Tim Keller on Growing Up With Faith

Question: Did you grow up in a religious house?

Keller:    I grew up in a Lutheran Church pretty much a mainline, not particularly conservative Lutheran Church.  In college, I had a lot of doubts about whether I was going to be a Christian at all like a lot of people and that my college years where 1968 to 1972.  I would say one of the main problems I have at that time was people that believed in justice and civil rights tended to be secular.  People who believe in Orthodox Christianity tend to think that Martin Luther King, Jr. was a communist.  I felt like the people who were secular didn’t have a very great basis for saying these things are right and wrong since after all if there’s no God then it’s just strong and the weak that’s evolution.  But I thought the Orthodox people seem to be very regressive and I struggled during colleges just whether I’d be a Christian or not.  I came out of it as a, you might say, an Evangelical Presbyterian minister which is all within about five years.

Question: Did you have an awakening?

Keller:    There was a small epiphany because I found a small group of Christians that I saw were trying to pull that together.  We try to bring Orthodox together with the concern for justice, problems they saw in the country at that time.  Later on, I began to realize that the Civil Rights Movement to the great degree from the Black Church had very strong Christian theological roots.  There’s a book by David Chappell called “A Stone of Hope” that really shows that black clergy had a doctrine of original sin that led them to do civil disobedience.  They did not expect that just education was going to be enough to get justice and that white liberals who tended to be secular had a tendency back in the ‘50s to say just slow down, don’t break the law, you know, things will evolve through education.  And a lot of black clerics including Martin Luther King, Jr. were affected by Reinhold Niebuhr, another Orthodox theologian and said no, no.  Sin is going to keep people from giving you your rights and you’re going to have to go get them.  So, later on, I came to realize that the Civil Rights Movement had a Christian, a heavy Christian base and I was wrong because all I saw were the white people who were in the Civil Rights Movement in the North.  I didn’t see the black people who were and a lot of them were [believe in] Christians.

The Pastor recalls how he first turned to faith.

Physicists find new state of matter that can supercharge technology

Scientists make an important discovery for the future of computing.

Pixabay
Surprising Science
  • Researchers find a new state of matter called "topological superconductivity".
  • The state can lead to important advancements in quantum computing.
  • Utilizing special particles that emerge during this state can lead to error-free data storage and blazing calculation speed.
Keep reading Show less

Physicist advances a radical theory of gravity

Erik Verlinde has been compared to Einstein for completely rethinking the nature of gravity.

Photo by Willeke Duijvekam
Surprising Science
  • The Dutch physicist Erik Verlinde's hypothesis describes gravity as an "emergent" force not fundamental.
  • The scientist thinks his ideas describe the universe better than existing models, without resorting to "dark matter".
  • While some question his previous papers, Verlinde is reworking his ideas as a full-fledged theory.
Keep reading Show less

How to heal trauma with meaning: A case study in emotional evolution

As tempting as it may be to run away from emotionally-difficult situations, it's important we confront them head-on.

Videos
  • Impossible-sounding things are possible in hospitals — however, there are times when we hit dead ends. In these moments, it's important to not run away, but to confront what's happening head-on.
  • For a lot of us, one of the ways to give meaning to terrible moments is to see what you can learn from them.
  • Sometimes certain information can "flood" us in ways that aren't helpful, and it's important to figure out what types of data you are able to take in — process — at certain times.
Keep reading Show less