The Reason for God.

The Reason for God by Tim Keller is a must-read for anyone looking for a pastoral, thoughtful, and compelling defense of the Christian faith.

I call it pastoral because, unlike some theological works (even those by such great minds as CS Lewis), this book doesn’t at any point talk down to it’s reader.  It is a defense, to be sure, of the Christian faith.  But it feels like Pastor Tim is talking to you over a cup of coffee, not a podium and his reading glasses.  He is respectful of, and even encouraging to, those who enter into the discussion with doubts.

The real strength of this book, (and what I’d like to see skeptics like Dawkins respond to) is when (in the chapter called “Intermission”) Keller points out the differences between “strong rationalism” and “critical rationalism.”  His basic point is that not even atheistic naturalists have to give proofs that will satisfy people from every conceivable perspective, yet that is precisely what those same atheists require of Christians.  This is the only point at which I think those atheists and skeptics could find reason to be offended by this book.

All things considered, I’d highly recommend this book to anyone searching, or any Christian looking for a model of how to have a thoughtful, intelligent conversation with skeptics.  My word of caution to those Christians would be to replicate the tone of the book (caring more for the person than the philosophical debate), and avoid weaponizing the very compelling truths contained in the book.