@FREE BOOK Ù The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism Ø eBook or E-pub free

While this was the book that made Keller famous or famouser , it was distinctly different from his other books all of which I love It is much an apologetic and reasoned argument than it is sermonic Keller is a great thinker and follows in the footsteps of Christian intellectuals like C.S Lewis I appreciated his calm, measured, and reasonable tone and arguments throughout the book He makes it easy for readers to process his ideas without being attacked or bombarded A very good book. This is one of those, Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus books i didn t pick up this book to make fun of it i read it because i would like to hear an intelligent plausible argument for the existence of God I am sure there is one, but you won t find it in this book To paraphrase the author why did Jesus have to die for our sins Well, if your neighbor accidentally ran into your wall and it wasn t covered by insurance, someone would have to pay for the damages So even if you forgave your neighbor, he d still have to pay for the repairs Thus, God sent his son to pay for the damages of our sins, even though he forgave us Want logic like this Basically God exists because the author just can t imagine how we could have such a wonderful world without God Why is there pain and suffering The answer is for Him to know and for us to find out ie., mere mortals can t be expected to figure out the answer. @FREE BOOK É The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism ⚢ Making Sense Of God An Invitation To The Skeptical, Is A Prequel To The Reason For God Belief In An Age Of Skepticism The End Of Faith The God Delusion God Is Not Great Letter To A Christian Nation Bestseller Lists Are Filled With Doubters But What Happens When You Actually Doubt Your Doubts Although A Vocal Minority Continues To Attack The Christian Faith, For Most Americans, Faith Is A Large Part Of Their Lives Percent Of Americans Refer To Themselves As Religious, And Percent 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 And In The Reason For God, He Single Handedly 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 The Reason For God Challenges Such Ideology At Its Core And Points To The True Path And Purpose Of ChristianityWhy Is There Suffering In The World How Could A Loving God Send People To Hell Why Isn T Christianity Inclusive Shouldn T The Christian God Be A God Of Love How Can One Religion Be Right And The Rest Wrong Why Have So Many Wars Been Fought In The Name Of God These Are Just A Few Of The Questions Even Ardent Believers Wrestle With Today In This Book, Tim Keller Uses Literature, Philosophy, Real Life Conversations And Reasoning, And Even Pop Culture To Explain How Faith In A Christian God Is A Soundly Rational Belief, Held By Thoughtful People Of Intellectual Integrity With A Deep Compassion For Those Who Truly Want To Know The Truth Keller s book came recommended by virtually every thinking Christian I know, billed as the theological answer to recent mass market agnosticism Indeed there are many out there who have artfully defended a belief in the Christian God, but Keller does not meet the mark The first half of his book, written for skeptics, is very soft on logical rational arguments His response to evolution a whopping two and a half pages , for example, is to say that if you pin him down, he believes in the process of evolution by natural selection, but that Christians must accept their faith first, and then move to evaluating foundation shaking science only after they have positioned themselves beyond doubt Fine for believers, but he won t win converts from among rationalists with arguments like that Throughout the book, Mr Keller applies a thick coat of scholar like varnish, yet his logic is far from solid oak. There are much better texts on theology, ethics, belief in a god or gods When compared to the well educated writings of Bonhoeffer, Kant, Satre, Anselm, Dawkins, Aquinas this book is woefully lacking I might add, it read as you would expect a privileged and sheltered American new age preacher would write Anything outside of his expertise is met with derision and ignorance I would be shocked if this man ever saw a Mosque, Synagogue, Buddhist temple, let alone read the works of their major prophets The argumentative style would make Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates physically ill A Freshman in college taking a basic logic of philosophy class can see through all of the arguments from ignorance, appeals to authority, straw men, and slippery slopes If you are seeking to further your understanding of religion, of the god debate, I implore you to look of the authors I mentioned prior If you are looking for self satisfaction that the religion forced upon you by your parents known as Christianity is perfect, this book is for you Or if you are a Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, Atheist, Confucian, Native American or Central American looking for confirmation that Christians are simply myopic crusaders, then this book may be for you as well If you are a professor of philosophy and need illustrations of bad arguments for class, this book is for you. I didn t get this book to try to refute it I was actually as excited to get it as I am with any non fiction book The introduction was great and