Tim Keller (pastor)

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Timothy J. Keller
Timothy Keller.jpg
Born (1950-09-23) September 23, 1950 (age 64)
Education B.A. Bucknell University, 1972
M.Div Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, 1975
D.Min Westminster Theological Seminary, 1981
Spouse(s) Kathy
Children David
Michael
Jonathan
Church Redeemer Presbyterian Church
Ordained Presbyterian Church in America
Website
www.timothykeller.com

Timothy J. Keller (born 1950) is an American Christian apologist, author, speaker, and the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, New York. He is the author of several books, including The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, which garnered awards from World Magazine[1] and Christianity Today[2] and was No. 7 on The New York Times Best Seller list for non-fiction in March 2008.[3] Keller is considered to be a leading figure of the evangelical intelligentsia movement.

Biography[edit]

Keller was raised in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Bucknell University (BA, 1972), Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div., 1975) and Westminster Theological Seminary, where he received his D.Min in 1981,[4] under the supervision of Harvie M. Conn.[5] He became a Christian while at Bucknell University, due to the ministry of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, with which he later served as a staff member.[6] He was ordained by the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and served as a pastor in Virginia for nine years, while serving as director of church planting for the PCA.[7] He also served on the faculty of Westminster Theological Seminary, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he and his wife Kathy were involved in urban ministry and he continues as an adjunct professor of practical theology.[8]

Redeemer Presbyterian Church[edit]

Keller was asked by the PCA to start Redeemer in 1989 despite his relative lack of experience and after two others had turned down the position.[7] The church grew from 50 people to a total attendance of over 5,000 people each Sunday as of 2008, leading many to call him "the most successful Christian Evangelist in the city."[7][9] In 2004 Christianity Today praised Redeemer as "one of Manhattan's most vital congregations",[10] and, according to a 2006 survey of 2,000 American church leaders, is the 16th most influential church in America.[11] His target audience consists mainly of young urban professionals, whom he believes exhibit disproportionate influence over the culture and its ideas.[12] In his preaching, "he hardly shrinks from difficult Christian truths, [but] he sounds different from many of the shrill evangelical voices in the public sphere."[7]

Keller currently resides on Roosevelt Island in New York City with his wife, Kathy. They have three sons, David, Michael and Jonathan.[6]

Position on theological and social issues[edit]

Keller has been described as a "C.S. Lewis for the 21st Century",[13] although he has disavowed comparisons to his hero.[14] He frequently draws on secular or academic sources like The New York Times, and media coverage has treated him as an anomaly: a pastor who appeals to Manhattan yuppies and intellectuals.[15]

Some of his major and best-known teachings include idolatry as applying to modern problems like overwork or partisanship,[16][17] the doctrine of the gospel as contrary to traditional religion (including institutionalized Christian churches), the importance of cities as a cultural force, and a moderate political stance.[18] Keller mentors and chairs a network of center-city churches that represents these values worldwide.[13][19]

Keller shuns the label "evangelical" because of its political and fundamentalist connotation, preferring to call himself orthodox because "he believes in the importance of personal conversion or being 'born again,' and the full authority of the Bible."[7] He has been described by Mark DeVine as a "doctrine-friendly emerging pastor".[20] A signatory of the Manhattan Declaration,[21] he is opposed to same-sex marriage and abortion.[22] Keller believes that "Marriage provides the personal growth that comes through cross-gender relationships."[23] and was quoted as saying "Homosexuality, prostitution, sex outside of marriage, and adultery all fall outside of what God says he has designed sex for."[24] He considers his opposition to abortion as a matter of human rights, but is not opposed to contraception.[22][25]

Keller is a complementarian who believes that the Bible teaches defined roles for both genders in the church.[23] On creationism, Keller states his view is not strictly literal and that evolution is "neither ruled in nor ruled out" in his church.[25] Keller has written on the topic for the Biologos Foundation.[26] Keller's support for the Harry Potter novels has been controversial with "a small but vocal group of people".[27]

Keller is a co-founder of The Gospel Coalition, a group of Reformed leaders from around the United States.

Keller's views have been critiqued by some outside his denomination and in more conservative Presbyterian traditions. They take issue with Keller's views on sin, hell, the Trinity, ecclesiology, the Church's mission, hermeneutics, and evolution.[28]


Books[edit]

  • Resources for Deacons: Love Expressed through Mercy Ministries (Christian Education and Publications, 1985) ISBN 0-9703541-6-9
  • Ministries of Mercy: The Call of the Jericho Road (P&R Publishing, 1997) ISBN 0-87552-217-3
  • Church Planter Manual (Redeemer Presbyterian Church, 2002)
  • The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism (Dutton Adult, February 2008) ISBN 0-525-95049-4
  • The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith (Dutton Adult, November 2008) ISBN 0-525-95079-6
  • Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters (Dutton Adult, October 2009) ISBN 0-525-95136-9
  • Generous Justice: How God's Grace Makes Us Just (Dutton Adult, November 2010) ISBN 0-525-95190-3
  • King's Cross: The Story of the World in the Life of Jesus (Dutton Adult, February 2011) ISBN 0-525-95210-1
  • The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God (Dutton Adult, November 2011) ISBN 0-525-95247-0
  • Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City (Zondervan, September 2012) ISBN 0-310-494184-0
  • Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God's Work (Dutton, November 2012) ISBN 978-0-525-95270-1
  • Walking with God through Pain and Suffering (Dutton, October 2013) ISBN 978-0-525-95245-9
  • "Encounters with Jesus: Unexpected Answers to Life's Biggest Questions" (Dutton, 2013) ISBN 978-0-525-95435-4

