Timothy Keller, the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, addresses the frequent doubts that skeptics, and even ardent believers, have about religion. Read more...
Timothy Keller, the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, addresses the frequent doubts that skeptics, and even ardent believers, have about religion. Using literature, philosophy, real-life conversations, and potent reasoning, Keller explains how the belief in a Christian God is, in fact, a sound and rational one. To true believers he offers a solid platform on which to stand their ground against the backlash to religion created by the Age of Skepticism. And to skeptics, atheists, and agnostics, he provides a challenging argument for pursuing the reason for God.
Timothy Keller's latest book, God's Wisdom for Navigating Life, will be available from Viking in Fall 2017.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 51.
- Review Date: 2007-12-10
- Reviewer: Staff
In this apologia for Christian faith, 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. One of Keller’s most provocative arguments is that “all doubts, however skeptical and cynical they may seem, are really a set of alternate beliefs.” Drawing on sources as diverse as 19th-century author Robert Louis Stevenson and contemporary New Testament theologian N.T. Wright, Keller attempts to deconstruct everyone he finds in his way, from the evolutionary psychologist Richard Dawkins to popular author Dan Brown. The first, shorter part of the book looks at popular arguments against God’s existence, while the second builds on general arguments for God to culminate in a sharp focus on the redemptive work of God in Christ. Keller’s condensed summaries of arguments for and against theism make the scope of the book overwhelming at times. Nonetheless, it 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 re-evaluate what they believe, and why. (Feb. 14)
Thinking things through
Where Garry Wills primarily writes for the thoughtful believer, Timothy Keller writes for the thoughtful skeptic. The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism is an answer to the recent polemics from atheist authors such as Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great), Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion) and Samuel Harris (Letter to a Christian Nation), though it is hardly in the same vein. This is no reactionary screed, but a thoughtful, probing and erudite examination of the Christian faith.
Keller, the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, answers skeptics with understanding, compassion and compelling logic. He deftly refutes the arguments of Hitchens et. al, revealing their underlying fallacies, while encouraging the reader to examine his or her own assumptions for similar false premises. Yet throughout The Reason for God, Keller never resorts to smugness or presents his views as necessarily infalliblea refreshing approach in a world so often divided by unfounded claims of certainty.
The publisher compares Keller to the great Christian writer and thinker C.S. Lewis; the comparison is apt. Like Lewis, Keller offers clarity of thought in an engaging, readable style. And like Lewis, Keller calls readersbelievers and skeptics aliketo an active examination of their own motivations, purpose and faith. The believer will find as much to challenge his understanding of God as will the skepticand both will leave the book the richer for it.