The next time someone dismisses you with the “Only science gives reliable truth” canard, ask if he wants you to take his statement as fact or simply as unsubstantiated opinion. If fact, ask what testable scientific evidence led him to his conclusion. As it turns out, this claim is not a fact of science. It is a philosophical assertion about science that itself cannot be proven by the scientific method and would therefore be unreliable, according to this approach.
– Koukl, Tactics
All I want to do is put a stone in someone’s shoe. I want to give him something worth thinking about, something he can’t ignore because it continues to poke at him in a good way.
– Koukl, Tactics
In his book, Making Sense of God, Timothy Keller has two excellent chapters on identity. He makes the point that when our identity is received from God we are relieved from finding it in others, in our work, or in our own shifting views. He says:
Your work is still part of your identity, as are your family, your nationality, and so on. But they are all relieved of the terrible burden of being the ultimate source of your self and value. They no longer can distort your life as they do when they are forced into that role. They are, as it were, demoted to being just good things. Work is no longer something you use desperately to feel good about yourself. It becomes just another good gift from God that you can use to serve others.
While listening to G. K. Chesterton’s book, The Man Who Knew Too Much, I came across this thought provoking statement:
“It was like daylight behind stage scenery.”
Sometimes one small question or observation can unsettle the comfortable feeling of my constructed reality.
Book: Koukl, Gregory. The Story of Reality: How the World Began, How It Ends, and Everything Important That Happens in Between. Zondervan, 2017.
(for a full review, click the title above)
Point: There is a Story of everything. It is a reasonable story and one for everyone, although many have chosen not to believe it. It is a story about God, man, Jesus, cross, and resurrection.
Path: Koukl takes the reader through the Big Story, taking time to address concerns, questions, critiques, and misrepresentations. It is a patient tour of the greatest Story of all time. He addresses each of the five key words he has delineated in order to summarize the story.
Favorite Quote: More to the point, what good would it do the disciples to steal Jesus’ remains, then lie about a resurrection? The basic rule with lying is this: Invent a story that benefits you, not one that gets you beaten, whipped, stoned, crucified upside down, or beheaded. My personal view is that any skeptic who is attracted to that explanation is simply not skeptical enough.
Stars: 4.5 out of 5
It would be worth another read and I would recommend it to someone who:
- Is thoughtfully considering the Christian story
- Is relatively new to their Christian faith
- Is interested in sharing the gospel story in a more thoughtful way
Other books along this theme would be:
Keller, Timothy. Making Sense of God: An Invitation to the Skeptical. Viking, 2016.
Lewis, C. S. Mere Christianity. New York: HarperCollins, 2001.
How do beliefs in individual freedom, human rights, and equality arise from or align with the idea that human beings came to be what they are through the survival of the fittest? They don’t, really. Russian philosopher Vladimir Solovyov sarcastically summarized the ethical reasoning of secular humanism like this: “Man descended from apes, therefore we must love one another.”
Timothy Keller, Making Sense of God
American philosopher C. Stephen Evans writes, “Science by its very nature is not fit to investigate whether there is more to reality than the natural world.”
Timothy Keller, Making Sense of God
“If everything has to have a scientific explanation and proof, then this ‘is to banish not only God from the world but also love, hate, meaning— . . . world that is self-evidently not the world we live in’.”
Timothy Keller quoting Paul Kalanithi in Making Sense of God, kindle loc 238)
The average classical author has zero manuscripts extant today produced within half a millennium of the composition of his writings. The New Testament has at least two hundred fifty manuscripts—in Greek alone—produced within five hundred years after the composition of the New Testament.
– Daniel B. Wallace
As soon as I entered the apartment, I went straight to the bookcase and retrieved my old Quran and my study Bible. I sat down on the couch and opened the Quran first. I flipped through the pages, looking for verses of comfort, at first carefully reading each page for the subject matter, then more quickly thumbing through the index, and then frantically flipping from page to page, hoping for something, anything, that would comfort me.
There was nothing there for me. It depicted a god of conditional concern, one who would not love me if I did not perform to my utmost in pleasing him, one who seemed to take joy in sending his enemies into the hellfire. It did not speak to the broken nature of man, let alone directly to the broken man in need of God’s love. It was a book of laws, written for the seventh century.
Looking for a living word, I put the Quran down and picked up the Bible…Within minutes, I found these words: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
(Qureshi, Nabeel; Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus. Kindle 4217)