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Newsweek on Keller; Keller on Newsweek

February 10, 2008

 Newsweek profiles Tim Keller.

The reporter writes about visiting Redeemer: “There’s nothing sexy here. There’s no rock band, no drop-down theater-size video screen, no 100-member gospel choir—just a few chamber musicians and a couple of prayer leaders to help the congregation along in its hymns. The crowd at Redeemer Presbyterian is overwhelmingly young, single, professional and—for lack of a better word—sober.”

Here’s the conclusion:

Like so many New Yorkers, Keller is a misfit. He’s a megachurch pastor who doesn’t like megachurches. He’s an orthodox Christian who believes in evolution. He emulates the Puritan preacher Jonathan Edwards and loves a good restaurant. He’s an evangelist who relishes the power of doubt. New York is the perfect home for such an idiosyncratic Christian: “I’m probably an overeducated guy who makes things too complicated for a lot of people,” he says. As it is for all New Yorkers, the question for Keller is whether he—or his vision—will ever be at home anywhere else.

(HT: Z)

Update: Tim Keller writes in with regard to the comments to this post:

We should be charitable to the writer on the issues mentioned. They are pretty minor. Yes, it isn’t my first book, but the last one was over 20 years ago. I don’t preach at all 5 services–I preach 4 and every week someone from the preaching team preaches the fifth one. I wouldn’t in the least style myself a new C.S. Lewis (who would want a new one when the old one is still so great) but she got that from publicity copy written by well-meaning people at Penguin. I wouldn’t want to characterize myself as another Rick Warren but she likes Rick and wouldn’t see that as a negative statement. I believe in the historicity of Gen 1-11 and Adam and Eve and I don’t believe in young earth-creation or six 24-hour day creation, but, as far as she’s concerned, that means I believe somewhat in evolution. She’s not used to the fine distinctions on these things we make inside the church. Also, I’ve never lived anywhere near Georgia (but maybe I’ve spent so much time in the airport it’s affected my accent!) And even the statement that my book disappointed her in comparison to my preaching is actually true—I’m a better speaker than writer, and always will me. That was more a compliment to the preaching than a criticism of the book.

Despite this list of nits to pick, it was an overall positive, even warm article, especially considering it comes from someone whose beliefs are so different. The writer clearly likes the church and appreciates the ministry in many ways. So I’m glad for her efforts.

HT:JT

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