Now that we all agree that religion is a big problem…

I recently stumbled across this video on my friend Mike’s blog. I pushed play and then said “oh crap” when I realized it was like 9 hours long. But I was just surfing the web and doing some email while it was playing on in the background. Before I knew it I was pretty engrossed and by the end I would say that it was probably the most interesting speech/dialogue/presentation that I have seen or heard in years.

I would label the content as Why people can not deny exclusive claims to truth and why Christians are to blame. I think the most interesting is the part of why Christians are to blame.

I don’t want to take the time to post my thoughts here but I do want to share it with you here. The talk itself is about 40 minutes long and then it goes to Q & A. I have not listened to the Q & A.  I would suggest playing it in the background and then going about your business.

If you absolutely do not have the time, here are my highlights. (With youtube now you can drag the playbar to wherever you want even before it loads!!)

4:15 – Beginning

8:10 – 9:38 “Now that we all agree that religion is a big problem”

30:55 – 33:24 “What you need, is people with an exclusive truth claim that humbles them”

37:46  –  40:40 The Moral Performance Narrative vs. The Grace Narrative

40:40 –  43:00 You know what the problem with the world is?…..Fundamentalists!

43:40 – END


7 thoughts

  1. Well, I can certainly agree that fundamentalists are a problem.

    Since my atheism humbles me, I guess this pastor is saying that I’m needed.

    What does exclusive truth mean anyway? True truth? The only truth? The truth that makes all other truths untrue? Or is it just the truth that I happen to believe?

    Thanks for the summary and time notes – there’s no way I would have listened to the whole sermon.

  2. Gentle – I’m not sure about the exact definition of exclusive truth. in fact, by defining it I think we may already be getting into the debate.

    I think his main point revolving revolving around “exclusive truth” is that it is not consistent to claim that religion is not valid because it makes an exclusive claim because that claim in itself is exclusive. He goes on to say that there are plenty of reasons to buck the idea of religion or Monotheism (ie having a problem with Jesus) but claiming that, no way can be the only way, is not philosophically fair.

    fyi – I did end up listening to the Q&A after and would not say that it has much value.

      1. In my comment, a better way of phrasing what I meant would be “no singular way.”

        I don’t know if that clarifies what I meant. As to your question, I am not any expert on atheism and have no opinions of what it is or isn’t beyond what wikipedia may have to offer =)

    1. Daniel – I’m not sure what specifically you are asking. Are you asking what I think, What Tim Kelller thinks? Did you listen to the thing? I don’t really care if you did, I’m just wondering what the context is.

      right around 37 minutes her starts to talk about the difference between the Moral Performance Narrative and how Christians have historically perpetuated the moral performance narrative which gives them an aire of superiority. I personally think that is one of the biggest reasons why people are so opposed to exclusive truth. That’s why I created the title.

  3. I guess my question was to get more context from you, when you said “Christians are to blame”… (cuz I didn’t remember him saying that, but maybe he did..) Now I get where you were going with that…

    I liked a lot of what he had to say, the only thing that I wasn’t sure about, was describing that personal shift as just the exchange of one narrative for another, more humbling one…

    I keep hearing this word “narrative” all over the place, and to be honest, I don’t understand the reason for using such a term. As far as I can tell, a “narrative”, whether fictional or non-fictional, is just a story, something that we can stand apart from, and examine as some detached third party. I think that’s why it’s weird for me to think in terms of “finding a more humbling narrative”… Is Jesus just a narrative? Is repentance a narrative? Is faith a narrative?

    While we can make “narratives” about those things, it would seem to me that they themselves are not merely narratives, but rather real-life people/things, that have to be encountered in a real-life way… (if they are real at all…)

    Just my random thoughts anyhow… Overall, I’d agree that if one hasn’t personally tasted true Grace, and been spiritually reborn, then simply knowing the doctrines of the gospel inevitably results in performance-driven religion, and self-superiority…

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