Friday, February 06, 2009

The Reason for God

Thanks to the efforts of Richard Dawkins, more people are talking about science and Christianity than would probably otherwise be thinking about these issues. The same goes for the agnostibus campaign in London (and elsewhere). People are asking questions about Christianity, and so we need to have books to help us identify and discuss the issues, and also to put into our friends' hands.

Timothy Keller's magisterial book The Reason for God is such a book. Split into two sections, the first deals with common misconceptions and problems non-believers have with the Christian faith, and the second presents the reasons why it is logical, consistent, and acceptable to believe in God.

On the whole, I enjoyed the book, and will certainly return to it in the future to think through the issues again. His treatment of sin was different to how I would have approached it, but I can see how his approach may work, and also what he was communicating when he proposed sin (following Kirkegaard) as "in despair not wanting to be oneself before God." (p. 162). Through the following pages he unpacks this somewhat, but I don't think this is the line I would have gone down.

Granted the subject and the nature of the discussion, some parts of the book were philosophically heavy, and I struggled to keep going through them, particularly some of the early chapters. Perhaps this is because I had never read any of Keller's material before, or perhaps I wasnt focused on the topic at hand. Despite this minor problem (which may be me, and not the book), I would highly recommend The Reason for God.

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