Book Review: The Reason for God

Timothy Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, has managed to build a growing church in one of the most secular cities in the world. In a city full of sceptics, Dr. Keller has addressed many of the objections to the Christian faith in an engaging manner that is both reasoned and based on solid biblical principles. Out of his experiences of engaging the agnostic, urban culture of the Big Apple, Dr. Keller wrote The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism.

Keller divides the book into two parts. The first, “The Leap of Doubt,” addresses common objections to the faith expressed by atheists, agnostics and skeptics. He covers issues such as suffering, pluralism, science and Hell. The second section, “The Reasons for Faith,” takes a more proactive approach with chapters titled, “The Clues of God,” “The Problem of Sin,” and “The (True) Story of the Cross.” Keller does not try to “prove” the existence of God, nor does he take the approach of Josh McDowell by providing extensive documentation of historical events. His tone is neither condemning nor is it condescending. His is a loving, patient, yet firmly-based argument for belief in the historic Christian faith.

Dr. Keller manages to provide a good balance between historical and scientific sources and scripture. He also draws from several Christian philosophers, though I don’t think many skeptics will be swayed by philosphical arguments. The Reason for Faith does a good job of addressing many contemporary criticisms of Christianity, though it is doubtful that a hardcore atheist in the mold of Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens would be swayed.

Keller’s book is heavily footnoted, as he draws from a variety of sources from C.S. Lewis to prominent scientists. I found his writing style to be both readable and engaging. Although I don’t agree with Dr. Keller on all of his points, I found this book to be an excellent resource for Christians who want to engage skeptics in a respectful manner. The book itself would be an excellent gift to someone who may be struggling with doubt or have questions about Christianity. While it may not be of the level of C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity, this is a tremendous resource for believers who wish to engage the post-Christian culture.

Rating – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Recommended buy? Yes

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