Friday, August 01, 2008

what I meant to say was....

I've recently begun reading the book "The Reason for God" by Tim Keller. One of the things I appreciate most about Tim Keller is his ability to reason. I've often thought that, while emotion and passion are good things, they can hinder our ability to see truth, or reason in any way.

Throughout the book, Tim says things that give voice to my own ambiguous thoughts and feelings. He articulates what I have believed to be true but have been unable to explain. You can expect me, I think, to post a lot of quotes from him in the coming weeks. Here are a few of my favorites so far.

"Just after the climax of the trilogy The Lord of the Rings, Sam Gamgee discovers that his friend Gandalf was not dead (as he thought) but alive. He cries, 'I though you were dead! But then I thought I was dead myself. Is everything sad going to come untrue?' The answer of Christianity is - yes. Everything sad is going to come untrue and it will somehow be greater for having once been broken and lost."

"Any community that did not hold its members accountable for specific beliefs and practices would have no corporate identity and would not really be a community at all."
(This is part of his response to the complaint that Christianity is "exclusive". The point he makes is that all communities are - to some extent - exclusive, having rules or a set of beliefs that bring people together.)

"Biblical texts such as Isaiah 60 and Revelation 21-22 depict a renewed, perfect future world in which we retain our cultural differences ('every tongue, tribe, people, nation'). This means every human culture has (from God) distinct goods and strengths for the enrichment of the human race."

This one is actually C.S. Lewis, quoted in Tim Keller's book:
"But you cannot go on 'explaining away' for ever: you will find that you have explained explanation itself away. You cannot go on 'seeing through' things forever. The whole point of seeing through something is to see something through it. It is good that the window should be transparent, because the street or garden beyond it is opaque. How if you saw through the garden too?... a wholly transparent world is an invisible world. To 'see through' all things is the same as not to see."


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