Making Sense of God is the latest book authored by Timothy Keller. I have long appreciated the works of Tim Keller, and was excited to get my hands on this book. If you are familiar with Keller’s works, you may have previously read The Reason for God, to which this book is a helpful companion. After publishing The Reason for God, Keller felt that it did not go back far enough and was compelled to write a follow-up book, Making Sense of God, that went back further. While The Reason for God began with the assumption that Christianity was worthy of being engaged in, Making Sense of God goes further back and gives people reason to believe that Christianity is worthy of their time to consider.
Throughout this book, Keller skillfully answers a variety of questions such as “why does anyone need religion?”, “why is it reasonable to believe in God?”, “why can’t I be free to live as I see fit, as long as I do not harm others?”, and more. Keller deals with these questions graciously, and cares for the reader very pastorally. He does not make assumptions that the reader understands or believes anything, but rather carefully and clearly unpacks each topic before moving on to the next. Keller works through Making Sense of God in a way that is understandable for those who are not familiar with the Christian faith. Keller clearly did his research in writing Making Sense of God, as evidenced by around seventy pages of end notes. In his research, Tim Keller references great scholars in order to ensure that his arguments are sound. He has a great understanding of the secular belief systems that he interacts with throughout Making Sense of God, which gives him credibility among skeptics. In Making Sense of God, Tim Keller presents a compelling presentation of God, showcasing the glory of the gospel through a saving God who provides answers to the deep questions of life.
While my response to Making Sense of God is overwhelmingly positive, I think there are a few critiques that could be made. One such critique that could be made to readers who are familiar with reading Keller’s works, is that much of the material appears similar to content covered in other books. This is not completely negative, as the material fits well into the topics discussed in Making Sense of God, however it is noticeable. Another critique that could be made is that the book lacks a clear flow for reading. There are innumerable quotes from other authors, which breaks up the flow and ease of reading. This was not a huge problem for me, as I enjoyed reading the quotes, but some may find that it detracts from the overall experience of reading the book.
This is one of the most insightful apologetic books I have ever read. Keller not only seeks to answer the logical and intellectual arguments that Christians often face, but goes beyond that to the emotional struggles that prevent people from accepting the lordship of Jesus Christ. Keller asks challenging questions that cause people to deeply reflect upon what it is about Christianity that they are struggling to accept. This book is helpful to anyone who is sharing the gospel with someone who is struggling to accept the message of hope,and one that I would encourage anyone actively involved in evangelism to consider adding to their reading list.
Keller, Timothy. Making Sense of God: An Invitation to the Skeptical. New York: Viking Press, 2016. 336pp. Hardcover, $27.00.
Visit the publisher’s page.
Thanks to Viking Press for the review copy!