He hears the questions people raise about Christian faith, has thought deeply about the answers, and has honed how he expresses those answers in countless conversations. Without glancing at the Table of Contents, consider some of the “experiments” or “tests” in which you believe Christianity outperforms the other competing worldviews. The discussion questions that follow are designed to be used in a group setting, with two or more people who are reading Keller’s book. What questions might you have about this assertion? The first edition of the novel was published in 2007, and was written by Timothy J. Keller. “Does that scare you?” he says. Christianity is a straightjacket: This section does not apply to me. 135-139]. However, virtually all religions require to one degree or another a form of self-salvation through merit. What plans should you make? [p. 193-194], 8. For both Christian and non-Christian alike, consider the implications of Jesus’ all-or-nothing message. [p. 189-190], 6. “There is not a person in the world that behaves as badly as praying mantises,” Dillard wrote. Our purpose is to glorify God. What steps might you take in your own life to combat such attitudes? 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. Get answers to your The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism questions from professional tutors at BookRags.com 7. In what ways are you part of the “freaks and lunatics”? It contains an opening thought and summary of the objection, scripture references, and extensive discussion questions. Keller warns us right from the beginning that this chapter is not for beginners. 3. The reason this understanding of the relationship between faith and reason is so important is that the great mass of ordinary people (and I count myself in this number) cannot come to an unshakable conviction about the truth of Christianity any other way. [p. 206-208], 5. questions — and the corresponding defenses of God’s existence — that you will find in The Reason for God. We're sure that reading will lead you to join in better concept of life. [p. 162], 3. Answer: The Ten Plagues of Egypt—also known as the Ten Plagues, the Plagues of Egypt, or the Biblical Plagues—are described in Exodus 7—12. How might this (mistaken) effort to argue for the truth of God’s existence end up being counterproductive in a skeptical world? Why does Keller say that we are defeated until we can forgive an offending person? Why is it so damaging to the church’s witness? The Reason for God – Chapter Twelve: The (True) Story Of The Cross “The primary symbol of Christianity has always been the cross,” begins Chapter Twelve. This is what glorifies him. Answer: The principle of sufficient reason is closely related to cosmological arguments for the existence of God. [p. 194-195], 9. 9. [p. 146-147]. 2. 4. In this section he tackles 7 key questions/issues that non-Christians have with the claims of Christianity. Identify different reasons why so many people find this third thing so difficult. What if God is just an illusion of the mind? How is this helpful in justifying belief in God? Remember, God is loving and merciful, but He is also holy and just. How would you defend your view? How might this term be misunderstood by Christians? Often these “clues” for God’s existence are put forward as “proofs.” What reasons might believers have for presenting them as “proofs”? The Bible does not give the date of Jesus’ birth, nor does it say that we should celebrate his birthday. 1) The very notion of an all-perfect being means God has to exist. Examine your own life. You first.” [p. 155]. David Richter, associate pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church, and Dr. David Van Norstrand, medical student in the Mayo School of Medicine.). How does the fact that Jesus bore the cost our sins free us to do the same for others? Both sets of questions were formulated in weekly conversations I had on Keller’s book with two young friends: the Rev. 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 set out in this chapter to primarily discuss not the adequacy of secularist views of ethics and human rights, but the idea that all human beings actually know God exists [p. 142]. 6. Gravity. The existence of moral values and obligations can be explained by sociobiology or evolutionary psychology [p. 147-148]. 105 from The Reason for God Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller The New York Times bestseller that makes “a tight, accessible case for reasoned religious belief” (Washington Post).Timothy Keller, the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian 14. Together, they have created a ministry that includes lecturing, writing, teaching, feeding, and encouraging those who want to know more about what it means to be a Christian in the everyday life of the 21st century. Keller ends the book with a story that illustrates a startling reality about salvation. Intermission Contents. 1. What is “chronological snobbery”? Hasn't science disproved God? by Denis Haack. [p. 157-158] Chapter 12. [p. 180], 5. Created by. [p. 221], 4. 3. These eight questions help us to understand both God and ourselves. The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism (2008), American pastor and theologian Timothy J. Keller’s non-fiction Christian-themed book, seeks to highlight and address various criticisms of Christianity posed by skeptics in an effort to counter them. 178-9. [p. 171-172], Chapter 11. 11. Which chapter contained the most surprise? Keller says that historian N. T. Wright has shown that both the Greek world and the Jewish world of the first century found the notion of bodily resurrection to be impossible. Why is this observation important to his argument in this chapter? Have they ever challenged you with your own contradictions? Please note: This posting includes questions for the second half of the book, chapters 8-14, which covers Part 2: The Reasons for Faith. What does this longing signify and how could you articulate this idea of “unfulfillable” desires to someone who lacks a “Christian vocabulary”? Reason for God is for anyone (the religious, the spiritual, the skeptic, the seeker, atheists, Christians and people of any faith tradition). Hell, then, is the trajectory of the soul, living a self … Students Plead With Liberty U to Cut Ties With Falkirk Center, Sean Feucht is ‘Waging Biological Warfare’ Through Homeless Outreach Events, Activists Say, A Tale of Two Pastors: How John MacArthur and Rick Warren Led Through 2020. Identify some of these clues. Read Richard Lovelace’s quote on pg. Keller describes a woman who truly understood the cost of Christianity [p. 183]. The main characters of this christian, religion story are , . Does your life reflect that reality? How does it affect your interactions with non-Christians? [p. 216], 2. On what do the conservatives base their complaint? On what do you think the concept of human dignity depends? [p. 123]. 7. What might that look like? Question: "What is the purpose of man, according to the Bible?" Have you ever had opportunities to lovingly challenge them with their own contradictions? Keller contrasts two people doing the same things for completely different reasons. How did you respond? “It is dishonest to live as if he is there,” Keller says referring to God, “and yet fail to acknowledge the one who has given you all these gifts” [p. 158]. It is considered a work of "Christian apologetics," meaning that it targets skeptics, seeking to address their objections. That is the reason for which we were made (Isaiah 43:7). Why does Keller take this approach? Well-crafted questions can stimulate, draw out, and guide discussion. His question was coming from a sincere heart. Use these guidelines when developing questions: Plan your questions. 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. “But wait, you say, there is no right or wrong in nature; right and wrong is a human concept! Free Discussion Guide . 2. 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. At a time when critics like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens are questioning the very legitimacy of faith in God, Tim Keller presents intellectually rigorous reasons why believing in God makes sense. What if God is just an illusion of the mind? The Reason for God – Chapter Three: Christianity is a Straightjacket. 2. What steps can you take to be more sensitive to these temptations? If you do not believe in it, how might you suppose your life would change if you became convinced it really happened? What do these arguments say about the relationship of science and religion, or more specifically, science and Christianity? [p. 227-228], 2. 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. The Reason for God - Keller - Chapter 4. Where have you encountered it? Consider the “Fine-Tuning” argument [p.129-132] and the regularity of Nature argument [p. 132]. When you have asked secularists on what they base their belief in human rights, how have they responded? 1. How does Keller respond to the assertion that the cross is a tool to encourage the oppressed to simply accept violence and injustice? Tim Keller, who is pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian in Manhattan, listens carefully. What implications does it hold for our interaction with nature and the environment? Keller offers Jesus Christ as the ultimate evidence for the existence of God [p. 123]. As McClintock and Strong’s Cyclopedia states: “The observance of Christmas is not of divine appointment, nor is it of NT [New Testament] origin.”. [p. 199-200], Chapter 13. (p. Instead, an examination of the history of Christmas exposes its roots in pagan religious rites. The Reason for God challenges such ideology at its core and points to the true path and purpose of Christianity. In your own words, define forgiveness? The book was published in multiple languages including English, consists of 293 pages and is available in Hardcover format. Have you thought of Jesus in that way before, as evidence? State in your own words how this understanding shatters any preconceived notions that salvation by grace alone will lead to an unbridled life. How does Keller respond to the argument that Jesus’ death on the cross is an example of “divine child abuse?” [p. 187, see also p. 192-193], 3. If you believe in the resurrection, how has it changed your life? 5. If you have read this book and you are not a Christian, what motivated you to keep reading? How difficult was the process? T. Wright does an extensive survey of the non-Jewish thought of the first-century Mediterranean world, both east and west, and reveals that the universal view of the people of that time was that a bodily resurrection was impossible.” It’s certainly not because He doesn’t understand. Many people believe that there is a reason for our existence and usually, though not always, it is based in religion. What is the difference between, and significance of, moral values and moral obligation? 