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The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism

The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism
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Keller, Timothy

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Publisher's Description

The End of Faith. The God Delusion. God Is Not Great. Letter to a Christian Nation. Bestseller lists are filled with doubters. But what happens when you actually doubt your doubts?

Although a vocal minority continues to attack the Christian faith, for most Americans, faith is a large part of their lives: 86 percent of Americans refer to themselves as religious, and 75 percent 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. And in The Reason for God, he single-handedly 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. The Reason for God challenges such ideology at its core and points to the true path and purpose of Christianity.

Why is there suffering in the world? How could a loving God send people to Hell? Why isn't Christianity more inclusive? Shouldn't the Christian God be a god of love? How can one religion be "right" and the rest "wrong"? Why have so many wars been fought in the name of God? These are just a few of the questions even ardent believers wrestle with today. In this book, Tim Keller uses literature, philosophy, real-life conversations and reasoning, and even pop culture to explain 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.

About the Author

Timothy Keller was born and raised in Pennsylvania and educated at Bucknell University, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and Westminster Theological Seminary. He is the pastor of the Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, which he started in 1989 with his wife, Kathy, and three young sons. Today Redeemer has nearly six thousand regular attendees at five services, a host of daughter churches, and is planting churches in large cities throughout the world.

Book Details

272 Pages
Publisher: Penguin Group
Publication Date: February 2008
ISBN 10: 0525950494
ISBN 13: 9780525950493

The Reason for God by Timothy Keller is Christian apologetics at its best. Keller understands skepticism because he constantly interacts with unbelief in every guise in New York City, where he works. He plunges head on into issues such as, suffering, the Bible and science, Islamic terrorism, the exclusivity of the Christian religion, and so on. His answers are always fresh, often surprising, imaginative. His sources range from Bono to Jean Paul Sartre to Jonathan Edwards, and these pages are filled with personal experiences and real-life people. Above all, this book is gospel-driven, in the same way Redeemer Church is, and Tim Keller himself is. If you don't read anything else in 2008, read this.
-William Edgar, Coordinator of the Apologetics Dept, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia

"Believers will rejoice in a book that carefully and patiently answers the objections of their skeptical friends and does so with grace and in a way consistent with the Bible. Skeptics will see that even their skepticism is founded on some kind of faith and will be challenged to discern those underlying beliefs. May this book convince us all that we can believe and can believe reasonably, even in this age of skepticism."
- Tim Challies www.challies.com

Justin Taylor, editor at Crossway Books and co-editor of Communion with the Triune God, recently had the opportunity to interview Rev. Tim Keller about his book The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism (due out February 14). Rev. Keller is the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. The interview originally appeared on his Between Two Worlds blog, and is reproduced here by his permission.

JT: What's the essence—the thesis—of your book?

TK: That all doubts about Christianity, even the most skeptical ones, are themselves really alternate beliefs. And therefore if you look at the beliefs your doubts are based on, and ask for as much justification for them as what you are demanding of Christians for theirs, you will see your doubts are not all that solid and well founded.

JT: Was your intention to write a sort of Mere Christianity for the 21st century?

TK: I wish I could say I did, but, as a writer, I'm not worthy to be mentioned in the same sentence with C.S. Lewis.

JT: Who is the primary audience for the book? Unbelievers?

TK: It's addressed directly and primarily to people skeptical of Christianity, particularly the kinds of people whom I meet in large urban areas. But I also want to model for believers a way to represent their faith to people they care about.

JT: There are scores of books out there defending Christianity and debunking skepticism. How is yours different?

TK: If you are going to be persuasive to someone, you've got to enter sympathetically into their objection so they say to you, "You articulated my point of view in a more positive and compelling way than I could have myself. Thank you!" If you then show why their problem is nonetheless surmountable, they'll at least listen carefully because they feel understood. I think most of the books you mention are written by authors to bolster the faith of the already convinced, or even their own faith. They don't really "get into the skin" of the typical skeptic very well. Just ask one.

JT: How does being a pastor of a church cause you to write this book differently than if you had been an academician?

TK: I spent five years as a seminary teacher, of course. There are plenty of arguments for Christianity that seem compelling to me, but which I have discovered get almost no traction at all. If I'd stayed in the academy I might have been more prone to use them in the book anyway. That's why I said above so many books defending Christianity seem really to be written by the authors to themselves.

JT: Do you have any more books in the pipeline?

TK: Yes.

JT: Can you tell us about any of them?

TK: I'm turning my "Prodigal Sons" sermon into a short book. There are others I'm thinking about, too.