Monday, March 31, 2008

The Reason for God

Its not often you feel like you know a book before you read it, but given the amount of writing this book had inspired i came to it feeling that way, and full of hope for it's content. I'd never read a Tim Keller book before (obviously, since this is his first one!) and so starting a journey with a new author was also pretty exciting.

So does this book live up to its expectation? Yes! it was the cover that first grabbed me, especially the black detail on the inside and the black and silver letters on the front. Understated sophistication. Then, the fact that the book was split up into two halves with an intermission half way though like an old tape album pleased me very much as well. I was already friends with this book before we started!

No one who listened to Dr Keller at the 2006 DG Conference could doubt whether he knew his patch. Planting a faithful, expositional church in the heart of New York City can't be an easy thing to do but he has shown that through knowing your people and trusting the Word, the Lord can do mighty work though you. Keller demonstrates his knowledge of the New York, and wider, scene in the introduction where he sets the scene of both his church, and how this book was born. I don't often bother with introductions, but i'm glad i did with this one.

The first half of the book is entitled 'The Leap of Doubt' and deals with the seven most popular objections the people have to Biblical faith. There were two things that i really enjoyed about this part of the book. Firstly that Keller writes with such and knowledge and love for those who are asking these questions. This is no dry academic apologetic study...this is a pastors heart on pages. The second was how differently to me Keller answers some of the questions that he raises. Straight from chapter one 'there can't be one true religion' he concludes, having deconstructed the major anti exclusive arguments by appealing to all the good done in the name of Christ by Christians, rather than further philosophising about the uniqueness of Christ. This approach really challenged me,

The second part, 'The Reasons for Faith' then deals with explanations of key areas of Biblical faith, such as 'The problem of Sin', The Clues for God' and 'The (true) story of the cross'. I think it's here that Keller really demonstrates his gift as an author, theologian and apologist. I don't know how anyone can write chapters so drenched in Edwards and Lewis and yet make them so popular level, so readable at the same time! 'hats off tim!' My heart was warmed by every chapter, especially fourteen 'the dance of God'. Brilliant.

This book is written for 'skeptics and those that love them'. Well i love them, now i'm going to pass this one with prayers and much confidence. I can not say enough positive things about this book. You really should but it.


1 comment:

thebluefish said...

1. Love the design attention in the review.
2. It's not his first book (See, Ministries of Mercy)
3. It's great isn't it!