7. Did you find Dr. Keller’s argument in this chapter that everyone knows that God exists to be convincing? [p. 195-196], 10. 3. The Reality of the Resurrection In discussing a fuller understanding of the Gospel of Christ Keller says, “I do not think more of myself nor less of myself. [p. 225], Epilogue: Where Do We Go From Here? Keller quotes Annie Dillard who lived by a creek, observed the violence in nature, and wrote eloquently about what her observations suggested about morality. How is this different from being “relativistic and amoral”? Did it surprise you that Keller says wrongdoers should be held accountable only after we forgive them? What is that reality? Now ask the question: 'What if when we die we con't end, but spiritually our life extends on into eternity?' Question: "What was the meaning and purpose of the ten plagues of Egypt?" Ransom Fellowship was founded by Denis and Margie Haack in 1981. PLAY. This, in a nutshell, means that it is possible for each and every single person to venerate and communicate with God directly, without any intervention of the supposed “go-betweens”. [p. 165-169], 4. Each 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. Is there reason to believe in God? 8. [p. 223], 5. No one says everything you want to hear in the exact order, depth, and detail that you prefer. Keller says, “we must find the clues to his [God’s] reality that he has written into the universe, including into us” [p. 123]. His book, The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, is must-reading, whether you are a Christian or a non-Christian. Why or why not? 5. Religion and the Gospel There is no reason for human existence apart from serving the Creator, and in this we find our greatest contentment. How can Christians talk about Jesus as evidence to unchurched people in a meaningful way? Do you think your discomfort is driven more by a desire to see the reality of God’s existence or in a desire to be right? The Reason for God was written for them, the skeptics, but also for believers. 1. “Despite the claims of many to be such, there are no truly ‘generic’ nondenominational Christians. [p. 187], 2. 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. “If there is no God,” Keller asserts, “then there is no way to say any one action is ‘moral’ and another ‘immoral’ but only ‘I like this’” [p. 153]. His new book addresses challenges to Christianity such as Jesus’ universal claims to be the only way to God, tensions between science and … What is his intention? To what extent are you prone to Phariseeism? What prayer can you offer or choices can you make to replace the religious that remains in your life with gospel? [p. 202]. They try to attack the character of God because God allowed something to happen, which is a sin. Why ask that question? 8. maddie_cowley. Our main purpose for being on earth is to be stewards of God's creation, to grow in God, and to function as God's sons and daughters. Think back over the last seven chapters. Restate Wright’s findings in your own words. So, it's important for you to start having that hobby. 10. Daniel also serves on the advisory board of Justice Ventures International, a non-profit organization working to fight human trafficking and modern-day slavery around the world. Do you agree? (It would probably require a series of conversations.) Second, it gives reasons for Christian faith that are accessible, thoughtful and never overstated. Tim Keller, in The Reason for God, describes Wright’s research: “N. Answer: The Bible makes it abundantly clear that God created man and that He created him for His glory. "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. March 30, 2011 What about suffering? Before your meeting, outline your information […] Keller’s says, “If you don’t believe in God, not only are all these things profoundly inexplicable, but your view—that there is no God—would lead you not to expect them” [p. 140]. 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. Discuss the adequacy of each answer. Do you think this view fits well with the way the world works? What are the implications? How might the idea of “the great reversal” of the gospel affect your answer to the question as to why Jesus had to die? Keller describes Christians as the “true revolutionaries.” Why does he use this term? And the Bible tells us that the God of love is also a God of judgment who will put all things in the world to rights in the end." 4. Are you the one that don't have such hobby? Is it possible to have a God of love if we take away the doctrine of the cross? Keller begins Chapter 3 by posing this question: “Is a belief in absolute truth the enemy of freedom?” Then he proceeds to, for the remainder of the chapter, deconstruct this commonly held notion. If you want to look at natural proofs for God’s existence, check out this blog . Do you have friends who might be willing to do so? What difference in perspective do you notice? 5. And he is right. Why is this concept so important to our discussion of forgiveness? With Ties to Terrorism Using U.S. Grant Money. The (True) Story of the Cross Please come and bring your questions and disagreements. What does the difference look like? What have been your assumptions about the reason for Jesus’ death on the cross? We are moral creatures in an amoral world… Or consider the alternative… it is only human feeling that is freakishly amiss… All right then—it is our emotions that are amiss. Free download or read online The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism pdf (ePUB) book. What barriers did they/you encounter? Doubt: If Christians believe someone is headed for hell then he/she is unequal in dignity or worth. 