You probably couldn't find a more secular place than Manhattan. And yet, in the midst of Manhattan's worldly, sophisticated streets is a thriving Christian congregation. Nearly 6,000 people jam five services every Sunday.
Any pastor worth his salt should be asking, "What is this church doing right?" The answer can be found in a recent book by Tim Keller, the pastor of Manhattan's Redeemer Presbyterian Church.
The book, titled The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, describes the kinds of questions newcomers—mostly highly-educated twenty-somethings—fire at Keller: Why would a good God allow suffering? Hasn't science disproved Christianity? Why would a loving God send people to hell? And isn't it arrogant for Christians to claim that their faith is the only route to God?
Keller's answers jolt his cosmopolitan audience into thinking about the implications of their assumptions. Answers that point to Christianity as a rational choice for explaining the world.
Theologian Ken Boa, creator of the new "Essential Reading Audio Series," says Keller's The Reason for God offers a good counter-argument to books like Christopher Hitchens' God is Not Great. It's a thought-provoking read for Christians and secular seekers alike.
We live in a time of "open season" on Christianity, Boa notes—a time when people feel free to castigate Christians and their faith with impunity. Boa says there is a growing need for a corresponding literature that communicates the Christian perspective in a culturally relevant manner.
Boa asserts that in places like Manhattan, we need to communicate the Gospel through intelligent reasoning and a spirit of harmony, along with a generous measure of humility and compassion. He calls Keller's book "a welcome addition to this needed body of literature" because he writes from pastoral perspective—twenty years of pasturing a mostly young, single, highly-educated congregation that came out of a secular background.
If you want an insightful analysis of Keller's book-and many others—I recommend you subscribe to Ken Boa's Essential Reading Audio Series. Boa analyzes and discusses today's popular literature influenced by a Christian worldview, and will guide you through each book's essential themes and worldview implications.
Each month you will receive an hour-long audio CD of Dr. Boa's teaching. He offers interesting glimpses into the life of each author, explores the main themes of the book, pulls out some favorite passages, and makes relevant connections to our lives.
By the way, if you were a subscriber to Dr. Boa's "Great Books Audio CD Series," you will begin receiving this new series shortly.
As Boa says, ideas have consequences. This new audio series will guide you into right thinking (orthodoxy) which in turn will lead us to right practice (orthopraxy).
For more information on the Boa audio series, visit BreakPoint.org.
Both Keller and Boa note that the world is polarizing, growing more religious and less religious at the same time. It's essential that we meet our secular neighbors on their own terms—and help them understand the rationality of Christian faith.
Chuck Colson's daily BreakPoint commentary airs each weekday on more than one thousand outlets with an estimated listening audience of one million people. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print.
Publication date: October 25, 2010