Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hansen on Reform Resurgence - Tim Keller

Today in the series from Collin Hansen - Christianity Today writer - at the Resurgence Blog site on the renewed interest in Reformed Theology, is the fifth re-post in the series.

In this article, Hansen features Pastor and well known author Tim Keller. Keller is most noted for the fact that his ministry has thrived in the most unlikely of places, downtown Manhattan, New York City. And this hits at the heart of why young people especially have been so attracted to him, as he has been a major voice in leading people (the church) back to the city that their grandparents and baby booomer parents abandoned long ago for the suberbs. Certainly a worthy pursuit. Read more below . . .

Tim Keller did not follow the time-tested path to evangelical prominence. Sure, he published his first book, Ministries of Mercy, before he had even moved to Manhattan and planted Redeemer Presbyterian Church. But then he waited more than 20 years before publishing again. Boy, was he worth the wait. The Reason for God cracked The New York Times bestseller list in 2008. D. A. Carson, with whom Keller conceived The Gospel Coalition, has called The Reason for God the most significant apologetics work since C. S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity.

Street Cred

Conversing with skeptics in Manhattan has honed Keller’s skills. With offices on Broadway a mere five blocks from Times Square, Redeemer now welcomes nearly 6,000 to weekly services. Even before his writing career took off, Keller had fascinated church planters who wanted to learn the secret of his success in some of America’s toughest terrain for evangelicals. The Redeemer Church Planting Network now seeks to launch hundreds of new churches in the largest cities around the world.

New Urban Christians

Such aggressive evangelistic initiatives are not exactly typical of Redeemer’s denomination, the Presbyterian Church in America. But under Keller’s progressive influence, that reputation is changing. A denomination based largely in the South, renowned for its Reformed precision, has now developed some of the most dynamic young church leaders who want to reach cities with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Christianity Today has noted that 50 years from now, “if evangelical Christians are widely known for their love of cities, their commitment to mercy and justice, and their love of their neighbors, Tim Keller will be remembered as a pioneer of the new urban Christians.”

To be continued.

3 John 8
Bill H.

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