I thought it was going to be a good read It s about 10 pages or so and I thought it was really well written.Then starts the doubts and questions he has received and his reasoning against them The questions are great ones that are very typical, so it s not like he s throwing himself softball questions Another good point To me a lot of these made sense, and I was starting to like the organization of the book, I could see how it could almost be used as flowchart to convince a skeptic But then I started seeing repetitiveness, and then some outright flawed logic, and then even MORE flawed logic The repetitiveness was his circular logic A lot of his stances boiled down to I know you are but what am I You call me arrogant for thinking I have all the answers, but you thinking I m wrong implies that you have a better vantage point than I do which is in itself arrogance I think there s a bit of truth in that, but not to the extent he does.there are specific examples in the book that I could list that the reasoning was SO flawed as to be laughable.So yeah, I was excited to read this book and was left feeling disappointed. Tim Keller s The Reason for God Belief in an Age of Skepticism TRG, hereafter is the result of the many questions about God and Christianity pastor Keller has received over the years during his time at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, New York Keller writes in a smooth, conversational tone He addresses in clear language, real questions from those who have crossed his path over the years, using every day examples to illustrate his points, and he does so with a pastoral heart which is nevertheless well reasoned rather that overly subjective or emotional in its appeal to the reader Pastor Keller is clearly well read, and marshals a number of useful quotes from all sides e.g., from atheists, agnostics, capitalists, communists, Arminian theologians, Calvinist theologians, authors of the classics, and, of course, lots and lots of C.S Lewis The quotes alone may well be worth the price of the book for those pastors who like to use a As some of your own poets have said Acts 17 28 approach to apologetic preaching cf How does the Gospel Preach in a Culture of Paganism by Ted Hamilton, CWIPP lecture, Feb 21, 2007, www.cwipp.org TRG can be read in a couple of sittings TRG comes in two parts Part one is called The Leap of Doubt Keller asks both believers and unbelievers to doubt Believers should not be afraid to wrestle with their doubts To find answers rather than ignore them Struggling with your doubts will make your faith your own, rather than something you inherit Believers should look for reasons behind their faith To the unbeliever, Keller asks them to look into, and then treat with doubt, the what he calls faith assumptions which under gird their objections, or doubts, to Christianity You cannot doubt belief A except from a position of faith in belief B Keller doesn t really define what he means by faith, and I think he s a bit simplistic here Of course, it is true that beliefs are like potato chips, no one can have just one So, all beliefs are connected to other beliefs We should examine all those other beliefs If this is all he means, fine One major problem, though, is that he calls these underwriting beliefs leaps of faith because you cannot prove them empirically, nor are they truths of reason xvii But, later he claims that the clues for God are not proofs for Christianity, they have not been proven empirically, and they are not truths of reason, yet he doesn t want to call them leaps of faith cf 117 121 127 28 On the one hand, he calls these unrpovable in the above sense leaps of faith, on the other, he calls them reasons for God He seems to hold the unbeliever to a higher standard than he later holds himself to Part one proceeds by examining the various doubts people have brought to Keller over the years The strategy here is to point out that all the doubts rested upon claims that the unbeliever had not thought out thoroughly, or were dubious assumptions, or were self refuting, or they required an argument otherwise lest deck of cards collapse This is a fine strategy to be sure Nothing inherently wrong with it in the least And, Keller does make some insightful observations, helpfully shinning the light on unexamined presuppositions and unargued biases This is helpful The draw back, as I see it, is that he often leaves the debate after pointing out one of these assumptions He gives the impression of a shallow unbeliever who is stopped dead in his tracks after his assumptions are exposed Many unbelievers, not just university professors, have thought through their implications deeply than Keller seems to let on Therefore, readers will need to do their homework in preparation for dealing with unbelievers Not all of them will not stop dead in their tracks once you ve pointed out their assumptions in the manner Keller does Thus, Keller provides a good model for dealing with doubts, but you will need some material to fill in the form Keller also takes some positions that will not sit well with many Christians, especially those in his own denomination For example, he seems to lean socialist in many areas, and he holds to theistic evolution He also seems to be too hard on Christian throughout history No doubt we have had our embarrassing moments, but in many cases we can offer sufficient justification