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The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism

Publisher: Riverhead Books • 2009 • 310 pages
4.43 out of 5 • View Ratings Details • 7 Ratings

As founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in the heart of liberal Manhattan, Dr. Timothy Keller has been called upon to answer tough questions about Christianity by skeptics and believers alike. Questions such as: Why is there suffering in the world? How could a loving God send people to Hell? How can one religion be “right” and the rest “wrong”?

Now, in “The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism,” Dr. Keller provides theologically sound and intellectually persuasive answers to these questions and many more like 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 hostile questioning. The Reason for God challenges such ideology at its core and points to the true path and purpose of Christianity.

In the first part of “The Reason for God,” Dr. Keller presents an articulate and logical engagement of doubt in a Christian God, exploring — and dismantling — the following common objections to Christianity:

  • “There can?t just be one true religion”
  • “A kind God could not allow suffering”
  • “Christianity is a straitjacket”
  • “The Church is responsible for so much injustice”
  • “A loving God would not send people to hell”
  • “Science has disproved Christianity”
  • “You can’t take the Bible literally”

In the book’s second half, Keller uses literature, philosophy, even pop culture to show 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. Drawing upon his many conversations with doubters over the years, he challenges skeptics to examine their convictions — and shows that their arguments are, in fact, based on faith. “All doubts, however skeptical and cynical they may seem, are really a set of alternate beliefs. You cannot doubt Belief A except from a position of faith in Belief B.” At the same time, Dr. Keller encourages believers to wrestle with their own doubts, because “only if you struggle long and hard with objections to your faith will you be able to provide grounds for your belief to skeptics.”

“Keller mines material from literary classics, philosophy, anthropology and a multitude of other disciplines to make an intellectually compelling case for God. Written for skeptics and the believers who love them, the book draws on the author’s encounters as founding pastor of New York’s booming Redeemer Presbyterian Church?[The Reason for God] should serve both as testimony to the author’s encyclopedic learning and as a compelling overview of the current debate on faith for those who doubt and for those who want to reevaluate what they believe, and why.” –Publishers Weekly

“Fifty years from now, if evangelical Christians are widely known for their love of cities, their commitment to mercy and justice, and their love of their neighbors, Tim Keller will be remembered as a pioneer of the new urban Christians.” –Christianity Today Magazine

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