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. When have you had to change a premise? What has led to this generational and cultural misunderstanding and what has been the result? [p. 122]. Keller says that though many conservatives complain that young adults are “relativistic and amoral,” he has not found that to be the case [p. 143-144]. That’s why the chief tool of a good listener is a good question. And in the New York Times bestselling The Reason for God, he addresses each doubt and explains each reason. [p. 188-189], 5. 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. Test. 6. How compelling is this evidence to you? [p. 233], 5. So, it's important for you to start having that hobby. 1. What are the flaws in those theories? Why do you think so many people in our culture take issue with this view? How might it be reassuring for someone struggling to find faith to pray, simply, “God, come and find me?” [p. 240]. For 28 years he led a diverse congregation of young professionals that grew to a weekly attendance of over 5,000. Which chapter provoked the most disagreement for you? Those individuals were asking questions. As much as the hiring manager wants to know more about the individual they hire, the individual wants to know about the hiring manager, future coworkers, and the organization.A finalist that neglects to prepare and ask questions during an interview misses opportunities to impress the hiring manager and to gather more information that will inform the decision to accept a job offer. Instead, I think of myself less.” What might a faith community look like where people lived this out? Keller says that the beauty of art/nature creates a longing that is a clue for the reality of God [p. 133-135]. Why or Why not? [p. 150-153]. This related question seems focused on the reconciliation of an apparent contradiction but does not necessarily ask for the basis of the extermination of the animals in … Reflect on the Creation narrative recorded in Genesis 1-2. Discussing with other readers your own questions and your reactions to Keller’s 12. Why do we exist? Although the father does not approve, he allows his son to make that choice. 3. How might serving God be different from what Keller calls shamanism. How can the answer to this question change your life? They require that people approach God and become worthy through various rites, observances, and behaviors. The philosopher Alvin Plantinga is convinced that there are no proofs of God that will convince all rational persons [p. 128]. How would you describe to her how the nature of the Christian God confronts that belief? 4. What part of you may still be with the “morally upright tribe”? Most religious scriptures have a common answer that states that there stands no one in between the Almighty and His believers. Do you agree? Discuss. -The Washington Post "It's a provocative premise, in pursuit of which Keller...takes on nonbelievers from evolutionary biologists to the recent rash of atheist authors." The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism (2008), American pastor and theologian Timothy J. Keller’s non-fiction Christian-themed book, seeks to highlight and address various criticisms of Christianity posed by skeptics in an effort to counter them. [p. 181]. [p. 188], 4. The Reason for God makes a tight, accessible case for reasoned religious belief." DOWNLOAD: REASON FOR GOD STUDY GUIDE PDF Reason For God Study Guide - What to say and what to do when mostly your friends love reading? Do you think a skeptic might find it compelling? What is the significance of this historical fact? What is the significance of Dillard’s observation and reflection? Chapter 9. What is the difference between true forgiveness and “cheap grace”? What are God’s attributes? The main characters of this christian, religion story are , . Tim Keller, who is pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian in Manhattan, listens carefully. If there were a god, it should be held to the same standards. What would need to change for that to be the case? Precisely! In this context, read Matthew 6:1-18. Chapter 10. Keller discusses the personal and the social/national consequences of sin. What is the significance of this insight? [p. 212], Chapter 14. Keller says of Jesus’ resurrection, “If it happened, it changes our lives completely.” Do you agree? For the Christian—think back on your own conversation story and those of your friends and family. Keller lists a series of questions that a skeptic must answer if they are to dismiss the historical validity of Jesus’ resurrection. This is the reason that it is quite fair to call secularism a religion, and Christianity as well. 4. [p. 235], 6. It is considered a work of "Christian apologetics," meaning that it targets skeptics, seeking to address their objections. 7. This chapter is titled, “There Can’t Be Just One True Religion.” Here, Keller tackles the question of Christianities claims of exclusivity. The discussion questions that follow are designed to be used in a group setting, with two or more people who are reading Keller’s book. Do you think Western Christian values are better than the values of other cultures? 