Friday, April 10, 2009

It depends on what your fundamental is

I love Tim Keller's response to people who claim that all "fundamentalism" is dangerous and creates war and terrorism. This excerpt is from his conversation at the University of Chicago: “Reason for God: Exclusivity of Truth.”:

It was right after 9/11 and all the papers were talking about “this is the problem with fundamentalism.” If you’re a fundamentalist, if you really believe you have the truth, this is what happens… As I tried to show you here, everybody’s a fundamentalist in a way. I mean everybody believes fundamentals. Everybody’s got exclusive truth claims.

I remember Kathy said, “No, that’s not true. Fundamentalist doesn’t necessarily lead to terrorism. It depends on what your fundamental is.” Have you ever seen an Amish terrorist?... So why will there never be Amish terrorists? I’ll tell you why. If your fundamental is a man dying on the cross for his enemies, if the very heart of your self-image and your religion is a man praying for his enemies as he died for them, sacrificing for them, loving them—if that sinks into your heart of hearts, it’s going to produce the kind of life that the early Christians produced. The most inclusive possible life out of the most exclusive possible claim—and that is that this is the truth. But what is the truth? The truth is a God become weak, loving, and dying for the people who opposed him, dying forgiving them. Take that in the center of your heart and you will be at the heart of the solution that we have in this world and that is the divisiveness of exclusive truth claims.

So on this Good Friday, as we contemplate the death of our savior, let that truth penetrate our hearts. Think about what the truth of the cross means for your relationship with God and what it means for your relationship with your family, your friends, your enemies, your church, the world.

No comments: