Although a vocal minority continues to attack religious faith, for most Americans, faith is a large part of their lives: 86% of Americans refer to themselves as religious, and 75% of all Americans consider themselves Christians. So how should they respond to these passionate, learned, and persuasive books that promote science and secularism over religion and faith? For years, Tim Keller has compiled a list of the most frequently voiced "doubts" skeptics bring to his Manhattan church; here, he dismantles each of them. Written with atheists, agnostics, and skeptics in mind, Keller also provides an intelligent platform on which true believers can stand their ground when bombarded by the backlash. This book challenges such ideology at its core and points to the true path and purpose of Christianity.--From publisher description.
I didn't feel Keller answered a lot of the questions he posed. For instance, in chapter two he poses the question, how could a good God allow suffering? He only answers with the presupposition that Christ suffered with us. To say God suffered with us 2,000 years ago still doesn't explain why He allows suffering today. Never mind the fact that atheists don't believe in the deity of Christ. I did find it intriguing that Keller believes in much the same way Rob Bell does concerning hell. In chapter five Keller states, "Hell, then, is the trajectory of a soul, living a self-absorbed, self-centered life, going on and on forever" (page 79); and proceeds to use Jesus' parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man in Luke 16 to support his view. Ironically, I agree with this view, but remain perplexed how Keller escaped the vile attacks Rob Bell received for his similar views on hell in the controversial book, "Love Wins". Is this perhaps because Keller is firmly planted in and guarded by those within the neo-Reformed camp?
Would I recommend this book for seasoned apologists? Probably not. Many of the arguments he uses aren't new. Would I recommend this book for new Christians? Yes indeed. These are questions that you will be asked by skeptics, atheists, and those of other faiths quite often. Would I recommend this book for non-believers? Depends upon your style of reasoning. If you are looking for an intellectual style of reasoning sprinkled with a little bit of Socratic philosophy then this book is perfect for you. Do you need facts? Authors Lee Strobel and Josh McDowell can provide much better answers.
The second part deals with the Christian worldview and how it best fits with the world as we know it. It's a great book to give to an unbeliever or any one who doubts truth and/or the Christian worldview.
Second part makes the case for Christianity. Too mystical, intellectual, and philosophical. Little reference to Bible and 'standard' Christian texts. Makes Christianity appear as a mystical, abstract religion, rather than a down-to-earth faith that it is for so many.
ACF: Todd Nagel, not currently in ACF's library.
YouTube has a video of Tim Keller discussing this book at Google that is a good intro to this book and worth watching.