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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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thatbrian

Tim Keller | Our Identity: The Christian Alternative to Late Modernity's Story

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I viewed the video in entirety, and haven't anything to add. Thanks for sharing thatbrian.

 

God bless,

William

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I viewed the video in entirety, and haven't anything to add. Thanks for sharing thatbrian.

 

God bless,

William

 

 

No discussion? No questions?

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No discussion? No questions?

 

Alright thatbrian, for the sake of fellowship, brother...

 

Honestly, I was searching for something new, but nothing really came from Keller's talk that hit me. He went over what I already knew when finding myself several years ago while identity searching. It was nice hearing him or another say what I discovered, but at the same time I was unclear as to whether Keller's soteriology promotes autonomy? Even if, I'm sure lots of people especially young people will benefit from Keller's talk.

 

When I was disabled years ago, I really lost myself. I never realized up until that time how much I identified myself in the ways he depicted, by my success, material excess, and my job. When I lost my job and my material "wealth" house, cars, boats, motorcycles, and then wife, I really hit rock bottom, saying I'll live under a bridge and eat dog food. And I meant it. I even showed up at my divorce hearing totally drunk and high because I didn't want to live through that situation.

 

I withdrew from society for years thereafter, even doing grocery shopping at 2am to avoid human contact. I have experienced multiple psychosis over the years, including verbal and visual hallucinations, most definitely induced from my mental illness compounded with a drug dependency etc. My drug dependency really was a game of Russian Roulette every time I got high due to the severity of the drug and the nature of my addiction. I put a gun up to my head more than once, and I prayed and prayed and prayed that God take my life, and rid me of this miserable existence, but like so often God knows best in His wisdom, and He took my life in ways I never expected.

 

Throughout my lows when having nothing I discovered I had everything through Christ. I never looked at my identity as being a father, a good son, a law abiding citizen having solidarity with our nation though I served my country. Everything was meaningless to me. But what Keller skipped over initially, I realized, though, I am not worthy, Christ my beloved had died for me.

 

I really was a violent person up until my early thirties, having pleasured myself in physically hurting others and I surrounded myself with a social circle of some very bad people. Amazing, some say an alcoholic shouldn't preach in bars, but literally, I began uncontrollably talking bout God before some notorious local drug dealers - and I was one of them.

 

My new identity really never took shape until I moved away from where my bad reputation was established. I literally stepped away from everyone, even changing my name. I have resisted the urge now several years later even to go back for my friends. I have nothing in common with some people anymore, though I entertain a feeling in my heart that suggest what if they too were called? My new identity in Christ is everything, nothing means more to me than that. Not being American or a Constitutional Republican, etc, I really understood what Keller said when he talked about the married man that said the two most important days in his life was the day he was baptized and the other the vows taken in a marriage covenant.

 

Today, I find no worth in my personal identity, but I find value in serving Christ, for my service, I must say, though insignificant as it is through my eyes, I hope to hear from our beloved - "faithful servant". If anything, what scares me today and brings fear and trembling is the thought that I may not persevere to the last day? What if this is like so many fads that took me in my life and gave me purpose only temporarily?

 

Your thoughts on the video?

 

God bless,

William

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Alright thatbrian, for the sake of fellowship,

 

Honestly, I was searching for something new, but nothing really came from Keller's talk that hit me. He went over what I already knew when finding myself several years ago while identity searching. It was nice hearing him or another say what I discovered, but at the same time I was unclear as to whether Keller's soteriology promotes autonomy?

 

When I was disabled years ago, I really lost myself. I never realized up until that time how much I identified myself in the ways he depicted, my success, and my job. When I lost my job and my material "wealth" I really hit rock bottom, saying I'll live under a bridge and eat dog food. I withdrew from society for years, even doing grocery shopping at 2am to avoid human contact. Throughout my lows when having nothing I discovered I had everything through Christ. I never looked at my identity as being a father, a good son, a law abiding citizen having solidarity with our nation though I served my country. Everything was meaningless to me. But what Keller skipped over initially, I realized, though, I am not worthy, Christ my beloved had died for me.

 

My new identity really never took shape until I moved away from where my bad reputation was established. I literally stepped away from everyone, even changing my name. My new identity is in Christ, nothing means more to me than that. I really understood what Keller said when he talked about the married man that said the two most important days in his life was the day he was baptized and the other a marriage covenant.

 

Your thoughts on the video?

 

God bless,

William

 

 

I'm glad that you have realized what most don't. It often, if not always, takes pain and suffering to come to understand these things.

 

Obviously I thought his talk to those students was great. It's great in that it exposes something that most aren't aware of. I would venture a guess that you still find your identity, to some degree, in something other than Christ. I know that I do, which is why I find this talk helpful. Its message never gets old to me.

 

Often when people come to faith they simply shift where they find their identity from one thing to another. Pastors can find their identity in numbers. Missionaries can also fall into the same trap. People can go from drug addicts to preachers, yet still not place the weight of their souls fully on Christ. Think of those who will say, Lord, Lord, didn't we. . . The human heart is an idol factory, as Calvin said. What Keller brings out so well is that idols can be, and almost always are "good" things. Children, spouse, home, career. . . these are among the idols that can destroy, if their importance is disordered - if their place is not subordinate to God.

 

Maybe you've licked this problem. That certainly is possible; however, maybe you don't realize how subtle and insidious this problem is. Hopefully i's the former.

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I'm glad that you have realized what most don't. It often, if not always, takes pain and suffering to come to understand these things.

 

Obviously I thought his talk to those students was great. It's great in that it exposes something that most aren't aware of. I would venture a guess that you still find your identity, to some degree, in something other than Christ. I know that I do, which is why I find this talk helpful. Its message never gets old to me.

 

Often when people come to faith they simply shift where they find their identity from one thing to another. Pastors can find their identity in numbers. Missionaries can also fall into the same trap. People can go from drug addicts to preachers, yet still not place the weight of their souls fully on Christ. Think of those who will say, Lord, Lord, didn't we. . . The human heart is an idol factor, as Calvin said. What Keller brings out so well is that idols can be, and almost always are "good" things. Children, spouse, home, career. . . these are among the idols that can destroy, if they are discorded - if their place is not subordinate to God.

 

Maybe you licked this problem. That certainly is possible; however, maybe you don't realize how subtle and insidious this problem is. Hopefully i's the former.

 

Ya know, one of the things I thought pretty nifty when studying Buddhism long ago was the great struggle against attachments which leads to undue suffering. Attachments can even be formed in relationships, and not only materialism. I found this in the Lord's prayer, and for a period of time tried to lose the words "I, me, myself" even from my own vocabulary. It actually took me a few years to use those words that identify me again. You're right, my identity shifted from an individualistic idea to the body of Christ where I find solidarity. Keller touched upon this subject, and explained it very well.

 

I think most people discover this kinda thing once they retire.

 

God bless,

William

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I think most people discover this kinda thing once they retire.

 

It's discovered when something is lost or threatened. For example, you might not realize how much of your identity was wrapped up in your career until you are unemployed. It's perfectly normal to be down or anxious if you are out of work, but I personally know someone who committed suicide after being laid off. His career was his "life". When he lost his career, he lost his life. He lost who he was - his identity.

 

 

“Our need for worth is so powerful that whatever we base our identity and value on we essentially 'deify.' We will look to it with all the passion and intensity of worship and devotion, even if we think ourselves as highly irreligious. ” ― Timothy Keller

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