Timothy Keller, pastor of a large church in Manhattan, has written an excellent apologetic work, based on his own experience defending and explaining the faith to skeptics. In a reasoned and logical way he answers questions such as:
- How can there be only one true religion?
- Why does a good God allow suffering?
- How can a loving God send people to hell?
He also refutes some common assumptions such as:
- Christianity is limiting
- The church is responsible for so much injustice
- Science has disproven Christianty
- The Bible can’t be taken literally
Finally, he lists a number of good reasons for accepting Christianity as the most rational explanation for what is wrong with the world and the best hope for a meaningful identity and life.
I found this book to both readable and persuasive (however, I am no skeptic so possibly I am biased). However, his success in attracting a large number of urban doubters to his congregation would argue that he is quite convincing. If you are a skeptic, Pastor Keller’s book may win you over; if you’re a believer, it will provide you with logical arguments to face the skeptics in your own life.
He did not delve deeply into doctrine (he is Presbyterian) as his focus is on the beliefs common to all Christians. I did have an issue with his explanation of hell — he contends that we “choose” to send ourselves to hell. This implies that we also “choose” to believe, which is contrary to Lutheran belief. Most of his other positions were unobjectionable, and overall I found this an interesting and thought-provoking read.
I checked and there is a study guide available for use with this book, so it would make a choice for use with a small group.
VERDICT: 4 Stars. Read this one and discuss it with a doubting friend!
For more on apologetics (the defense and explanation of the faith) see these posts:
For more on Timothy Keller see this post: