The Reason for God
Why does God allow suffering in the world? How could a loving God send people to Hell? Why isn’t Christianity more inclusive? How can one religion be “right” and the others “wrong”? Why have so many wars been fought in the name of God? These are just a few of the questions and doubts even ardent believers wrestle with today. As the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, Timothy Keller has compiled a list of the most frequently voiced “doubts” skeptics bring to his church as well as the most important reasons for faith. And in The Reason for God , he addresses each doubt and explains each reason. Keller uses literature, philosophy, real-life conversations, and reasoning to explain how faith in a Christian God is a soundly rational belief, held by thoughtful people of intellectual integrity with a deep compassion for those who truly want to know the truth [ Excerpted from the publisher's website ]
As you may recall, a couple of months ago I posted the video of Timothy Keller's talk at Google's authors series. I recently finished reading the book that he was there to promote, The Reason for God. Being familiar already with Tim Keller's speaking style and general beliefs, I was not surprised to find that his book is orthodox, engaging, undefensive, and cool-headed. With a C.S. Lewis-like humor, self-deprecation, and yet unyielding logic, Keller tackles some of the most difficult questions for the Christian faith. Keller has said himself that his goal, in writing the book, was to offer to our postmodern generation a tool for intelligent and helpful conversation with unbelievers, just as C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity so successfully interacted with his modernistic generation. Although Lewis' work is still remarkably relevant and piercingly insightful today, some of the questions have changed and so it is only appropriate that current and specific answers be given. It is evident that Keller's main field of knowledge, and therefore argumentation, is philosophy but he does effectively and intelligently bring in and address literature, science, and logic in his quest to give a well-rounded defense of Christianity. As is apparent by the success of his ministry in the heart of New York City, Keller is respectful and thoughtful and thorough in his answers to unbelievers. If I were to offer one criticism, however, it would be the same criticism that I sometimes have for C.S. Lewis -- as intelligent and reasonable as both men are, it seems to me that at times they rely a little too heavily on their intellect and reason, rather than on the simplicity and power of God's Word. This, I think, leads both men, who make many excellent points, to wander afield from the central tone and teaching of the Scripture at times (e.g. Lewis' rational insistence on a purgatory and Keller's poetic explanation of Genesis 1). That being said, The Reason for God is certainly a much-needed and well-crafted tool with which Christians today may be better equipped to approach secularist criticisms and questions of our faith.