Great Expectations

My name is Mark Smith. I'm a guy who loves Jesus, His Word, and His Church. I am filled with Great Expectations for what the future will ultimately bring - Matthew 24:14.

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Location: Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

My favourite verse is Psalm 16:11, my other favourite verse is Acts 20:24, my other favourite verse is Habakkuk 3:17-19, and my other favourite verse is Matthew 24:14.

Friday, May 23, 2008

there can't be just one true religion

I'm really enjoying re-reading The Reason For God by Timothy Keller. I think I will go through it more slowly this time - partly because I'm reading it with a highlighter in hand and partly because I've started reading Safely Home at the same time. But the book is even better the second time and, of course, without going over it again I will probably forget almost all of it anyways.

A highlight from the Introduction was:

My thesis is that if you come to recognize the beliefs on which your doubts about Christianity are based, and if you seek as much proof for those beliefs as you seek from Christians for theirs - you will discover that your doubts are not as solid as they first appeared.

And from the first chapter called There Can't Be Just One True Religion:

If you infer from the social conditionedness of all belief that "no belief can be held as universally true for everyone," that itself is a comprehensive claim about everyone that is the product of social conditions - so it cannot be true on its own terms.

Skeptics believe that
any exclusive claims to a superior knowledge of a spiritual reality cannot be true. But this objection is itself a religious belief. It assumes God is unknowable, or that God is loving but not wrathful, or that God is an impersonal force rather than a person who speaks in Scripture. All of these are unprovable faith assumptions. In addition, their proponents believe they have a superior way to view things. They believe the world would be a better place if everyone dropped the traditional religions' views of God and truth and adopted theirs. Therefore, their view is also an "exclusive" claim about the nature of spiritual reality. If all such views are to be discouraged, this one should be as well. If it is not narrow to hold this view, then there is nothing inherently narrow about holding to traditional religious beliefs.

I realized in typing out these quotes it probably makes the book seem like a hard book to read and understand. But, in fact, it is not. It's just hard to take out one or two quotes and have them make total sense. You all should read the book for yourself!!


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