Author: Tim Keller
The Reason for Godis a contender for one of the top 5 books I have read this year. Keller is a master at gracious, intelligent apologetics. This book will both give you some excellent ways to converse with non-believers and help generate a kind disposition toward them. In the first half of the book Keller responds to the most popular objections he has head in his pastorate of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. Here he answers statements like, “There can’t be just one true religion,” and “How could a good God allow suffering?” In the second half of the book he offers evidence for Christianity. I am defiantly going to reread the book several times hoping that Keller’s loving, patience, intelligent, conversational disposition towards unbelievers and doubters will infect me.
Most people who assert the equality of religions have in mind the major world faiths, not splinter sects. This was the form of the objection I got from the student the night I was on the panel. He contended that the doctrinal differences between Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism were superficial and insignificant, that they all believed in the same God. But when I asked him who that God was, he described him as an all-loving Spirit in the universe. The problem with this position is its inconsistency. It insists that doctrine is unimportant, but at the same time assumes doctrinal beliefs about the nature of God that are at loggerheads with those of all the major faiths. Buddhism doesn’t believe in a personal God at all. Judaism, Christianity and Islam believe in a God who holds people accountable for their beliefs and practices, and whose attributes could not be all reduced to love. Ironically, the insistence that doctrines do not matter is really a doctrine itself. It holds a specific view of God, which is touted as more superior and more enlightened that the beliefs of most the major religions. So the proponents of this view do the very thing they forbid others.