Reason For God Study Guide Chapter 6

I am posting a study guide for Tim Keller’s The Reason for God that I created to lead my small group through. I hope it is a blessing.

Reason For God Chapter 6

Ice Breaker:  Which miracle would you wish you had seen and why?

Interpretation Questions

  • What was your favorite part of this chapter?
  • What made you struggle in this chapter?
  • What did you learn about God in this chapter?
  • What did you learn about yourself in this chapter?

Study Questions

Science has disproved Christianity

  • What did you like about this chapter?
  • What challenged you in this chapter?

Richard Dawkins believed that you couldn’t be an intelligent scientific thinker and still hold religious beliefs.

  • 7% of scientists believe in a personal God.

Aren’t miracles scientifically impossible?

Enlightenment belief: miracles cannot be reconciled to a modern, rational view of the world.

  • Scholars then say because the Bible has miracles then it cant be true.
  • This is the premise behind the claim that Science has proven there is no such thing as miracles.
  • This is a leap of faith.

Science is only equipped to test natural causes and not others.

You cant prove or disprove God through science.

  • Bias against supernatural
    • Just because you haven’t seen it doesn’t mean it isn’t real
    • If there is a God then the supernatural is possible.

Isn’t Science in Conflict with Christianity?

Media fuels this as a conflict. It paints battles between secular and Christians.

  • Makes it seem you can be rational and scientific or religious.

Argument: many churches believe in guided evolution. Catholics and Methodists included.

Evolution is really not science it is philosophy.

  • It believes in “Philosophical Naturalism” – that everything has a natural cause and organic life is solely the product of random forces guided by no one.
  • Francis Collins is a leading scientist who rejects the philosophy of naturalism. He believes in a divine creator and fine tuner.

Many models of how science and religion may be related to each other:

  • Ian Barbour: Conflict. Dialogue, integration, independence
  • Conflict: both creation science people and staunch atheists
    • He doesn’t like this model
    • I do like it.
    • Most scientist believe in a way that allows for both God and for science.

Dawkins’ assertion of only 7% believing scientists is flawed

  • The guestion is asked to only “see” scientists who believe in a Christian God not all that believe in a God.
  • This study does not tell why they don’t believe.
    • Most of them brought their atheistic beliefs with them before becoming scientists
    • Steven Jay Gould disagreed with Dawkins from personal experience.
    • Thomas Nagel also disagreed because of morality that is hardwired into people.

Doesn’t Evolution Disprove the Bible?

Many people hold to positions where Creationism and Evolution coexist.

He believes that Genesis 1 and 2 are repeating the same event like Judges 4 and 5 and Exodus 14 and 15.

I have a problem with this:

  • Death before the fall.
    • Methodist church denouncing the creation account.
    • Denouncing the creation account = death of your church.
    • There is no real evidence for evolution. It starts with a premise, there is no God so how did we get here?
      • I believe in micro evolution but there is not proof for macro evolution.
      • Where is the record?  Where are the evolutions today?
      • Most mutations are negative and sterile.

Conclusion: you don’t have to hold any of these positions to be a believer in Jesus.

Keller believes in a guided process of natural selection., and also rejects evolution as an all encompassing theory.

Matthew 28:17

They worshipped him but some doubted. WE struggle with miracles.

Miracles were never magic tricks, instead Jesus used them to restore the natural order not suspend the natural order.

  • Miracles were not just proofs that he has power but also wonderful foretastes of what he is going to do with that power.
  • Jesus’ miracles are not just a challenge to our minds but a promise to our hearts that the world we all want is coming.

 

Prayer Time

Download Week 1:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1370227/Reason%20for%20God/Reason%20For%20God%20Chapter%201.doc

Download Week 2:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1370227/Reason%20for%20God/The%20Reason%20for%20God%20Chapter%202.doc

Download Week 3 here: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1370227/Reason%20for%20God/Reason%20for%20God%20%E2%80%93%20Week%203.doc

Download Week 4:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1370227/Reason%20for%20God/Reason%20for%20God%20Week%204.doc

Download Week 5:  http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1370227/Reason%20for%20God/Chapter%205%20%20Reason%20for%20God.doc

Download Week 6:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1370227/Reason%20for%20God/Reason%20For%20God%20Chapter%206.doc

Reason For God Study Guide Chapter 1

One of my favorite books is “The Reason for God” by Tim Keller. It is a great book that answers questions that many skeptics have concerning the gospel. I led my small group through this book  this spring and created a study guide/cliff notes for my group.  I will be sharing them with you in the coming weeks. I hope you enjoy them and use them for your own spiritual nourishment or in leading a group.  To download a copy of this in Microsoft word, click here: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1370227/Reason%20for%20God/Reason%20For%20God%20Chapter%201.doc

Here is chapter 1…

Reason For God Chapter 1

Ice breaker:

Share with the group your name, favorite book, and what you are looking forward to learning in this study.

Introductory Questions:

  1. What did you like best about this chapter?
  2. What did you like least about the chapter?

 

Discussion Questions:

  1. What do you think about the claim that their cant be just 1 religion?
  2. Why do people want to make all religions equal and the same?
  • It denies the reason for the cross.
  1. What do you think about the results of people trying to minimize the divisiveness of religion:  Outlaw, Condemn, or Radically Privatize it?
    1. Outlaw
      1. i.     What do you think about the decision to outlaw religion?
      2. ii.     It hasn’t worked.  those who say religion is intolerant and violent have done the most violence and intolerance in the 20th century.  IE, communism in China and Russia
      3. Condemn
        1. i.     What is the failure with the idea that all religions are the same?
        2. ii.     Religions at their core have differing values.
        3. iii.     That is assuming you know the truth and that is an entirely different religion.
        4. iv.     What do you think about his comments on Moral relativism?  That Berger says that relativity, relativizes itself. If you hold to a socially relative view there can be no absolute truth.
        5. v. We all make truth claims and we have to do as best as we can to figure out which ones are true.
        6. vi. What do you think about the claim that it is arrogant to think that you are right and convert others?
        7. vii. This is contradictory – It’s an ethnocentric idea to claim that you are ethnocentric by converting others and to think you alone are right. Most religions think it is ok to be right.  Our idea of this comes from western thought of self-criticism and individualism.
        8. viii. Big Idea: Every worldview is a religious worldview.  Even Atheism or skepticism
      4. c. Radically Privatize
        1. i. Why do people say we should keep religion out of the secular world?
        2. ii. Why is this impossible to do?
        3. iii. This is the most important part of most people.
        4. iv. What is Religion?  It is a set of believes that explain what life is all about, who we are, and the most important things human being should spend their lives doing.
        5. v. Religion really means worldview.
        6. vi. Conclusion:  you cant keep the religious private.  Impossible

 

  1. What do you think about his claim that Christianity can save the world literally?
    1. Christians respect other faiths.
    2. Christians don’t expect to be perfect.  They are forgiven.
    3. Example of Christians in the Romo-Greco world.  Loved the poor, accepted everyone
    4. Christian fundamentals are what gives people hope for a loving world.

 

Close with Prayer