An unoriginal title for an excellent book by Tim Keller, a Pastor in New York. I started reading this book approximately this time last week after I was kindly loaned a copy by the Christian Union’s very own librarian Owen Batstone (is that a bat stone or a bats tone?).
The front cover declares ‘belief in an age of scepticism.’ Unfortunately we do live in an age of scepticism, but I am sure it has been like this for generations and generations, this is not a recent event. I think we can see the New Testament as a time of extreme scepticism, or maybe ignorance. We can see in Acts 17 where Greek philosophers put their trust in human wisdom rather than the creator God, some choosing to mock what they had heard (though some did want to know more).
We just have to look at how the Pharisees reacted to Jesus’ teachings.
Jan Hus was burnt alive for believing in the Gospel, while Martin Luther could have gone the same way if not for the grace of God.
I guess we could say that we are living in a time where people cannot be bothered anymore. An age where the Bible has been thrown into the same fantasy category as Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings.
On to the book we shall go. I have not finished this book, and I look forward to reading another chapter later tonight, but it has really opened my eyes to some big issues. I have been reading J.I Packers ‘In my Place Condemned He Stood’ with a couple of guys and there is one instance where he talks about how the Gospel can be defended without being proclaimed. A tragic shame when we are always on the defensive, when we should be fighting for victory. I believe that Keller has written an excellent apologetics while at the same time declaring how great God is, how great the Gospel is and how great Jesus is. It is an encouraging book for Christians as it helps us to address some of the issues that people bring up in the argument against Christianity without losing the important application of knowing God more.
This brings me to a point made by my Pastor on Sunday evening. The Word of God is not there for us to learn impressive facts. It is there for us to know God better, to deepen our relationship with the creator and saviour. I am one who delighted in hearing that, knowing too well how my quiet times can become a quest for knowledge, searching for a better academic understanding of scripture, while I am in desperate need to know God more. Cold facts alone are of no use to me if I don’t use them to pursue a relationship with God.
I look forward to finishing the book and I am sure I will blog on it again.