THE REASON FOR GOD – Book ReviewAL
The ongoing debate on the existence of God and specifically the Christian God has always fascinated me, for obvious reasons. Being a Christian for 17 years and a minister for 7, I pay pretty close attention when I see headlines or clickbait in the vein of “Scientist finally find proof for/against the existence of God.” While in the back of my mind I know that definitive proof will never likely come until the return of Christ, my interest still gets piqued.
Being a minister to students I am no stranger to having conversations about why we believe in a God and where the clues are we can find to only begin to understand his nature. Most prominently, I point them towards the Bible but there are times where we (including myself in this) long for a more objective and reason-based conversation concerning the question, “Must there be a God?”
I’ve only read a few books that handle this question directly and that are willing to at least attempt to be objective. “The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism” does a superb job of addressing the skeptic where he/she is and walks with them through some of their most common and profound questions and objections. Here are the chapter headings…
- There Can’t Be Just One True Religion
- How Could a Good God Allow Suffering?
- Christianity Is a Straitjacket
- 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
- The Clues of God
- The Knowledge of God
- The Problem of Sin
- Religion and the Gospel
- The (True) Story of the Cross
- The Reality of the Resurrection
- The Dance of God
- Epilogue: Where Do We Go From Here?
Timothy Keller is a preacher and he does write this book as someone who wants people to come to know that there is a God and that he is worth getting to know. However, Keller’s context as the founding preacher of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, New York gives him a particular voice. Keller is used to preaching the gospel in the midst of our country’s zenith of secularism. He preaches to people from very diverse cultural and religious backgrounds. With this experience, his approach to the argument for the existence of God is done a way that appeals to logic and reason. For some of us, being able to be analytical and intellectualize some of our beliefs is especially important. As I’ve told my students and here often, “God doesn’t just want your heart, he wants your head too.”
I would highly recommend this book. It was particularly encouraging to me to read. I just recently also invested in the DVD and discussion guide to try out for either a small group or Bible study. I’ll review that later. If you are a minister of any kind, I’d keep this book (and an extra to let someone borrow) on your shelf to stay prepared for those who will come to you with questions and doubts about God. It is a powerful tool to keep on hand and a great exercise for any Christian to read through. Some teens could handle it but in general, I’d encourage walking through it with them.
Next time, I’ll be reviewing a fun book I recently read, “ARMADA” by Ernest Cline