procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Monday, May 04, 2009

The Reason for God - a review

I did a pop quiz at 6pm church this Sunday. I asked, ‘What are the top 5 reasons that people think Christianity is unreasonable, not even worth thinking about? what are the top 5 arguments that knock Christianity out of the water?’

I got four hands in the air:
  • Science has disproved Christianity
  • Christianity is a straightjacket, it curtails your freedoms
  • how can we say Christianity is right and all the others wrong
  • suffering and evil show there’s no God

They weren’t primed, but coincidentally, these were four of the seven topics that Tim Keller, the author of The Reason for God (Penguin: London, 2008), deals with. He doesn’t dismiss them, but essentially says – no, wait, don’t write us off that easily – we HAVE thought about that – we don’t exist in a cocoon – we HAVE thought about these issues, and are Christians not just despite these problems, but indeed, often because of them.

Apart from engaging thoughtfully and rigorously with these questions that would disprove God’s existence, he also raises suggestions why we should at the very least consider Christianity anew. Quite cheekily, he even suggests that the most hardened atheist, deep down inside of them, knows that there is a God (check out ch12 – the Knowledge of God).

Keller talks through all the big things. He goes places others might be scared to; he is open in sharing his own doubts and struggles, but he also shares with us the vast time he’s spent not running away from these questions, but chatting through them, reading through them, and praying through these issues.

At the end of the day, when everything else has been stripped away, we’re left with the cold realisation that “if there is a God, you are, in a sense, alone with him.” (p256)

The Reason for God helps us all to think through how we are going to respond to this God. In what is arguably the most important decision we will make in our whole lives, we need to ask ourselves whether we are going to obstinately refuse to think seriously about him, or whether we’ll give him an honest attempt.

as soon as church's website is back up, this review should end up there.

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Blogger Mark said...

Great book. Looking forward to reading the full review Dougo!

12:14 pm  

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