Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan and cofounder of the Gospel Coalition, is behind some of the most ambitious if not the most radical efforts to reach urban professionals. Now he's expanding his ministry in book form, with the publication of The Reason for God, which moved its way up to number seven on The New York Times nonfiction bestseller list.
Keller's book tour, hosted by the Veritas Forum, has attracted 6,000 attendees to universities around the country. Many readers are saying that the book provides satisfying answers to the questions that churched and unchurched people commonly raise about Christianity. CT assistant editor Susan Wunderink sat down with Keller as he passed through Chicago.
Are the doubts that believers face the same as the doubts that unbelievers face?
It's your society that gives you the doubts. If you go to the Middle East and ask people what makes Christianity implausible, they're not going to say, "Because there can't be one true religion." They're going to say, "Because of how oppressive America has been as a Christian nation, and if you look at their culture, it's lascivious and debauched."
If you ask Americans, "What makes Christianity implausible to you?" they're not going to say, "Your popular culture is filled with sex and violence." They will say, "How could there be one true religion?"
Christians are living in the same culture that is blasting them with this is what's implausible about Christianity. If they lived in another culture, they'd be blasted with something else. So they probably are dealing with the same things [as non-Christians are] intellectually.
But my guess is the personal issues are different. If they came from a very homogenous, insular ...1