Subtitled Belief in an Age of Skepticism, The Reason for God at first looked like it was going to another popular survey of scientific and historical reasons to accept the Bible. I do in fact thoroughly enjoy such surveys, but this book is something more. The author is the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, and he addresses real doubts and concerns expressed by real people—people who have indeed grown up in an age of skepticism.
Timothy Keller draws his reasons not just from history and science, but from philosophy, literature, real-life conversations, human instinct and satisfying arguments. He leads not to a “believe me or else” type faith, but rather to a request that the reader, questioner, believer, skeptic or agnostic, take stock and really think. He allows questions as if they’re a part of his growing as well as the reader’s—he wants to know more about people and welcomes what they say. And he provides answers that might challenge many of us to reconsider at least a few unquestioned convictions.
There are lots of things society wants us to know that aren’t actually true. There are things some religious leaders demand we be sure of that might likewise be false. And in between, there are questions that can be answered, doubts that can be entertained, and hopes that can enlighten and assure. Not a book of techniques, or rules, or familiar explanations, this is a book I’d recommend to anyone who wants to know what they believe, why they believe it, or why others do or don’t believe.
Disclosure: I was give a copy of this book by a friend, to encourage conversation with someone dear to me.