Posts Tagged tim keller
Tim Keller has really helped me develop a deeper understanding of the gospel and of idolatry. In this masterful message from the recent Gospel Coalition, he unpacks how Paul confronted the idols of his day with the gospel.
In last Sunday’s sermon, we focused quite a bit on the need for ongoing repentance. This is the idea that we don’t just turn from our sin one time, but that the life of the follower of Jesus is a life of constant turning. With that in mind, I want to recommend a brief, helpful article by Tim Keller entitled “All of Life is Repentance.” It’s worth reading, re-reading, and really trying to work into the fabric of your life.
In his marvelous book, The Reason for God, Tim Keller writes:
Each year at Easter I get to preach on the Resurrection. In my sermon I always say to my skeptical, secular friends that, even if they can’t believe in the resurrection, they should want it to be true. Most of them care deeply about justice for the poor, alleviating hunger and disease, and caring for the environment. Yet many of them believe that the material world was caused by accident and that the world and everything in it will eventually simply burn up in the death of the sun. They find it discouraging that so few people care about justice without realizing that their own worldview undermines any motivation to make the world a better place. Why sacrifice for the needs of others if in the end nothing we do will make any difference? If the resurrection of Jesus happened, however, that means there’s infinite hope and reason to pour ourselves out for the needs of the world.
We talked on Sunday at Second Mile about how the word “gospel” means “good news.” We discussed how Mark’s account is good news about Jesus as the rescuer of humanity and the Son of God. The gospel is the central message of Christianity. But the question is, “What is the gospel?” Now, maybe you’re not really asking that question because you think you have a good grasp on what the gospel is. But, you should know, there’s a lot of discussion among theologians these days about what the gospel is.
Part of this is because it seems that the way biblical writers describe the gospel are so different. Consider
- Matthew, Mark, and Luke (the synoptic gospels) describe the gospel as the “kingdom of God.”
- John describes the gospel as “eternal life.”
- Paul describes the gospel as “justification” or being made right before God.
So which is it? Is there just one gospel or are there three?
These are the questions that are tackled in this excellent lecture by Tim Keller, “Dwelling in the Gospel.” It is a fascinating message that will expand your understanding of the Scripture and will probably highlight some aspects of the gospel that you might sometimes overlook.
For more on the gospel and its implications, click here.
Each of us is living for something. We each have something that motivates us and drives us. This could also be described as your identity. What makes you who you are? What defines you?
In his excellent book, The Reason for God, Tim Keller makes the point that the essence of sin is basing your identity on anything but God. In the “Notes” section of the book he gives some great examples of how centering your life on other things will destroy you (pp. 275-276). I’d encourage you to read the list, look for these idolatrous identities in your own life, and repent if necessary.
- If you center your life and identity on your spouse or partner, you will be emotionally dependent, jealous, and controlling. The other person’s problems will be overwhelming to you.
- If you center your life and identity on your family and children, you will try to live your life through your children until they resent you or have no self of their own. At worst, you may abuse them when they displease you.
- If you center your life and identity on your work and career, you will be a driven workaholic and a boring, shallow person. At worst you will lose family and friends and, if your career goes poorly, develop deep depression.
- If you center your life and identity on money and possessions, you’ll be eaten up by worry or jealousy about money. You’ll be willing to do unethical things to maintain your lifestyle, which will eventually blow up your life.
- If you center your life and identity on pleasure, gratification, and comfort, you will find yourself getting addicted to something. You will become chained to the “escape strategies” by which you avoid the hardness of life.
- If you center your life and identity on relationships and approval, you will be constantly overly hurt by criticism and thus always losing friends. You will fear confronting others and therefore will be a useless friend.
- If you center your life and identity on a “noble cause,” you will divide the world into “good” and “bad” and demonize your opponents. Ironically, you will be controlled by your enemies. Without them, you have no purpose.
- If you center your life and identity on religion and morality, you will, if you are living up to your moral standards, be proud, self-righteous, and cruel. If you don’t live up to your standards your guilt will be utterly devastating.
May we be people who center our lives on the love and grace of Jesus Christ for us!
One of the great blessings of technology is the access that we now have to top-flight resources. For those who desire to learn biblical truth at a deeper level without the cost or time of seminary, you can now access tremendous content for free online. Here are two great examples:
1. Covenant Seminary Worldwide Classroom
Covenant, based in St. Louis, is an excellent reformed seminary and is the official seminary of the Presbyterian Church of America (PCA). This website has 20 courses, all of which have downloadable lectures, notes, and study guides.
2. Reformed Theological Seminary on iTunes U
RTS, where I am currently studying, has a few dozen classes, chapel messages, and conferences. Of particular interest to you Tim Keller fans is his “Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World” seminar. All of it is free as long as you have iTunes (which is also a free download here).
If you hang around here for any period of time, you’ll bump into a number of great resources from Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church. He’s been very influential on me and a number of Second Mile’s leaders, particularly in his understanding of how to apply the gospel and understand its implications. One great example of this is in his brief article, “All of Life is Repentance.” This is one you don’t want to miss.
Click here for more Tim Keller resources.