Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Reason for God

I've just finished reading Timothy Keller's The Reason for God, given to me by Mike, and if you haven't read it, you should.

If you're not a Christian, here's why you should read it:

Keller spends half the book considering the most common objections he has heard against Christianity. What does he do with them? He examines them sympathetically and reasonably, and boils them down to the point where their presuppositions are clear. Even if you are unpersuaded by Christianity, I consider it philosophically honest to own where your beliefs come from and at what point arguments are actually assertions and presuppositions.

Keller spends the second half of the book arguing for key beliefs of Christianity. He does so in a way that... avoids the arrogance and/or impossibility of trying to achieve strong proof. Even if you are unpersuaded by such arguments, it's worth your while to consider how orthodox Christianity 'makes sense' of the world in a coherent and persuasive way.

If nothing else, I'd want non-Christians to read this book so that they could have a meaningful, honest, engagement with Christianity.

If you are a Christian, you should read this book because:

The time Keller spends on objections against Christianity is well spent time reading. Perhaps these are things you wrestle with, and Keller's exposition is profound and clear. Perhaps these are things you struggle to explain, and again Keller's treatment is beneficial, helping to articulate some of the 'why' for these objections, and the point at which they become presuppositional.

The time Keller spends on reasons for Christianity is a good shot in the arm. Some of his points cut to the heart of contemporary debates in Western society. Others remind you of the reasonability, or the coherence, or the power, of the sheer beauty, of the Christian story of redemption and restoration.

Throughout, Keller calls upon a vast literature of illustration and exposition. His writing style is not heavy, indeed I found the book a delight to pick up and read.

I give it 5 stars.

The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism

5 comments:

Mark said...

Great review. It sounds like a substantial reworking of his 'defeater beliefs' material. Is it the kind of thing you could read through in a campus/home group?

Seumas Macdonald said...

Yes, it would make a good read through in a small group of some sort

Mark said...

Seumas - any chance I could purloin your review for WebSalt?

http://www.afes.org.au/_magazine/

Seumas Macdonald said...

Sure, I have no objection.

Mark said...

Thanks Seumas. I'll take that as a yes.

Its up on the AFES website. Let me know if you'd like me to change anything.