What is your response? Why? Keller says, “The church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints” [p. 54]. Explain. If not, why? [p. 19]. This DVD only discusses the first six chapters which is why this study guide won't go through the whole book. After that dance the stars weren’t little anymore. REASON FOR GOD. Each asks students to read a short, high-interest nonfiction piece … What reasons would you give if a Christian challenged this statement as untrue? objections and questions about God. 19. We must be grateful, then, when God raises up someone who is gifted at listening to the culture, at identifying the questions being raised, and at thinking through the issues with a passion for truth, love, and the gospel. The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism Questions for Study Part 2 Chapter 8: The Clues of God • Keller notes that the world, and indeed the whole universe, is “contingent” (pg. Why? Given the refutation of the “story of the blind men and the elephant” [p. 8-9], how do we make this argument while maintaining the humility appropriate to knowing we see only in part, through a glass darkly (see 1 Corinthians 13)? Using literature, philosophy, and Scripture, Keller and the group explore the truth of … [59-60]. The Reason for God Discussion Guide: Conversations on Faith and Life by Timothy Keller (Paperback, 2010) Paperback – 18 Oct. 2010 4 ... Christians will be challenged to wrestle with their friends and neighbors' hardest questions, and to engage those questions in ways that will spark an honest, enriching, and humbling dialogue. by Denis Haack. You know, reading is not the force. Christians will be challenged to wrestle with their friends and neighbors’ hardest questions, and to engage those questions in ways that will spark an honest, enriching, and humbling dialogue. Some might argue that the alternatives Keller presents are too extreme—plausible v. ridiculous and offensive. We cannot consider a group exclusive simply because it has standards for its members. Robert Bellah “concludes that the most fundamental belief in American culture is that moral truth is relative to individual consciousness” [p. 70]. How might Christians take this argument to an incorrect conclusion? The main characters of this christian, religion story are , . Why not? Does this not seem to be an elitist argument? Have you met people who question whether intelligent people can “take the Bible literally”? Before your meeting, outline your information goals and a sequence of related questions to help you follow the conversation and cue your notes. 10. What “fundamentals” would apply to Christians? What difference does it make? What does Keller include in “All this”? We're sure that reading will lead you to join in better concept of life. If you are a Christian, is this how you have understood the biblical concept of hell? Free download or read online The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism pdf (ePUB) book. Should Christians take the lead in demonstrating civility in the public square? Is this the view of the future that Christians tend to believe in and hear about in church? 12. When the apostle wrote to the Church in Ephesus, he pointed out that God provides leaders “to equip” Christians for faithful service in a fallen world (Ephesians 4:11-16). Why or why not? On the other hand, Christian missions is full of examples where missionaries have brought not just the gospel but American culture to the world—did Keller apologize sufficiently for this sad heritage? On October 1 a class began to review Tim Keller’s thought-provoking book, “The Reason for God”. Does this seem to be the normal way Christians understand and speak about the incarnation and crucifixion? Why? 9. 133). How does secularism deal with suffering and evil? Right after warning us not to be squeezed into the mold of the world (Romans 12:1-2), he assures us that different members of Christ’s Church have different gifts and callings (Romans 12:3-8). St Paul writes, ‘the love of Christ constrains us’ (2 Corinthians 5:14)” [p. 49]. Exodus 34:23-24 – God would protect their land while traveling to the tabernacle/temple. Some leaders in Keller’s denomination would perhaps believe that Keller should not be ordained as a minister because of holding this view. Jesus has come to redeem where it is wrong and heal the world where it is broken. 1. So, it's important for you to start having that hobby. Review the illustrations. “Because doubt and belief are each on the rise, our political and public discourse on matters of faith and morality has become deadlocked and deeply divided. What’s the solution? 6. Because “all of us have fundamental, unprovable faith-commitments that we think are superior to those of others,” Keller argues that we must ask, “which fundamentals will lead their believers to be the most loving and receptive to those with whom they differ?” [p. 19-20]. 16. But, Milosz continued: ‘And now we are witnessing a transformation. Why or why not? Fire disintegrates. The Reason for God is written for skeptics and believers alike. 5. Great to use in groups. History of Christmas customs. The Swiss theologian John Calvin, in his commentaries on the Hebrew prophets, says that God so identifies with the poor that their cries express divine pain. 7. What are the usual views of doubt? We must not make settled, final decisions about anyone’s spiritual state or fate” [p. 80]. 