Courage: The Impossible Dream? (Open Forum) - Gospel in Life

Courage: The Impossible Dream? (Open Forum)

Tim Keller |  May 18, 2003

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  • Anxiety
  • Atonement
OF 30


Open Forums are specifically designed for skeptics or those wrestling with the claims of Christianity. Each Open Forum included a brief concert by guest artists followed by a talk and open mic Q&A with Timothy Keller. This audio recording includes the talk only.

Hebrews 12:1–3

We’re going to talk about courage: what it is, why we need it, and why it can seem so mysterious. Understanding courage can deeply change our lives.

1. The need

Courage is like a compass in a world full of risks and unknowns. Even though we try to make the world safer, danger is always present. People from ancient times to now have always valued courage as a vital quality. But in modern Western society, we’ve forgotten its importance. We need to remember that courage helps us find peace in a dangerous world.

2. The definition

Most people agree that courage has three parts: sticking to what you believe in, understanding the risks, and going ahead anyway. It’s about being committed to something bigger than just being safe and comfortable. Courage doesn’t mean you’re never scared. It means you do what you need to do, even when you are scared. This is why courage is so important in our lives.

3. The mystery

Here’s what’s puzzling about courage: not everyone has the same amount. According to John F. Kennedy’s “Profile in Courage,” courage isn’t about never being afraid. It’s about having something inside you that helps you face your fears. This inner strength might be connected to our beliefs and spirituality. It’s about more than just what we can see or measure.

4. How to solve the mystery

People try to overcome fear in many ways, like being optimistic, staying calm, or talking to themselves. But real courage isn’t just about thinking positively. Looking at old philosophies and modern therapies, as well as how courage is portrayed in Albert Camus’ “The Plague,” shows us the importance of facing life’s difficulties. Christianity also gives us ways to be courageous, especially through the example of Jesus Christ and the joy found in his sacrifice.



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