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The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

Lucid and Convincing

The casual glance of the front cover may lead one to conclude that this must be a plain, and perhaps boring, volume laden with old, long theological words. This couldn't be farther from the truth. This is one of the most well written piece of popular apologetic I have...
The casual glance of the front cover may lead one to conclude that this must be a plain, and perhaps boring, volume laden with old, long theological words. This couldn't be farther from the truth. This is one of the most well written piece of popular apologetic I have read, and it successfully addresses the most modern issues that plague the minds of those in the post-modern societies. What I really appreciate about Pastor Keller's writing is that he effectively brings together vast array of knowledge from various different fields of knowledge, from science to philosophy to literature, to support his claims. For instance, in one of the chapters, he was referencing a story written by Flannery O'Conner, not only providing a deep analysis (which I was able to reference later on to help a friend who was reading the story), but also using it to a great effect to support his argument.

This book provides great answers to many of common objections to Christian faith, and I highly recommend to the seekers as well as those would like to learn to be able to defend their faith.

posted by hyunlee on March 17, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

A Nice Try, but...

...ultimately not what I hoped for. I was wanting a fresh, validating, positive response to Dawkins/Harris et al (the angry atheists) while also not swinging too far in the literalist direction. I was hoping for the sweet spot, and instead got a bit of the slightly stal...
...ultimately not what I hoped for. I was wanting a fresh, validating, positive response to Dawkins/Harris et al (the angry atheists) while also not swinging too far in the literalist direction. I was hoping for the sweet spot, and instead got a bit of the slightly stale warmed-over C. S. Lewis. I like Lewis, but I wanted something fresh...and non-circular, logically. If you are looking for that middle path between militant atheism and the intellectual straight-jacket of Christian literalism, I would recommend Marcus Borg's The Heart of Christianity, rather than Timothy Keller's pretty good effort. He ultimately veers toward a literalistic view of Christianity which is intellectually unfulfilling for many.

posted by Anonymous on March 27, 2008

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  • Posted March 17, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Lucid and Convincing

    The casual glance of the front cover may lead one to conclude that this must be a plain, and perhaps boring, volume laden with old, long theological words. This couldn't be farther from the truth. This is one of the most well written piece of popular apologetic I have read, and it successfully addresses the most modern issues that plague the minds of those in the post-modern societies. What I really appreciate about Pastor Keller's writing is that he effectively brings together vast array of knowledge from various different fields of knowledge, from science to philosophy to literature, to support his claims. For instance, in one of the chapters, he was referencing a story written by Flannery O'Conner, not only providing a deep analysis (which I was able to reference later on to help a friend who was reading the story), but also using it to a great effect to support his argument.

    This book provides great answers to many of common objections to Christian faith, and I highly recommend to the seekers as well as those would like to learn to be able to defend their faith.

    10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2012

    Makes me want to read it again

    Some the most common questions that I face as a college student are addressed in this book in many ways that I did not think of. Excellent reasoning for why a sacrifice was necessary and how science has not disproved religion. The chapter on sin is good also and provides insights into why the world is extremely polarized.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 1, 2010

    Excellent and enlightening

    I underlined 1/3 of the book and will soon be reading it again! I'm a 30 something lukewarm Christian and working on changing that. This book addresses skepticisms I've secretly had for years while helping to strengthen the faith that I'm discovering. I've wrestled with parts of the Bible and the church for years and "The Reason for God" hit most of those parts.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Modern-Day C.S. Lewis

    Well, let me put it this way. Tim Keller nailed it on the head. I knew coming in it was good, but I did not think it would be THAT good. First part, he shows the flaws in the common objections of Christianity. And shows the validity of the assertions of Christianity. I think this is a book that Christians and Non-Christians (since he wasn't merely targeting Christians) can glean from. I was especially impressed with his chapter, "Christianity is a Straitjacket". Then again, I personally love the topic of Freedom.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 19, 2012

