At Work and Worship in the Theater of God - Julius Kim

I'm looking forward to watching/listening to Julius Kim's session at the 2009 Desiring God National Conference. Julius Kim is a professor at Westminster Seminary California and an associate pastor at New Life Presbyterian Church, both of which are here in my neck of the woods. My friends who have taken courses with Julius have always spoken very highly of him.

Video of Julius' session is embedded below.

If you're reading this in an RSS reader you'll likely need to click through to the actual blog post to see the video.

Re-examining Doubt

I figured I might as well continue with the Tim Keller theme today (see the posts from Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday).

In the introduction to The Reason for God Keller challenges both believers and skeptics to re-examine doubt. Usually we associate doubt with skeptics, but Keller shows why both groups need to rethink this topic.

To believers Keller writes,

Believers should acknowledge and wrestle with doubts -- not only their own but their friends' and neighbors'. It is no longer sufficient to hold beliefs just because you inherited them. Only if you struggle long and hard with objections to your faith will you be able to provide grounds for your beliefs to skeptics, including yourself, that are plausible rather than ridiculous or offensive. And, just as important for our current situation [a divided culture], such a process will lead you, even after you come to a position of strong faith, to respect and understand those who doubt (xvii).

Then he addresses skeptics.

(...) skeptics must learn to look for a type of faith hidden within their reasoning. All doubts, however skeptical and cynical they may seem, are really a set of alternate beliefs. You cannot doubt Belief A except from a position of faith in Belief B. For example, if you doubt Christianity because "There can't be just one true religion," you must recognize that this statement is itself an act of faith. No one can prove it empirically, and it is not a universal truth that everyone accepts. If you went to the Middle East and said, "There can't be just one true religion," nearly everyone would say, "Why not?" The reason you doubt Christianity's Belief A is because you hold unprovable Belief B. Every doubt, therefore, is based on a leap of faith" (xvii, emphasis in the original).

If you're interested in reading more from Keller's book check out the The Reason for God website. The site contains a study guide and several audio lectures in which Tim speaks on the topics addressed in the book.

More on Persuasion and Preaching the Gospel

Yesterday I posted a video of a talk given by Tim Keller on the role of persuasion in preaching the Gospel. As a follow up I wanted to provide an explanation of what Keller means by persuasion. The following is a paraphrase of Keller's definition.

Persuasion is seeking to understand your audience so what you say to them will address their concerns and overcome their objections. In doing so, the barriers that formerly prevented your listeners from giving thought to the message you proclaim will be taken away and they can begin to see the attractiveness of the Gospel.

I encourage you to watch or listen to Keller's talk in its entirety (see yesterday's post).

What Role Does Persuasion Play in Preaching the Gospel?

At the 2008 Dwell Conference in New York City Tim Keller spoke on the topic of persuasion in preaching. I appreciated how at the very beginning of the session Keller addressed some of the common objections to the use of persuasion in preaching the Gospel. Video of the session is embedded below.

You can also download the audio and notes at the Acts 29 website.