- helpful votes
Making Sense of God
- An Invitation to the Skeptical
- By: Timothy Keller
- Narrated by: Sean Pratt
- Length: 9 hrs and 35 mins
Timothy Keller invites skeptics to consider that Christianity is more relevant now than ever. As human beings we cannot live without meaning, satisfaction, freedom, identity, justice, and hope. Christianity provides us with unsurpassed resources to meet these needs. Written for both the ardent believer and the skeptic, Making Sense of God shines a light on the profound value and importance of Christianity in our lives.
- By Kent Smith on 11-02-17
Good for confirming existing beliefs...
This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?
Christians who want their beliefs confirmed, or those who are on the fence but are more inclined toward being convinced.
Would you ever listen to anything by Timothy Keller again?
Yes. I have also read The Reason for God.
Have you listened to any of Sean Pratt’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
I think so. He sounded familiar. He has a very soothing, calm voice.
Any additional comments?
The moral argument comes up over and over in this book, but Keller's arguments do not really address the better thought out counter arguments. Instead, they beg the question.
The best example of this is the final chapter of the book, where Keller basically tries to make the case that morality cannot be defended rationally on the basis of self interest.
But wait... does that mean morality is irrational? He stops short of saying that outright, but it is what this type of argument implies.
Actually, Keller does not really attempt to refute the rational arguments for morality. Instead, what Keller argues is the empirical case that most people will not choose to be moral when given only rational, intellectual arguments for morality. Essentially, that people are too self-interested to be self-interested(!)
But this says nothing about the actual philosophical status of morality or the existence of God. This is just a way of saying that people are short-sighted and not generally insightful enough to grasp that morality actually is in their self interest!
This is something that Keller and I can probably agree on. But it is not a sound argument for God or against a rational understanding of morality. It is merely an argument about human psychology and what drives people.
It is easy to imagine that humans have developed ideas, creeds, and emotional responses that help us cooperate and behave in ways that are rational and mutually beneficial where our intellect and short-sightedness would otherwise fail us. But this does not imply that morality cannot be explained without a god.
9 of 14 people found this review helpful
The Practicing Mind
- Developing Focus and Discipline in Your Life
- By: Thomas M. Sterner
- Narrated by: Thomas M. Sterner
- Length: 3 hrs and 51 mins
Present moment awareness is an essential ingredient in life if one expects to experience any degree of authentic peace and contentment. It has been acknowledged for centuries as the cornerstone of spiritual awakening in all traditions of Eastern thought. In the West, however, it is still a relatively unrecognized concept for living. The Western mind is always restless, never content with the moment.
Some great takeaways despite the robotic narration
- By azmom on 04-04-15
Will be listening to this more than once!
Where does The Practicing Mind rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
Best "self-help" book I've read yet, although I haven't read too many of them.
Have you listened to any of Thomas M. Sterner’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
No, but I would like to hear more from him. Great reading voice, very soothing and genuine.
What insight do you think you’ll apply from The Practicing Mind?
1. Focus on the present and on the process and use your goal only as a rudder. Most stress and anxiety are creations of your own mind, and come about when you're not focusing on the present. If you're always thinking about the future or the past and never the present, you will never be happy with where you are.
2. D.O.C. - Do. Observe. Correct. Just do your best. Failing is a part of life, so you shouldn't be anxious about it. When you fail, don't get emotional about it. Instead, observe what went wrong and correct it next time. This is how practice works.
3. "At what point in the stage of the life of a flower has it reached perfection?" This part of the book made me tear up on the first and subsequent listens. The answer is that the flower is always perfect at being what it is in that stage of its life. It's no use getting frustrated about not being where you want to be. You will get there, but it will take time, and you should enjoy where you are right now because there is beauty in every stage of life. This is an extremely freeing concept.
I've started trying to apply these concepts both in my work and while driving. I still have a long way to go, but when I remind myself of these ideas I experience much less fear, frustration, and restlessness, and are more compassionate towards others who I can see are struggling with the same issues.
Any additional comments?
I wish it was longer! I'm on my second listen and will probably revisit this book in the future to help reinforce these ideas in my mind.
17 of 26 people found this review helpful