Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Reason For God

CERC - Introduction ~ TIM KELLER

In The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism"Keller mines material from literary classics, philosophy, anthropology, and a multitude of other disciplines to make an intellectually compelling case for God." - Publisher's Weekly

I find your lack of faith—disturbing. — Darth Vader

"Tim Keller Wants to Save Your Yuppie Soul".

That was the title of a New York Magazine feature late last year. The article sought to explain how Tim Keller, a 59-year-old, bald, Presbyterian minister, has been so remarkably successful in converting to Christianity a demographic that has been largely impervious to the orthodox Protestant message.

Yuppie Manhattanites—doctors, bankers, lawyers, artists, actors, and designers, most of them in their twenties or thirties—have been flocking to his Redeemer Presbyterian Church. In a city known as "liberal and edgy", and a "land of skeptics, critics, and cynics", Keller's church now counts 6,000 in its congregation with seed-churches now sprouting up in large cities around the world. Keller had become "the most successful Christian evangelist in the city," stated the article, "by recognizing that young professionals and artists are 'disproportionately influential' in creating the country's culture and that you have to meet this coveted demographic on its own terms".

When the Tim Keller phenomenon was first brought to my attention, I was skeptical. But there's quite abit more to him than the usual charismatic mega-church-meister. His appeal is intellectual and spiritual, not emotional or sentimental and he seems quite devoid of either charisma or showmanship.

A Newsweek profile several years ago described him as "a pastor for people who like their Christianity straight up."

Keller tackles the toughest questions about God, about Christ, and about Christianity that his bright, well-educated, American yuppie congregation or audience can throw at him. And from everything I've read, he also frequently finds himself in the position of defending the Catholic Church on the positions she takes, her right to take them, and against the bogus historical criticism she is so often subject to.

Keller's book, The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, reached number 7 on the New York Times best-seller list in 2008 and I consider it hands-down the best thing I've read at providing a powerful, reasoned response to the most frequently voiced "doubts" yuppie skeptics are likely to hold.

As Catholics we aren't going to agree with everything Tim Keller holds theologically, but I don't think you'll find anything in The Reason for God to disagree with and a great deal of useful and very stimulating thinking in it. The introduction to The Reason for God is our feature article this week. - J. Fraser Field
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