New book

So, I rarely recommend a book before I’ve had the chance to read it, but this is going to be good… It has to. Written by Tim Keller, senior pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, this book was written with the “spiritually skeptical New Yorker” in mind. Here is what Pastor Keller has to say about the book:

How do you tell people something they probably want to know without playing into the great American hype machine? I’ve been getting so many questions about this I thought I would write a simple newsletter article to members and friends to let you know that, yes, I wrote a book.

I’ve been working for some time on a book for the ordinary (which means very sharp) spiritually skeptical New Yorker. Ever since I got to New York nearly two decades ago I’ve wished I had a volume to give people that not only answered objections to Christianity (what has been called ‘apologetics’) but also positively presented the basics of the gospel in an accessible yet substantial way. I had some books that did the one and some that did the other, but only one did both—Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. As you know, I think Lewis’ book is peerless, and foolish would be the author who tried to replace him!

However, the issues in the public discourse around Christianity have become much more complex than they were in the mid and late 20th century. The questions are now not just philosophical (e.g. Is there evidence for God’s existence?) They are also now cultural (Doesn’t strong faith make a multicultural society impossible?), political (Doesn’t orthodox religion undermine freedom?) and personal. Also fifty years ago, when C.S. Lewis was writing, there was general agreement that rational argument and empirical method were the best ways to discover truth. That consensus has vanished. Today there are deep disagreements over how we know things and how certain we can be about anything. Most of the older books presenting Christianity now are only persuasive and even comprehensible to a very narrow range of people.

All this means that there is a great need for new literature that speaks to our time and says, ‘Christianity makes sense.’ I know I’m only one of many who are trying to do this over the next few years. My contribution is slated to be released February 14, 2008, by Dutton, an imprint of Penguin Books. Its title is The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism. You can find a little more information about it on Amazon.com.

Even though the book is not addressing believers, I still hope it will be a help to the members and friends of Redeemer. It may make it easier to represent your heartfelt beliefs to people you love. That’s my prayer.

The book isn’t available until February, but you can pre-order it on Amazon.com if you’d like… especially if, say, you wanted to buy it as a gift for your favorite blogging family… ehm…

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