Tag Archives: C.S. Lewis

Book Review: The Magician’s Nephew – Book 1 of The Chronicles of Narnia

As a Boy

I was given a set of The Chronicles of Narnia as a kid, but failed to really enjoy them.  I began the series with The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and read a few of the books that followed it, but never finished.  I think my stopping point was about  halfway through The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  Honestly, I don’t remember enjoying the books that much, and that’s probably why I didn’t finish them.

Now, about 20 years later, a few things have changed.  For one, I’ve become more appreciative of the writings of C.S. Lewis as a whole.  Secondly, I’ve developed more of a taste for all-things-geek (e.g. fantasy stories such as The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, comic books, etc.).  And thirdly, I’m now very interested in the theological ramifications of Lewis’ writings.  I think Lewis was a genius, but I also know that his theology is seriously flawed in certain areas, and I guess you could say that I’m investigating.  So, I’ve begun reading and re-reading these books, mainly for entertainment, but also with a careful eye towards the content.

First Things First, or perhaps the reason I didn’t Like These Books As a Child

As beloved as The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe is, it really should not be read as the first book in the series (as it often is).  Lewis intended for The Magician’s Nephew to be read first, and having now read both books, I agree that The Magician’s Nephew better sets up The Chronicles of Narnia as a whole.  I think it’s disappointing to begin The Chronicles of Narnia series with The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe because The Horse and His Boy, the book that follows, has such a drastic change in characters.  This change really puts a bad taste in the reader’s mouth, a reader who has developed somewhat of an attachment to the characters in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.  As a boy, I longed for more connection between the characters in the two books, and because of a perceived lack of cohesiveness, I think I lost interest in the series as a whole.  I would argue that reading The Magician’s Nephew as the first book in the series (as Lewis intended), prepares the reader for the drastic character changes that occur throughout the series, and in this way it leaves the reader anticipating rather than disappointed.

A Few Highlights

I’m preparing to write a review the entire Chronicles of Narnia series once I’ve completed all the books, so I’m not going to jump into too much detail here, but I do want to touch on one or two highlights in the book:

1) Lewis’ description of the creation of Narnia (and its obvious parallels to the Biblical account) is really quite breath-taking.  This is probably my favorite part of the book because it so brings to life the power and beauty of God.  Aslan (the Jesus figure in the series) walks too and fro over a darkened, formless earth, and sings the creation to life.  His song creates life and bursts forth with wonder and beauty.  This conception of the creation account really aids me in praising God and is probably closer to the actual truth than the sometimes sterile picture I create in my mind if I’m not careful.

2) Lewis’ perfectly captures the truth about spiritual blindness in this book.  The protagonist in The Magician’s Nephew is Digory, a young boy who visits other worlds through the magical powers of a set of rings.  Digory and his Uncle Andrew (along with a few others) witness the founding and creation of Narnia.  To Digory this is a wonderful experience, but to Digory’s uncle, it is a dreadful experience.  And Lewis, as narrator in the book, comments that “What you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing:  it also depends on what sort of person you are” (148).  This quote perfectly captures the truth of spiritual sight and spiritual blindness that we see in the Bible.  Those who have their eyes opened to the truth of God see evidences of His existence, and beauty, and goodness wherever they look; but those who don’t know God often see the exact opposite.  They see no evidence that He exists, or at best see evidence that He is in fact mean, selfish, and puny at best.  The difference between these two types of people is spiritual blindness.  Lewis perfectly captures this truth in The Magician’s Nephew as he compares Digory to Uncle Andrew.

One more quote

“They were terribly afraid it (Aslan) would turn and look at them, yet in some queer way they wished it would” (128).

More Chronicles of Narnia to come…

Two New Goals…

I’m currently fulfilling a goal to read an average of a-book-a-week for this entire year.  It’s been fun so far.  Really fun actually.  I’d suggest this goal to anyone (unless you’re in seminary or law school or in some other situation where additional reading might make you lose your mind).  At least a few of my reasons for setting the a-book-a-week goal are:

1) To better develop my mind and thus better love God with my mind (Mark 12:30).

2) To practice writing by briefly reviewing the books upon completion.

3) To be relevant.  I think the whole “relevancy” thing can be pushed too far, but it’s still true that we need to understand the world in which we live.  And, reading books may actually be a better way to pursue relevancy than watching tv or reading newspapers. I say this because the material in books has usually been mulled over for a longer period of time, and thus may contain more mature thought than other forms of media.  In fact C. S. Lewis lamented the fact that boys in his day were encouraged to stay abreast of current news.  As he says in Surprised by Joy, “I think those are very wrong who say that schoolboys should be encouraged to read the newspapers.  Nearly all that a boy reads there in his teens will be known before he is twenty to have been false in emphasis and interpretation, if not in fact as well, and most of it will have lost all importance.  Most of what he remembers he will therefore have to unlearn; and he will probably have acquired an incurable taste for vulgarity and sensationalism and the fatal habit of fluttering from paragraph to paragraph to learn how an actress has been divorced in California, a train derailed in France, and quadruplets born in New Zealand” (152-153).  So I want to read a lot of books because with Lewis, I believe it is better learning.

However, the thought hit me today that, in addition to the reading, I also want to find at least one good quote from every book that I read.  I want to take these quotes and catalogue them so that I have a readily accessible list of good quotes when I am preparing a sermon or writing an article or book.  So this is goal #1.

Goal #2 is to try to witness to at least one person a week.  This is what I was asked to do while in seminary at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary.  While I did not love everything about the way in which the seminary asked us to pursue this endeavor, I do think it was a great requirement.  I know that the Bible plainly teaches that I’m to share the gospel regularly.  I’ve never quit believing this, but I have not challenged myself to pursue evangelism (the first step in disciple-making) enough since seminary.  So I’m setting a goal of witnessing to at least one person a week for the rest of the year.  I’m going to reevaluate this goal at that time, see if I fulfilled it, and ask myself whether I should change it in any way.

So there you go.  Two unrelated goals.  We’ll see how I do.

Book Review: Surprised by Joy by C. S. Lewis

Surprised by Joy is C.S. Lewis’ “sort of” autobiography.  In the book, he traces his early childhood through his conversion to Christianity while teaching at Oxford.

This year has been a year of C.S. Lewis for me personally.  He’s an author that I’ve admired for years, but only because of the admiration that other authors (whom I enjoy) have for him.  Admittedly, I had never finished any C. S. Lewis book (with the exception of the first two Narnia books when I was a kid) until this year.  Now I’ve finished five. Because of my current interest in Lewis, I read with great interest this autobiography of his early life and conversion.

Surprised by Joy is by far the most rapturous of Lewis’ writing that I’ve encountered so far.  His description of the English and Irish countryside is superb, his story is so far removed from my own that his story is other-worldly, and the depth of his understanding of literature and philosophy is inspiring.  Lewis is at the same time both wonderful for his imagination, and wonderful for his understanding of complex ideas.  He was a man who felt deeply and thought deeply.  A pattern I would like to mimic in my own life.

The conversion of C. S. Lewis is beautiful. It is a story that unfolds slowly through the book.  God first began to capture his heart through small glimpses of “Joy” in both literature, music, and nature.  As Lewis sought to recapture this “Joy” it fled from him, proving unattainable time and again.  Joy would reappear, unexpected, throughout his life, and eventually became a clue that helped point him towards the God he most desired to believe did not exist.  His conversion, unlike many, was gradual and slow.  God pursued and broke through the barriers in Lewis’ mind until he could no longer deny His existence.

My favorite sentence in the book is, “The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of men, and His compulsion is our liberation” (219).  In this quote, Lewis betrays the miracle that the Spirit performed on his heart in bringing him to Christ.  He did not want God to be real, and God’s pursuit of him seemed at times “hard,” but it was in fact “kindness.”  Jesus’ pursuit of Lewis’ seemed to be compulsive, but it proved to be liberating.  This description is beautiful, and reminds me of what I felt at seven years old, when God drew me to Himself.

I love this book.  It inspires me to read classic literature, enjoy the beauty all around me, think hard about God, and feel emotion fully.  Surprised by Joy is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand Lewis, and it is by far my favorite Lewis book so far.