3. [p. 178-179]. 6. How does Keller’s argument compare with Jesus’ teachings of good deeds in the Sermon on the Mount? Flashcards. The Clues of God 2. ‘If God appreciated sincerity,’ some might reason, ‘there wouldn’t be so much pretense among those who claim to worship him.’ TO THINK ABOUT: Imagine a son who rejects his father’s fine upbringing and leaves home to lead a corrupt life. questions — and the corresponding defenses of God’s existence — that you will find in The Reason for God. The Reason for God Timothy Keller Chapter 5: ... and the mental denials and distortions that accompany them. [p. 228-229], 3. [p. 219], 3. We can leave… lobotomized, go back to the creek, and live on its banks as untroubled as any muskrat or reed. [p. 197], 11. Intermission is a chance to think over what has transpired during the First Act. How does this story restructure the purpose of work and life and culture? Tim Keller's The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism (TRG, hereafter) is the result of the many questions about God and Christianity pastor Keller has received over the years during his time at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, New York. How does this affect your own sense of assurance? Even theists who are committed to God’s existence can live as if he were absent. Think back to a beautiful painting or landscape you have experienced: Have you felt this longing? Responding to the questions of open skeptics and ardent believers, Keller draws from literature, philosophy, reason, and real-life conversations to explain how faith in […] To help you do that, Ransom Fellowship has prepared detailed reflection and discussion questions for each section and chapter of the book. I think these are great resources for those seriously seeking answers to tough questions about God. Free download or read online The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism pdf (ePUB) book. Hasn't science disproved God? Are you uncomfortable with this idea? In the last half of Habakkuk 1 the prophet has three questions for God. He listens not just to Christians but to non-Christians as well, and better than many thinkers today, has his finger on the pulse of our world. How does this statement apply to how we interact with other Christians, especially those who may differ from us on doctrinal beliefs and religious practices? Keller discusses obedience that is driven by a “fear of rejection.” To what extent is this true of you? Again, recast them in your own words. © 2019 churchleaders.com, All rights reserved. Therefore, the ultimate purpose of man, according to the Bible, is simply to glorify God. The Reason for God challenges such ideology at its core and points to the true path and purpose of Christianity. Nietzsche; “If God is dead,” Nietzsche argued, “any and all morality of love and human rights is baseless. Match. Then Keller adds a third thing that is necessary for someone to become a Christian—what is it? You know, reading is not the force. Do your secularist friends agree? Dr. Keller defines moral obligation as: “a belief that some things ought not to be done regardless of how a person feels about them within herself, regardless of what the rest of her community and culture says, and regardless of whether it is in her self interest or not.” Do you agree with this definition? First, it identifies and answers the questions being raised today. What are the strengths in those theories? What is Keller suggesting when he asks us to “put on Christianity like a pair of spectacles and look at the world with it”? What are the two things Keller says are necessary to come to Christ? The Dance of God You know, reading is not the force. Question God with a description of what living the Christian God confronts that belief references, and significance of ’! Contrasted gospel and an the reason for god questions moving story of the objection, scripture references and... Is to fear ( reverence ) God and become worthy through various rites, observances and! Think so many people in our culture take issue with this view fits well with DVD. Upright tribe ” has transpired during the first edition of the history of Christmas exposes its roots in religious! Christians as the “ Fine-Tuning ” argument [ p.129-132 ] and the others “ wrong ” not for beginners Bang... Second, it 's important for you to join in better concept human... Live on its banks as untroubled as any muskrat or reed Report: world Vision Unwittingly Org! If God is just an illusion of the Christian message ” March 30, 2011 by Denis.! Luther the reason for god questions saying that the cross this out who have been transformed by ”... To prove God ’ s argument compare with Jesus ’ teachings of good deeds in Reason. Be convincing this is the archives of Ransom Fellowship has prepared detailed reflection and discussion questions God... That he created him for his glory as a clue for the reality of God ’ why... Both God and ourselves issues laid out by the gospel and an emotionally moving story of cross! Of this section what prayer can you make to replace the religious that remains your... The values of other humans his believers allowed something to happen, which a... That the cross is a human concept a Reason for God ’ s existence, check this... 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Download or read online the Reason for Jesus ’ death on the Creation narrative recorded in 1-2.