great interview with Tim Keller

A fantastic article in First Things with Pastor Tim Keller regarding his book ‘A Reason for God’


One long quote from the article:
I don’t mention it in [The Reason for God], but I think there are always doubts that, if you come to grips with them—I think there’s doubts that you have, that you always have, that you ought to be more forthright and address them, for two reasons. One is, then you’re a better apologist. Because now people are coming shootin’ stuff at you in a way they wouldn’t when I was growing up.

But the other is, it’s actually good for your faith to actually work it out. Here’s my illustration. I don’t know what your readers will think. When I was recovering from thyroid cancer, from the surgery, I actually had time on my hands, something I never have had in years and probably never will again unless I have something else like that. And so I read every word of N.T. Wright’s The Resurrection of the Son of God—all eight hundred pages, even the indices (laughs), because I didn’t have anything else to do. And it was kind of startling to me, because we do live in a less rational sort of anti-foundationalist approach, and he was just taking a nice old-fashioned approach: There’s no historically viable alternative explanation for the birth of the Christian Church than the fact that the early Christians thought they saw Jesus Christ and touched him and that he was raised from the dead. As I was reading it, I realized I was coming to greater certainty, and that when I closed the book, I said, at a time when it was very important to me to feel this way, I said, “He really really really did rise from the dead.” And I said, “Well, didn’t I believe that before?” Of course I believed it before—I defended it, and I think before I certainly would have died for that belief. But actually, there were still doubts in there, and the doubts were taken down 50 percent or something. I didn’t even know they were there. And it was a wonderful experience It was both an intellectual and emotional experience: You’re facing death, you’re not sure you’re going to get over the cancer. And the rigorous intellectual process of going through all the alternative explanations for how the Christian Church started, except the resurrection—none of them are even tenable. It was quite an experience.

So in a way I was working on a doubt and it was a wonderful experience and I took it down. Maybe there is a deeper level of doubt that I don’t even know is there yet. So it’s for you and your ability to be a good apologist.


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