for some of the charges It seems to me that Keller gives to much to the critic in this area, but this isn t to say that his responses are bad, in general They are useful for generalities, but some specific cases may not warrant his apologetic not as in a defense, but as in saying sorry attitude Part two presents positive reasons for belief I said reasons plural , perhaps the book should have been called The ReasonS for God , and is called Reasons For Faith Keller presents some good arguments here well, he actually doesn t do much arguing so much as to point you to others who have made the arguments Nevertheless, he appeals to some good arguments and some pretty good contemporary philosophers, ones I wish Reformed Christians would read Besides C.S Lewis who is not contemporary but is seen on almost every page, and was nevertheless a asset to our faith , he cites Alvin Plantinga s Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism, Robin Collins design arguments, makes reference to Victor Reppert author of C.S Lewis Dangerous Idea, and excellent book in its own rite , Darryl Bock, Ben Witherington, Richard Bauckham for purposes of Gospel reliability , and N.T Wright for purposes of the resurrection He also appeals to Francis Collins in many areas as well, especially his anthropic arguments His approach here he calls critical rationalism This basically means that though there is no knock down, silver bullet argument for Christianity, we shouldn t be skeptics about the possibility of knowing that Christianity is true, or rationally believing its claims He admits that rational people can avoid all the arguments Nothing rationally compels a rational person to be forced to assent to the argument s conclusions They can be resisted All this is fine and good My major problem with this section is that he gives off the wrong impression I don t think he s too fair with the opposing side He will frequently say that an argument can be rejected, and then gives some of the weakest reasons unbelievers have marshaled in support of their denial of that particular argument This gives the impression that unbelievers only have weak responses That they hang by a shoe string in order to deny the arguments For example, he has his unbeliever denying his argument again, nothing like a robust argument was presented here, but that s not his purpose from the uniformity of nature by saying, We don t know why things are the way they are But, non Christians have given much cogent reasons for their belief in the Uniformity of Nature than that So, the impression is on the one hand you have these excellent reasons the Christian can give, on the other, puerile, sophomoric responses by the unbeliever Now, I personally believe the unbeliever is in a bad situation here, and I try to show that given their best responses to the various problems I have other problems with this section, but only have time for one His treatment on morality is entirely too basic He seems to have no familiarity with the best of atheistic moral realists arguments, relativists, or non cognitivists Or, if he does, he s misleading about the state of the debate He also makes some blunders which lead me to believer he has not read many non Christian approaches to ethics Some mistakes he makes are i no relativist can believe in moral absolutes Wrong Subjectivists can They simply say, since their beliefs on the matter make the moral truths I say it is absolutely wrong to rape Or, ii no relativists can believe in an ethic outside themselves Wrong again Maybe the subjectivist can t, but the cultural relativist can the culture exists outside himself and is the objective standard for his moral beliefs Now, it is true that no relativist can account for universal, absolute, objective ethics not all ethical principles are absolute, though He also claims that no atheists can believe in a moral law that exists Well tell that to sophisticated moral realists Russ Shafer Landau, for example They believe, for example, that moral obligations are necessary truths that come in the form of hypotheticals and thus can have a true truth condition regardless if people exist to instantiate them or not They believe these are immaterial and eternally existent, just like, say, laws of logic are And, they don t think they need a law giver just like, say, laws of gravity don t need a law giver I happen to think they do, cf John Foster s The Divine Law Maker, Oxford, 2004 Despite these problems, which should set constraints on who you give the book to, or who you use its arguments on, it is still a good book Keller definitely has a heart for the lost, and I think he succeeds in showing people that Christianity has the best answers to some of life s most practical problems and questions I would recommend his book with the above qualifications taken into consideration. I was really disappointed by this I actually picked it for a group read with some friends, having read Keller before and been impressed by him I wasn t impressed with this The full title of the book is The Reason for God Belief in the Age of Skepticism And the back suggests that Keller addresses the frequent doubts that skepticshave about religion And goes on to say that Keller explains how the belief in a Christian God is, in fact, a sound and rational one And then, to skeptics, atheists, and agnostics, he provides a challenging argument for pursuing