This was one of the books that helped me establish a foundation in Christian apologetics years ago. As one of the pioneers of modern urban ministry, Timothy Keller is very good at communicating Christian truth to an audience that is strongly influenced by the pervading post-modern, cultural relativist and skeptical milieu. He writes in a way that is very friendly, engaging and easy to follow, even among those who have never been churched and have little to no prior background knowledge of Christianity. At the same time, he communicates the truths of the Gospel with clarity and persuasiveness. He provides a solid case for why we as Christians are right to believe why we believe, and why non-Christians need to take the Christian message seriously.
Kellers approach to apologetics is multi-disciplinary. He makes good use of arguments and anecdotes from history, science, classical writings and good old fashioned logical reasoning. He does this in a way that disarms many of the difficult questions that too often stump Christians who are queried by their non-Christian friends. Although he comes from a Conservative Reformed standpoint, not everything that he states may be acceptable for Conservative Reformed Evangelicals (eg. his tendency towards theistic evolution). On the whole, however, this does not majorly impact the main thrust of his work, and positive far outweighs the negative in this case.
For these reasons, The Reason for God an ideal book for people of almost any religious background, whether they are Christians, Atheists or adherents of other world religions. It is also ideal reading for any age group, although I would especially recommend this book to those youths who are in college/university or in their final years of high school.
Why hello modern day C.S. Lewis. I mean, for real Timothy Keller. For real. This is by far one of the best Christian apologetic books I've read in a while. It's an easy read, yet so many great points to think about and ponder. Whether a skeptic or believer, you should read this book! I believe a decision about faith is too important a matter to not think about it.
Here's the list of chapters so you have a better idea of what he covers. The first part he address is common arguments against Christianity and the second is reasons for belief in Christianity.
Timothy Keller, the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, addresses the frequent doubts that skeptics and non-believers bring to religion. Using literature, philosophy, anthropology, pop culture, and intellectual reasoning, Keller explains how the belief in a Christian God is, in fact, a sound and rational one. To true believers he offers a solid platform on which to stand against the backlash toward religion spawned by the Age of Skepticism. And to skeptics, atheists, and agnostics he provides a challenging argument for pursuing the reason for God.
Part 1: The Leap of Doubt
There Can't Be Just One True Religion
How Could a Good God Allow Suffering?
Christianity is a Straitjacket
The Church is Responsible for So Much Injustice
How Can a Loving God Send People to Hell?
Science Has Disproved Christianity
You Can't Take the Bible Literally
Part 2: The Reasons for Faith
The Clues of God
The Knowledge of God
The Problem of Sin
Religion and the Gospel
The (True) Story of the Cross
The Reality of the Resurrection
The Dance of God
There's lots of quotes to share, so let's dive right in!
"Everyone has faith in something_.What is religion then? It is a set of beliefs that explain what life is all about, who we are, and the most important things that human beings should spend their time doing."
"At the very heart of [Christians'] view of reality was a man who died for his enemies, praying for their forgiveness."
"Love is the most liberating freedom-loss of all. Human beings are most free and alive in relationships of love [whether for a friend or romantic love]."
Regrading injustice: "When people have done injustice in the name of Christ they are not being true to the spirit of the one who himself died as a victim of injustice and who called for the forgiveness of his enemies. When people give their lives to liberate others as Jesus did, they are realizing the true Christianity that Martin Luther King, Jr., Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and other Christian voices have called for."
"If there is no God, then there is no way to say any one action is "moral" and another "immoral" but only "I like this." If that is the case, who gets the right to put their subjective, arbitrary moral feelings into law?"
On the resurrection: "The resurrection also puts a burden of proof on it's nonbelievers. It is not enough to simply believe Jesus did not rise from the dead. You must then come up with a historically feasible alternative explanation for the birth of the church. You have to provide some other plausible account for how things began_If the resurrection of Jesus happened, however, that means there's infinite hope and reason to pour ourselves out for the needs of the world."
So now that I just did a quote slam, what do you think? Have you read any of Keller's writings? Any of the quotes resonate? I would love to hear your thoughts!
This book is jam packed with so much information and wisdom- I am not done with it yet, but I have loved every page. I want to read it more than once to take it all in. I highly recommend it to Christians and non Christians. VERY well done. Answers questions with respect, fairness and fully.
I was introduced to this book a couple of years ago, and I love it. I have been a Christian since I was in high school (several years ago). I read this book and appreciated Timothy Keller's logical case for the existence of God, and the way he answers some of the questions common to all unbelievers and newer believers. He started and grew a large church in NYC, and he deals with skeptics all the time. The book is very thought provoking. I bought copies for all the graduates on my list.