I was talking to Ted this past week about this chapter and this second half of the book. The first half was easy to pick apart because it discussed reasons why people do not believe in God. Throughout our Christian walk, both Ted and I have had to research and decide how these different arguments were going to affect how we viewed God and Christianity. Granted our views have changed throughout our lives and even with just discussing this book, our views have changed about different things.
However, this second half of the book discusses reasons or proofs for God. I think some of them are valid arguments and have many well written statements, I had a hard time following his overall point he is trying to make in this chapter.
With that said, Keller did make a few really good statements that I liked:
“Everyone gets their identity, their sense of being distinct and valuable, from somewhere or something.” He later goes on to say that “Every person must find some way to ‘justify their existence’, and to stave off the universal fear that they’re ‘a bum’.” I think this is true. We tend to justify our existence through our relationships, our careers, our drive to improve our world for the next generation, or you name it. I think as a stay-at-home-mom, it is really easy to fall into the trap of living through your children. You give everything to them and then when they screw up, you lose all sense of self, your identity.
Now loving your kids is not a sin but making them into an idol is. When you replace God with earthly things, you will end up frustrated. Keller says that, “According to the Bible, the primary way to define sin is not just the doing of bad things, but the making of good things into ultimate things.” When you make earthly things your ultimate thing or your reason for existence, you will eventually be let down if or when it fails you.
The bottom line Keller tried to convey in this chapter was that as soon as we replace God as the ultimate reason for our existence (even if that thing is very good), then we have not honored God and we have sinned against Him.