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109 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Winsome, convincing, intelligent apologia, 29 Feb 2008
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This review is from: The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism (Hardcover)
The Reason for God is one of the best books I have read on why Christian belief is true belief. It is an engaging essay on how and why a clear-thinking sceptic can take the Christian worldview seriously. It forces you to think about what you think about the world, not just what you don't agree with.

Keller's thesis is that no-one is a pure sceptic. Everyone believes things about the world and people and God. He believes that compared to the alternatives, Christian belief is the closest to the truth about things. Combined with this, he argues that everyone knows God exists, even if they don't admit it to themselves.

The first half of the book addresses common objections to Christian belief. The second half argues for the Christian worldview. There is an intermission halfway through which briefly considers other issues, like why beliefs differ between Christians and Christian denominations. The final chapter explains the implications of his argument for readers.

When I say this is one of the best books I have read, that's because it crosses boundaries in the same way that our own experience does. It has philosophical clarity, it asks us to consider our own experience, it looks to literature and art and science and the world to make things clearer for us.

If you have specific issues, such as questions about a particular philosophical argument, there are other, more comprehensive works dedicated to such things. But for most people this is the most competent overview of all the issues.

Like Mere Christianity by C.S Lewis (somewhat dated now), I would recommend it to sceptics for the reasons above, but also to Christians as an example of how to communicate what they believe clearly and compassionately.
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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 May 2008 11:12:36 BDT
Alex Ireland says:
Does this book deal with Darwinian evolution and how Science makes the Adam and Eve creationism nothing more than a fantasy?

In reply to an earlier post on 11 May 2008 20:36:03 BDT
K. Moss says:
Forgive me, but irrespective of the debatable merits of Darwinian evolution (or any other variant of the hypothesis), it does seem to me somewhat narrow and artificial to impose scientific constraints upon the Genesis narratives which do not, at any point, set out to provide a scientific description of origins. Modern biblical scholarship seeks to understand the underlying truths from the perspective of the nature of the literature concerned - and from the perspective of literary criticism, the Adam & Eve account is anything but 'fantasy'. Properly understood, this document tells us more about the present state of our world than any scientific theory - whether currently in vogue, or subject to countless revisions, or thoroughly discredited. I sometimes wonder if Darwin would recognise modern-day evolutionary theory as 'darwinian'. Probably not.
We use microscopes to look at microbes. We use telescopes to look at the stars. Lets not try and use the wrong tools for understanding what the Bible has to say.

Posted on 21 May 2008 13:58:54 BDT
Keller does not argue for any particular angle on how the universe and the world came to be, though the book does include a chapter on science and Christianity. (He is not a seven-day creationist, for example: I recommend you read an interview with Keller conducted by Anthony Sacramone on the web site for First Things).

Posted on 1 Feb 2010 10:15:45 GMT
I too have found it clear and ver readable and intellectually honest.

Posted on 17 Mar 2010 12:02:54 GMT
If christianity was true, it wouldn't need pseudo intellectual books like this to bridge the gulf between religious celebration and sensibility. This is just a cash in for the already weak minded religious type who needs a little reassurance from someone more articulate than they to say what they cannot express themselves to justify belief in an outmoded and outdated worldview. Besides which, chritianity has been upgraded to jesus 2.0 - a la Islam.

Posted on 3 Oct 2010 19:38:10 BDT
rossuk says:
Any book on apologetics has to challenge the current world view as Francis A. Schaeffer did. Keller is doing the same in the 21st century as Schaeffer did in the 20th century (but in less detail). Keller is dealing with tough and cynical New Yorker's in real life, not bible belt Christians. I was going to write a review myself but I think the review above covers most of it.

Posted on 1 Dec 2010 17:59:24 GMT
Good review, but I can't believe you think that Mere Christianity is "somewhat dated now." It is old, I give you that, but it is far from dated. It is as relevant today as it was 50 years ago, at least that's my opinion.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Jan 2011 16:16:17 GMT
The language used in Mere Christianity makes it obvious it was written many years ago and that is the only thing old about it, I think that is maybe what Mr Craig meant. If you were lending a book to a non believer you would probably choose Kellers book over Lewis' for this reason only. They are the two best books on the Christian faith ever written in my opinion. I completely agree with all the comments in your review

Posted on 13 Nov 2012 20:31:45 GMT
Andy says:
Thanks for the review. It's on my wishlist for this Christmas, may be a present to myself!

Also, I find it astounding and amusing that there are people arguing against Christianity in the comments section of an Amazon book review. It just seems like they are going to a lot of trouble to speak about something they are so ardently against. You'd think they'd "oppose" Christianity by simply ignoring it and living their lives totally apart from it, rather than physically taking the time and effort to put some anti-Christian views across in a very specific section of the internet (the comments section of a book review). If it was the religion section of a forum or similar place, then i'd understand why they are engaging in the dialogue, but here is just such a weird place to go starting a debate.

Posted on 14 Sep 2013 16:58:12 BDT
Last edited by the author on 14 Sep 2013 17:00:36 BDT
Middle Earth says:
On the origins question, a world famous scientist has recently stated that he doesn't know anyone including Nobel Prize winners who even understands evolution ! :

'Although most scientists leave few stones unturned in their quest to discern mechanisms before wholeheartedly accepting them, when it comes to the often gross extrapolations between observations and conclusions on macroevolution, scientists, it seems to me, permit unhealthy leeway. When hearing such extrapolations in the academy, when will we cry out, "The emperor has no clothes!"?

...I simply do not understand, chemically, how macroevolution could have happened. Hence, am I not free to join the ranks of the skeptical and to sign such a statement without reprisals from those that disagree with me? ... Does anyone understand the chemical details behind macroevolution? If so, I would like to sit with that person and be taught, so I invite them to meet with me.'

... I will tell you as a scientist and a synthetic chemist: if anybody should be able to understand evolution, it is me, because I make molecules for a living, and I don't just buy a kit, and mix this and mix this, and get that. I mean, ab initio, I make molecules. I understand how hard it is to make molecules. I understand that if I take Nature's tool kit, it could be much easier, because all the tools are already there, and I just mix it in the proportions, and I do it under these conditions, but ab initio is very, very hard.

I don't understand evolution, and I will confess that to you. Is that OK, for me to say, "I don't understand this"? Is that all right? I know that there's a lot of people out there that don't understand anything about organic synthesis, but they understand evolution. I understand a lot about making molecules; I don't understand evolution. And you would just say that, wow, I must be really unusual.

Let me tell you what goes on in the back rooms of science - with National Academy members, with Nobel Prize winners. I have sat with them, and when I get them alone, not in public - because it's a scary thing, if you say what I just said - I say, "Do you understand all of this, where all of this came from, and how this happens?" Every time that I have sat with people who are synthetic chemists, who understand this, they go "Uh-uh. Nope." These people are just so far off, on how to believe this stuff came together. I've sat with National Academy members, with Nobel Prize winners. Sometimes I will say, "Do you understand this?"And if they're afraid to say "Yes," they say nothing. They just stare at me, because they can't sincerely do it.

'I was once brought in by the Dean of the Department, many years ago, and he was a chemist. He was kind of concerned about some things. I said, "Let me ask you something. You're a chemist. Do you understand this? How do you get DNA without a cell membrane? And how do you get a cell membrane without a DNA? And how does all this come together from this piece of jelly?" We have no idea, we have no idea. I said, "Isn't it interesting that you, the Dean of science, and I, the chemistry professor, can talk about this quietly in your office, but we can't go out there and talk about this?'

- Professor James M. Tour
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