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Book Review: The Reason for God

Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller

I read my first Tim Keller book—Counterfeit Gods—back in November. It’s been a long time since I’ve been as convicted by a book as I was by that one; so when I finished it up, I decided I’d like to try another Keller book soon and settled on The Reason for God. I do occasionally have discussions with skeptics, after all, and I figured I could use some help.

Keller has written The Reason for God  for both believers and skeptics. He wants all of us to examine why we believe the things we do. “Believers,” he writes, “should acknowledge and wrestle with doubts—not only their own but their friends’ and neighbors’.”

Only if you struggle long and hard with objections to your faith will you be able to provide grounds for your beliefs to skeptics, including yourself, that are plausible rather than ridiculous or offensive.

The same thing goes for the skeptic. Skeptics, really, are just people who believe in “a set of alternate beliefs,” and it’s only right and fair that the skeptic question his own belief system in the same way that he questions the belief system of Christianity. I’d call The Reason for God a tool to help us all accomplish this by examining both the common objections to Christianity and the positive reasons for the Christian faith.

The first half of this book is taken up with various problems skeptics have with Christianity, drawing from Keller’s own real-life conversations with doubters. You’ve heard these objections before, too, I’m sure.

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Thankful Thursday

I’m thankful that I was able to get two fillings replaced this morning and that the job was accomplished with no need for freezing. I’m thankful that I should need no more dental work for a while.

I’m thankful for positive feedback and new opportunities.

I’m thankful for the fragrance of the potted hyacinths on the coffee table.

I’m thankful that because God has justified me, no charges or accusations against me will stick. I am thankful that since God gave up even his very own son for me, I can be assured that he will give me every lesser grace  needed for my complete salvation.

On Thursdays throughout this year, I plan to post a few thoughts of thanksgiving along with Kim at the Upward Call and others.


Round the Sphere

Two from Gospel Coalition blogs.

The Lord’s Supper
We commemorate Christ by looking up, back, forward, outward, inward, and around. (Juan Sanchez at The Gospel Coalition Blog)

Social Justice
I’ve got to admit that trendy terms makes me queasy and this particular jargonish expression has a double dose of blechishness for me. If I had my way, we’d simply call it justice when we are giving people what is  rightly owed to  them, and works of mercy or compassion when we feed the hungry and provide clothing, shelter, etc. for the needy. Who knows what the term social justice really means, anyway? 

Still, I’m pointing you to Kevin DeYoung’s series of posts examining major “social justice” passages in scripture. “My contention”, he says, “is that these passages say more and less than we think, more about God’s heart for justice than some realize, and less about contemporary ‘social justice’ than many imagine.” All in all, DeYoung will look at seven texts, and these are the first three.

  1. Isaiah 1
  2. Isaiah 58
  3. Jeremiah 22