the reason for God Unfortunately, I feel like he didn t meet this at all Let me caveat this by saying that I do believe in God My point here is that, if I didn t, this book wouldn t sway me an inch The first half of the book addresses several skeptic arguments But they are really straw men in comparison to real skeptic arguments Instead of addressing things like, I see no evidence to indicate that there is a personal God described in the Bible, he addresses things like Christianity is too exclusive and there can t just be one religion The I think about it, the I feel like he s just trying to argue that Christianity is better than the other world religions Which is completely different than arguing for the existence of the Christian God The second half of the book gives reasons to believe in God This would be better addressed to evangelicals as Keller s this is why I believe in God A couple are somewhat compelling, and might have value to strengthen the faith of someone who is already a believer, but as any sort of proof or evidence, they are a poor apologetic Keller starts off in this book on the wrong foot In the first chapter There Can t Just be One True Religion , I counted 6 different logical fallacies alone 1 Bandwagon This suggests that something is true because everyone believes it It s a fallacy because things need to be argued on their own merits, not because everyone thinks they re true Keller states Religion is not just a temporary thing that helped us adapt to our environment Rather it is a permanent and central aspect of the human condition In other words, I read, it s always been here, it s always going to be here, therefore God exists 2 Burden of Proof This one is his favorite He tries to put the burden of proof on those that do not believe but the burden of proof is on those that do If you say unicorns exist, and I say they don t, the burden of proof is on you to prove they exist If I say God exists and you say I don t see any evidence for God then the burden of proof lies on me But he wants to put them in the same camp, as if believing God exists and believing God doesn t exist are the same thing 3 Tu Quoque Pronounced too kwo kwee This is the so are you argument He wants to suggest that Christianity is better, but rather than presenting proof that it is, he just says that the insistence that doctrines do not matter is really a doctrine itself In other words, instead of presenting evidence that God holds us to a specific doctrine and way to live and worship Keller responds that if we don t think he holds us to a specific doctrine, then that s the specific doctrine we believe he holds Yes, it s very confusing 4 Generalization He likes to use this in reference to secularists and atheists Skeptics believe that any exclusive claims to a superior knowledge of spiritual reality cannot be trueThey believe the world would be a better place if everyone dropped the traditional religions views of God and truth and adopted theirs C mon, Tim that s not true of everyone.5 Straw Man This is related to Generalization in that, if he can generalize atheists enough, he can set up a straw man to knock down He says, For example, some think that this material world is all there is, that we are here by accident and when we die we just rot, and therefore the important thing is to choose to do what makes you happy and not let others impose their beliefs on you I realize he says some , but this is a commonly held belief of non believers by believers Non believers don t really have morals.6 No True Scotsman This is his second favorite he does this a lot later in the book, too But toward the end of chapter 1, he describes a Christianity I would believe in, but don t see practiced, and compares it to other religions Most religions and philosophies of life assume one s spiritual status depends on your religious attainments He doesn t come out and say it, but if I were to argue that I don t think a lot of Christians practice the things he suggests makes a true Christian, he would argue That s not real Christianity And that s just chapter 1 He uses the No True Scotsman fallacy all through the book describing a Christianity that may reflect the teachings of Jesus, but that do not reflect the actions of the millions of Christians around the world He makes many statements about all Christians that may apply to a few but definitely don t apply to the majority of the ones I ve known For example Christians don t believe they are saved based on how good they live their lives Or, Christians know that because they are flawed many people who aren t Christians will bemorally upstanding I d like to meet those Christians, Tim He sets up atheist straw men throughout the first half of the book, too He doesn t address people who have investigated belief in God and come away with the belief that there isn t enough evidence to support the belief in the personal, Christian God Which to me would be the biggest reason to be an atheist Not just because a loving God wouldn t send people to Hell In chapter 2 How Could a Good God Allow Suffering , he suggests that if you think anything is bad or evil , you are stating a belief in God His argument seems to go something like this 1 Evil exists 2 If evil exists, then good exists 3 If good exists, it was created by God Therefore, since evil exists, there is a God He goes on to quote Dostoevsky, basically saying