I am begging you.

I am begging you to purchase and read “The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism” by Timothy Keller. I am not sure if I have ever mentioned this book on the blog or not… have I? If I have you might be annoyed but I remain at peace because it may just need to be reiterated. I just finished reading it for the second time and I loved it even more this time around. The first time around I was spending most of my energy processing and interacting with the content but this time I was able to sit back, relax on my couch and read it over a cup of chamomile tea and it has blessed me so. Dr. Timothy Keller is the Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. He engages culture and gospel in a unique way and he does it all with the heart of a Pastor.

Here is a sneak peak at just one little selection… I don’t want to spoil too much for you.
The doctrine of the Trinity overloads our mental circuits. Despite its cognitive difficulty, however, this astonishing, dynamic conception of the triune God is bristling with profound, wonderful, life-shaping, world-changing implications… Ultimate reality is a community of persons who know and love one another. That is what the universe, God, history, and life is all about. If you favor money, power, and accomplishment over human relationships, you will dash yourself on the rocks of reality. When Jesus said you must lose yourself in service to find yourself (Mark 8:35), he was recounting what the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have been doing throughout eternity. You will, then, never get a sense of self by standing still, as it were, and making everything revolve around your needs and interests. Unless you are willing to experience the loss of options and the individual limitations that comes from being in committed relationships, you will remain out of touch with your own nature and the nature of things. In many other places in this volume, I’ve traced out how impossible it is to stay fully human if you refuse the cost of forgiveness, the substitutional exchange of love, and the confinements of community… this world was not created by a God who is only an individual, nor is it the emanation of an impersonal force… We believe the world was made by a God who is a community of persons who have loved each other for all eternity. You were made for mutually self-giving, other-directed love. Self-centeredness destroys the fabric of what God has made… The universe is understood as a dance of beings united by energies binding yet distinct, like planets orbiting stars, like tides and seasons, “like atoms in a molecule, like the tones in a chord, like the living organisms on this earth, like the mother with the baby stirring in her body.” The love of the inner life of the Trinity is written all through it. Creation is a dance!” (selected from pages 215-217, 219 of “The Reason for God”).
Are you kidding me??
I love it.
Please bless yourself and buy this book or check it out from the library or download it on your kindle or borrow it from a friend or read it standing in the aisle at Barnes & Noble…whatever you have to do, try and make it happen. And then perhaps we can move on to downloading his sermons in the near future. Wink.
Also, please do not forget to pray for God to move mightily at Living Proof Live in Fargo, North Dakota!
Happy Friday Sweet Siestas!

109 Responses to “I am begging you.”

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  1. 1
    Anonymous says:

    How I love a good book recommendation! Thanks, Melissa! I'd love to see more suggestions on here!

  2. 2
    Stacy Minor says:

    Crazy! I just bought this book along with another of Tim Keller's. I just finished the Prodigal God, it was a kicker, absolutely loved the indepth study of the parable of the Father and two sons.
    Now I am super pumped to read Reason for God!
    Thanks Melissa for the recommendation! When somethings have been recommended more than a couple times, I perk up and take notice!

  3. 3
    Anonymous says:

    Yes, Melissa, this book is amazing to strengthen faith and a great response to books like "The God delusion".
    And the way this man writes! You cannot read it sitting down. You almost want to jump up and shout or salute or fall on your knees at just about every paragraph. He has been called the C.S. Lewis of the 21st century.
    To me, he also reminds me of the apostle Paul, when you read his epistles in the Greek, your heart leaps out of your chest.
    Camas, WA

  4. 4
    shelli littleton says:

    Thank you for sharing the book, Melissa.

    We will definitely be praying for Beth this weekend … and no doubt God will move! No doubt.

    Love you,

  5. 5
    fuzzytop says:

    Wow! I loved the phrase "…If you favor money, power, and accomplishment over human relationships, you will dash yourself on the rocks of reality." That'll preach!

