Timothy Keller – The Reason for God (Chapter 1)

I have started reading this new book. It has hit the NY Times bestseller list. Keller, a NYC pastor, has tackled the issues that cause people to doubt the claims of Christianity. The book is divided into two sections. The first part is The Leap of Doubt. In this section he tackles 7 key questions/issues that non-Christians have with the claims of Christianity. The second part is The Reasons for Faith.

I have only read the first chapter so far. This chapter is titled, “There Can’t Be Just One True Religion.” Here, Keller tackles the question of Christianities claims of exclusivity. If that principle is held by a people or culture, the response to Christianity becomes one of these three options:

1. Outlaw Religion

2. Condemn Religion
Religion is condemned from discussion using one or more of the following arguments.

2A. All religions are equally valid and basically teach the same thing.
2B. Each religion sees part of spiritual truth, but none can see the whole truth.
2C. Religious belief is too culturally and historically conditioned to be truth.
2D. It is arrogant to insist your religion is right and to convert others to it.

3. Keep religion completely private

Keller finishes the first chapter with a section “Christianity Can Save the World.” So far, I really like Keller’s writing style, his familiarity with arguments both academic and popular, and the ease at which he answers the questions. I do wish he had spent more time on the final section. Perhaps the second part of the book will do this.