1) God and Satan place a bet on Job. Making decisions is tough—but one thing I’ve learned is that adding God into the mix makes decision-making even tougher. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Rebuttal? Some believe God’s will is the path of the most sacrifice while others believe it is the path of most personal benefit. If you buy into the theory that God is a god of love, Oord says, that doesn’t make any logical sense. As my own father languishes in a nursing home with late stage Alzheimer’s and dementia doctors and loved ones ask, “Would your father really want to live this way?”  What they mean is, “This sickness is not the realization of your dad’s created meaning. Thank you for your great blog with the summaries and questions on each chapter. Peter, in 2 Peter 3:8, cautioned his readers not to let this one critical fact escape their notice—that God’s perspective on time is far different from mankind’s (Psalm 102:12, 24-27). Your summaries are great and we’re using them in our study group. Keller rightly asks, “But what is the empirical proof for that proposition?” (33). (47-48). I’m just not familiar enough with some of the origins and beliefs of other religions to give an authoritative answer. What does God allow Satan to do, and how does God think Job will react? Making Sense of God begins from Tim’s observation that, although many in the secular west think religious belief is not just wrong, but irrelevant and even harmful, there are many people who want to consider and discuss belief in God. Questions? Enter your email and subscribe below! I also wonder how the ways each religion is perceived over time plays into this question. In my last two posts I have reviewed Adam Hamilton’s book Making Sense of the Bible (New York: HarperOne, 2014) and examined one of the key exegetical claims he makes in support of his view that “we hear God’s voice as we listen to scripture’s words” (p. 131, emphasis added). 5 out of 5 stars; ... Making Sense of God shines a light on the profound value and importance of Christianity in our lives. Making Sense of God Study – Ch. Do you think the “burden of proof” falls more on one side or another? This—THIS!—is what I see to be wrecking havoc on women’s ministry in the church today. ( Log Out /  Case in point, we all suffered through this past election cycle, where it became glaringly obvious how we distill things down too far, throw nuance out the window, and turn every issue into us vs. them. questions we sometimes ask in the face of suffering. We made it through six questions in about two hours. The frame: chapters 1 and 2. Finally, in part three, Keller makes the case that belief in God and belief in Christianity are reasonable. And Keller does not just use Christians to answer materialists like Stephen Pinker. Teachers learn effective ways to build students' decoding skills by teaching letter–sound relationships, blending, word building, multisyllabic decoding, fluency, and more. Would you say that those other religions took those values from the Judeo-Christian traditions? There are many of the same values in Judaism though, which does predate Buddhism, so perhaps some of those values were well-known enough throughout the world at that time for there to be some overlap? 2) Does God set any limits to the damage Satan can inflict upon Job? In the meantime, pick a book and invite some friends to read it with you. Facts > faith, and therefore secularism is more logical and rational than religion, right? 3) What do you think of Satan's role here? It’s neat to see the ways this book generates good conversation and questions over different contexts. It would be better for him to die than to live outside of his self-created paradigm for life.”. We would rather die than live out our own meaning. 1: Isn’t Religion Going Away? Written for both the ardent believer and the skeptic, Making Sense of God shines a light on the profound value and importance of Christianity in our lives. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window). In Making Sense of the Trinity: Three Crucial Questions, Millard J. Erickson demonstrates the biblical foundation, logic, and importance of the Trinity as he answers three questions: Is … Our next Apologia promises to be as rich as the first, as the book culminates in Part Three: Christianity Makes Sense. | Homeward, Making Sense of God Book Study – Post Index | Homeward. Finding God in Our Pain This apparently con-flicting assertion is based on his understanding of God in four specific areas: (I) God is present and involved in our lives, even when He seems to be deaf or on an extended leave of absence, (2) God's timing is perfect, even when Following the success of Tremper Longman’s Making Sense of the Old Testament: Three Crucial Questions (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998), Blomberg, distinguished professor of New Testament at Denver Seminary, wrote a complementary text on the New Testament. Clarification? Why? Tim Keller has served as the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan for nearly thirty years and has spent much of his ministry engaging skeptics of Christianity with both winsome humility and intellectual dexterity. Early on Keller engages exclusive rationality, “the belief that science is the only arbiter of what is real and factual and that we should not believe anything unless we can prove it decisively using empirical observation” (31). As he describes secularism carefully and respectfully, one person commented that secular readers are likely to realize, “Oh…so that’s why I think that!”