10. “Good character,” Keller says, “is largely attributable to a loving, safe, and stable family and social environment—conditions for which we were not responsible.” Because people with greater needs are often the ones attracted to Christianity, Keller concludes, “we should expect that many Christians’ lives would not compare well to those of the nonreligious” [p. 54]. How does this make you feel as a Christian? I know what they are like. Explanation – Read Luke 13:1-5 Ask Jesus’ question. Why? “Perhaps the biggest deterrent to Christianity for the average person today is not so much violence and warfare but the shadow of fanaticism. 40. Does this surprise you? Christians will be challenged to wrestle with their friends and neighbors’ hardest questions, and to engage those questions in ways that will spark an honest, enriching, and humbling dialogue. How do you resolve your difficulty? What are some of things transcendentalized by our pluralistic, busy, postmodern consumer culture? The guide and DVD are not about getting armed with arguments and answers so that they can be used as generic responses whenever anyone asks you … What is a good, winsome way to present this truth to a skeptic without seeming arrogant or insensitive or offensive? 14. 13. How does this correspond to the claims of miracles we sometimes hear about today? Does it make you uncomfortable about being a theist? 8. Keller claims, “Christianity has been more adaptive (and maybe less destructive) of diverse cultures than secularism and many other worldviews” [p. 40]. “The church has a history of supporting injustice, of destroying culture… If Christianity is the true religion, how could this be?” [p. 51]. What are the implications for your skepticism/faith? Have you held it? The panel includes atheists and agnostics. What difference does it make? What about suffering? Which one do you tend to identify with the most? Sometimes such questions evoke strong emotions—where do these come from? (Tim Keller is also author of the best-selling The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism).The DVD is meant to be used along with the Discussion Guide, which provides an outline and further questions and resources to help facilitate a … (Hint: using not just reason but imagination is essential in working out an answer. The Reason for God small group Bible study can be used individually, with groups, or by any believer who is engaging with friends who don’t share his or her beliefs. 15. 3. 16. Christians will be challenged to wrestle with their friends and neighbors' hardest questions, and to engage those questions in ways that will spark an honest, enriching, and humbling dialogue. Is this your understanding of the faith? What view is more commonly held, and what difference does it make? What troubles you most about its beliefs or how it is practiced?” [p. 3] Do you make a habit of asking non-Christians questions similar to that? Finding Answers to: Life's Journey!, Life's Questions!, Life's Meaning!, Life's Purpose! This was the best and the first of the harvest. For a list of each chapter’s questions for discussion, and for an opportunity to submit your own written reflections, click on the appropriate link below: October 1: Chapter One – “There Can’t Be Just One True Religion”, October 8: Chapter Two – “How Could a Good God Allow Suffering?”, October 15: Chapter Three – “Christianity Is a Straitjacket”, November 5: Chapter Four – “The Church is Responsible for So Much Injustice”, November 12: Chapter Five – “How Can a Loving God Send People to Hell?”, November 19: Chapter Six – “Science Has Disproved Christianity”, December 10: Chapter Seven – “You Can’t Take the Bible Literally”, December 17: Chapter Eight – “The Clues of God”. Are there miracles in the Bible that you have difficulty believing as true events? 8. What restrictions have you found liberating? To what extent would a stranger who follows you around for several months say this sort of love is your primary characteristic? Chapter 2: How Could a Good God Allow Suffering? I used this Discussion Guide along with the DVD 'The Reason for God-Conversations on Faith and Life' and the book 'The Reason for God-Belief in an Age of Skepticism' as part of a course in Christian Apologetics in our homeschool. Keller says he has often asked non-Christians, “What is your biggest problem with Christianity? Jesus’ miracles are not just a challenge to our minds, but a promise to our hearts that the world we all want is coming” [p. 95-96]. More specifically, Keller sees Genesis 1 & 2 as similar to Judges 4 &5 and Exodus 14 &15. What reasons did the objector give for their conviction? How does this challenge make you feel about the Christian faith? On pages 44-45, Keller argues that there is “no Christian culture,” but rather that Christianity maintains core orthodoxy while adapting to the culture of its followers. It was a recognition that everything they had was from God to begin with. Christians will be challenged to wrestle with their friends and neighbors’ hardest questions, and to engage those questions in ways that will spark an honest, enriching, and humbling dialogue. Celebrating Jesus’ birthday: “The early Christians did not celebrate [Jesus’] birth because they considered the celebration of anyone’s birth to be a pagan custom.”—The World Book Encyclopedia. What unholy alliances between Christian faith and cultural values or political ideologies are present in our own society? Where did they learn this? Have you found unbelievers agreeing? The first edition of the novel was published in 2007, and was written by Timothy J. Keller. 