we should believe in God because it consoles us in our suffering Nothing in this chapter argues a reason for the existence of God Just for a belief in God because it makes us feel better Chapters 3 through 7 are just as flawed Filled with fallacies, they knock down straw man arguments, make generalizations about skeptics, and use an ideal perfect version of Christianity in their arguments rather than the real flawed version of Christianity that exists The rest of the book are arguments for God The first chapter of this section isn t terrible, but it is lacking Looking at the creation, at beauty, this is an argument for Deism, but not necessarily the Christian God Morality proving God is just a re work of an old C.S Lewis argument The idea that because we need meaning in our lives proves that there is a personal God is a poor argument And some of the valid points point toward Deism but just because you believe in God doesn t mean you believe he did everything that the Bible describes And the rest of the points have to do with Christian theology The cross The resurrection Which would all be great things in a book written for Christians about why Tim Keller believes in the Christian God , but not in a book to prove to skeptics that God exists One thing that really bothered me Keller quoting N.T Wright at the end of chapter 7 They both seem to agree that if the resurrection stories in the Gospels didn t happen exactly in the way they described, then there is no point to being a Christian, following God, or indeed caring for other people This just seems like really shitty theology From both Keller and Wright And then, finally, we come to the last paragraph of the book I realize I m missing the point of this last paragraph Keller is trying to say that God seeks us But in this true according to Keller story, the person searching for God keeps praying, God, help me find you And God continually ignores her But someone told her to, instead pray, God come and find me And then He did What I want to say to Keller here is that if you want people to believe in an all powerful, loving, personal God, don t make Him out to be some sort of petty asshole that ignores people s honest pleas, until they change that to very specific language Would a loving God really do that I was converted from educated secularism in 2003 Every objection I had is addressed by this book for my background AND it s done by showing God in Jesus, and Jesus crucified.When I became a Christian, 3 other books the New Testament, The Case for Christ, and Desiring God were primary in my conversion The Case for Christ proves the Resurrection as a historical event The New Testament self authenticates itself as God s Word and shines Jesus Christ out to the reader Desiring God presents that God is zealous for his glory, as he should be, and we humans can glorify him best by being satisfied totally by God and only by God.The Reason for God would be a perfect 4th book as making sense of the intellectual barriers to faith that have built up in the modern worldview. Sitting across the table from a Christian friend, I find myself again and again shaking my head in wonder at our different paths, beliefs and motivations There are differences between us that I suspect we both pray over in our own ways Conversations sometimes reach a point where we can only look at each other from a distance as over a river raging with spring melt We wish to bridge that gap and yet, often, cannot Still, I want to be engaged in these differences The antagonism between sides that dominates most public discussions related to faith yields too few attempts at mutual understanding and produces even fewer solutions In my own life, I want to build relationships with those people on the other side of so many issues that matter most to me It was within this context that I was loaned and read Tim Keller s apologia, Reason for God The book is perfect for anyone yearning to listen to a Christian answer to seven fundamental doubts that people express about Christianity the first part of the book and to an intelligent and compassionate Christian s defense of his Bible based faith I imagine that Christians reading this book might find their own faith bolstered and deepened and so would recommend it to them, too Keller challenges non Christians to doubt their doubts and recognize the unprove able beliefs faith upon which their own relativist humanist etcist values rest It is this challenge that I value most from the book, as well as a stronger understanding of how a Christian might respond to some of my own doubts As far as whether Keller s reason swayed my own we come again to that river between us If you only knew what I know, if you only read what I read, if you only had the conversations and the courageous, intelligent contemplation that I have had, you would believe what I believe This is what divides all us believers I found myself deeply sad at several points in the book where I saw the river grow too wide for any bridge And I often felt sheer love for Keller s faith and kindness This is obviously a subjective reading I am not interested right now in an intellectual debate about faith like all of us, I ve had those conversations because right now I am just seeking understanding and connection Is this irresponsible Intellectually weak Perhaps But listening w out reacting is where I am in my practice right now.