Book Notes: The Reason for God by Tim Keller

Summary

This book is tremendous! It is an explanation of the Christian faith for today. Part one describes why common criticisms of Christianity undercut themselves. Keller makes the point that skeptics should doubt their doubts. Part two is an explanation of reasons to believe in Christ--Keller calls some of them clues that lead to God rather than proofs for God. Keller’s point is that Christianity is not simply an argument or a series of rational beliefs but a system that makes sense of the world and an invitation to a relationship of joy with the God of the universe.

Why I read it

I reread this after reading Andy Stanley’s Irresistible because I wanted to read a different way to engage skepticism than Stanley’s. This is much more satisfying to me. Stanley’s apologetic seems to be a combination of good hermeneutics with bold marketing as his apologetics. I think that leads to more confusion and skepticism rather than less. I prefer a careful and compelling invitation like The Reason for God

Quotes

We usually begin the journey toward God thinking, "what do I have to do to get this or that from him?" but eventually we have to begin thinking, "what do I have to do to get him?" 238

A man once said to a pastor that he would be happy to believe in Christianity if the cleric could only give him a watertight argument for its truth. The pastor replied, "What if God hasn't given us a watertight argument, but rather a watertight person?" 242 (from a Dick Lucas sermon on Matthew 11.)

Key Takeaways

  • Everyone should doubt their doubts. There are more reasons to be skeptical of doubts than of Christianity. Keller explains that beliefs need to answer three questions: Does it make sense intellectually? Does it make sense experientially? Is there a community to walk in this truth with? Keller, along with writers like John Piper and N.T. Wright, along with the local Church help answer questions 1 and 3. My own experience helps me answer question 2. I appreciate Keller's book for that reason.
  • It is better to call them clues for God rather than proofs.
  • Christianity really is magical. Good writers and thinkers like Keller, S.D. Smith, and G.K. Chesterton remind me again how wonderful Christianity is.
  • This is the most winsome and coherent case for Christianity since Mere Christianity. I can't believe it was published in just 2008. It feels timeless.

You Might Also Like

Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis

Simply Jesus, N.T. Wright

How Shall We Then Live, Francis Schaeffer



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