn’t mean giving 10 percent of your income to the church, which only uses a fraction of the money for good), focusing on people rather than money and material objects, taking in the stranger, being peacemakers rather than warmongers, etc. My thoughts on Tim Keller's "The Reason for God"--Chapter 5. They should just be avoided as it is something that is very vague in the Bible and preaching salvation is counterproductive. Evil and Suffering May Be (If Anything) Evidence for […] Now I know that you are not one of those people Jason, I’m not singling you out. They are critical and blame others, they are paranoid and anxious, and they are always right. I am ashamed to include a statement I made before I knew Christ. Since we were not made to live like this, we experience personal disintegration which results ultimately in self-absorption. I do not expect to blog through the whole thing, so I’ll start with the most interesting chapter(s). I am also very critical door to door evangelism where people go out and tell others that they need to be ‘saved’. And the Bible tells us that their reward is here on Earth. Why couldn’t an all powerful, all loving, all knowing God save all of his creation? Who says? Thus, you are wrong! You assume that it is better for God to save all of his creation. I was not impressed. Chapter 1 – There Can’t Br Just One True Religion; Chapter 2 – How Could a Good God Allow Suffering? provoking conversation at the intersection of faith, life, and culture, June 14, 2008 in Book reviews, Christianity, Culture, Tim Keller. I have seen many churches who dedicate most of their energy to serving others. What baffles me more than the reality of a God who judges...is a humanity that claims to stand in judgement of that God. With this in mind, here’s how Keller defines hell: “Hell, then, is the trajectory of a soul, living a self-absorbed, self-centered life, going on and on forever…it is simply one’s freely chosen identity apart from God on a trajectory into infinity.” What makes Keller’s explanation of hell so helpful is that he places it within the context of a comprehensive understanding of sin. Lewis said this: “It is not a question of God ‘sending us’ to hell. The doctrine of how God … Some did, but they were declared to be outside of orthodox Christianity. People are afraid of universalism. (p.85) The real leap of faith comes when someone believes that God is love but judges no one. You assume that people sent to hell will be truly sorry and repent. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. The church is located away from poverty, people think they can just give 10 percent of their money to the church and everything is okay with them and God. 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 deep compassion for those who truly want to know the truth. Gehenna is the obvious example that many people know about. The new testament has 2 or 3 words that get translated to hell. That's exactly what much of the "church" has done though. Here's a teaser... One More Lady Bug is getting an updo!! In each of us there is something growing, which will BE HELL unless it is nipped in the bud.” God does not send people to hell kicking and screaming. Keller explains that these two entities cannot be separated. What about the common argument that so-and-so was such a good person, they simply couldn't go to hell? As Dorothy Sayers wrote, “It is the neglect of dogma that makes for dullness. That is love. I'm going to write a critique of each chapter… People act as if Jesus was some pacifist sheep hugging hippie who's greatest pursuit was "social justice" when his pursuit was to shed his blood to redeem a lost people. My whole point is that it doesn’t matter what you believe on the issue. Richard Bauckham, a respected NT scholar writes, “Until the nineteenth century almost all Christian theologians taught the reality of eternal torment in hell.” Widespread belief in universal salvation is really a modern phenomenon. The Reason for God | Chapter 4. Keller, Timothy. Well the one problem with you assuming these things is that they are nowhere to be found in the Bible. Many people cite the misery in the world as evidence that a benevolent god … Our good deeds are but filthy rags compared to God's holiness. God was capable of keeping his universe completely free from pain, suffering and death. For this reason Keller requests that we consider our cultural location when we are offended by the teaching on hell. We are fine with punishing our children and making sure they learn valuable lessons. There are a lot of assumptions being made, here, that I’m not completely sure you could back up. Hmmmm….. As I listened to Jeff’s sermon Sunday night, I also thought about what life would be like if God really did what we wanted. Romans 9 speaks a lot about this, and is mainly where I am drawing this argument. We see people who are self-absorbed, indulgent and ruthless. Hell is the freely chosen destination for those who prefer to live apart from God. Thanks for sharing...that was interesting. ( Log Out /  I’m working on it, and I’m trying to work with my left hand without letting my right hand know what my left is doing. I believe the doctrine of becoming saved is important, but not how God does it. I was with my oldest and only child, who was probably 3 at the time, and an acquaintance mentioned something about 'the devil,' and I said, "Oh, we don't believe in the devil or in hell." Keller approaches the question in a couple different ways: No-matter what people say. I am very critical of fire and brimstone preaching. We Can All Make a Difference - 2nd Version from connie johnson on Vimeo. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. It's a one-stop shop for your Christmas shopping and a way to h... Y'all, feel free to hop on over to our new site! I just think it makes a whole lot of sense. All this is to say, rich theology and doctrine fuels my living. God exercises wrath by removing his presence from them and abandoning them to themselves. The problem is that, as humans, we have a limited view of God’s justice, reason, and logic. Jesus referred to Gehenna as a metaphor to describe separation from God. Doctrine is not the problem. Raleigh, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Keller divides the ... My favourite chapter in this part is Chapter 13, ... As with any other good series, I strongly recommend you to start with that first before reading The Reason for God (that makes the two of us). Chapter 6 – Science Has Disproved Christianity ~Below I've copied excerpts of a few book reviews, along with the hyperlinks, and then I've given my own humble opinion~ ~~~~~~~~~~... A mere 13+ hour flight separates us from China! 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. They have help out at soup kitchens, visit prisons, protesting unjust laws, fight for workers’ rights, educate people on conserving our planet. Dry, lifeless, abstract doctrine that is divorced from love of God and people is a problem, but doctrine itself is not the problem. I recently read a book in which the author bad-mouthed doctrine in the introduction and then proceeded to present his doctrne throughout the rest of the book. I'm still mulling it over. Either we have free will to choose God, or there are a certain elect who God choses as his people. If people are tormented in hell or whatever you want to call it, they will eventually see the need for God and turn to him. One day God would reconcile all things to himself. He described Christianity as a house that included Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and various strands of Protestantism. The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism. The longer I live, the more atrocities I see, and the more heinous sin I witness the more I understand God's wrath...what still blows my mind is his patience and grace that reaches down to a sinner and makes him a son. 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). I know that I fail constantly in loving people, both by failing to help the poor and by failing to share my faith. 254pp. It is untrue that all early Christians believed in universal salvation. You can also disprove each using other texts by the same author. What if the point of the universe isn’t to make a bunch of happy, healthy people, but to glorify himself? Keller describes the modern view of hell as God casting souls – those unfortunate ones who did not make the right choices in life before their time was up – into hell for all eternity…. Anyone can give to a charity, and the church is a charity, and an inefficient one at that (most of the time). But, when it comes to our own souls, we somehow want to change the rules and have this belief that an all-loving God would never punish us. 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. Created beings thinking they have wisdom beyond their Creator (hasn't that been the lie of Satan since the beginning?). You can also disprove each using other texts by the same author.”. Wright Family USA - Are these kids all yours? C.S. Keller utilizes the story of Lazarus, a beggar, and the Rich Man in Luke 16:19-31 to support his view of hell. I said “You can prove calvinism, arminianism or universalism by looking at Paul’s writings. Because of the serious implications of these ideas, I couldn’t leave some of your statements unchallenged. Unitarian universalists preach that you can believe whatever you want and that’s fine, one day God will reconcile all. Chapter 5: How Can a Loving God Send People to Hell? ETERNAL separation from God is not a just punishment for a life of sin on earth. Instant downloads of all 1388 LitChart PDFs (including Second Treatise of Government). The Reason for God. I do actually agree that doctrine is important. The Reason For God – Chapter Five Posted October 4, 2008 by Church of the Servant. 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! This Study Guide consists of approximately 29 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Reason for God. Can you recall hearing a sermon on the wrath of God, the final judgment, and/or the doctrine of hell? The freedom from enjoying God in his kingdom will be lost forever. And he wanted Lazarus to do it for him. I agree that people choose separation from God, but I hope in the end, all people will be reconciled to God. This is how it’s supposed to be. This is one of the reasons why I disagree in many areas with presbyterians. Going to order the book NOW! Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?” (Psalm 139:7) Tozer begins this chapter by identifying one of the great truths of reality: God’s immanence. Change ). The Reason For God – Chapter Nine Posted January 7, 2009 by Church of the Servant. Really?!? It’s like a person’s salvation is in danger if they even talk about it. If your children do something wrong, you punish them. Free download or read online The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism pdf (ePUB) book. Sin is not primarily breaking God’s laws (that is merely a symptom of a much bigger problem). Making Sense of God: An Invitation to the Skeptical, is a prequel to The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism. His incision... Chapter 5 was a doozy! The Reason for God ~ Chapter Four ~ The Church is ... We Can All Make a Difference - 2nd Version. I’ve heard it before. He simply wanted relief from his torment. I think blaming a person’s or a church’s neglect of the poor on sin is very dangerous. 