And as in all relationships, both parties sacrifice their freedoms, God having done so by Jesus Christ becoming mortal and dying for us. Naturally, The Reason for God discussed the rational, while Making Sense of God focuses on the emotional and cultural, making the case for Christianity’s relevance in both spheres. Having read it, I will read it again. Making Sense of God is not an easy read. But he points out that created meanings are ultimately insignificant when the big picture is considered, and are impotent in the face of personal suffering. ( Log Out /  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. In contrast, he points out that christian identity comes not from our performance, but from a God who loves us regardless and calls us his children. Take human thought. He does this by outlining cultural illustrations that … Making sense of God by Timothy Keller. First, he counters arguments that, in the face of reason, faith in God fades in favor of a secular perspective. Secularism struggles to give an account of moral facts or even what comprises “good”, despite secularists having strong moral opinions. Most atheists would argue that there is no “given” meaning to life, we are free to give life whatever meaning we choose. A second reason why, even in our secular age, religion continues to make sense to people is more existential than intellectual. Tim Keller is well known these days. 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. But this is disingenuous, because the notion of harm is dependent on what a good human life consists of – and that is a matter of our subjective beliefs. Making Sense of God seeks to address this; In other words, it is the prequel to The Reason for God. On the individual level, death is the end of all hope. But where can we find it? Keller’s previous bestseller, The Reason for God (2008) was also written for those who aren’t Christians, which “has been helpful to many, [but] does not begin far enough back for many people” (from the blurb). The reason he gives for such a prequel is that he felt the need to offer a well-reasoned position as to why people might (or could) be motivated to consider a reasoning for God in the first place. Secularists will find it challenging to their worldview, while Christians will find it intensely rewarding. If human relationships are what makes our life meaningful , death destroys them. But is it true? In Making Sense of God Keller offers questions for skeptics who believe they already have the answers to the big questions of life. In our day-to-day lives, we often judge something by whether it “works”. This hope is based in the reality of the resurrection of Jesus, who has defeated death for us. Now he’s produced a follow up which in a sense prepares the way for The Reason for God. One of the most helpful aspects is the references – 69 pages of them. Making Sense of God's Will . Both christians and atheists can do moral and immoral things, but only christianity provides a reason for moral obligations. Finally, Keller examines the problem of moral obligation. Now he’s produced a follow up which in a sense prepares the way for The Reason for God. Gilkey concluded that only faith in God, exemplified by former Olympic athlete Eric Liddell who was interred in the camp, enabled people to be truly unselfish in such circumstances. He affirms that this modern approach avoids people being locked into societal roles by privilege or lack of it, but he also argues that this view is a great burden (because our identity depends on our performance, achievements and style) and it doesn’t achieve what is hoped. Unfortunately, modern society “adulates winners and despises losers, showing contempt for weakness”, and this makes our self-worth a fragile thing. Creating a … It is part of oneself, but is distinct from other aspects of one’s being, such as the body. Like the focus on individual freedom, this has enabled considerable good, such as preparing American culture for the civil rights movement. Making Sense of God - a review Andrew Larkin, Bethinking The book is written for those for whom the issue of God seems fanciful and not even worth considering, so a more accurate reflection of the book is that it is “An Invitation to the Sceptical” to reconsider their views on God. Our desires are constantly changing and often contradictory, and we can’t base our sense of who we are on them. Making Sense Of God - Timothy Keller. But what is that end? Demographic studies that show that religious populations are more likely than secular ones to grow through higher birthrates and greater retention of members, and sociologists of religion now generally accept that secularisation isn’t going to happen as once expected. Will Making Sense of God convince secularists to take a deeper look at the arguments for Christianity? In terms of key facets of human life, meaning, satisfaction, freedom, identity, hope and justice, Christianity makes sense. Again, I don’t think it will convince many people to convert, but I don’t think that is his primary aim. Suicide rates are climbing in many secular cultures, and polls show that there is declining confidence in the future. Keller’s comparison of secularism and Christianity  is thorough and well-researched, drawing on broad range of scholarly sources. Yes, I thought Reason for God lacked guts a little, and was unlikely to impress a lot of people who were looking for something more rigorous. 336 pages. It does a thorough job of exposing the assumptions secularism makes about reality, which should make anyone demanding “evidence” for the existence of God a little more cautious in their assertions. Secular reason, all by itself, cannot give us a basis for "sacrifice, redemption, and forgiveness," as Paul Kalanithi concluded in his final months. By contrast, Christianity claims there is objective, eternal Meaning that can be discovered, and teaches that suffering is a terrible reality that can still have purpose. The book concludes with two chapters arguing (briefly) that theism, and christianity in particular, are reasonable. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Since God is our master, we must be His … Traditionally secularism has believed in the idea of progress, but optimism is beginning to crumble in the light of issues such as climate change.But humans are future-focused, and we need hope. Making Sense of God: An Invitation to the Skeptical by Timothy Keller. Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age is a key reference, and for readers unfamiliar with this work, it would be worth reading James K. A . But cosmological arguments for the existence of God do not make this claim. We have to filter our desires based on a set of beliefs and values, and they are obtained (mostly unconsciously) from our culture and community. Firstly, Keller notes the disdain postmodern culture treats having meaning in life. Meaning is linked to happiness and satisfaction in life, Keller’s next point of comparison. Despite the advances we’ve made in science, technology and medicine, we are not any happier. In fact, secular humanism’s values can be traced back to its Jewish and Christian roots. Keller goes on to expose the flaws in the narrative that claims the religious live by blind faith, while non-believers ground their position in evidence and reason. As you’d expect, Keller argues that christian faith provides the sense of satisfaction that secularism struggles to give. I read his first book when it came out, and I was still agnostic looking for persuasive arguments. Our society places such faith in empirical reason, historical progress, and heartfelt emotion that it’s easy to wonder: What role can Christianity play in our modern lives? The ephemeral nature of satisfaction and our desire for something that the world cannot supply points to our being “made for another world” as C.S. Keller spends the majority of the remainder of the book performing this comparison. Perhaps Keller (Redeemer Presbyterian Church; The Reason for God) should have titled his book "making sense with God," since he sets out to show that the world makes the most sense from a Christian perspective. On the other hand christianity offers a reason to believe in moral obligation and a God who can provide a shared ethic. I remember thinking at the time that it was good, but probably would only convince those who were already questioning their unbelief. But as you (I think) are someone who is more convinced by life than by arguments, and this is a lot about how we live, you may get a lot out of it. Instead, people saw no reason to be unselfish, and it was the rare person who could self-sacrifice. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple” (Psalm 19:7 NIV). Sharon Jaynes July 8, 2009 General Inspiration, Trusting God 5 Comments. Those looking for “proofs” may feel he offers nothing, but I think his discussion is convincing for three reasons. As human beings, we cannot live without meaning, satisfaction, freedom, identity, justice, and hope. Sitewide Banner Message The Well Bookstore is only open for curbside pickup which will be available Monday through Thursday from 9:00-4:00 and Fridays from 9:00-12:30. And this is what the rest of the book is mostly about. He has gone on record stating that Making Sense of God is a sort of prequel to his best selling The Reason for God. And, he observes, it isn’t just facts and arguments they want: Believers and nonbelievers in God alike arrive at their positions through a combination of experience, faith, reasoning, and intuition. If you do buy it, I hope you won’t be disappointed. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. It is a fine sentiment, but Keller argues it is insufficient for a whole variety of practical reasons. Wisdom allows us to see life the way God does. What about injustice? 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