Comprehensive framework = faith

By Dave Henning / February 8, 2024

“Even if you are not a secular person, the secular age may ‘thin out’ (secularize) faith until it is seen as simply one more choice in life — along with job, recreation, hobbies, politics — rather than as the comprehensive framework that determines all life choices.”- Timothy Kelker

In his Preface (“The Faith of the Secular”) to Making Sense of God: An Invitation to the Skeptical, Timothy Keller one way in which believers and nonbelievers are alike.  Both believers and unbelievers, Pastor Keller states, arrive at their positions in the same way.  Through a combination of experiences, faith, reasoning, and intuition.  Certainly, Timothy asserts his stance that the beliefs and claims of Christianity make more sense of a complex world and human experience.

However, before proceeding, Pastor Keller takes a moment to explore three ways we use the word secular today:

    1. Secular society – applies the term to the social and political structure.  In this structure separation of church and state exists.  No one religious faith carries special privileges.
    2. Secular person – one who does not know if God or the supernatural realm exists.  Hence, in this view, everything comes with a scientific explanation.
    3. Secular age – places all the emphasis on the saeculum, the here and now.  Without any concept of the eternal.

Most significantly, Pastor Keller notes, these three aspects of secularity are not identical.  For, example, Timothy shares this common distinction:

“Individuals could profess to not be secular people, to have religious faith.  Yet, at the practical level, the existence of God may have no noticeable impact on their life decisions and conduct.  This is because in a secular age, even religious people tend to choose lovers and spouses, careers and friendships, and financial options with no higher goal than their own present-time personal happiness.”

In conclusion, Pastor Keller informs us that in this book he uses the word secular in the second and third ways.  Furthermore, he offers sharp critiques of each position.

Today’s question: Do you see your Christian faith as the comprehensive framework that determines all life choices?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Background beliefs re: Christianity”

About the author

Dave Henning

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