Friday, November 11, 2016

A Review of Tim Keller's "Making Sense of God"

Tim Keller has put out new books year in and year out going on over a decade. I've read most of them, and I've yet to be disappointed. There are three types of books Keller writes: (1) Deep, heavily-footnoted, books to make secular and Christian people think (Reason for God); (2) Theologically sharp books that invite Christians to marvel and act (e.g. Generous Justice, Prayer); and (3) Practical books that invite Christians and religious seekers to see life according to the Gospel (e.g. Prodigal God).

Making Sense of God: An Invitation to the Skeptical (2016) falls squarely into the first category.

To read this book, you need two bookmarks, one pen, and a note-taking journal or device. You'll need the second bookmark to check the end notes as you read along (why, oh why, do publishers not use footnotes?). My book has 2-3 underlines, comments, and questions on each page, and I circle or make a notation every 5th end note. In short, the book is full of gold nuggets. Keller reads and reads, thinks and thinks, and then interprets these ideas so the rest of us can understand what's being written and believed around the world.

This is a great book to read with a few Christian and secular and/or scientific friends. This book encourages conversation and dialog about the leading ideas of our day. In the end, Dr. Keller will present why he believes Christianity is a rational choice that relates best with human thinking, desires, and experience. Still, he gives a fair reading of the best and brightest thinkers of our day.

Let me offer 5 brief take-aways from the book that I hope stir your appetite to devour the book:

1) It takes as much faith to believe in science as in Christianity.
2) The search for meaning is a cul-de-sac for the secular thinker. You can come in, but you have no place to come out.
3) A self-created identity provides no substance for which to build or maintain self worth.
4) Moralistic religion has done more for human flourishing throughout history than atheistic relativism/secularism.
5) Believing in God and Christianity is more reasonable than not (but that doesn't mean you'll want to believe but you just might).

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