Daily Keller

~ Wisdom from Tim Keller 365 Days a Year

Daily Keller

Why Does God Permit Evil?

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Tim Keller

God only allows Satan to accomplish the very opposite of what he wants to accomplish. He only gives Satan enough rope to hang himself…God hates evil. He’s against it. He didn’t create a world in which evil existed. But He permits it. Why? He permits Satan only to bring evil into Job’s life in such a way, in such an amount, that actually completely defeats Satan’s real intention. Satan is only allowed by God to actually defeat himself and achieve the very opposite of what he wanted.
…He permits evil and suffering to come into your life only to the degree that it defeats the actual intention of Satan for you. Only to the degree that it makes you a great person. Only to the degree that it actually defeats itself.

– Tim Keller

*Words found in Timothy Keller Sermon Podcast, “Questions of Suffering.”

To Reach People

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Tim Keller

…To reach people we must appreciate and adapt to their culture, but we must also challenge and confront it. This is based on the biblical teaching that all cultures have God’s grace and natural revelation in them, yet they are also in rebellious idolatry. If we overadapt to a culture, we have accepted the culture’s idols. If, however, we underadapt to a culture, we may have turned our own culture into an idol, an absolute. If we overadapt to a culture, we aren’t able to change people because we are not calling them to change. If we underadapt to a culture, no one will be changed because no one will listen to us; we will be confusing, offensive, or simply unpersuasive. To the degree a ministry is overadapted or underadapted to a culture; it loses life-changing power.

– Tim Keller

The God of Politics

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Tim Keller

When love of one’s people becomes an absolute, it turns into racism. When love of equality turns into a supreme thing, it can result in hatred and violence toward anyone who has led a privileged life. It is the settled tendency of human societies to turn good political causes into counterfeit gods. As we have mentioned, Ernest Becker wrote that in a society that has lost the reality of God, many people will look to romantic love to give them the fulfillment that once found in religious experience. Nietzsche, however, believed it would be money that would replace God. But there is another candidate to fill this spiritual vacuum. We can also look to politics. We can look upon our political leaders as ‘messiahs,’ our political policies as saving doctrine, and turn our political activism into a kind of religion.

– Tim Keller

The Emptiness of Pride

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Tim Keller

It is the normal state of the human heart to try to build its identity around something besides God. Spiritual pride is the illusion that we are competent to run our own lives, achieve our own sense of self-worth and find a purpose big enough to give us meaning in life without God. Søren Kierkegaard says that the normal human ego is built on something besides God. It searches for something that will give it a sense of worth, a sense of specialness and a sense of purpose and builds itself on that. And, of course, as we are often reminded, if you try to put anything in the middle of the place that was originally made of God, it is going to be too small. It is going to rattle around in there.

– Tim Keller

True God

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Tim Keller

The only way to free ourselves from the destructive influence of counterfeit gods is to turn back to the true one. The living God, who revealed himself both at Mount Sinai and on the Cross, is the only Lord who, if you find him, can truly fulfill you, and, if you fail him, can truly forgive you.

– Tim Keller

Words Are Necessary

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Tim Keller

The popular saying, ‘Preach the gospel; use words if necessary’ is helpful but also misleading. If the gospel were primarily about what we must do to be saved, it could be communicated as well by actions (to be imitated) as by words. But if the gospel is primarily about what God has done to save us, and how we can receive it through faith , it can only be expressed through words. Faith cannot come without hearing. This is why we read in Galatians 2:5 that heresy endangers the truth of the gospel, and why Philippians 1:16 declares that a person’s mind must be persuaded of the truth of the gospel. Ephesians 1:13 also asserts that the gospel is the word of truth. Ephesians 6:19 and Colossians 1:23 teach that we advance the gospel through verbal communication, particularly preaching.

– Tim Keller

Grace Greater Than All Your Sin

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Tim Keller

God’s love and forgiveness can pardon and restore any and every kind of sin or wrongdoing. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done. It doesn’t matter if you’ve deliberately oppressed or even murdered people, or how much you’ve abused yourself…
There is no evil that the Father’s love cannot pardon and cover, there is no sin that is a match for his grace.

– Tim Keller

Something Else Entirely

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Tim Keller

The gospel is neither religion nor irreligion, but something else entirely — a third way of relating to God through grace.

– Tim Keller