    A powerful tool for honest self-examination

    I've now read Keller's book three times, reducing it into a dog-eared kaleidoscope of multi-colored highlighted passages. Keller quells a typically polarizing discussion initially by acknowledging that omniscience is required to either prove or disprove God and, lacking that, we must look instead to "clues" of His existence accessible by the rational mind. Keller compassionately turns non-believers arguments back upon themselves for re-examination while challenging Christians to evaluate their under underlying motivations and assumptions of a "Christian life". Keller delineates how skepticsm exists within the church as well as secular society, though more subtle and dangerously deceptive. Keller's reductionist approach removes many of the barriers for believers and un-believers alike to fully grasp the message of the gospel, dispelling any notion of merit or any obstacles to grace unless we ourselves have created them in our hearts and minds. If consummed objectively, "A Reason for God" is as compelling and life-changing a book as I have read. It is insightful, provocative, humbling and at the same time assuring and energizing. One cannot help but reassess the honesty of their faith or disbelief which may, in fact, be one in the same.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great for Christians and skeptics alike

    A wonderful look at the questions that Christians and skeptics have and for which there are no easy answers. Adapts well for a Bible/ Book study.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great for New Christians

    As with most books arguing in favor of Chrisitanity I don't think it will change anyone's position. For me, it was thought provoking and inspired me to look deeper into the reasons for my own faith. As a devout Christian it did force me to re-examine my motivation and spiritual foundation. I think it is a excellent read for those who are Christians and want to continue down the path of becoming closer to God.

    If you are a non-believer it will take more than a book to change your perspective, but this is a nice start.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Reason For God - Is Clear

    For those who know God, the God of the Bible seen through His Son Jesus Christ you will be encouraged and challenged to life your live more joyously in Christ's unending love, grace and mercy. For those searching for meaning and ultimately for God - the one and only Creator of the Universe - well you will find Him. Timothy Keller does a great job explaining the faith found in Jesus Christ and what it means to truly be a Christian. His insight into our skepticism breaks down the arguments to their lowest denominator and then bridges us back to discovering the God has been there all along, waiting for you to find Him - actually you need to ask God to find you (read the book and you'll understand!) I Challenge you to read this book and come to a different conclusion.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2012

    This was a truly new approach for me and I found it very refresh

    This was a truly new approach for me and I found it very refreshing and challenging. A friend and I chose to read this book as a Small Group Study and it was an amazing read! 

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 30, 2012

    A great book, but with shortcomings

    I was raised Christian, so I know a lot about the culture of the Christian church. Currently, its values are under a consistent attack. In the first half of the book Keller does an excellent job at re-explaining Christianity to people who have common misunderstandings. He reveals that Christianity, at its core, teaches love. This is so true and is not respected by many modern-day atheists.

    On the other hand, in the second portion of the book, I thought Keller failed to deliver by using weak arguments for God, sometimes getting lost his perceived beauty of Christian theology. He used arguments rehashed by C.S. Lewis to make the argument that morality proves God's existence. It really does not, especially because Christians have a framework of what they want to see in the world, and will point good things to God and bad things to sin.

    Early in the book he points out he thinks he believes in natural selection in regards to Creation, but urges the reader this ultimately does not matter. He later goes on to use elements of sin and the creation story as major points in his argument. How does this not matter or matter again?

    Keller believes that a life without God leads to emptiness, but a leads with God leads to fullness. This should make a difference in the person, right? He then goes on to say that we shouldn't expect Christians to be any "better" or different than non-christians. What? I thought a life without God leads to emptiness? It seems like the people who think God exists think their life has greater purpose, thus, they will feel less-empty.

    Keller tries to point out moralists who only put faith in morals will feel anger when their life goes wrong, but won't Christians? Job became angry with God. ANY of us would feel angry/depressed if life went bad. What angers ME a little bit is that Keller has the audacity to say that Christians are "above it all" when it comes to putting their treasures in this world, just because they think their focus and source of reason comes from something in the heavens. He's trying to say Christians are different because of what theology says, but makes the excuse that they aren't really that different. This is a very weak and short-sighted argument.

    I would have respected this book much more if Keller admitted to a lot of the problems in Christianity, its theology, and the Bible itself, but when it came down to it, he's trying to prove something so hard he makes blanket statements to convince the reader.

    Nevertheless, this book will make you think, whatever your position on God.

