Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Book Review: The Reason for God by Tim Keller

Tim Keller, a pastor in the heart of New York City, writes with the mind of an apologist and a  pastor's heart.  He has labored in probably one of the toughest areas of the country and God has seen fit to bless his ministry with around 6,000 people coming every week to three services.  Having read many different apologetic books, this one is the best I have ever read.  It is easy to read, understandable, and has some wonderful practical ways in which to talk and witness to your non-Christian friends.  
What makes this very different from some of the other works that I have read, is his assumptions about the lost among us.  His premise is that with the rise of the atheistic books that have come out this last year, including The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens' book God is not Great:  How Religion Poisons Everythingamong others, the openness and rise of theism is also prevalent.  The other premise that is unique to Keller, is that he points out that even though relativism is the philosophical belief of the day (note my previous post on relativism), the young non-Christians that he witnesses to are not morally neutral at all.  In chapter nine titled The Knowledge of God, he recounts a conversation with a young couple that say that they are moral relativists until Keller asks them to tell them something that they believe is really wrong.  The woman says that repression of women is always wrong.  Keller says he agrees with her because all human beings are made by God and should be treated with human dignity.  Then he goes on to ask her why she thought it was wrong.  She responds saying that everyone knows it is wrong to violate the rights of someone.  He points out that that is a western view of human rights.  Not all cultures in the world would say that women are afforded the same rights as men.  Then Keller says if there is no God then we have evolved from animals. Is it wrong to trample on someone's (animal) rights, then?  The husband says yes.  Keller then asks him why is it not wrong for animals to eat other animals.  The young man only held humans guilty of trampling on others rights.  He then asks them, "Why this double standard? Why did this couple insist that human beings had to be different from animals? Why were animals allowed to act as was natural to the rest of the animal world, and not humans?  Why did the couple keep insisting that humans had this great, unique individual dignity and worth?  Keller makes the point, "People still have strong moral convictions, but unlike people in other times and places, they don't have any visible basis for why they find some things ot be evil and other things good.  It is almost like their moral intuitons are free-floating in midair-far off the ground."  (pp. 144-145)  
This view of presuppositional apologetics is not unique, but the way in which he approaches it is.   
The last part of the book is the best of all.  Keller presents the Gospel in beautiful language that personally I need to read and meditate on daily.  I read constantly, I have read over 300 books in the last 2 1/2 years, and this one is one of the best non-fiction books I have read.  
Please tell me what you think.  Either on this blog site, lynnsmusings.blogspot.com, or email me ominbuscross@yahoo.com.

Awaiting the Bridegroom.......Lynn

No comments: