by Timothy J. Keller
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The Meaning of Christmas
Christmas shows why Christianity is unique. In all other religions, a prophet arrives and teaches how we can find eternal life. In Christianity, God himself comes to us and gives himself as the way to eternal life. Christmas shows that salvation is by grace, that we can have true intimacy with God, that love really matters, and that there exists an unceasing river of joy beneath all the sorrows of this world. This sermon was preached by Rev. Timothy Keller at Redeemer Presbyterian Church on December 18, 2011. Series "Christmas 2011". Scripture: 1 John 1:1-4; Exodus 33:18-20; John 1; John 5; John 17
Noah and The Reasons of Faith; Faith as Understanding
People often speak as if faith and reason are implacable enemies. In this sermon,Tim Keller argues the contrary - that the more we think,the deeper our faith grows. He contrasts the explanatory power of Christianity and atheism,and argues that it is only through Christianity that we can truly make sense of the world we experience. Scripture: Hebrews 11:1-7; 2 Corinthians 5:7; Matthew 6:25-34; Matthew 8:26; Mark 1:11
Losing My Religion - Why Christians Should Drop Their Religion: An Open Forum
The modern critique of religion comes from Freud, Marx, and Nietzsche. Freud claimed that religion is psychological self-justification, that we created God to assuage our guilt and fear. Marx claimed that religion is a sociological self-justification, that we created God to exclude those unlike us. Nietzsche said that religion is nothing but a power trip, an attempt to use God to accrue power over others. However, Jesus himself critiqued religion and turned it on its head.
The Song of Creation
Genesis tells the why of creation,not the how. It's a poem,a song about a historical event. The Christian doctrine of creation is that this world is good and the purpose of nature is to be a community. We can take joy in cultivating and enjoying the physical world. Scripture: Genesis 1:1-8, 31; Exodus 14,15; Judges 4,5; Revelation 21:2; Isaiah 40:14; John 1:1-3; Psalm 19:1-4
The Man Who Would Not Be Believed
Jesus is offensive. He is offensive to every culture in every part of the world and in every period of time. The Gospel message that all our accomplishments are worthless and that we must rely on Jesus alone for salvation offends us to the core. In the Gospels,no one ever "liked" Jesus or responded to Him moderately. They either tried to kill Jesus or they worshipped Him and gave up everything to follow Him. Scripture: Mark 6:1-13; Luke 2:29-35; John 14:6; Matthew 15:12; 2 Kings 5; Numbers 22:28-30
Does Religion Lead to Peace on Earth?: An Open Forum (YouTube)
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?
Exclusivity: How can there be just one true religion?
Religion poses a danger of creating division or intolerance between groups of people. However,the gospel lead us to three things: humble service,reconciling behavior that is neither patronizing nor self-righteous,and a love toward people who hold different beliefs than we do. Scripture: 1 John 4:1-10
Suffering: If God is good, why is there so much evil in the world?
In the midst of evil and suffering,abandoning your faith will neither help you handle suffering nor understand God. By looking back to Jesus' death on the cross and looking ahead to the hope of a new heavens and new earth,we can understand God's overwhelming love for us and the promise that victory will swallow up evil and death. Scripture: 1 Peter 1:3-12
Absolutism: Don't we all have to find truth for ourselves?
In today's society,absolute truth is thought of to be the enemy of freedom. But truth is more important than you think,freedom is a lot more complex than you think,and Jesus is a lot more liberating than you think. Surrendering to God's absolute truth gives you a deeper,richer freedom in every area,without oppression. Scripture: Galatians 2:4-16
Injustice: Hasn't Christianity been an instrument for oppression?
Historically,the gospel has been particularly empowering and compelling to the poor and the oppressed. Seeing what Jesus did for us,no matter what our socioeconomic position,frees us from being controlled by what is on the surface and teaches us to love and identify with the poor. Scripture: James 2:1-17
Hell: Isn't the God of Christianity an angry Judge?
The Christian understanding of hell gives us insight into the danger of our own hearts. It also gives us resources to live in peace in the world,and to know the love of God who suffered hell for us. Scripture: Luke 16:19-31
Literalism: Isn't the Bible historically unreliable and regressive?
Some people claim that they can't trust in the Bible because it is historically unreliable and culturally regressive. But do we have cultural blinders on? Dr. Keller discusses solid reasons that we can trust the Bible historically, culturally, and personally. Scripture: Luke 1:1-4; 24:13-32
The Source of Faith
Come and See
All of us need to come and see Jesus. For skeptics and seekers "come and see" means to come,think,and examine the evidence. For Christians "come and see" means to come and be a disciple of Jesus. We often think we are following Jesus,but we are really just following our own hearts. We must always strive to see Jesus as He is,not as we would have Him be. Finally,"come and see" means processing everything with friends. It means being part of a church where people encourage one another to "come and see" Jesus. Source: John 1:35-51; Judges 6:12; Genesis 28:10-19; Psalm 15
Converted by The Spirit
Keller addresses three important principles about Christian conversion. First,we are not capable of finding God unless we experience spiritual conversion initiated by God. Second,Christian conversion is not a call to morality and religion; it is a challenge to morality and religion. Third,conversion happens by the transformation of the Holy Spirit. Scripture: Acts 10:27-47
The God Who Is
How do we know that God exists? Do we deduce God's existence from a series of rational arguments or do we intuitively know that God is real? Is believing in God something that is done with the mind alone or does it involve the whole person? In this sermon,Tim Keller attempts to answer these questions by studying what the book of Romans tells us about our knowledge of God and by studying the journeys of several prominent intellectual atheists as they came to the Christian faith. Scripture: Romans 1:16-25; Job 42:5-6; Psalm 19:1
Pluralism as a Religious Philosophy
Monergism Interview with Dr. Tim Keller
Tim Keller Speaks at Google (YouTube)
The Gnostics and Jesus
Three Rules for Polemics
Tim Keller Reasons with America
Making Sense of Scripture’s “Inconsistency”
Belief in an Age of Skepticism? (YouTube)
Exclusive Religion in a Pluralistic Society: Tensions and How Do We Move Forward? (vimeo)
The Reason for God: Belief in an age of Skepticism
Biblical Authority in an Age of Uncertainty (Video)