“On the other hand, if God exists but is unipersonal, there was a time when God was not love. Before God created the world, when there was only one divine person, there was no lover, because love can exist only in a relationship. If a unipersonal God had created the world and its inhabitants, such a God would not in his essence be love. Power and greatness possibly, but not love. But if from all eternity, without end and without beginning, ultimate reality is a community of persons knowing and loving one another, then ultimate reality is about love relationships.”
- Tim Keller, King’s Cross, 9.
I’m preparing a sermon for Basileia about what it means to preach the gospel to ourselves. As part of my prep, I’ve been mining the resources at the Resurgence, and I’ve come across two sermons that have helped me tremendously. These two sermons are actually not about preaching the gospel to yourself, but actually help answer the question, “What is the Gospel?” That topic is actually what I preached on this past weekend, and now I wish I had heard these sermons before I preached. But oh well, they’re awesome anyway.
Gospel Above and Gospel Below – Matt Chandler
Dwelling in the Gospel – Tim Keller
I received this book from my brother for Christmas and was initially very intrigued because Tim Keller, a man whom I greatly respect, wrote the forward. Gerson and Wehner (the authors of the book) are not theologians, rather they are right-leaning politicians who happen to be Christians and care deeply about both faith and politics. The good thing about this book is that it’s not the same-ole’, same ole’ story from two Christians who have wholesale bought an unchallenged, stale Republican vision for how to make this country “God’s nation.” Gerson and Wehner lay a foundation for how Christians should understand both the role of their faith and the role of the government within a democratic society. My one caveat is that they fail to fully address many issues, and despite their intentions to move beyond the mistakes of the Religious Right, at times they still seem a bit short-sighted.
Verdict: A good introduction to the discussion of faith and politics, but a little too brief.
Three of Five Cups of Black Coffee.
Go ahead and chalk up another home run for Tim Keller. Generous Justice is a book about social justice, argued from a Christian perspective, and amazingly written with equal parts intellect, accessibility, challenge, and balance. The hard part about this book will be applying it, but Keller argues (and I believe convincingly) that we are called to carry out social justice for the poor and marginalized because Jesus has changed us and made us new. Keller carefully balances his writing so that it is neither Republican, nor Democrat, neither triumphalistic, nor apathetic, but balanced and biblical. When I start reading a Keller book, I honestly get a bit covetous of his ability to write so well about such important subjects. He’s just great. I highly recommend this book.
I stopped by the bookstore yesterday to take a break from studying and picked up these bad boys. I’m nearly finished with the Edwards book and will post a review soon. Great so far though.