. This bestselling book provides indispensable tools and strategies for explicit, systematic phonics instruction in K–3. CHAPTER SUMMARY The common perception is something like this: the secular worldview = facts, religious worldview = faith. In Augustine’s footsteps, Keller articulates that “the ultimate source of our discontent is failure to love the first, the failure to love God supremely” (90). Religion is indeed very compelling for a number of reasons and it’s growing, so one should at least give it the time of day and try to understand it. If you enjoyed the show, leave us a review at iTunes . Occassionally we will email  our teammates prayer requests and ministry updates. He joins us to discuss his (excellent) new book, Making Sense of God: An Invitation to the Skeptical. We're in chapter two of Tim Keller's Making Sense of God this week. Last night seven of us gathered on our back patio to discuss the first half of the book. Wisdom allows us to see life the way God does. Pingback: Making Sense of God Study – Ch. ... Making Sense of Suffering. Ron and his lovely wife Kristie—one of my best friends—are here visiting us. Group discussion sharpens as members view the same work differently and share how their lives intersect with the message in unique ways. Unfortunately a lot of Christians hold this view, at least functionally, but it’s not only untrue experientially, it’s inaccurate according to the biblical ideas of common grace and original sin. This is the essence of growth and sanctification for the believer in Christ. One way this has manifested itself in my life is how I’ve often taken what I’ve learned about God and created this box, like now I completely understand God because I’m holding Him in this box. But what we’re seeing is that chosen faiths are being passed on and thriving. 1. Thank you for sharing your hard work, Ron. $17.70. For ones that came after Christianity, like Islam, I think there might be ways you could make a case that it borrows values from Christianity. And, he observes, it isn’t just facts and arguments they want: In this chapter, he’s pushing back against the idea that scientific fact and rock-solid reason are all there is to a secular worldview. Making Sense of the Old Testament 2. When we choose to make decisions based on wisdom alone, we are exercising common sense. I’ve mentioned before how in our modern, Western culture we take so little time to just think. Change ). Those things God affirms are the true me; those things he prohibits are the intrusions of the foreign matter of sin and not part of the personal I was made to be and the Spirit is bringing about” (141). Making Sense of God Study – Ch. I think even as a Christian, you are still always battling doubts and incorrect assumptions and ideas about God. He then cites Nietzche, who argues that it’s inconsistent for secular people to reject God yet hold on to these Christian ideals, and that these moral ideas can’t just be separated and utilized apart of Christianity. The book is chock full of endnotes and quotations by philosophers and academicians, as Keller states their view in their words. Many educated western thinkers assume that as people groups across the world become more developed and educated, they will reject religion. Phew! We need durable, robust truth. When we rightly order him first, we thrive. Our inaugural book is Making Sense of God by Tim Keller. Keller skillfully leads the reader to understand that secularists have no right—based on their own views—to label anything good or bad or noble or evil. I’ll bring you the highlights of our second meeting in late July. I recognized before how impossible it is for anyone to either completely prove or disprove something like the existence of God, but I thought it was very interesting how Keller framed the same idea, that we all have faith, it’s just expressed in different ways and we all just “draw the lines between orthodoxy and heresy in different places.” I think it’s a much more nuanced and reasonable perspective to say look, we all accept different ideas we can’t completely prove, so instead of trying to “prove” something, let’s just look at the evidence and compare it to different belief systems and everyone will make their own decisions. Wow, thanks so much for your comment, Connie! Not only do we live very distracted lives in general, but in our Twitter age, we’re in a place where knee-jerk emotional vents and 140-character summaries of complex issues are about all we have the time or patience for. In an earlier book, The Reason for God, the author made a case for Christianity; Making Sense of God starts further back, addressing people who strongly doubt that any version of religion or faith makes sense or has anything of value to offer the contemporary world. We’re in chapter two of Tim Keller’s Making Sense of God this week. Keller argues in this chapter that secularism actually involves “a set of faith beliefs,” or “highly contestable assumptions about the nature of proof and rationality itself.” He explores two main ideas to support his point: Keller goes on to make the case that our ideas of inherent human rights and our positive views of the body and of emotions all came from Judeo-Christian theology, not secular philosophy. Chapter three, “A Meaning That Suffering Can’t Take From You,” is coming up next week! And his challenge is the same to Christians. Well the truth is, God created you for five purposes. Making Sense of the Bible is borne of a great love for the Bible, along with years of study and pastoral ministry. And until you understand that, life isn’t going to make sense. ... Study One. I welcome it all! In indirect ways throughout both chapters, he has challenged believers not to make reductionist statements and to look deeper past our background beliefs. The problems that ensue from the reductionism of believing that the physical world is the totality of existence are a particular strength of Making Sense of God. What do you think of Keller’s provocative thesis that one can’t truly have a solely scientific, rational, and secular worldview because there’s a fair amount of “faith” that’s required? Is the devil? Christianity provides us with unsurpassed resources to meet these needs. A mere blog post is an insufficient synopsis of such a substantial work. While I don’t have any sort of educated and definitive answer, off the top of my head I would say it might depend on a few things. 1,000 years ago would people have said “oh yes all three have similar values” or are we just viewing all these religions through our modern eyes where people generally just want to focus on the most positive and similar aspects of each religion and downplay or stay ignorant of the crucial differences? . the ultimate questions in life. We see this in Colorado in Proposition 106 (our assisted suicide ballot measure, which passed last November). Making Sense of God is strong at showcasing the problems of a materialistic worldview. Making Sense of God is not written for Christians, but for secularists. Instead a book about making sense of God, this was more an invitation to skeptics to consider why intelligent people have found the Theistic worldview to make better sense of the big philosophical questions than a secular materialistic outlook does. 1: Isn’t Religion Going Away? Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Study questions on the book of Job . ... What about Jesus' last breath convinced the centurion he was the Son of God? In fact, one of our Apologia attendees already invited two of her secular friends to read the book with her—they agreed. Our inaugural book is Making Sense of God by Tim Keller. Ron carefully prepared 18 questions for us to dig in to the content of chapters 1-7, which I will post below. I certainly want to look into it more now for myself! Moreover, Hamilton is always charitable toward those with whom he disagrees. Reading books of substance is best done in community. It’s been pretty difficult to synthesize all the info down and keep these posts to a reasonably easy-to-consume length. 4. Ron carefully prepared 18 questions for us to dig in to the content of chapters 1-7, which I will post below. I read his other book, Reason for God, and I think there might be more there on this topic but I don’t remember. It contains everything needed for the study, including session plans, discussion questions, and multiple format options. | (Photo: Godwell Andrew Chan) Pastor Tim Keller is on a mission to make sense of God, and if you ask him, Christianity not only makes sense… As far as I can tell, or at least in my searching, yours is the only ‘study guide’ to this book. Thanks again so much for commenting! If you didn’t enjoy the show, let us know and we’ll work to make it better. You must do this yourself, and must not rely on anyone outside to affirm and tell you who you are” (124). Last night seven of us gathered on our back patio to discuss the first half of the book. A Simple—Not Scientific—Truth Genesis 1, the opening scene of the biblical drama, introduces us to the two main characters in the Bible: God and man. Chapter six is entitled “The Problem of Self.”  As Keller puts it, “our culture tells us that you must look inside to discover your deepest desires and dreams and to express them. ... when we discuss religion only in the negative sense … These chapters are intense! (Info in About Me section of the blog) I’d love to hear more about you and your group! Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. 3. questions we sometimes ask in the face of suffering. 2. Making Sense of God's Will is a four-session book-and-video study that helps us make sense of these issues by exploring some of the "why?" How does Satan think Job will react? In chapter one, he’s fighting the reductionist view that religion is worthless and that only idiots believe it. . Many thanks to Ron Coia for preparing well and making this first Apologia meeting happen! One thing that’s really resonated with me through these two chapters is Keller’s general encouragement to just think more deeply about the views we all hold. Timothy Keller, author of Making Sense of God: An Invitation to the Skeptical, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC. Now Keller has followed up with what could be called a prequel, Making Sense of God, addressing those sceptics who see Christianity as so implausible that no rational person could even consider it.His aim is to show that Christianity is worth investigating. When someone says they do not believe in God, perhaps the first question we should ask is: “What sort of God is it that you don’t believe in?” Sometimes the reason why people are confused about God is that there are various concepts of God which are incoherent, contradictory, and counter-intuitive. I appreciate that through this book, Keller is encouraging us to stop making reductionist statements ourselves and to also see what’s underneath the reductionist statements of others. Study Guide: Of God and Caesar ... would ultimately end in disappointment and questions about the mixing of religion and politics. Our thoughts on this chapter included the observation that there are other world religions that also encourage, teach, and model some of the same ethics and values of the Judeo-Christian faith. 