I picked up The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Tim Keller at Chicago-O’Hare before flying out to Bangladesh. I’d often heard that Tim Keller was “Yoda-smart,” and have loved some of his writing on urban church planting. So naturally, when I saw the book in the airport, I grabbed it and planned to read it on the trip.
Keller writes in a very conversational tone that doesn’t necessarily make me feel like he’s aiming the barrel of the conversation over my head, but rather challenges the reader to think of old topics in new ways in order to gain a new perspective on the subject matter.
This is an apologetics course. Keller chooses the seven most common objections to the Christian faith, and spins them in a way that shows that each of these objections are, in and of themselves, faith in something – and the something is always less reliable than the Christian faith.
Now, I feel the need to make this note. I have never been a fan of intellectually arm-wrestling an opponent and believing that somehow this will lead them to follow Christ. Many evangelism methods begin with apologetics and seek to force a submission on the part of the hearer. I do not believe this is the proper course of action, nor do I believe this is what the author is propagating.
Instead, after discussing and sharing Christ – after loving and serving the hearer – as they bring up objections to faith, then the work of apologetics is necessary. But do not for a moment believe that this will win someone to Christ. Faith is not absent-minded, but it is a matter of the soul.