I am a bit sick right now with a head cold so my thoughts might not be totally put together but this past few days, Ted and I have read Chapter 1: There can’t be just one religion.
Initially I was a little disappointed. Maybe I expected the chapter to read like a college term paper presenting all the reasons out there why one religion can’t have all the truth and why all religions probably contain part of the truth. I expected to hear an argument (granted Keller is a Christian pastor so he would be presenting the opposing side) about how religion is just for helping the weak get through a tough spot. Maybe I expected him to go into a detailed list of how all the major religions relate and differ to each other. I don’t know.
Keller touched more on how cultural and political leaders try to rid the world of religion or blame today’s violence on religious groups which in turn causes more violence. It pits us against one another. Which I think is a little ironic since we as Christians are suppose to love one another just as Jesus loved us. Yet we are human and as Christians can make mistakes just like everyone else. We are unable to get past our sinful human self all the time and are unable to show our true calling to love others as ourselves.
There were a few quotes that I liked from the chapter…
“We once needed religion to help us cope with a very frightening, incomprehensible world. But as we become more scientifically sophisticated and more able to understand and control our own environment, our need for religion would diminish, it was thought.”
This one made me think because really how many people think this is true. Even as a Christian… how many times do we only call on God when we are in trouble and are frightened?
The question we are suppose to answer this week is
Which of the axioms presented by Keller resonated most with you? Do you agree with it or disagree with it? Why?
What I think ties into another quote that I really liked out of the book.
“Religion is not just a temporary thing that helped us adapt to our environment. Rather it is a permanent and central aspect of the human condition.”
Keller stated this earlier in the chapter but later he talks about how politicians ask us to leave our religion behind, keep church and state separate. This is something I have really struggled with…where and how can you have a separate church and state when a person is involved in both. Can you really leave your beliefs, morals behind when you interact with others? Yet can we really impose our beliefs and morals on others who might disagree with our beliefs? As I said, I really struggle with it. People say if you vote your Christian morals then you vote Republican but I don’t really agree with that. I think Republicans have some things right but so do Democrats. I can not vote straight down party lines and I wish our political figures wouldn’t either. I wish they would vote how their morals guide them and not by which party they are a member of or which lobby group donates the most money. I think we would get a lot more accomplished if we could learn to love each other and treat each other with respect.