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Making Sense of God: An Invitation to the Skeptical
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Making Sense of God: An Invitation to the Skeptical

4.53  ·  Rating Details ·  269 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
We live in an age of skepticism. Our society places such faith in empirical reason, historical progress, and heartfelt emotion that it’s easy to wonder: Why should anyone believe in Christianity? What role can faith and religion play in our modern lives?

In this thoughtful and inspiring new book, pastor and New York Times bestselling author Timothy Keller invites skeptics
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Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 20th 2016 by Viking
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Phil Aud
Oct 13, 2016 Phil Aud rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
I’m not big on reformed theology. I’m not big on apologetics, either. Still, I really like Tim Keller. I don’t agree with everything he says, but there is much to learn from this seasoned pastor and author.

Making Sense of God is an apologetic (hence the subtitle An Invitation to the Skeptical). Like I said, I’m not big on apologetics, but Keller’s approach is very generous and – like his other books – a pleasure to read. Whatever else one can argue about Keller, he’s a fantastic writer.

As to the
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Dave Courtney
Jan 11, 2017 Dave Courtney rated it really liked it
I think Making Sense of God: An Invitation to the Skeptical is Keller's best work yet. He has gone on record stating that Making Sense of God is a sort of prequel to his best selling The Reason for God. The reason he gives for such a prequel is that he felt the need to offer a well-reasoned position as to why people might (or could) be motivated to consider a reasoning for God in the first place. In other words, why should we care about bringing the question of God into the picture in the first ...more
Jeremy
Jan 03, 2017 Jeremy marked it as to-read
Keller is interviewed re: this "prequel" here. Related interview here. Andy Naselli provides a number of links here.
Chazzle
Oct 15, 2016 Chazzle rated it liked it
The book is less about apologetics than I expected, although that element is still featured. Generally, the book was "up and down" for me. Some chapters were pretty interesting and others were much less so. For me, the good parts were chapters on 1) whether it's ok to do anything you want as long as it doesn't hurt anybody, 2) whether a secular viewpoint can explain how man can be a moral animal with a conscience, 3) the author's conception of what heaven is like, and 4) the ending epilogue on w ...more
Luke Evans
Good stuff. Not much that is new.

Keller in so many ways serves as a gateway into high-level philosophers, cultural critics, and theologians. Perhaps his greatest gift as an author is making the ideas of these thought leaders accessible.

This book is inherently very narrow in its focus - it is written for the skeptical, educated, urbane cosmopolitan person...which is Keller's mission field.

Huge portions of it will not be very relevant to someone not in that world, however.

Very good for me to rea
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Glenn
Nov 14, 2016 Glenn rated it it was amazing
Simply, Keller's Making Sense is one of the most thoughtful, insightful, and powerful books I have read on Christ and the Christian faith. Keller does not write a typical Christian apologetics book which only addresses the intellectual arguments directed against the Christian faith. In *Making Sense of God,* Keller goes behind the rational debates and examines people's motives, emotional struggles, and heartful anxieties which prevent them from accepting Christ as Savior. Keller's writing is flu ...more
Kevin Halloran
Oct 13, 2016 Kevin Halloran rated it it was amazing
Tim Keller’s 2008 New York Times Bestseller, The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, is what first propelled him into the international spotlight. The Reason for God sought to make skeptics ‘doubt their doubts’ about Christianity by holding them up to the same intellectual scrutiny as to which they held Christianity.

While The Reason for God impacted many interested in Christianity or at least in its consideration, Keller realized it was not written for those who do not deem Christian
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Brian Watson
Dec 29, 2016 Brian Watson rated it it was amazing
This is an important book, and I hope that may people will read it. It's supposed to be a prequel to Keller's first blockbuster, The Reason for God. That book assumed that people were interested in Christianity but had doubts. This book doesn't assume that the reader is interested in Christianity per se. Instead, it is designed for someone who may be open to hearing a good argument for why they should consider God at all.

Keller starts by showing that secular people (people of no religious faith
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Bill Pence
Dec 14, 2016 Bill Pence rated it it was amazing
This book is considered to be a prequel to Tim Keller’s excellent 2008 book Reason for God. The author wrote the book to bring secular readers to a place where they might find it even sensible and desirable to explore the extensive foundations for the truth of the Christianity. He compares the beliefs and claims of Christianity with the beliefs and claims of the secular view, asking which one makes more sense of a complex world and human experience. He challenges both the assumption that the wor ...more
Jon
Dec 26, 2016 Jon rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
Culture has changed at breakneck speed since Tim Keller first published his book The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism back in 2008. That cultural shift has meant that while in an earlier era the question was one of, "Why believe in Christianity?" the question is now "Why bother with religion at all?" In other words, the prevailing cultural philosophy is one that sees faith as an unnecessary appendage that is not worth the time and effort to let grow.