Book Review: The World’s Last Night and Other Essays by C. S. Lewis

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Book Info

The World’s Last Night and Other Essays is a small, 113 page book, containing seven essays by C. S. Lewis covering a variety of topics.  The seven essays are:  “The Efficacy of Prayer,” “On Obstinacy in Belief,” “Lilies that Fester,” “Screwtape Proposes a Toast,” “Good Work and Good Works,” “Religion and Rocketry,” and “The World’s Last Night.”  These essays were originally published separately in a variety of publications between 1952 and 1959.  I believe the current collected form of the essays was first published in 1959.

Efficacy of Prayer

In this essay, Lewis marvels at both the reality and unprovable-ness of prayer.  He experientially knows that prayer works, and yet he is quite aware that there is no empirical way to prove that it works.  Further, as the title of the essay makes clear, Lewis questions the purpose of prayer.  In part his conclusion is that, “In it God shows Himself to us. That He answers prayer is a corollary – not necessarily the most important one – from that revelation” (8).  Lewis ends the essay by contemplating the way in which petitionary prayer works.  Good essay!

On Obstinacy in Belief

Lewis begins this essay by pointing out that it is often stated that, science demands evidence for belief, while religion demands belief without evidence.  Accordingly, science and religion often conflict with each other in that they value opposite things:  science values facts, religion values faith.  However, as Lewis makes clear, this is an oversimplification of the situation, for science often leads men to conclusions that have not been implicitly proved, and faith in God is not entirely absent from proof.  Throughout the rest of the essay, Lewis explains that the gulf between science and faith is not nearly as wide as many make it seem.  Good essay!

Lilies That Fester

Lilies that Fester is probably my favorite essay in this collection.  Lewis essentially predicts the movement of political correctness at least 20 years before it became a reality.  He laments the day that men would quit thinking for themselves, one where only popular opinion will be regarded as “good thought.”  Listen as he describes what this would look like, “Every boy or girl that is born is presented with the choice:  ‘Read the poets, whom we, the cultured, approve, and say the sort of things we say about them, or be a prole'” (46).  Lewis’ concern is that this sort of “political correctness” would invade the arena of Christianity and wreak havoc.  Lewis is squarely on the side of freedom both in the arena of thought and in the arena of life.  My other favorite quote from this essay (probably because I lean libertarian politically) is, “All political power is at best a necessary evil:  but it is least evil when it claims no more than to be useful or convenient and sets itself strictly limited objectives.  Anything transcendental or spiritual, or even anything very strongly ethical, in its pretensions is dangerous and encourages it to meddle with our private lives” (40).  Great!

Screwtape Proposes a Toast

This is an essay that acts as a sort of prequel to the Screwtape Letters – a fictional book of letters from one demon to another regarding temptation.  The whole of this essay is a fictional speech from Screwtape, a demon, to his other demons regarding methods of temptation.  I’ve previously reviewed the Screwtape Letters, and am honestly not that big a fan of the book or the essay.  Meh!

Good Work and Good Works

Probably my second favorite essay of this collection.  Lewis focuses on the necessity for Christians not simply to do good works (religious works), but also to spend their time doing good work (doing work well).  As he says, “When our Lord provided a poor wedding party with an extra glass of wine all round, he was doing good works.  But also good work; it was wine really worth drinking” (71).  Lewis spends some time explaining how modern culture is filled with less than good work.  Accordingly, many of us manufacture or create products that we must first convince consumers they need.  Conversely good work can be defined as:   creating, or doing something, that we would do even if no monetary compensation were involved.  He concludes that, “We shall try, if we get the chance, to earn a living by doing well what would be worth doing even if we had not a living to earn” (78).  Great!

Religion and Rocketry

In this essay, Lewis contemplates how the Christian religion would be effected by the discovery of life on other planets.  Would the aliens be fallen like mankind?  Would they need the death of Christ?  Would they be rational creatures like humans?  Capable of choice?  This is fun essay that shows the vastness of Lewis’ creativity, but – I suggest – probably seemed more relevant when it was written in the 1950’s.  Creative and Fun!

The World’s Last Night

In The World’s Last Night, Lewis argues for the centrality of the teaching of the return of Christ in the bible.  He observes that in previous generations an exaggerated view of the return of Jesus, by men like Albert Schweitzer, has led to an under-emphasized and embarrassed response from many of Lewis’ contemporaries regarding the teaching.  And this, according to Lewis, is a mistake.  Jesus teaching on His return is a vital part of His teaching.  Christ cannot be understood apart from it.  Lewis goes on to suggest how the message of the second coming of Jesus should effect us personally.  I love that he comes to unique conclusions about our response to Jesus’ teaching about the second coming.  His conclusion is that the expectation of God’s coming judgment (which is part of the second coming) should not lead to crisis-type actions, but should steady us, and help us to make wise decisions in each situation.  Good essay!