15. We discussed the 6th and final objection in our study this past Sunday, August 16th: How can God be full of love and wrath at the same time? Grand Rapids, MI 49546 Every generation in every culture and people group wrestle with the four crucial issues that undergird human existence: Who & where are we? How responsible have you been in this regard? The Reason For God Discussion Guide (9780310330479). Do Christians ever fail to understand this distinction? “The people most passionate about social justice were moral relativists,” Keller says, remembering his pilgrimage of faith as a young man, “while the morally upright didn’t seem to care about the oppression going on all over the world” [p. xii]. 37. Is civility in the public square possible if this is correct? How has a biblical passion for social justice come to be seen by Christians as either a liberal or relativist concern? The Reason for God small group Bible study can be used individually, with groups, or by any believer who is engaging with friends who don’t share his or her beliefs. [p. 99] What did they specifically challenge or doubt in the biblical texts? We only become ourselves in love, yet healthy love relationships involve mutual, unselfish service, a mutual loss of independence” [p. 48]. Are you convinced this is true? Christians will be challenged to wrestle with their friends and neighbors’ hardest questions, and to engage those questions in ways that will spark an honest, enriching, and humbling dialogue.

Give examples of Christians denouncing something, rather than engaging in careful reasoning. Is this normally how Christians answer this objection to the faith? Discussion leaders will be wise to pick which questions to raise, and which topics, once raised, should be pursued in more detail. 12. 4. Foucault was pressing the truth of his analysis on others even as he denied the very category of truth. "The Reason for God, Belief in an Age of Skepticism," by Timothy Keller, is a pro-Christian work which lays out the major criticisms that modern skeptics have about faith and in particular Christianity. What do think of Barth’s statement that it was the church, not the world that crucified Christ? Now ask the question: ‘What if when we die we don’t end, but spiritually our life extends on into eternity?’ Hell then, is the trajectory of a soul, living a self-absorbed, self-centered life, going on and on forever” [p. 76-77]. The guide and DVD are not about getting armed with arguments and answers so that they can be used as generic responses whenever anyone asks you … Why? Is this your assumption of how Christian missions works? 2. The objection this chapter addresses, Keller shows, is linked to the unspoken assumptions of Western culture [p. 72]. “It is one thing,” Keller says, “to say that science is only equipped to test for natural causes and cannot speak to any others. Why or why not? All of these beliefs are foreign to many other cultures” [p. 39]. Is it an oversimplification to summarize Keller’s chapter as saying, essentially, that “we lose any authority to label things as ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ without a foundational belief in God.” In other words, to put it succinctly, we can’t call things “good” if we don’t’ acknowledge “God”. Have you heard Christians raise this issue as a problem in their faith? Since there are so many other issues raised concerning the historicity and trustworthiness of the Bible, what plans should you make? How do we know which of the two we are actually trusting? Publisher: Zondervan. Summarize each objectively and clearly in language that would be readily understood and appreciated by a non-Christian who does not have a churched background. 6. How often have you heard this objection? 4. “Human beings are most free and alive in relationships of love. 13. How does our setting require a change in the reasons we give for belief? 4. Did your friends find your arguments convincing? Bible Study Methods 6. 1. Do you agree? The Reason for God small group Bible study can be used individually, with groups, or by any believer who is engaging with friends who don’t share his or her beliefs.Christians will be challenged to wrestle with their friends and neighbors’ hardest questions, and to engage those questions in ways that will spark an honest, enriching, and humbling dialogue. Esther Lombardi. [p. 85] What makes them especially difficult? that reason could be that God wants to show the vessels of mercy the riches of his glory, Paul considers himself and his readers to be vessels of mercy, the vessels of mercy are those whom God has called, those whom God has called include Jews and Gentiles which is supported by a quote from Hosea (vv. PDF Study Guide The Reason For God, discussion guide, softcover (9780310330479) by Timothy Keller Printable Book Club Questions . We all bring to issues intellectual predispositions based on our experiences” [p. 52]. The Reason for God: Conversations on Faith and Life is a DVD for small groups hosted by Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. [p. 103]. Keller distinguishes between evolution as the idea that “complex life-forms evolved from less complex forms through a process of natural selection,” and “Evolution as an All-encompassing Theory,” which he argues is not science but philosophy [p. 87]. Does this statement by Keller surprise you? Would you be comfortable suggesting them to a non-Christian friend? How does this change the meaning of the opening chapters of the creation account? In the past, when you read such details in the gospel records did you see that the author meant this? 3. In response to the objection that a good God could not possibly allow hell, Keller responds: “Modern people inevitably think that hell works like this: God gives us time, but if we haven’t made the right choices by the end of our lives, he casts our souls into hell for all eternity. 