    Yes, I will get this and read it, and then I'll put it in our church library too.

    Thanks Melissa!


    P.S. Yes, am praying for a mighty outpouring of the Spirit in Fargo.

  6. 6
    Beth says:

    Lis, I am sitting in the lunch room at the event center in Fargo (SO HAPPY TO BE HERE!) and I just hopped on the blog and read this entry. I have that book in my office and I am going to get that thing off the shelf and in my sweaty little palms when I get home. That one part was enough to stir up a frenzy in my soul. Creation is a dance indeed! Imagine the NEW creation!!!

    I do dearly love a young woman who can go from fragrances to apologetics in a heartbeat.

    I love you and miss you and had the best time with you!!

  7. 7
    michellemabell says:

    That gave me goosebumps…
    I can't wait to read the whole thing!

    I just finished The End of Reason, A Response to the New Athiests by Ravi Zacharias.
    Such a great little book! I love how he takes on Sam Harris's book, Letter To A Christian Nation.

    Praying for all to be blessed in North Dakota.

    Michelle in VT

  8. 8
    Anonymous says:

    I just checked my local library and they have it in stock. I'm going to pick it up today. Thanks for the suggestion, I've been looking for something new to read. By the way Melissa, I work in the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College, so I thought I would send a "hello" to a fellow "Wheatie". Have a great weekend.

  9. 9
    Lipstick, Spurs and The WORD says:

    Just ordered my copy!

    Question..trying like crazy to find a in depth bible study through a college in my area, and have yet to find one (unless I plan on pursuing a theology degree, which I am not, I don't think- just want to take a class)…(I want to dive deep in Old Testament / New)So..any suggestions on reads (want sound teaching and not sure where to turn)

  10. 10
    Taylor says:

    MMMmmmmmMMMmmmm…that's good, girl!!


  11. 11
    Inksstillwet says:

    I will accept your plea and purchase this one asap. It sounds amazingly wonderful. Thank you for sharing!

  12. 12
    memoryminded says:

    Thank you so much for the recommendation. If you have mentioned the book before, I somehow missed it! I can't wait to read the whole thing. I may have to wait until the kids return to school so that I can sit and soak it all in.

  13. 13
    Leslie Lauren says:

    Aw ๐Ÿ™‚ Beth's comment made me teary-eyed ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. 14
    Anonymous says:

    Hi Melissa!
    Like your mom, I've had that book on my shelf for months. There've been so many great books I've been catching up on, that one always seemed to get passed over…But I'm encouraged to take it off the shelf, dust it off, and dive in. Thanks so much for that little excerpt. Loved it! I'll let you know if I loved the whole thing as much as you obviously do!

  15. 15
    Char says:

    Just ordered it from Amazon. I'm so excited to read it.

  16. 16
    ocean mommy says:

    Wow!! I'm going on-line right now to find this book!! That one paragraph has given me enough to chew on all weekend! Goodness…it will probably take me 3 months to get through it!

    Praying for an outpouring this weekend!


  17. 17
    Jill says:

    So glad you're in Fargo, ND! You are loved in North Dakota! I'm praying in Armenia tonight for you and the ladies this weekend. Wish I was there to whoop it up with you all! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. 18
    Siesta OC says:

    Unless you are willing to experience the loss of options and the individual limitations that comes from being in committed relationships, you will remain out of touch with your own nature and the nature of things.

    Whoa! That rocked my socks…

    I love how Jon Courson put our relating to other humans as mates:

    We have the Triune, we are a triune, body, soul and spirit.
    Body being physical attraction
    Soul being emotional connection
    and Spirit being how they relate to God.

    If we connect with someone we want to spend our lives with on two of the three it will work but it will be work. We want to strive for three out of three.

    Wanted to put that out there for single siestas, let's not lose hope for a 3 out of 3.

