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Keller on The Gospel, Moralism, and Irreligion

Check out this short video from Tim Keller on three ways to view the world.  The Christian message is often rejected because it is either viewed as moralism or is presented as such.  The Gospel is really the only thing that frees us and gives us hope.

Keller & Clowney: Preaching Christ in a Post-Modern World

I love sharing God’s word through preaching.  Since I’m moving to preaching every week, as we launch The Exchange Community in Jackson, Mo, I thought It would be good to reexamine my preaching and how I interpret and display God’s word.  I remembered a friend of mine shared, a number of years back, that Tim Killer and Edmond Clowney team taught a class at Reformed Theological Seminary on Preaching Christ in a Post-Modern World.  As I started to listen through these teachings, I desired to share them with other church planters, preachers, and pastors that may not be aware of their existence.  Even if you don’t fit in these categories, this is an excellent resource to understand and share scripture.

Free Resources:

Audio from itunes

Course Material in PDF These notes were extremely difficult to find.  I believe they are notes from this course as it was later modified.  They do not seem to match all of the titles found on iTunes, but do seem to follow what is referenced in the class.

Blog posts covering notes from each session in the class:

  1. Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Introduction to the Christ Centred Model of Preaching
  2. Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Expounding Christ through the Structure of Redemptive History Part One
  3. Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Expounding Christ in through the Structure of Redemptive History Part Two
  4. Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Applying Christ: Introduction to Christ-centred Application
  5. Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Applying Christ: Getting to Christ
  6. Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Expounding Christ in through the Structure of Redemptive History Part Three
  7. Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Expounding Christ: Telling God’s Story, Narrative Analysis
  8. Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Applying Christ: Getting Down to Earth Part One
  9. Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Applying Christ: Getting Down to Earth Part Two
  10. Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Expounding Christ: The Parable of the Prodigal Son
  11. Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Expounding Christ: Christ and the Law
  12. Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Applying Christ: Getting inside their world part one
  13. Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Adoring Christ: Getting Inside their World Part Two
  14. Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Expounding Christ in the Psalms
  15. Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Expounding Christ in the Wisdom Literature
  16. Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Adoring Christ: Spiritual Reality
  17. Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Expounding Christ:Asking Questions, Discourse Analysis
  18. Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Adoring Christ: Communion with God

Picture found here

Tim Keller on Jesus in the Old Testament Story

This is a video from Tim Keller’s talk at the Gospel Coalition conference in 2007.  Keller shares in this video how the story of the Old Testament is really a story about Jesus.  Since we are big in story telling through the Bible, I figured I’d share this post on how a number of the figures and stories in the Old Testament really point forward to Jesus.  When you think about Jesus being central to all of the Biblical Story, it helps make sense of everything in the Old Testament and New Testament.  It gives a much greater take away than just lifting up an OT figure as a hero or example and keeps you from simple moralizing a story.

This could have been a much longer video, but Keller kept it to a few key points of where Jesus is seen in the Old Testament.  What other people or events, in the Old Testament story, point forward to Jesus?   How could knowing how Jesus connects to the Old Testament story help you in sharing the faith with others?



For more on Jesus in the Old Testament, I highly recomend getting a Jesus Storybook Bible, by Sally Lloyd-Jones.  Its even a great resource for adults to understand the biblical story.  The subtitle of the book is: Every Story Whispers His Name.  Every story points to Jesus in some way.

Keller On Avoiding Sin


I recently watched a short video from Desiring God, with John Piper and Tim Keller, entitled, More on Sanctification from Piper and Keller.   I’ll be honest, I didn’t think the video was all that great.  There were too many incomplete thoughts and jumping around.  Yet I did find it helpful when they were speaking about how to avoid sin.  Keller refers to reading the great Puritan theologian, John Owen’s, book, The Mortification of Sin.  Keller says he learned from Owen that there are two main motivations not to sin: Guilt and Danger.