3. 254 pages. The books were challenging and the discussion rich. The group in Japan was led by our dear friend Ron Coia, an English teacher for the high school students of military members in Okinawa, Japan. Comments? | Homeward. | Homeward, Pingback: Making Sense of God Book Study – Post Index | Homeward, Pingback: Let’s Do A Book Study! Timothy Keller’s The Reason for God, published a few years ago, was an excellent exposition of reasons to believe in God and Christianity. When we seek God’s perspective, we can make decisions based upon their eternal significance rather than selfish interest. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Conclusion: It may seem that Keller is saying that if science and reason are not as reliable as we think, then truth is unknowable and there’s no way to “weigh and evaluate such philosophical religious statements.” (53) But to the contrary, his point is “only that using demanding, demonstrable, unquestionable proof for them is inappropriate…Rather than unfairly asking only religious people to prove their views, we need to compare and contrast religious beliefs and their evidences with secular beliefs and theirs.” In other words, whether secular or religious, we all have beliefs that can’t be scientifically proven either way and that are taken in a measure of faith. My hope in sharing this is that others will give it a try. ( Log Out /  An index of all my posts in this series can be found HERE. He challenges views such as all atheists are terrible, “immoral, unhappy misanthropes.” (I had to look up misanthrope in the dictionary.) Keller, Tim. It ends up crushing our souls because we cannot uphold ourselves with ourselves. But the Bible teaches that God is so far beyond our understanding, and inevitably, something comes along to challenge my small perspective. Keller encourages us to go through the process of “doubting your doubts.” Like the example explained above in the chapter summary with the problem of evil and suffering, can you isolate a doubt you have and dig deeper to what assumptions are underneath. You see, you were made by God and you were made for God. The common perception is something like this: the secular worldview = facts, religious worldview = faith. An index of all my posts in this series can be found HERE. ... After Reading "Reason for God", many questions still remained. I will post Part Two after our second meeting, which will be one month from now. ( Log Out /  In lieu of Book Review Wednesday I want to share the Apologia meeting we had last night. Also, feel free to email me or message me on FB if you have more questions or just want to say hi. I admire Keller’s commitment to academic research. I’m forced to realize that my box is filled with assumptions about God that may not be true, or at least that may not be as complete as I think they are. Instead, He promises to faithfully walk with us in our pain and to use it to make us more loving toward others and more trusting in Him. Did God really command Moses to put gay people to death? Definitely let me know if you want anything clarified. Is the New Testament historically reliable? We learn that “the more prosperous a society grows, the more common is depression” (77). 2) Why do my prayers go unanswered? Making Sense of God by Tim Keller: Our First Apologia in Colorado. We all have different ideas of what discerning God’s will looks like. If you’ve read the chapter, were there any quotes or sections that were particularly thought-provoking to you? This can certainly be seen in my own county, which is America’s 7th richest, but has been witness to at least six teen suicides in the past few years. The Trinity has much to teach us about the essence of God and our relationships with one another. As to your question, that’s really a great one and unfortunately I don’t have a good answer. There’s more in each chapter to flesh out Keller’s ideas but obviously I can’t put everything here. Making sense of unanswered prayer From Christianity Today, ChristianBibleStudies.com provides over 1,000 unique, downloadable Bible Studies for personal, small group, and Sunday School use. Because without the comprehensive Christian theology of God and mankind, there is no standard to keep morality in a fixed place, and it will eventually become “a problem.” The ideas will just be used to wield power when it’s convenient. But I don’t know about ones like Buddhism which started centuries before Christianity. Making Sense of the New Testament 3. Though I could mention so much more, I’ll close with a quote on identity, “If I am a Christian, I am who I am before God. First is what I call the mystical approach, and that is to look within. 2. Who We Are 3) Why can't I see God's … I don’t know. We usually do the same thing when it comes to religion. 