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. We are so excited to share with you soon! This is an apologetic work for why Keller thinks there is a reason for God's existence, specifically the God of the Bible. For 28 years he led a diverse congregation of young professionals that grew to a weekly attendance of over 5,000. However, I disagree with you. There are so many people who claim to be Christians and yet deny, edit, and erase a majority of what God has revealed about himself in the Bible. To true believers he offers a solid platform on which to stand against the backlash toward religion spawned by the Age of Skepticism. Review of "The Reason for God" Chapter 5 on Hell In my Bible class, we've been studying Timothy Keller's book, The Reason for God . My point is that too many people get hung up on doctrine. Timothy Keller is the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, which he started in 1989 with his wife, Kathy, and three young sons. If God is loving, people ask, how can he condemn anyone to eternal punishment in Hell? I refrain from taking a solid stance on any salvation doctrine whether it be calvinism, universalism, or arminianism because like you said “The problem is that, as humans, we have a limited view of God’s justice, reason, and logic”. It is untrue that there is no word for “forever” in the Greek. etc. Keller postulates that modern man believes the natural world to be malleable, and within his power to manipulate. Even as my view and understanding of sin changed, this basic human trait remained. There are many verses in the Bible that support this belief. In C.S. Our agenda is naturally bent towards our own self-interest and comfort. Why do presbyterians focus more on calvinism than and correct doctrine than helping the poor, why do baptist spend so much time making fun of calvinists and arguing free will. I look forward to using The Reason for God as a reference in my conversations with skeptics, in my teaching a class of 20-somethings, and in my own personal struggles with faith and doubt. (p. 193) Keller goes on to say that what we as Christians see as Good News – the Gospel – our society views as difficult at best and horrific at worst. 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. “Aionas” does not mean forever, but means “Ages of Ages”. If there were a god, it should be held to the same standards. And in the New York Times bestselling The Reason for God, he addresses each doubt and explains each reason. Lewis attempted to defend what he coined ‘mere’ Christianity. So...we tried to manage the fever for 24 hours, and after contacting the neurosurgeon on call, we decided to head to the ER. 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. That they continue sinning? Admittedly, among the few there were some major theologians, but that doesn’t mean universal salvation was the common belief, nor does it mean universal salvation is biblical. He responded. A lot of these churches work within the city, where the poor are for the most part. As for the word, Aionas, I understand your confusion. And he proceeds to lay out a series of clues – “divine fingerprints” – that point to the existence of God. I can understand why we believe in a God of pure love, especially in our Western culture, because the Bible teaches us to love God first and then love everyone else, including even those who are unlovely to us. The first edition of the novel was published in 2007, and was written by Timothy J. Keller. An apprentice of Jesus must be a student of the biblical story, including the details and contours of that story. But I have seen the statistics, and they are available. 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 whole thing in revelation where it says all people who are not written in the book of life will be cast into the lake of fire forever is a questionable translation. Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts. It drove me crazy! But he chose not to. You'll find every post from this site, plus more. The reality is Jesus talked a LOT about hell...so if we claim to be Jesus followers we can't only admire his actions but we have to believe his words. While I welcome and appreciate today’s renewed interest in studying the early church, we need to be careful not to embrace everything the early church fathers taught as biblical. Plus a … Keller, this basic human trait remained he should be held to the trip! These two entities can not risk losing ‘ everything ’ so instead to... Of Skepticism reflecting on, and the Bible and preaching salvation is a smart guy... i only. Down in the mistaken belief that they would rather have freedom than.. Of selfishness, people double down in the mistaken belief that they are nowhere to be ‘ ’... All, there are many philosophical problems with eternal punishment, necessarily nothing would Change at all and the,! Is building our identity, our very lives, on anything other God. 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