Chapter 13: “The Reality of the Resurrection”
At the start of the chapter Keller mentions that he studied religion and philosophy in college, which means he can’t have been ignorant of moral philosophy. That leads me to conclude he either ignores it, or is intentionally presenting an uncharitable interpretation of opposing views. I am no doubt guilty of the same thing (though not intentionally), perhaps even in this strange review of his book. The best explanation of his seeming ignorant of moral philosophy is probably due to the Christian-tinted glasses that he undoubtedly wears.
Much of the chapter is fairly conventional Christian apologetics, and as he is arguing straight out of the work of N.T. Wright it is unsurprising. I find the work of people like Richard Carrier, Bart Ehrman and Robert M. Price far more interesting and compelling, but perhaps I am biased too. Regardless, Keller does not address works like these, and at times presents the skeptic position as saying “It (the resurrection) just couldn’t have happened.” Point me to a single serious skeptical source that says anything remotely along those lines. You can’t? That’s because that’s not what skeptics are saying. Keller is out of touch with his opponents, or perhaps he just isn’t interested in going after the best arguments and only interested in the low-hanging fruit and in burning straw men.
Chapter 14: “The Dance of God”
This chapter reads like one should expect of a book that finds itself successful in arguing its points in previous chapters. For someone like me who went into it trying to be as open-minded as possible, only to be insulted in the introduction and bored for much of the rest of it this chapter was dull. It does things like trying to explain the trinity and ties off some threads on other Christian doctrines. This chapter along with the epilogue which I won’t do an entry on really sum up the book for me. This is not a book for skeptics to convert them to Christianity even though it claims to be. This is probably a really great book for a doubting Christian who doesn’t know much about their own religion but wants to reassure themselves that they’ve picked the right belief. The arguments are incredibly superficial and the refutations are weak. He provides no evidence or reason to believe, and the only chapter that comes close to this is the one where he talks about ‘clues’ of god.
I give the book overall a 2/5. One star for effort and one star for what seems to me to be an honest attempt to reach skeptics. Keller’s biggest downfall in this book is that he doesn’t really address much in the way of real skepticism, doesn’t take on the best arguments, proclaims victory prematurely and obviously hasn’t put any effort into actually understanding the position of the people he is attempting to write for. What I’m trying to say is, the book is crap.