3: A Meaning That Suffering Can’t Take From You, Making Sense of God Study – Ch. Making Sense of God: An Invitation to the Skeptical.New York: Viking, 2016. Will mainly address the idea of God as understood by Jews/Muslims If God is a transcendental being, existing outside of space and time, how do we make sense of religious language when it talks about the actions/attributes of God. We made it through six questions … It’s so cool and encouraging to me to hear some feedback from someone living in another part of the world! Dobson then makes the assertion "God makes sense even when He doesn't make sense." The declaration that science is the only arbiter of truth is in fact a belief, and not itself established in empiricism. We’ve missed it. In a sense, the marking of time is irrelevant to God because He transcends it. We took advantage of the visit to kickoff Apologia in our community here at Redemption Parker. Was Paul the true founder of Christianity? Like today, we might say that Islam or Buddhism seems to teach very similar values, but historically has that always been the case? 2: Isn’t Religion Based on Faith and Secularism on Evidence? But here are four points that I will be ruminating over for days to come: 1. Next week, we start part II of the book, where Keller will explore some specific aspects of life and how religion and Christianity speak to those issues. Once per month community members gathered to discuss a book, which would build the reader’s understanding of God, truth, and culture. Letting something horrible happen goes against God's nature. If religion is growing, the irreligious will need to make sense of God. ( Log Out /  Apologia is a tradition from our church in Okinawa, Japan. I wish Keller included more commentary in this book to that end, (comparing and contrasting the Christian worldview with other religions) but I understand that his focus with this book is on contrasting just the modern, Western, secular worldview with Christianity, and he just can’t cover everything. I’ll stop my rambling there because it’s doing nothing to answer your original question! He does the heavy lifting of digging up the work of philosophers and social scientists and then lays before the reader his findings in laymen's terms. his Leader Guide, designed for group use with Making Sense of the Bible Book and DVD, features Adam Hamilton discussing his ideas in six sessions. We are a group of ladies living overseas who meet each week to eat, talk….and study. The morning of Apologia I photographed the quote below and had fun seeing Tim Keller retweet it and others share it many times over: It is impossible to cover in one blog post even a fraction of what was covered in the first half of this book, as well as what was said in our group discussion. In other words, as beings created by God, we will find our greatest joy in loving God. Want to be notified of new posts via email? Or he calls attention to popular but completely unbiblical views among many Christians, such as “If I’m a Christian and God loves me, there’s a limit to how badly life can go for me.” God never promises in the Bible that we will escape suffering and have success and comfort all our lives. In this book he seeks to answer three questions. Ask Question Asked today. The deadline and accountability of a meeting helps to push members through, while reading alone leads to the temptation to give up. He outlines many arguments for the existence of God and the validity of Christianity. I wish I had more info to give you a better answer, but it certainly is such a good question and a thought-provoking one. Hence, this book. The desire for instant gratification is the enemy of common sense. Why, Making Sense of God's Will by Adam Hamilton will help you to navigate the following questions: 1) Why do the innocent suffer? Facts > faith, and therefore secularism is more logical and rational… Jamie Smith's book is a compact field guide to Taylor's insightful study of the secular. Making sense of discussion about equivalent waves with varying phases. We need Jesus. So instead of saying one has to prove their beliefs without a shadow of doubt, which is impossible, we should take the evidence we do have and see how it lines up with various belief systems. In this way, we too can engage in thoughtful reflection, critique, and growth in wisdom. ... Browse other questions tagged waves or ask your own question. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. When you come to this question, you only have three options. Day 7 - God had finished his work of creation and so he rested on the seventh day, blessing it and making it holy. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! In our postmodern age, everyone is expected to create their own meaning for life—indeed, we consider this our most valued freedom. In Making Sense of the Bible, Adam Hamilton, one of the country’s leading pastors and Christian authors, addresses the hot-button issues that plague the church and cultural debate, and answers many of the questions frequently asked by Christians and non-Christians alike. There’s actually a significant number of ideas secularists take on faith and that can’t be scientifically proven. As human beings, we cannot live without meaning, satisfaction, freedom, identity, justice, and hope. 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