"Encounters with Jesus" by Timothy Keller

What is the world for?
What’s wrong with it?
What (if anything) can make it right, and how?
How can we be a part of making it right?
And where should we look for answers to these questions?

These are the “big, universal, ‘meaning of life’ questions” which Tim Keller founded this book upon.

This book is divided into two sections:

  1. The first 5 chapters answer these questions. How? By thoroughly (and I mean thoroughly) analyzing 5 different encounters people had with Jesus, and how their lives were changed because of them. These include:
    • The Skeptical Student
    • The Insider and the Outcast
    • The Grieving Sisters
    • The Wedding Party
    • The First Christian
  2. The last 5 chapters focus on how we, too, can encounter Jesus much in the same way as did those who lived and walked the earth with him.
What I Liked

I absolutely loved, loved, loved this book. Not only did it deepen my understanding of Jesus, it also provided me new (and awesome) perspectives on stories I had read many times before. As a lover of literature, I was also challenged through it to pay attention to details and their significance in all texts (especially the Bible).

Here are some of the reasons why this book is great, and why you should read it:

  • Keller encourages questioning.
    • In fact, the first half is based off of talks Keller gave to students in Oxford – most of whom were skeptics.
  • He openly addresses doubt.
  • He advocates logical thinking and fact-based faith…
    • …as opposed to mere emotional or mystical belief.
  • He relates to people at all levels of belief with NO judgment, condescension, or pretension.
  • He offers unique and insightful perspectives of familiar stories.
  • His writing is simple and his tone is gentle. (i.e. Challenging ideas, but an easy read.)
    • As I was reading, I sensed that I was sitting in a room with him as he explained everything slowly, tenderly, and patiently. I definitely appreciated his writing style.

Would I Recommend This Book?

Well, if it hasn’t been made clear by now – YES.

  • If you love Jesus, this book will help you love him more.
  • If you don’t love Jesus, it will help you understand why people do. It’ll also help you understand why you don’t.
  • If you don’t care about Jesus, it will help you realize why he’s so significant and why lots of seemingly-crazy people out there are totally obsessed with him.
  • And, if you’re skeptical of, critical of, or bitter towards Jesus – READ THIS BOOK! It will gently address a lot of your concerns.

If you’re kind of interested in this book but don’t really care enough to click here and buy it, let me know, promise me you’ll read it, keep your word… and I’ll buy it for you (and even ship it to you). 

Now go read it!


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