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The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism Paperback – August 4, 2009
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The Reason for God is written for skeptics and believers alike. It is a response to or perhaps an antidote to the the writings of popular authors like Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris. And it is a fine one, at that. While the skeptic has several volumes he can hand to a believing friend (many of them written by the aforementioned authors), the believer has fewer to choose from. So many introductions to Christian beliefs were written many years ago and simply do not resonate with today's skeptics. They assume too much and deliver too little. Keller's volume seeks to fill that void, and it does so well.
The Reason for God arrives at a unique time, for we are at a point when both belief and skepticism are on the rise. "Skepticism, fear, and anger toward traditional religion are growing in power and influence," says Keller.Read more ›
But Keller isn't the first to face the challenges of a growing profile and unrealistic expectations, and thankfully, he continues to use his influence wisely. The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, now on the New York Times bestseller list, is likely to multiply his influence even more, not only within the church but also within a culture with serious doubts about Christianity.
In a sense, there's nothing new in this book. It's all out there in other places, just like all the ingredients of a meal prepared by a chef are there in the grocery store. In The Reason for God, you have presuppositional apologetics in the tradition of Van Til, as well as generous doses of C.S. Lewis, the subtle but strong influence of Jonathan Edwards, as well as engagement with contemporary thinkers and writers.
What is unique is how Keller brings all together; in other words, the way these ingredients are mixed. Keller aptly deals with common doubts and objections to Christianity, such as "There can't be just one true religion" and "How can a loving God send people to hell?" Behind every doubt is an alternate set of beliefs. "The only way to doubt Christianity rightly and fairly," Keller writes, "is to discern the alternate belief under each of your doubts and then to ask yourself what reasons you have for believing it.Read more ›
"Ironically, the insistence that doctrines do not matter is really a doctrine itself. It holds a specific view of God, which is touted as superior and more enlightened than the beliefs of most major religions." (p. 8)
A common theme throughout Keller's book is how cultural expectations shape out attitudes. For instance, we find God's unilateral forgiveness attractive and hell offensive. In other cultures, it's the exact opposite. (p. 72) The anti-abolitionists who cited Ephesians 6:5 as justification for 19th-century chattel slavery didn't realize that it was incomparably more severe than the indentured servanthood which Paul had in mind. (pp. 109-111, 266-267) We learn that magic was uncommon in the middle ages; it didn't peak until the 16th-17th centuries--at the same time that modern science got started (p. 70)
The early-church-made-everything-up assertion is contrary to reality. The New Testament mentions unflattering things such as Peter's denials, the disciples' jealousies, etc.--the exact opposite of writings designed to promote and popularize a new religion. (pp. 104-105) Furthermore, we now realize that the ancients were very careful to separate fictional and factual writings (p. 204). Also, Jewish thinking anticipated a final resurrection of many people, not just One (p. 207).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
After reading Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens, this book was the best, fairest response I could find. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Z A
This is one of the books I love to give out to new Christians as there are some very pointed questions being answered in here. Read morePublished 3 days ago by W. Lin
Now I have a better understanding of why so many people turn their faith to some unknown God.Published 8 days ago by Sheila Johnson
We shared this as an extended study in our Sunday School class of 60-70 folks. The more intellectually astute and engaged loved it, and we were able to communicate at a good level... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Kindle Customer