This book challenges that assu
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Andy Bond
Dec 14, 2016 Andy Bond rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Preaching to someone who is converted, but this book should make us all think

Possibly Keller's best book.

So enjoyed reading this and sharing quotes on social media to sceptical friends, it caused a few conversations.

This has the usual gracious tone from Tim Keller. I always love his ability to build his case using a wide array of sources, (the footnotes alone take up 30% of the book and could provide a years reading on their own!)

He argues that secular humanism is also based on certain presuppos
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Tanwin
Dec 03, 2016 Tanwin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Modern day CS Lewis. That's what I thought of Tim Keller and this book confirms it! This is such a brilliantly written and well researched book. Keller talks about skepticism and secularism in post-modern era and how Christianity compares to those views.

Drawing from hundreds of books and journal articles, Keller tackles secularism, modernism, and postmodernism from a wide variety of fields. It's really good to see a modern apologetical book that is written by someone who reads widely.

Keller als
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Adam Robinson
Dec 08, 2016 Adam Robinson rated it really liked it
Tim Keller is solidifying his place as the C. S. Lewis of our generation. Although maybe less artistic than Lewis Keller does a fantastic job of speaking intelligently on a range of issues in language we can understand. This book is a prequel to his A Reason For God and is aimed directly at those who are skeptical of religion in general and Christianity in particular. It was a good reminder of a few things. First, that secular humanism rests on faith and can and should be challenged on this assu ...more
Vance
Nov 09, 2016 Vance rated it really liked it
For those skeptical about God and Christianity, this book is for you. There are a number of excellent reasons to consider.

A key point for me, which I am a Christian, is who/what created the world. No matter if you believe in evolution or not, what started it all? Aristotle suggested it was God who was the prime mover.

Another issue is what happens after death. If you assume that there's no afterlife and there happens to be, then you've missed out on that opportunity. Or, if you believe that the
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John
Dec 13, 2016 John rated it really liked it
"Making Sense of God" might be the perfect Christmas present for your skeptical friend.
This assumes your skeptical friend is open-minded, as many skeptics are. If s/he is closed-minded, s/he will merely resent the gift and you will have wasted your money.
Drawing from numerous sources, ancient and modern, philosophical and scientific, biblical texts and the writings of atheists, and also from popular culture (including an episode of the TV show "Fargo"), Timothy Keller presents a strong case for
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Jeremy Pitman
Dec 15, 2016 Jeremy Pitman rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Hope amidst Suffering , Morality, Identity, and Justice are all dissected brilliantly that will make even the most ardent atheist ponder their worldview and the premise that got them there.

Keller does an excellent job at laying out the empirical reasons why it makes more sense to believe in God, then not believe in one. He challenges the apathetic, the ignorant and the white washed religious to use reason and logic to come to the conclusion of there being a creator and ruler of the universe.

5 s
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Steve Herreid
Dec 23, 2016 Steve Herreid rated it it was amazing
Amazing book. God has given Pastor Keller the rare ability to communicate effectively at multiple levels. This book includes some pretty sophisticated concepts, but written so clearly that the average person can follow along. The 70-odd pages of footnotes are a big plus. They include not only references to other works, but a numerous lengthy comments from Keller himself which help clarify and embellish the basic text. This book is aimed as secular skeptics, but will undoubtedly also be helpful f ...more
Matt Hill
Jan 17, 2017 Matt Hill rated it really liked it
i love keller . . and this was well done, of course . . to me, *reason for god* is still the stronger book . .but it probably depends what you're looking for exactly . . this book includes an abbreviated version of that as a last section, but fills in a lot more "preevangelism" material before that . . not necessarily what i was looking for . . that said, it was all well done, etc. . . definitely a good choice to pass to someone looking for a really fully orbed look at how christianity compares ...more
Edward Smith
Jan 14, 2017 Edward Smith rated it it was amazing
Tim presents a thorough critic of the Secular view of God and the natural world philosophy.

I was intrigued by his argument that the secular view is a belief system with some of the same proof challenges as the belief in God and Jesus Christ.

