Keller writes well, he knows his stuff, and, perhaps most importantly, he knows the world in which he lives. In an age of encroaching secularisation and “anti-faith”, it is great to read an intelligent yet easy to read presentation of the Christian faith from someone who ministers at the heart of the modern city, in New York.
The book is divided into two sections. The first, The Leap of Doubt, deals with the most common objections encountered by Keller in his dealings with people at Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Manhattan. These chapters offer no unusual or spectacularly profound insights, nor trite answers, but they do offer reasonable responses to some basic objections to the Christian faith. (I especially missed something more substantial in the chapter in the reliability of the Bible; the chapter deals almost exclusively with the Gospels and thus Jesus’ assessment of the Old Testament but fails to address some of the more hairy passages in the Old Testament, passages which are enthusiastically seized upon by those out to discredit Scripture and its message.) Those with serious misgivings may need to look elsewhere for more light, but what is presented should at least serve to show that Christianity is not a blind leap of faith and that thinking people have faced these questions and are still able to believe.
The second section, The Reasons for Faith, has some excellent material and the book is well worth the read for these alone. The chapters The Clues of God and The Knowledge of God are great introductions to the kind of answers – and questions – that radical atheists and materialists probably do not want to be forced to consider.
All in all, Keller gives a reasoned and attractive presentation of the option of Christian faith. An open-minded sceptic would gain much from reading this, and those who already confess the Christian faith will find food for thought and help in knowing how to address the very real questions they may encounter and present their faith in meaningful, relevant and respectful ways.