Tim Keller on The Reason for God

Question: What inspired you to write “The Reason for God”?

Keller:    The fundamental argument of “The Reason for God” is that it makes more sense of life to believe in God than not to believe in God.  [There’s] a lot of things out there that we see, and if there is a God, I believe that makes more sense of the things we see than if you say there is no God.  So, it’s actually an argument for what I believe.  And it came out of the fact that I moved to New York City 20 years ago, I was surrounded by people who didn’t believe in God or Christianity and they said, “Why should I believe it?” and I just had a dialog with them and it’s really a book that simply summarizes all those conversations.  The second book, “The Prodigal God” is the essence of the model of ministry we have at Redeemer which sees both moralism and you might say relativism as being antithetical to the gospel and that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is “I’m saved by sheer grace and therefore I want to live in a way that pleases God, but I’m doing it out of a sense of gratitude for God’s grace, not as a way of putting God in a position where he has to bless me.”  So, we put it like this in “The Prodigal God.”  Religion is, I obey therefore God accepts me, and the gospel is I’m accepted through what Jesus Christ has done on the cross, therefore I obey.  So, in religion, I’m obeying out of fear that God is going to reject me and in order to feel good about myself, whereas in the gospel, I’m obeying out of gratitude and joy, not to get things from God, but just to get God delight in him and nearness to him and it brings a humility because it’s all an act of grace, it’s all a function of grace.  And so, in “The Prodigal God,” we’re bringing that fundamental model to people as to what it means to be a Christian and why it makes us different in the city.

The Pastor summarizes his two books.

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Apparently even NASA is wrong about which planet is closest to Earth

Three scientists publish a paper proving that Mercury, not Venus, is the closest planet to Earth.

Strange Maps
  • Earth is the third planet from the Sun, so our closest neighbor must be planet two or four, right?
  • Wrong! Neither Venus nor Mars is the right answer.
  • Three scientists ran the numbers. In this YouTube video, one of them explains why our nearest neighbor is... Mercury!
Keep reading Show less

This is the best (and simplest) world map of religions

Both panoramic and detailed, this infographic manages to show both the size and distribution of world religions.

(c) CLO / Carrie Osgood
Strange Maps
  • At a glance, this map shows both the size and distribution of world religions.
  • See how religions mix at both national and regional level.
  • There's one country in the Americas without a Christian majority – which?
Keep reading Show less