It seems to me that apologetics is a practice that has been relegated to the modern era in our postmodern ‘pick and mix’ culture – as if people have forgotten about the bigger and deeper questions relating to faith.
But Tim Keller takes a fresh approach to apologetics, linking the big questions of life with particular encounters that Jesus had with individuals as related in John’s Gospel. He wants to help people consider how Jesus thought about the core questions of our lives within the reality of human experience.
The first chapters are based on a series of talks given to students in Oxford, focusing on the challenging issues that Jesus addressed with Nathanael, Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman, Mary and Martha, at the wedding at Cana and with Mary Magdalene.
The second part was another series of talks given at Harvard, again looking at life’s significant questions, but this time through the lens of some of the lesser known events of Jesus’ life. The question that we are left within every chapter is the critical one: ‘Who is Jesus? And how will I respond to him?’
This book is of the calibre that we have come to expect from Keller. It addresses an old issue in a creative, imaginative and accessible manner. It helps us to reflect on the reasons for our faith, and would be useful book to study in a small group or potentially use as a basis for a series of talks.