Tim Keller | December 7, 2005
At Christmas time, we sing about peace on earth, but does religion actually lead us there? It seems that religion more regularly leads to division and marginalization. What if anything, does the Christian message offer that can turn our skepticism into a living, breathing movement toward peace on earth?
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.
1. The belief that religion will eventually fade away
There’s a theory that as our world gets more scientific and modern, religion will slowly disappear. But this hasn’t been the case. Even with all our technology, religion, especially Christianity, is growing globally. So, religion isn’t going anywhere, even though it can sometimes cause disagreements.
2. Trying to ban or control religion
History shows us that when people try to control or get rid of religion, like in Soviet Russia or Communist China, things get worse, not better. Alister McGrath’s book talks about how the most violent acts in the 20th century were done by people who blamed religion for violence. Instead of getting rid of religion, these attempts often just change the way people practice their faith, like the growth of a unique form of Christianity in China.
3. The idea that religion should be private
Some people think that if we keep our religious beliefs private, we can avoid disagreements and focus on solving problems. But this isn’t fair or practical. It means people would have to ignore their faith-based values, which are a big part of who they are. This shows that neither secularism nor organized religion have all the answers.
4. A modest proposal
Christianity has unique insights into human nature, pointing out our tendencies to oppress and divide. It teaches that we can’t earn our way to heaven, but instead we need to admit our faults and accept Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for our sins. This message of grace encourages unity, discourages feelings of superiority, and motivates us to work for peace, countering the negative aspects often linked with religion.
February Book Offer
In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller shows us how a proper understanding of the Bible reveals the truth about societal ideals and our own hearts — and that there is only one God who can wholly satisfy our cravings and fulfill our hopes.
February Book Offer