A New Kind of Urban Christian

22 May

Tim Keller is a pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. Keller, in his 60’s draws in a congregation largely in it’s mid 20’s and 30’s. There are no funny video’s, elaborate drama’s or other theatric stage productions. Instead there is a constant appeal to what the gospel looks like lived out on the streets. His first question that kicks off this article is: How can followers of Christ be a counterculture for the common good?

Here is an article we wrote a couple years back if you want to check it out and I added some thoughts below.

City Within a City:
We should live longer term in cities. By 300AD the urban populations in Rome were largely Christian. Even the term “pagan” was referred to people who lived outside of the city. This seems to be the opposite today. I meet a lot of Christians who want to get away from it all and escape all the “bad stuff” that is out there. Coincidently, rapture theology and the Left Behind books either produce or are an offshoot of this kind of fire escape eschatology. But overall, what happens in big cities impacts everything around them.

Dynamic Counterculture:
We are a to be an example of how to enjoy the gifts of God rather than bowing down and turning them into idols. When we distort the good gifts of God and turn them into idols, the idols return the favor and distort us.

For the Good of the City:
“So Christians work for the peace, security, justice, and prosperity of their city and their neighbors, loving them in word and in deed, whether they believe what we do or not.”-Tim Keel

The Worldview of Work:
What kind of employees do we produce? Either it seems people seal off their faith as they enter the workplace or they continually spout off bible verses alienating those around them. Keller says, “We do not know very well how to persuade people of Christianity’s answers by showing them the faith-based, worldview roots of everyone’s work. We do not know how to equip our people to think out the implications of the gospel for art, business, government, journalism, entertainment, and scholarship.” It makes me think of Shane Claiborne who says that you might not necessarily uproot yourself and join a monastery to live out your faith but you can remain a teacher, but a different kind of teacher. An artist but a different kind of artist…a neighbor but a different kind of neighbor…

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