    I recommend reading it.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 8, 2010

    Keller is Clear and Compelling

    Timothy Keller may have been a challenge to his first congregation, but any vestige of lack of clarity is long gone now. His writing is clean, clear and compelling, at once drawing you into his thinking and at the same time, causing you to digest his arguments while forcing you to reformulate your own.

    Keller has taken a much-studied topic and synthesized it to its unarguable conclusions, taking nothing for granted and clearly honing the pertinent facts.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2008

    Religion versus Christianity

    Tim Keller eloquently makes the distinction between religion and Christianity betwen grace and works, and how God's grace to sinners humbles us to want to obey God in appreciaition for what Jesus has done rather than feeling guilty and fearsome, and compelled to obey.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2014

    God is awsome!!!

    God is an awsome man,he made the earth and everything around it! I have'nt read the book yet but the book sounds good!!!!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2012

    HIghly recommended.

    Answers a lot of questions concerning belief.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2012

    Defending the faith w/out getting "defensive"

    Excellent primer for not only a defense of basic Christian doctrine but also answering external criticisms in a very open yet serious manner.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 16, 2010

    A modern, extraordinary apologetic work

    Imagine your favorite professor in college. Now imagine him teaching, in that same comfortable-but-confident conversational style, about the most important topic you could imagine: does God exist, and if so, how do I know (or, what do I do now)?

    A highly recommended book on why it's rational to believe and why it's
    ok to sometimes doubt.

    Considering the complex nature of the questions this book addresses, it's remarkable that he balances an easy-to-follow and interesting style with a brilliant intellect and great points, both original and from 2,000 years of philosophical, scientific and theological sources.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Fantastic book.

    Very clear, honest, and engaging.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Another recommendation

    To "Anonymous" No. 2: May I recommend HOW GOOD IS GOOD ENOUGH by Andy Stanley. Short and to the point, it is a simple and straightforward explanation of our need for a savior.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2008

    No reason, No God, No logic

    I am a yet-to-be-believer who likes to read books about the validity of Christianity, proGod books if you will, I also read books that are proatheist. That being said this book was not very helpful at all. I found Part one of the book to be...how can I say this, but a complete waste of time. He makes so many presumptuous assumptions, but states them as absolute facts. He talks about love, like their is an absolute definition of the word. His whole piano player metaphor about how doing something, anything, enslaves you!!! What pish-posh. Obviously if you do something it restricts you from doing something else, but if you are doing something you like, you love, are you being enslaved??? Almost everything he presents as absolutes, I see handfuls of counter arguments. 'Only a Sith deals in absolutes'--Obi-Wan, and to this Keller would obviously refute that Obi-Wan's statement is an absolute. Duh. All of Part One is constructed on a elementary school style argument, which is: 'I know I am but so are you.' He encourages people to be open-minded, which is great advice, but there is not much value in that for people who are already open-minded. If you are an atheist who reads book about religion and god, in hopes to find them, then this is not the book for you. Obviously if you are an atheist reading about god, then you are already open to new ideas. Part two of the book is ok, but nothing I did not read in Mere Christianity. If you are trying to find God, more specifically Jesus, then I recommend the afore mentioned Mere Christianity and The Case for Christ, two very good books and two very different styles of presentation. I recommend this book to people who are Christians who think they are 'good' people, who think their doo-doo don't stink. And to atheists who think that Christians and other god believing persons are idiots, this book is a good start, but my recommendation is to read Case for Christ first. Keller does sort of counter some of Dawkins 'The God Delusion' arguments, but I would put The God Delusion on top of this book. I'd give Delusion say 3 and a half stars.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2008

    A Nice Try, but...

    ...ultimately not what I hoped for. I was wanting a fresh, validating, positive response to Dawkins/Harris et al (the angry atheists) while also not swinging too far in the literalist direction. I was hoping for the sweet spot, and instead got a bit of the slightly stale warmed-over C. S. Lewis. I like Lewis, but I wanted something fresh...and non-circular, logically. If you are looking for that middle path between militant atheism and the intellectual straight-jacket of Christian literalism, I would recommend Marcus Borg's The Heart of Christianity, rather than Timothy Keller's pretty good effort. He ultimately veers toward a literalistic view of Christianity which is intellectually unfulfilling for many.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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