Overall

This is a really fun and thought-provoking book to read.  I’m discovering more and more that I really do like the writings of C. S. Lewis.  I, however, prefer a lot of his more offbeat writings, rather than his extremely well-known works.

Book Review: The Abolition of Man by C. S. Lewis

TheAbolitionOfManI just finished my third C. S. Lewis book, and can say that of the ones I’ve read (Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, and now The Abolition of Man) this is probably the most important.  The basic premise of the book is that, all of life – that is all truth and morality – is based upon some Higher Truth.  Lewis does not go so far in The Abolition of Man to claim that this Higher Truth should be Christianity (he argued that in Mere Christianity), but just that all Real Truth is in reality based upon a Higher Truth.  Men may deny this Higher Truth, but if while denying this Truth they still claim any sort of right or wrong, then they are in fact being hypocrites.  All morality, argues Lewis, stems from a higher, timeless Truth.  For lack of a better term, Lewis labels this Higher Truth,”The Tao” in The Abolition of Man.

To actually represent this book correctly, I must explain that Lewis does leave open another possibility.  Men may deny this Higher Truth, the Tao, but if they do so, every decision will then be based simply upon the opinion, or lust, of the moment.  As he says on page 67, “If you will not obey the Tao, or else commit suicide, obedience to impulse (and therefore, in the long run, to mere ‘nature’) is the only course left open.”  If the decisions of morality are not based on a Higher Law, and moral decisions are simply based upon our own fleeting opinions, then, argues Lewis, “Man’s final conquest has proved to be the abolition of Man” (64).  In other words, apart from a Higher Truth society will fall apart, and the influence of a few men in power will affect every other man, and result in the collapse of society.  Lewis concludes, “I am very doubtful whether history shows us one example of a man who, having stepped outside traditional morality and attained power, has used that power benevolently” (66).

I think this is an important book because what Lewis first predicted in 1944 in The Abolition of Man, is happening right now throughout Western society.  In American culture the adoption of a relativistic worldview seems to be making society worse not better.  When people adopt the “I do what feels right” view of morality, then society is doomed.  Mankind must base its morality on a higher, Objective Truth, and the only one that is shown to be true again and again is the truth of Christianity.  The pervading, demonic influence of Darwinian naturalism, and the survival-of-fittest mantra, if left unchallenged, will always result in the destruction of society.

Book Review: The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis

I picked up this copy at a thriftstore. I love old vintage covers!

I picked up this copy at a thriftstore. I love old vintage covers!

The Screwtape Letters is a fictional work by C. S. Lewis written in 1942 (my copy of the book also contained Screwtape Proposes a Toast 1961).  The book is composed of 31 letters from a “professional devil” named Screwtape to his nephew, a “junior temptor,” named Wormwood.  The nature of the letters focus on how Wormwood can better tempt his human “patient” to sin.

As with Mere Christianity, I found this book simply “ok.”  I think that perhaps the passage of time and culture – from when Lewis originally wrote The Screwtape Letters – to now is part of what leaves me unimpressed.  For instance, watching a movie in 2010 that was considered very important when in came out in the 1960’s, will leave some people scratching their heads as to why it was considered such a great movie.  The idea behind The Screwtape Letters is pretty original for its time, but I still just don’t understand what all the fuss is about.