Guilt:  This is grief before God.  As you are sinning or am about to sin, ask yourself: Is this how I respond to what Jesus has done?  Is this a proper way to live after Jesus died to free me from such things?  This is really what Joseph said to himself when he had an opportunity to sleep with Potiphar’s wife, “How could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God” (Gen 39:9).

Danger: Danger is looking at the short-term and the long-term consequences of your sin.  This is really focusing on what is going to happen to you.  If Joseph were also thinking of the danger of sleeping with his master’s wife, he could have also said, “Potiphar could kill me or put me in prison” as an added motivation not to sin. 

The guilt motivation is the prefered motivation for a Christian because it is based off of the love of God.  Ideally, we should stay away from sin because God is so amazing and wonderful, and has loved us so much, that we don’t want to sin and disappoint Him.  Yet, at times we don’t think like that so we need to remember the danger of our sin as well.  Keller uses two examples here.  He says if he’s lusting and wishing to look at porn, sometimes he has to remember to dangers of the shame he’ll feel if he gets caught and the damage he’ll cause to his marriage and to his congregation.  Likewise, Keller says, if you lift a stone to knock someone over the head, If the Guilt doesn’t motivate you to not kill the person, go to the danger, the consequences, anything you can to change the course of your actions. 

Thinking of Tim Chester, and his 4 G’s, a third motivation on avoiding sin would be similar to the Guilt motivation that Keller mentions.  Yet the motivation is not simply that I don’t want to dissapoint God but that what God offers is better, greater, and more important than anything I can have here.

When you’re faced with sin, what motivates you to change course?   

Image found here

Great thoughts on sharing your faith. I would add that foundational to all of this is to share life regularly with those around you.

gospel dots

I read these on Tim Chester’s blog today and thought it was too good to keep to myself:

  1. Let people around you know you are a Christian (in a natural, unforced way)
  2. Ask friends about their faith – and just listen!
  3. Listen to your friends’ problems – maybe offer to pray for them
  4. Share your problems with others – testify to how your faith helps you
  5. Give them a book to read
  6. Share your story
  7. Answer objections and questions
  8. Invite them to a church event
  9. Offer to read the Bible with them
  10. Take them to an explore course

The kicker comes in his explanation. These are arranged from 1-10 as a progression. We too often start with numbers 8-10, but we need to start with 1-4 with most people. In fact, he says, we may need to loop through 1-4 multiple times before getting to the later steps. Not only…

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The Difference Between Irreligion, Religion and The Gospel

ireligion, religion, and the Gospel

A quick note on what how “religion” is used here.  We’re not using “religion” to describe a dedicated Christian who attends a church service.  Rather, Religion here really means religious performance, trying to attain God’s salvation by your own goodness or works.   The diagram above, I believe clearly shows this, yet I felt it necessary to make the distinction since so many are caught up in the delusion that one can belong to Christ and not be part of his Church.   

That said, seeing the distinction between religon, irreligion and the Gospel is pretty important.  We daily fall into disbelief and need to examine ourselves as to where we aren’t believing the Gospel.  I often use the 4 G’s for this.  Yet this diagram is helpful to check your motives and attitudes to see if they’re in light with Gospel belief or are the result of falling to the left or the right.

Tim Keller’s in his book, The Prodigal God, draws this distinction from the Parable of the Prodigal Son.  He talks of how there’s really two lost sons in that story:  The irreligious younger son who runs away from home and disownes his father by trying to make his own way, but also the prideful religious Pharisaical son who stays but really wants to replace his father through his own performance and hard work.  Keller says the Story leaves you yearning for a true elder brother who would go out and look for his lost brother.  He says it leaves you yearning for Christ.

The Gospel is the answer to both religion and irreligion.  Only in the Gospel can you rest, trusting in your true Elder Brother, Jesus, to save you and bring you home, and trusting in the gracious love of your Heavenly Father to run and accept you when you arrive.

Picture found Here along with some great Gospel-Centered resources.

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