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Books Don’t Change Lives, Paragraphs Do

August 13, 2008

And here’s the greatest paragraph from Tim Keller’s tremendous book The Reason for God.  In a section about the Trinity he writes,

“Ultimate reality is a community of persons who know and love one another.  That is what the universe, God, history, and life is all about.  If you favor money, power, and accomplishment over human relationships, you will dash youself on on the rocks of reality.  When Jesus said you must lose yourself in service to find yourself (Mark 8:35), he was recounting what the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have been doing throughout eternity.  You will, then, never get a sense of self by standing still, as it were, and making everything revolve around your needs and interests.  Unless you are willing to experience the loss of options and the individual limitations that come from being in committed relationships, you will remain out of touch with your own nature and the nature of things.”

6 Comments leave one →
  1. August 13, 2008 4:25 pm

    Phenomenal quote!

  2. August 15, 2008 10:13 am

    We made the decision last night at elder meeting. I’m going to be teaching an adult Sunday school class through this book in the fall. I’ve added a link above to a website about the book. Check it out. Spread the word.

  3. anakainosis permalink
    August 18, 2008 2:26 pm

    it’s a great quote, and i hear it’s a seriously important read.

    i haven’t been playing much chess lately but let’s reconnect when you’ve got some time.
    i’m taking a short trip to india next month; i’d love to pick your brain a little bit.

  4. egana permalink
    August 18, 2008 4:46 pm

    I’m lookin’ forward to this class!

  5. blondie permalink
    August 23, 2008 9:56 am

    “Ultimate reality is a community of persons who know and love one another…….You will, then, never get a sense of self by standing still, as it were, and making everything revolve around your needs and interests.”

    As I find myself getting to know a new community of persons through a band I’m playing in, this quote continues to awaken my sense of belonging among them. To be enjoyed and accepted for no apparent reason other than contributing to the sound in an average way amazes me; I wish I had met these people 6 years ago! As I give to them my time and energy and friendship, my family is being stretched and loved and appreciated in the same way that I long for my church to accept and love me.

    So often we give to the body of believers we worship with and feel so little back. God blesses and stretches us in that situation, but how I long for the body of my church to understand community like these musicians do. It must be that the church setting involves many who already have relationships that they feel comfortable with, that their sense of “loss of options” is limited to a certain line. A line that is not open to being crossed.

    I’ve been ready for the “nature of things” for quite some time.

  6. October 28, 2008 1:56 pm

    Unless you are willing to die, you will not experience the love of the One who came to raise you again.

    He likes a blank canvas.

    All that relational stuff to community is great…and helpful. But what we really need…is to die.

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