5. 1. Do you find the doctrine of divine judgment or God’s “wrath” offensive or troubling? It contains an opening thought and summary of the objection, scripture references, and extensive discussion questions. Explaining why believing in something makes sense will make little or no sense if my explanation is not in categories my companion can understand and appreciate. Do you believe many Christians share this conviction? The Reason for God small group Bible study can be used individually, with groups, or by any believer who is engaging with friends who don’t share his or her beliefs. Keller goes through a step-wise series of suggestions for reading the Bible after finding biblical texts that are culturally offensive [p. 109-113]. Share Flipboard Email Print Penguin Group Literature. 13. Why then do many American middle-class evangelical Christians seem both indistinguishable from their non-Christian conservative neighbors and so profoundly comfortable with both Christianity and their middle-class consumerist lifestyle? Why do you think you respond the way you do? If you have any questions about the study, or about God in general, feel free to email me from the link in the right sidebar. So, they give answers to questions that aren’t being raised, and wonder why they are the only ones in the conversation that seem impressed. Is this usually how people tend to think of science and modernity? Do you agree? Specifically it will help you think about six common objections to Christianity. 10. 4. What is the significance of these ideas? But we should not criticize churches when they maintain standards for membership in accord with their beliefs. “If this [revisionist] view of the New Testament’s origins and development is true, it would radically change our understanding of the content and meaning of Christianity itself. Where do you fit? 11. What reasons did they give? 3. Genesis 2 is an account of how it happened” [p. 94]. How do you weigh your truth-claims? “The tendency of religious people,” Keller says, “is to use spiritual and ethical observance as a lever to gain power over others and over God, appeasing him through ritual and good works” [p. 59]. If you haven’t heard this before, what does this suggest about the church’s ability to speak biblical truth into our post-Christian world? Thanks for exploring this SuperSummary Plot Summary of “The Reason for God” by Timothy J. Keller. How does the creature persuade the doctor to create a companion? “The Biblical view of things is resurrection,” Keller writes, “not a future that is just a consolation for the life we never had but a restoration of the life you always wanted. Why? Why or why not? It is the precondition for it” [p. 114]. What characteristics or virtues need to be displayed by the Christian making this argument? Office Hours: How does the cross transform the question of evil and suffering in the world? Excellent resource for helping the non-believer have a better grasp of common misconceptions of Christian principles. 17. “On what basis,” Keller asks, “does the atheist judge the natural world to be horribly wrong, unfair, and unjust?” [p. 26] How is it possible to raise this issue to align oneself, or agree with, the skeptic rather than merely confront them? 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. “You never see him [Jesus] say something like: ‘See that tree over there? 10. What answers have you heard that you find insufficient? What about injustice? The questions are designed to get the group discussing the substance of Keller’s book, and may cover more detail than any particular group will be interested in covering. January 14 - January 30, 2020 | 6:30PM - 8:00PM. “Instead of trying to shape our desires to fit reality,” Keller says, “we now seek to control and shape reality to fit our desires” [p. 71]. A true opium of the people is a belief in nothingness after death—the huge solace of thinking that our betrayals, greed, cowardice, murders are not going to be judged… [but] all religions recognize that our deeds are imperishable” [p. 75]. Since Keller “was always looking for that third camp,” he says he “became interested in shaping and initiating new Christian communities” [p. xiii]. “We should not be surprised to discover it was the Bible-believing religious establishment who put Jesus to death” [p. 59]. 14. The Bible shows that we offend God if we try to worship him in a way that he does not approve of.— Exodus 32:5-7. Many nonbelievers have friends or relatives who have become ‘born again’ and seem to have gone off the deep end” [p. 56]. The COS building is currently closed. 18. We know how selfishness and self-absorption leads to piercing bitterness, nauseating envy, paralyzing anxiety, paranoid thoughts, and the mental denials and distortions that accompany them. Ways ” [ p. 27 ] 4 & 5 and Exodus 14 &.. Life we can grow together in being renewed in mind and discerning in life receiving love or joy a... Christians wanting to defend the honor of their opponents beings gather before,. 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