A rebuttal to the key arguments against Christianity and apologia for the tenets of the Christian faith.
Rev. Tim Keller is legendary among Christians here in New York City. He is the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, a large church that has planted a number of daughter churches throughout the area, including the one that we attend. He is known as a great explicator of Scripture and people often attend services at Redeemer on top of their regular church attendance just to hear him speak. We don’t do this, because we really love our pastor, but I remember one Sunday near Christmastime when my church was between pastors, and Redeemer was sending us a rotation from their roster of associate pastors. Since it was the holidays, very few people were at church that week to behold a true miracle–Tim Keller had come to speak to us! We all felt happy that we had stayed in town.
In The Reason For God, Keller sets out to answer critics like Sam Harris, David Dennett and Christopher Hitchens with a point-by-point argument against the key charges against Christianity:
- There can’t be just one true religion
- How could a good God allow suffering?
- Christianity is a straightjacket
- The Church is responsible for so much injustice
- How can a loving God send people to Hell?
- Science has disproved Christianity
- You can’t take the Bible literally
Keller’s thesis is that these atheistic claims are actually beliefs, and he deconstructs the origins of and fallacies inherent in these beliefs. I found his arguments convincing, but as I’m inclined to believe him, I’m not sure I’m the best judge of whether or not they are successful.
Part two concerns itself with the reasons for faith, and is about as well-executed an apologia as any since CS Lewis’s Mere Christianity. Indeed, Lewis’s influence shines on every page, but to his credit Keller develops Lewis’s ideas into idioms and imagery that will connect with people today.
I would love to know what a non-believer thinks of this book. For me, it gave me good reasons for my faith, and some ways in which to respond to questions that might be raised of me in conversation. I think it has earned a place in the canon of classics of the Christian faith.