Love is Always Costly, But It’s a Cost We Want to Pay…

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“Think of what happens when you fall in love. Your love makes you eager for acceptance from the beloved. You ask, ‘Do you want to go out?’ or maybe even, ‘Will you marry me?’ What happens when the answer is ‘Yes?’ Do yo say, ‘Great! I’m in! Now I can act any way I want?’ Of course not. Now you don’t even wait for the object of your affection to directly ask you to do something for them. You anticipate whatever pleases and delights them. There’s no coercion or sense of obligation, yet your behavior has been radically changed by the mind and heart of the person you love.” Tim Keller, The Reason for God, pg. 183

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The Edginess of Grace

“Some years ago I met with a woman who began coming to church at Redeemer. She said that she had gone to church growing up and had never before heard a distinction drawn between the gospel and religion. She had always heard that God accepts us only if we are good enough. She said that the new message was scary. I asked her why it was scary, and she replied:

‘If I was saved by my good works then there would be a limit to what God could ask of me or put me through. I would be like a taxpayer with ‘rights’–I would have done my duty and now I would deserve a certain quality of life. But if I am a sinner saved by sheer grace–then there’s nothing he cannot ask of me.'”

Tim Keller, The Reason for God, pp. 182-183

Gospel and Self

Reason for God

“[The Gospel] means I do not have to be intimidated by anyone. I am not so insecure that I fear the power or success or talent of people who are different from me. The Gospel makes it possible for a person to escape oversensitivity, defensiveness, and the need to criticize others. The christian’s identity is not based on the need to be perceived as a good person, but on God’s valuing of you in Christ.” Tim Keller, The Reason for God, pg. 182

Religion vs the Gospel: Social Impact

Reason for God

“Religion and the gospel also differ fundamentally in how they treat the Other–those who do not share one’s own beliefs and practices. Postmodern thinkers understand that the self is formed and strengthened through the exclusion of the Other–those who do not have the values or traits on which I base my own significance. We define ourselves by pointing to those who we are not. We bolster our sense of worth by devaluing those of other races, beliefs, and traits. This gospel identity gives us a new basis for harmonious and just social arrangements. A Christian’s worth and value are not created by excluding anyone, but through the Lord who was excluded for me.” Tim Keller, The Reason for God, pg. 181