Contributions[edit]

  • Schaller, Lyle E, ed. (1993), Center City Churches: The New Urban Frontier, Abingdon Press, ISBN 0-687-04802-8 .
  • Bustard, Ned, ed. (2000), It Was Good: Making Art to the Glory of God, Square Halo Books, ISBN 978-0-9785097-1-2 .
  • Carson, DA, ed. (2002), Worship by the Book, Zondervan, ISBN 0-310-21625-7 .
  • The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World, Crossway Books, 2007, ISBN 978-1-58134-922-1 .
  • A Place for Truth: Leading Thinkers Explore Life's Hardest Questions, IVP Books, 2010, ISBN 0-8308-3845-7 

Sermons[edit]

All of Timothy Keller's sermons and church-related talks at Redeemer Presbyterian Church can be found at www.gospelinlife.com.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Olasky, Marvin (June 28, 2008). "Anti-moralist Christianity". World Magazine. Retrieved 2008-07-02. 
  2. ^ "Book Awards – Apologetics/Evangelism". Christianity Today. 2009. 
  3. ^ "Best sellers: nonfiction", The New York Times, March 23, 2008 .
  4. ^ "Faculty – Part Time". Westminster Theological seminary. Archived from the original on 2007-04-01. Retrieved 2007-03-30. 
  5. ^ Hart, D. G. (2013). "Looking for Communion in all the Wrong Places: Tim Keller and Presbyterian Ecclesiology". Engaging with Keller: Thinking Through the Theology of an Influential Evangelical. p. 217. 
  6. ^ a b "Speaker biography". Christian Life Conference. 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-02-18. Retrieved 2007-03-28. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Luo, Michael (February 26, 2006). "Preaching the Word and Quoting the Voice". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-03-28. 
  8. ^ Keller, Timothy. "Post-everythings". byFaith (magazine). Westminster Theological Seminary. Retrieved 2008-01-08. 
  9. ^ "The Influentials: Religion". New York Magazine. 2006. Retrieved 2007-03-28. 
  10. ^ Carnes, Anthony ‘Tony’ (December 2004). "New York's New Hope". Christianity Today. Retrieved 2007-03-28. 
  11. ^ "50 Most Influential Churches". The Church Report. July 2006. Archived from the original on 2006-07-21. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  12. ^ Keller, Timothy ‘Tim’ (May 2006). "A New Kind of Urban Christian". Christianity Today. Retrieved 2007-03-28. 
  13. ^ a b Miller, Lisa (2/9/08). "The Smart Shepherd". Newsweek. Retrieved 4/11/14. 
  14. ^ Stetzer, Ed (2/10/08). "More on Tim Keller and Newsweek". Christianity Today. Retrieved 4/11/14. 
  15. ^ Hooper, Joseph (11/29/09). "Tim Keller Wants to Save Your Yuppie Soul". New York. Retrieved 4/11/14. 
  16. ^ GIRIDHARADAS, Anand (12/28/12). "Keeping One's Work in Perspective". New York Times. Retrieved 4/11/14. 
  17. ^ Scarborough, Joe (2/18/11). "Morning Joe: Religious Leaders share their spiritual messages". Morning Joe. Retrieved 4/11/14. 
  18. ^ Amanpour, Christiane (4/24/11). "Interview With Pastor Tim Keller". ABC News. Retrieved 4/11/14. 
  19. ^ "Redeemer City to City". Retrieved 4/11/14. 
  20. ^ DeVine, Mark (2009), "The Emerging Church: One Movement, Two Streams", in Henard, William; Greenway, Adam, Evangelicals Engaging Emergent: A Discussion of the Emergent Church Movement, Nashville, TN: B&H, pp. 17–18 .
  21. ^ Manhattan Declaration & Signers, Demossnews .
  22. ^ a b Colson, Chuck, The Roots of Social Justice, Christian Post 
  23. ^ a b Prior, Karen Swallow (November 2011), "Interview", Christianity Today (Web only ed.) .
  24. ^ Duncan Osborne, “Hiding In Plain Sight: A Conservative Pastor Builds a Mega-Church In Manhattan," Gay City News, Jun.22-Jul.5 2011, 22.
  25. ^ a b "In His Words: The Pastor on the Issues", New York Times, January 25, 1998 .
  26. ^ [1]
  27. ^ Michael Paulson, "Some Christians love Frodo but put a hex on Harry Potter," Boston Globe, January 2, 2002.
  28. ^ Iain D. Campbell and William M. Schweitzer (eds.), Engaging with Keller (Evangelical Press, 2013).