A Complaint

One complaint that I have with this book is that I think Lewis’ conception of salvation is slightly off.  The Bible is clear that Christians, if they are truly redeemed, will keep repenting of sin and living for Christ during this life.  In other words, I believe that the Bible teaches the doctrine of “perseverance of the saints” – all true saints persevere in saving faith until the end.  If my understanding of The Screwtape Letters is correct, Lewis seems to think that those who are truly Christians can be tempted to sin and become unregenerate.  In other words, Lewis implies that a person can lose salvation.  Listen to this quote from one demon to another in The Screwtape Letters, “hundreds of these adult converts have been reclaimed after a brief sojourn in the Enemy’s camp and are now with us” (11).  It could be argued that this quote was from the demon’s point of view and not Lewis’ directly.  In that case, Lewis would be arguing that demons (not Lewis himself) assume that they can pull sons of God back out of son-ship.  This could be Lewis’ meaning, but I doubt it.  The other option is that Lewis is arguing that only God – not demons or anyone else – truly knows who “the redeemed” are, so demons are working on taking salvation from saints, not realizing that it is truly a lost cause.  Whichever option is true, Lewis’ lack of clarification leads me to believe that he thinks true believers can in fact become unbelievers.

Quotes I Enjoy

(remember that all of these are written from the point of view of one demon to another)

“But whatever the nature of the composite object, you must keep him praying to it-to the thing that he has made, not to the Person who has made him” (22).

(This quote is said in reference to encouraging humans to worship only the god that they have conceived of in their heads (the composite object), rather than the true God revealed in Scripture.)

“I have great hopes that we shall learn in due time how to emotionalize and mythologize their science to such an extent that what is, in effect, a belief in us (though not under that name) will creep in while the human mind remains closed to belief in the Enemy” (33).

(Isn’t this exactly what has happened amongst some adherents to the “New Atheism?”  A belief in an impersonal force (Buddhism) is acceptable and compatible with science, while a belief in a personal God is shunned as absolutely ludicrous.)

“But do remember, the only thing that matters is the extent to which you separate the man from the Enemy.  It does not matter how small the sins are, provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light an out into the Nothing” (56).

“When He (God) talks of their losing their selves, He means only abandoning the clamor of self-will; once they have done that, He really gives them back all their personality, and boasts (I am afraid, sincerely) that when they are wholly His they will be more themselves than ever” (59).

“thousands of humans have been brought to think that humility means pretty women trying to believe they are ugly and clever men trying to believe they are fools” (64).

“He (God) therefore, I believe, wants them to attend chiefly to two things, to eternity itself and to that point of time which they call the Present” (68).

“Surely you know that if a man can’t be cured of churchgoing, the next best thing is to send him all over the neighborhood looking for the church that “suits” him until he becomes a taster or connoisseur of churches” (72).

“the search for a “suitable” church makes the man a critic where the Enemy wants him to be a pupil” (73).

Finally

I could keep going with the quotes because Lewis is the king of quotable content, but I won’t.  The Screwtape Letters is to be commended for its originality and creativity (especially for the period when it was written), but for me it fails to stand up to the hype.  My plan is to keep reading widely from Lewis because so many have found him inspiring, but so far I’ve found many, many books far more inspiring and useful than either Mere Christianity or The Screwtape Letters.

Book Review: Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis

MereChristianityPrecursory Thoughts

It’s been my intention for quite a while to spend time with the writings of C.S. Lewis.  Four or five years ago I read nearly half of Mere Christianity, but at the time I was also reading several other books and attending seminary.  The mixture of busy-ness made it easy to put this book down half way through.

Lately I’ve read several other authors who, quoting Lewis, have increased my desire to pick up Mere Christianity once again and give it a go.  John Piper, whom I respect tremendously, often quotes Lewis; he does so especially in his seminal book, Desiring God.  Likewise Tim Keller,whom I also respect, refers to Lewis as a huge influence and quotes from him liberally in The Reason for God.  Lastly, Brian McLaren, whom I do not respect (his theology, not the man), also uses Lewis as a source of inspiration in some of his writings.  The problem with this of course is that two men whom I greatly admire and agree with, site Lewis as a large influence.  Contrariwise McLaren, whom I do not respect, sites Lewis as a reference too.  In fact I would say that many of the most-loathsome beliefs that McLaren espouses seem to be founded in the thought of C.S. Lewis.

Watching a recent talk by John Piper about Lewis has helped clear the air for me in many respects.  In the talk, which I encourage you to watch, Piper discusses some of the problems with Lewis, but he also discusses the rewards that C.S. Lewis has wrought within his own life.

