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The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of…

The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism (original 2008; edition 2009)

by Timothy Keller

Series: Road ; 3

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3,887452,044 (4.18)14
Although a vocal minority continues to attack religious faith, for most Americans, faith is a large part of their lives: 86% of Americans refer to themselves as religious, and 75% of all Americans consider themselves Christians. So how should they respond to these passionate, learned, and persuasive books that promote science and secularism over religion and faith? For years, Tim Keller has compiled a list of the most frequently voiced "doubts" skeptics bring to his Manhattan church; here, he dismantles each of them. Written with atheists, agnostics, and skeptics in mind, Keller also provides an intelligent platform on which true believers can stand their ground when bombarded by the backlash. This book challenges such ideology at its core and points to the true path and purpose of Christianity.--From publisher description.… (more)
Title:The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism
Authors:Timothy Keller
Info:Riverhead Trade (2009), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 310 pages

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The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller (2008)

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» See also 14 mentions

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I checked this book out of the library expecting not to like it. Then I looked at the quote at the beginning of the first chapter and figured it couldn't be ALL bad: "I find your lack of faith disturbing. - Darth Vader". Any pastor who starts out his book with a Star Wars quote has caught my interest. Not all of Keller's arguments were completely convincing, but he forces you to look at things in new ways, whether you are coming from a place of belief or unbelief. He is daring enough to tell us all that we actually believe in God deep down, even if we profess disbelief, and explains why. He does a good job of respecting people's doubts and questions, but isn't wishy washy about the truths of the Bible. It's a pretty good balance. I may be a believer, but I came at this book with the attitude of a skeptic, trying to ascertain whether his explanations would fly. To me, most of them make sense. He certainly explains stuff better than I can. But I know that, like everything in life, this book will speak to some and not to others. I hope the "some" outnumber the "others". :) ( )
  Zaiga | Sep 23, 2019 |
3.75 stars, really. ( )
  wordsampersand | Dec 6, 2018 |
Had to read this book for class. Surprisingly good. I like the honesty of the writer, who not only shares popularly held beliefs but also his personal views. ( )
  KatelynSBolds | Nov 12, 2018 |
We read this book during my first trimester Bible class. Very thought provoking; I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone. Keller presents his arguments in an intelligent yet readable way. ( )
  bookishblond | Oct 24, 2018 |
Overview: The Reason For God is mostly an apologetic for the existence of God. The author has pastored in NY city and has been engaged in evangelizing atheists, agnostics, seekers, and a host of different religions; his explanations to those types of individuals form the basis for this book.

Pros: I really enjoyed this book. Tim Keller is an engaging writer, at least according to my preferences. He is also very logical and irrefutably presents his arguments, yet with an unmistakable kindness and respect. The book is divided into two main sections followed by a lengthy epilogue.

Part One - The Leap Of Doubt ("Help Thou Mine Unbelief")
Here Keller answers the arguments and questions:
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
Part Two - The Reasons For Faith
8 - The Clues Of God
9 - The Knowledge Of God
10 - The Problem Of Sin
11 - Religion And The Gospel
12 - The (True) Story Of The Cross
13 - The Reality Of The Resurrection
14 - The Dance Of God
Epilogue - Where Do We Go From Here?

Cons: There are two major issues which give me pause in recommending this book. 1) Keller presents a very weak view of the reality of hell. He defines hell as "one's freely chosen identity apart from God on a trajectory into infinity." Perhaps he is speaking of earthly hell and simply not addressing a literal and eternal hell... I'm not sure, but it leaves a questions mark as to where he stands. 2) Keller accepts that "Christians may believe in evolution as a process without believing in philosophical naturalism." He acknowledges that many Christians believe that God brought life about through evolutionary science. Both of these concerns undermine the idea of literal view of Scripture.

Conclusion: Keller expertly answers the questions and arguments of unbelief (in all but a literal hell and creation). His demeanor is unwaveringly kind and respectful. However, because of the two concerns mentioned, I would be very careful to whom I would recommend the book. I would recommend the book to a mature believer as a resource/tool to help sharpen their own apologetic. Other recommendations would be on a case by case basis, depending on the individuals spiritual condition, knowledge, and attitude. ( )
  LeviDeatrick | Jul 28, 2018 |
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I could go on, but I do not want to undermine the good there is in Keller's book. No book apart from Scripture itself is perfect and so I want to commend Reason for God but note my concerns. But I am likely to hear the retort that Keller's way of doing apologetics is better than my way of not doing it. I would prefer to do apologetics in a way consistent with Scripture and my confessional commitment. Be that as it may, perfect book or not, Keller is to be commended for venturing out into the marketplace.
added by Christa_Josh | editWestminster Theological Journal, Jeffrey C. Waddington (Mar 1, 2009)
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