II would recommend this to anyone who is a tad skeptical of the existence of god and too anyone who believes in God but has some nagging questions they would like to resolve. Text is very readable and presents his arguments in a very understandable logical
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Sydney Herron
Jan 04, 2017 Sydney Herron rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most insightful apologetic books I have read. Keller not only seeks to answer the logical and intellectual arguments that Christians often face, but goes beyond that to the emotional struggles that prevent people from accepting the lordship of Jesus Christ. Keller asks challenging questions that cause people to deeply reflect upon what it is about Christianity that they are struggling to accept. This book is helpful to anyone who is sharing the gospel with someone who is strug ...more
Patrick
Dec 20, 2016 Patrick rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I wondered how this book would differ from Keller's excellent earlier work, The Reason for God, also directed toward skeptics. Essentially, the earlier book rebuts common intellectual objections and then makes a positive case for God/Christianity. This later book has some of the same, but primarily makes a different kind of argument: that God/Christianity fulfills humanity's most basic needs and desires (e.g. meaning, satisfaction, freedom, morality, etc.), whereas secularism fails to do so. Kel ...more
Daniel Rodger
Dec 08, 2016 Daniel Rodger rated it it was amazing
This book is a masterpiece and it must become the standard book to pass onto searching or skeptical friends. Unlike the his book 'The Reason for God' he starts several steps back and spends the vast majority of the book laying the groundwork, challenging assumptions and building a persuasive case. In 11 years as a Christian this has to be the best Christian book I've ever read and that comes from someone who reads 40+ book per year. Bravo Mr Keller.
Brad Smith
Nov 17, 2016 Brad Smith rated it it was amazing
Tim Keller continues to write books that can be read by both Christians and non believers with great benefit. Therein lies the unique space where Keller's writing is second to none. He provides in his books a safe place where those of differing views can read and dialogue together, so needed in our toxic culture today. Because of the irenic tone of this book I would gladly and hand it to anyone exploring and asking life's biggest questions. Highly recommended.
Chris Armer
Dec 04, 2016 Chris Armer rated it liked it
Decent book but it didn't live up to its title. It didn't make "sense of God." Rather, it sought to communicate why naturalism and humanism do not make sense. Keller's treatment of subjects like morality would not appease those more familiar with the depth of argumentation that surround such controversial topics. This book would be great for someone familiarizing themselves with the contrast between naturalism and theism.
Lynn Joshua
Jan 17, 2017 Lynn Joshua rated it it was amazing
This book is such an encouragement to me as a believer to remember the riches we have in Christ, and that the Christian view of reality "makes the most sense emotionally, culturally, and rationally"Keller has a gentle, compelling way of communicating some profound truths as he takes the reader through six things we cannot live without and shows the beautiful way that these needs are only met fully and coherently in Christianity. Highly recommended for everyone.
Bradley Wilson
Nov 06, 2016 Bradley Wilson rated it liked it
A strange blend of apologetics, theology, philosophy, and familiarly accessible Tim Keller writing. Undoubtedly well researched and presented, but I'm not sure if it's fits his target audience.

Probably too shallow and unconvincing for the committed skeptic, but too philosophical for someone who hasn't put much deep thought into the arguments. Some of the source material feels misrepresented, although he tackles some notoriously difficult scholars.
Tom
Jan 04, 2017 Tom rated it liked it
Keller covers a lot of ground that is essential for people today who are considering Christian commitment and for those who are Christians and desire to convince their non-Christian friends to follow Jesus. The book covers some new ground that "The Reason for God" does not, and as a pastor, I've had many conversations with believer and non-believers which contain the substance of this book. Helpful.
Kendrick
Dec 30, 2016 Kendrick rated it liked it
Shelves: church, apologetics
I'm a big fan of Timothy Kellers work, both in his writing and his preaching. Making Sense of God is definitely written towards a skeptic, but has a lot of good eye-opening reminders to Christians alike. Some chapters are stronger then others, but overall his (very well researched) arguments leave a lot to think about.
Andy Thaxton
Dec 25, 2016 Andy Thaxton rated it it was amazing
One of Keller's best. He gives a compelling and thorough argument against secularism in this work he calls a prequel to The Reason for God (I enjoyed this one more). I love the way Keller consistently presents his case in straightforward, even-handed movements while allowing the strength and truth of his argument to do the work. I'll be recommending this book to several skeptic friends.
Nicholas Driscoll
Nov 08, 2016 Nicholas Driscoll rated it really liked it
I have been struggling with my faith a lot, and this book helped me think through some of the issues that have bothered me. The book, I thought, was very thoughtful and insightful, with good analysis and examples. Oddly enough, though, it didn't touch on most of the issues that really trouble me. Still, great book.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Timothy Keller is the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, which he started in 1989 with his wife, Kathy, and three young sons. For over twenty years he has led a diverse congregation of young professionals that has grown to a weekly attendance of over 5,000.

He is also Chairman of Redeem
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“Actually, it is quite natural to human beings to move toward belief in God. As humanities scholar Mark Lilla has written: “To most humans, curiosity about higher things comes naturally, it’s indifference to them that must be learned.”61 Strict secularism holds that people are only physical entities without souls, that when loved ones die they simply cease to exist, that sensations of love and beauty are just neurological-chemical events, that there is no right or wrong outside of what we in our minds determine and choose. Those positions are at the very least deeply counterintuitive for nearly all people, and large swaths of humanity will continue to simply reject them as impossible to believe.” 1 likes
“While we may be able to demonstrably prove to any rational person that substance X will boil at temperature Y at elevation Z, we cannot so prove what we believe about justice and human rights, or that people are all equal in dignity and worth, or what we think is good and evil human behavior. If we used the same standard of evidence on our other beliefs that many secular people use to reject belief in God, no one would be able to justify much of anything. The” 1 likes
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