Review

Mere Christianity was originally delivered as a series of Radio Broadcasts in the 1940’s, only later in 1952, was it developed into a book.  As a result, it’s a very approachable read with subjects divided into nice, bite-sized chapters.  The book is organized into four separate books each with its own chapters.  The books are as follows:  Book 1 – Right and Wrong as a Clue to the Meaning of the Universe, Book 2 – What Christians Believe, Book 3 – Christian Behaviour, Book 4 – Beyond Personality:  Or First Steps in the Doctrine of the Trinity.  Mere Christianity is essentially part apologetic for Christianity and part explanation of Christianity, and I have to applaud Lewis for doing a good job in his defending and explaining.

Personally, I enjoyed the apologetic in the beginning of the book and the thoughts on the Trinity at the end of the book most thoroughly.  The book is a bit slow in the middle.  Spiritually speaking, Mere Christianity gave me some interesting ways of thinking about Christianity.  In fact Lewis’ greatest contribution may be that he allows readers to see problematic portions of Christianity in a new light through his vivid descriptions.

This book wasn’t life changing for me, but it was definitely a worthwhile read.  If nothing else, I see portions of Christianity more clearly than I used to, and I have a bunch of Lewis quotes that will make me sound smart if I use them.  The problematic parts of Lewis’ philosophy make this a hard book for me to whole-heartedly recommend (see Piper’s talk).  Many will be blessed by its content and some may be led astray.  As always we must place the Bible’s revelation of itself ahead of man’s interpretations. Our personal interpretations are subject to the scrutiny of Bible.  I’m going to continue to read more of Lewis and see how my opinion develops after delving further.

Piper’s talk – http://theresurgence.com/why-cs-lewis-influenced-john-piper

Book Review: The Reason for God – by Tim Keller

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While Tim Keller’s book, The Reason for God, is only one book among many modern day apologetics for the Christian faith, it may be the best.  I’ve heard it said, although I’m not quite sure from whom, that “The Reason for God is the most important apologetic that’s been written since Lewis’ Mere Christianity.”  That’s high praise, and it’s well deserved.

Structure
This book is divided into two main sections.  The first seven chapters are responses to the most common arguments against Christianity.  The last seven chapters are arguments in favor of Christianity.  Between these two large sections of the book, Keller pauses to let the reader dwell on what has been argued so far.  He ends the book with an appeal to enter into Christianity whole-heartedly, not flippantly or easily.  In his own words, “it would be very easy in that condition (one of difficulty or need) to approach God as a means to an end.  Are you getting into Christianity to serve God, or to get God to serve you?  The later is a kind shamanism, an effort to get control of God through your prayers and practices.  It is using God rather than trusting him” (238).

This Book Rocks
This is a great book for at least three reasons.  The Reason for God is highly accessible, contains real-life, tested apologetic arguments, and adequately interacts with the all the major arguments against Christianity.

First and foremost this is a book that is accessible to a wide range of readers.  While dealing with philosophy, science, Biblical interpretation, and religious arguments, Keller manages to keep the book on a level that interested high school students could easily comprehend.  The book is filled with personal stories and pop culture references, and his style reminds me of the descriptions I’ve heard of Francis Schaeffer.  Keller gives you the feeling that he really knows and has thought about what he writes.

Part of the power of this book is that Keller has been living these arguments and discussions about Christianity for the past twenty years in New York City.  Each of the first seven chapters begins with quotes from people that Keller has actually interacted with.  Because this book is built upon real conversations between a Pastor and people who have attended his church, it’s congenial in tone.  The worst part about many apologists is their arrogance.  Keller takes no such approach.  His approach is firm and whole-hearted, but kind.

The arguments within The Reason for God are approachable and congenial and yet they still do adequate justice to the points of contention that many have with the Christian faith.  Keller doesn’t shy away from hard questions, and he doesn’t pretend his own arguments are water tight.  He knows that Christianity is ultimately built upon faith, and faith can’t be completely proven.  He leaves room for people to struggle and disagree with his own opinions, and yet he’s not weak or cowering.  This is a book that I believe will help convince many.  Seekers will go away challenged and questioning, not angry.

I love this book.  I feel wiser and more informed for having read it.  While I don’t agree with Keller’s arguments regarding creation, I appreciate the manner in which he explained his opinions.  Again, even though I have contention with something Keller said, his tone leaves me wanting to research and think rather than just react in a rage of disagreement.  If you love Jesus read this book!  If you don’t understand Christianity or have doubts, read this book!