Ok. So there’s been a delay in posts. Welcome to version 2.0 of this blog.
For those of you who have been praying for me and my family. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
I’m going full steam ahead into my project on preaching. My plan is a little odd. I’m examining a contemporary preacher: Timothy Keller. There’s always a risk that I spend 15,000 words discussing a preacher whose style and methodology is just a passing fad. It’s also risky since contemporary preachers are always developing their thought and practice. You can’t box them.
Nevertheless, I have chosen to critique (in the true sense of the word!) the preaching of Tim Keller. My work will be based largely on his very popular course at RTS (available on iTunes). Yet even listening to the course (given in 2001) and his recent lectures on preaching, I’ve noticed his thinking has changed somewhat.
Why look at Tim Keller?
In Sydney there’s certainly been a buzz about Keller for a few of years now, there’s a growing contingent of Keller fan clubs on Facebook etc…Sydney evangelicals are growing in their appreciation (and admiration) of many parts of his ministry. Yet as the subject for my project, I chose Tim Keller for a few of reasons:
1. He is being listened to. He has an increasing global audience, not just among evangelicals. His popular book Reason For God reached the top 20 on NY Times best-sellers. His teaching on church growth is shaping the way many structure their churches here in Sydney.
2. His teaching on preaching is a great example of practical theology. It is not purely foundational, he doesn’t deal only with what the theology of preaching is with no practical ‘tips’ or examples of what it looks like in practice, nor is it purely pragmatic, where it’s a list of tips on how to write a good sermon with no real theological justification.
3. He has deliberatly recast his approach to preaching to reflect the transition between modern and post-modern worldviews. One factor I need to consider is that Sydney is still a more secular city with less religious baggage than NYC. Yet the people of NYC, I’m told, are more post modern (I won’t get into the whole modern vs post-modern thing just yet!). Outside the emerging church movement, there aren’t many Reformed types who deliberately (and affectionately) engage with the changes in preaching methodology which need to be made. Despite the differences between our two cities, if these trends of NYC typically spread and dominate western culture, including Sydney (a big ‘if’), Keller’s work of recasting will be of great value to us.