Last week the Presbyterian Church in America held our General Assembly in Orlando, FL. The trip to Orlando afforded me a great opportunity to catch up on some reading. One of the books that I had begun before the trip was Timothy Keller’s The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism. On the plane ride south, I finished this wonderful and helpful book. Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, deals with many of the questions and issues that many Christians are scared and/or ill-equipped to talk and think through. The Reason for God is divided into two sections. In “Part 1: The Leap of Doubt,” Keller challenges the popular premises of our culture that claim a higher level of certainty for the skeptical position. In “Part 2: The Reasons for Faith,” he presents several positive arguments for Christianity. As Keller points out in an interview on the book’s website, The Reason for God is worth reading not only for those folks who have serious doubts about Christianity but also for those folks who are Christians and want to better interact with people regarding the truth of Christianity. I highly recommend you buy a copy and read it, or you can find me at church, borrow my copy, and read it.
On the way to Orlando I finished my two unfinished books, so I felt obliged to pick up some options for the way home. Reed Dunn, church planter at Christ the King Presbyterian Church in Joplin, MO, had highly recommended A Praying Life by Paul Miller, so I picked up copy (among other things that I am looking forward to) at the CE&P bookstore exhibit. Admittedly, I was skeptical of another book on prayer, since many of the books on this subject had actually made me feel as if prayer was harder than I already thought it was. Nonetheless, it came with Reed’s high recommendation so I jumped in. Paul Miller’s book convinced me that the Westminster Divines were correct when they wrote Shorter Catechism question #100. ”What doth the preface of the Lord’s Prayer teach us? The preface of the Lord’s Prayer, which is, ‘Our Father which art in heaven,’ teacheth us to draw near to God with all holy reverence and confidence, as children to a father, able and ready to help us; and that we should pray with and for others.” A Praying Life exalts God as the sovereign, majestic, and concerned Father that he is without leaving the reader thinking that he hasn’t prayed until his knees are bloody. Don’t get me wrong – Miller holds a very high view of prayer, but he also holds a high view of both the Savior in whose name we pray and the Spirit who intercedes for us with groanings to deep for words. If prayer is, as it is for many/most/all of us, an inconspicuous part of your life in Christ, this book will likely be a great encouragement to you.