Religion at 35,000 Feet

This is exactly what Tim Keller was talking about. He mentioned “defeaters.” We must address the defeaters. By the grace of God I hope we can tackle this contemporary question. This article is a great testimony to the importance of this issue.

Derek Thomas, a personal testimony:

Don’t quit before you get to this:

I saw it coming and did my best to avoid it. “Why can’t we all get along with each other,” she said. “After all, we all believe the same God in the end.” And thus she explained how they raised their daughter to find the truth out there for herself and to encourage whatever it was she embraced so long as it didn’t harm anyone else (which ruled out Islam). “Don’t you agree?” she asked.

What is a guy to say? As a Christian I believe in revealed ethical standards: some things are right and some things are wrong. These are so because God has revealed them to be so. And off I went, trying desperately to explain that there really is only one standard of what is true and what right. And only one way to fellowship with God. I cited John 14:6 and Jesus’s words about being the way, the truth and the life!

And as I spoke, it became clear to her that my view of God was narrow and confined and unaccommodating. And the shutters came down. In her mind, I began to think, I was little different from radical Islam – fundamentally intolerant of the views of others.

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3 thoughts on “Religion at 35,000 Feet”

  1. Matt,I’m not sure about the background of this post, but I suspect it has to do with the Desiring God conference. Will you explain Tim Keller and the “defeaters” who must be addressed. What is the contemporary question to be tackled?

  2. Having listened to Tim Keller this morning, yes, this is a good example of a defeater. Hal Miller, who led CBF, had a great way of looking at conversations like this. He made you ask yourself, what authority am I dealing with? And then the next step, how do I ask a question which challenges their authority? That’s essentially what Tim Keller was saying as well.For instance, in this conversation (20×20 hindsight, not that I would do any better) it might have been better to ask for more information rather than spout an answer. What reason does she have to make the claim that we should get along with everybody? That will reveal her authority. Then ask questions which show that her authority doesn’t have the answers. As a fundamentalist in these types of situations, we too quickly jumpt to the answer rather than asking questions.

  3. If I remember how Keller defined them they are shared beliefs within culture that are assumed by the average person that if true make the message of the gospel unintelligible. These defeater beliefs have to be at least addressed or any presentation of the gospels of grace will be met with glazed over eyes.

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