Contend Earnestly: The Reason for God: Belief in the Age of Skepticism

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Reason for God: Belief in the Age of Skepticism

This is the first book that I have read by Tim Keller. I have wanted to read him ever since I heard him speak at the 2006 Desiring God Conference. He is the older and more tame version of Mark Driscoll, as far as vision for the city goes. He is the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City (Manhattan) and the church that he started in 1989, that everyone said would be a bust, is now serving over 5000 congregants per week.

The book, The Reason for God, is very well done. It is what we in the Christian community would call a presuppositional apologetics book. Or to define more precisely, it is a way to give rational reasons for the Christian faith and oppose other worldviews by exposing the flaws in their thinking. Tim Keller does this very well, yet very respectively as well. The book is set up in two parts. The first part of the book is The Leap of Doubt. This first part is answering the accusations/questions that skeptics put forth, by showing not only the holes in their argument(s) but then reversing it and showing why faith in God and Jesus Christ is the better answer for the question posed. The accusations/questions are:

1. There Can't Be Just One True Religion

2. How Could a Good God Allow Suffering?

3. Christianity is a Straightjacket

4. The Church is Responsible for So Much Injustice

5. How Can a Loving God Send People to Hell?

6. Science Has Disproved Christianity

7. You Can't Take the Bible Literally

The Second half, and I like how Keller puts it, is to show the clues for God. Keller does this very masterfully.

The Second half is called, The Reasons for Faith, and they are:

1. The Clues of God

2. The Knowledge of God

3. The Problem of Sin

4. Religion and the Gospel

5. The (True) Story of the Cross

6. The Reality of the Resurrection

7. The Dance of God

epilogue: Where do we go from here?

Although I don't agree fully on some of Keller's theology, I found that to be okay with what was trying to be disclosed in this book. Keller tries to take the focus off of denominational lines completely, to show forth the most important question, "Is there a God?" and the second part of this was to put forth why Christ is God and truly did die on the cross. I like how Dr. Keller puts it to one person. A lady came and told Dr. Keller that she couldn't believe the Bible because it was so oppressive to women. He told her that before she was concerned with the doctrine of men and women she needed to first ask the question, "Was Christ really resurrected from the dead?" Because the answer to that question is an eternal one, and the one about women and the Bible should be searched out only when she has answered the first.

Throughout this book, Dr. Keller, lays out simple clues to who God is, why Christ died, and why He rose again. Dr. Keller puts his heart on the line as he gives insight to his personal stories from his own congregation. He lays out what the cross means to us personally, and not just a historical valid argument. Because of this, the reader feels as though Dr. Keller is speaking directly towards them, because he cares for them. It is odd, but I couldn't put the book down and I felt Dr. Keller's passion for the King called Jesus.

I would highly recommend to any who call themselves Christians, and any who call themselves skeptics. It is definitely a book that will make you think upon the eternal aspects of life and direct you towards the clues that God has left for us to know Him. I found this to be one of the best apologetics books I have ever read.

Also, check out the website for this book, The Reason for God.

Link to buy


frankfusion said...

A good book. However, many of us have been concerned over what he said in his First Things interview. You can follow along at Aside from that, I'm liking it myself.

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