    Siesta OC

    PS: My Pastor has this on his "Pete's Picks" also Vintage Jesus by Mark Driscoll

  19. 19
    Michele says:

    I am not kidding you. I was deep in prayer all night.
    Praying, "Dear Jesus, if this is true, please let something appear on the blog, something to confirm
    what you are showing me!" I was praying that God would reveal something about what he was showing me around self-centeredness. WOW! Here's your post! Glory Hallelujah!

  20. 20
    Nicole says:

    Sounds like an awesome book! I'm definitely going to pick it up.

    In other news, Beth I am coming to your conference in Fargo tonight! I am SOOOO excited!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. 21
    The Sommers Family says:

    I love this book, too! Our pastor recommended it to us over a year ago. If I could I would buy a copy for everyone I know! So relevent for today and true to God's Word!

  22. 22
    Jessica says:

    In all of my 54 years in church including 4 years of study for a B.A. minor in Bible, I have never heard this angle on the Trinity. WOW! I can't wait to get to the bookstore. Thank you for sharing this book.

  23. 23
    HappyascanB says:

    Beg no more! This siesta is going to B&N pronto!!! I heart Tim Keller!!!

  24. 24
    StaciSpeaks says:

    So funny….Mama Beth picked up on exactly the same line that I did….Creation is a dance! And the tones of a chord…. WOW! I can honestly say that this one is now at the top of my "Want to Read" list.

    Also, I'll be lifting up the Fargo Living Proof Live event and all the presenters as well as all the attendees. God will be moving in mighty ways in ND this weekend!!

    Thanks for always blessing my day, ladies!!

    Staci in Kalamazoo

  25. 25
    jennyhope says:

    YAY!! I just ordered it!

  26. 26
    Lauri W. says:

    We did this book for our book study at my church last fall. Incredible words, thoughts and ideals.

    As you know Melissa, it has a huge vocabulary and intricate ideals. So I too am ready for a second time through. Glad to hear that it was fulfilling the second time, too.

    I highly recommend it.

    We are doing Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands this fall (Paul David Tripp). I'm facilitating. So I'll be busy with that but then I'm back to The Reason for God…especially since it is sitting in the middle of my coffee table since last fall waiting for the second read.

    Lauri W.

  27. 27
    bug says:

    Melissa, I have not read the book, though I plan on it, but I just wanted to say I really appreciate your shout out to those of us who stand in the aisle at Barns and Noble and read books. It's a joy. Blessings and thanks for the recommendation!


  28. 28
    sos says:

    I am in Staybridge hotel in Fargo and meeting some women from our church from Wyoming, MN (North of Mpls, MN) to see Beth tonight and tomorrow.
    We have been praying for her safe arrival and for the Spirit to fall upon Beth.

    Will check this book out on my Kindle. Thanks for the heads up.

  29. 29
    lori says:

    Will buy asap

  30. 30
    tealovingmom says:

    Good, good stuff, dearie! I'll be huntin' that one down!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    My prayers are with the LPL team in Fargo!!!


  31. 31
    Anonymous says:

    Today is my daughter's birthday and she is 1200 miles away. I enjoyed the special time you two had. I admit I am jealous but it was heartwarming too. Have a blast in Fargo Beth. I so enjoy this blog!!

  32. 32
    maria says:


    Thank you Melissa you talked me into it. Actually I live in NYC and am going to Redeemer this weekend so I will pick it up while I am there. I have some of his messages already …he is incredible speaker/teacher.

  33. 33
    Kay says:

    Melissa, that passage reminds me of one chapter in a book I'm reading, "Seizing Your Divine Moment" by Erwin McManus. I will put it on my must-read list.

  34. 34
    Char says:

    Just reading this excerpt has convicted me. As a 50-something newlywed rebelling against my loss of independence, I am seeing some selfcenteredness in myself. I had to print out this passage to reread until I get my copy.
    Thank you, Lord, for your love.

  35. 35
    Julie says:

    Thanks for the recommendation. I just heard Tim Keller speak at the Leadership Summit. He was amazing! While He was speaking, I leaned over to my husband and said, "This man has just taught me something new about the parable of the prodigal son, he's amazing!"

    I definitely want to read his books.

    Thanks again,


  36. 36
    brandiandboys says:

    pete told me he heard this one was amazing… we'll have to invest!

    love your excitement!

  37. 37
    Lindsey says:

    Melissa, have you heard his sermons (9 of them I think) on Ephesians/marriage? They totally changed my view of marriage and challenged me in my own. They're amazing!

  38. 38
    Anonymous says:

    That's what hit my spirit when I read "When Jesus said you must lose yourself in service to find yourself (Mark 8:35), he was recounting what the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have been doing throughout eternity."

    To use a Bethism: Oh my stars.

    I've never thought about God that way before as being so full of one passion which is losing Himself to us. Pouring Himself into us. Relating with us. Communing with us. So many times I think of Him being that way b/c it's His job somehow. Like it's a parents job to lose their needs to a degree to their children. But He fully and completely wants to. I'm not expressing this the way it hit me, but as always Melissa, thanks for stretching my brain.

    Got to get back to my Esther homework!! Happy Friday!

    Heather G
    Charlotte NC

  39. 39
    Anonymous says:

    Loved what this has to say….going to get this book in my hands this weekend.
    Have you read, "The way of the Cross", by Roy Hession ? (spelling of his name may be wrong)…just finished reading it for a 3rd time. There are so many "gems" in this little book, and reading it for a third time has knocked my "self" right off the throne again!!
    Love you, your sister and your mom….you are my sisters in the Lord that I've never had!!
    Thank you for all you do!

  40. 40
    JottinMama says:

    I'm convinced ๐Ÿ™‚

    I'm gonna try and pick up that book this weekend ๐Ÿ™‚ Sounds like something I could really benefit from ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for sharing!

    Love and Hugs,
    Kate ๐Ÿ™‚

  41. 41
    Missy says:

    Thanks Melissa! I have actually been wanting to read this book for sometime, and your post gave me the added push to get started. ๐Ÿ™‚ I was involved with RUF in college, and our campus minister never stopped quoting Tim Keller! He is great, I'll agree.

    Oh – and I almost stopped to try out Chance by Chanel in the mall today, but alas the tester wasn't out on the counter, and I was in too much of a hurry to stop right then. But, next time ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. 42
    Anonymous says:

    Wow. Now that is elegant and substantive writing. I am thrilled to have the recommendation because good books are hard to find. I will definitely purchase this book and continue to pray for a kindle!

  43. 43
    Kristen says:

    My husband just read this book. I guess I'll have to read it now too.

  44. 44
    Cindy says:

    Just purchased…can't wait to read. Thanks SO MUCH for the recommendation. I'll take your word for it sweet Melissa. I love my Selah CD which I purchased for "Before the Throne of God" after you shared about that song in your life and walk. It has ministered to me and blessed me so. Just heard it today and thought of you…I thank God for you for your love and ministry Melissa.

  45. 45
    glorysuzy says:

    I LOVED Prodigal God and the part you wrote from this book took my breath. Thanks for the request to buy.


  46. 46
    Karen says:

    The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller is also amazing! Get both if you can.

  47. 47
    Leah says:

    Sending my man to Lifeway tonight for it. Thanks for the suggestion.


  48. 48
    kimberly says:

    all of the sudden, timothy keller's books are being recommended to me on every side! maybe it's a sign…

  49. 49
    Kristy says:

    I love good book recommendations – so I promise to read this book, once I get through the stack awaiting me!

  50. 50
    Tamara says:

    Sounds like a good book, I'll have to pick it up and read it . . . not that I need to add another book to my 2 page list of ones I want to read. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I heard Tim Keller speak at the Leadership Summit last week and it was good, so I'm definitely interested in reading some of his stuff.

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