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When Tim Keller came to Manhattan in 1989, New York City had a well-deserved reputation as a snarling, scary place. Violent crime, drug dealing, and other urban pathologies had weakened or chased off many of the faithful. While a barely perceptible renewal ...

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Displaying 1–23 of 23 comments

Garth

June 18, 2009  8:54pm

This guy sounds boring with his intellectualist dead Christianity! Sounding like a college professor!? No way, man! Where's the rock band, the hip-hop youth pastor, the video screens, the fireworks? Where's the phony miracles, the tongues-speaking, the hysteria? Where's the uneducated pastor who roams around the stage ranting and raving? Where's the doctrinal anarchy? This doesn't sound like the Christianity I know from TBN!

Filipe Niel

June 17, 2009  2:11pm

I am a young Brazilian pastor, planting a church in Brazil, I've got to know Dr. Keller at The Gospel Coalition Conference. Thank you very much for this article, very clarifying, challenging and encouraging.

Elliot

June 17, 2009  12:40am

I read the "expose" that Xavier Pickett posted (which, btw, he authored). I must say that it is a completely unfair attack on Redeemer. Xavier asserts that the reason Redeemer gave for letting a black pastor go (the church said he wasn't the best fit ideologically or ecclesially) was racist. That is utterly ridiculous, given that Xavier didn't offer ANY REAL EVIDENCE to back his claims. Given that many black pastors DO DIFFER A LOT in their ecclesial and ideological views from classical Reformed theology--and Redeemer is STAUNCHLY Reformed--Redeemer may well have had a compelling reason to dismiss him! Ironically, the black female commenter who criticized Redeemer in the 'expose' reinforces my point. She wrote that she "does not hold to many of the beliefs or worship styles" of Redeemer--and then BLAMES REDEEMER for not showing "warmth" to her! So many people are trying to nitpick nonexistent specks in Redeemer while ignoring the planks in their own walk with God. Amazing.

Robert

June 14, 2009  4:42am

Redeemer doesn't struggle with race more than any other church.Inner city black community churches are entrenched in civil religion not Christ. At least Redeemer preaches Christ and is making an effort to reach out.

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polly groves

June 12, 2009  5:51am

I loved the article,it sounds like Dr. keller and his wife have a great calling on their lives. I am praying and seeking a church that doesn't "preach rules and regulations" but rather the freedom we have in Christ and it sounds like this is the message from his pulpit. All the soul cleaning comes from the indwelling holy Spirit of the living Word; if I lived in Manhattan I certainly would be attending Dr. Fuller's church, what a great work God has given him. In Christ's love, Polly Groves

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Anonymous

June 10, 2009  4:47pm

I just returned from a trip to New York City. I grew up in New Jersey; moved to West Virginia at age 16. I LOVED this piece because it does so mirror what I saw in N. Y. The big cities are ripe for a REAL conversion! I am Christian--58 AND excited by what possibilities are afforded in metropolitan areas. If I could I would go now and join a ministry there!

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Kalebarkab

June 10, 2009  7:34am

I want to find good pop music. Help me please.

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Johann

June 09, 2009  11:41pm

I've heard of this guy. I'm not a member of his church, but if were a Protestant seeker, I'd sure give him serious consideration. New Yorkers are repelled by uneducated loudmouths like Hagee, Parsley, Meyer, et al. Someone who respects the intellect would do better here.

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Jonah

June 09, 2009  10:42am

"exposé" = the kind of 'expose' which in reality exposes the moral and intellectual poverty of it's author not its target. Indications faux Christianity #1 Talk of financial prosperity "God wants to heal your finances" #2 Identity politics. but thank you Xavier you did give me a partial answer to my question about to what degree had this church surrendered to 'progressive/politically correct/ as a ________ (insert black,Asian,Gay,woman,Hispanic,)' agenda' the answer being not totally surrendered as of yet. Since left wing politics as practiced in New York is a death cult, I don't see how they will let anything as positive as this church prosper indefinitely. Check back in 3 - 5 years Xavier ahis Ilk will be 'high five' ing each other over the neutering or out right destruction of this ministry.

chit villegas

June 07, 2009  11:13pm

I say "amen" to MP's comment above...yes Keller is a pastor I would really love to listen to...hopefully visit his church...he is a pastor who has a real heart for God and His work. I have sent this article to some pastors that I know...hopefully it will encourage them.

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Ginny

June 07, 2009  12:14am

One of the things I appreciate about Tim Keller, according to this article, is his willingness to cross denominational boundaries. That kind of Christian love and unity is what we need to reach the world. They will know we are Christians by our love! I agree that we Christians too often lean toward criticism of people in our own family--Christ's body. Why is that? We all have a common Enemy who is much more destructive to all of us, and to this needy world, than we can be. In fact, maybe one of the ways he destroys us is by planting negatives in our hearts about each other. His job is easy if we destroy each other.

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Gary Sweeten

June 06, 2009  8:06pm

The seeming criticism that everyone looks alike and dresses similarily is empty. In America people vote with their feet and go to the church they prefer. No one here is forcing or pressuring us to attend with others like ourselves. Forced diversity is no diversity at all. I go to stores that I prefer, concerts that I prefer, buy clothes that I prefer and attend churches that I prefer. That is wonderful Nothing could be better.

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A.

June 06, 2009  2:07pm

Too bad he Keller and the rest of the PCA don't have a more Godly view of women in leadership. The Bible says, "Slaves obey your masters" so do they support slavery or do they see that verse as speaking to a certain situation at that moment in time? If so, then why not the verses about women? Woe be unto the PCA if it doesn't straighten itself out.

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Ned Chipley

June 06, 2009  1:17pm

Interesting! Xavier, how many lives have you influenced for Christ? How many churches have you built in a large city that has resulted in as many unbelievers becoming involved as Redeemer Presbyterian? I've been a pastor for more than 55 years, but I'm always surprised at how many "Christians" find it so easy to criticize what God is doing through another pastor instead of rejoicing in the results. But then maybe I'm assuming too much. Are you a committed Christian, Xavier, or one who sits on the sidelines and criticizes those in the game?

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Dee Brestin

June 06, 2009  12:32pm

Thanks for the interesting description on Redeemer's services. Tim Keller's preaching is changing my life and changing the way I speak. I download his sermons and listen on my I-Pod. I listen to a sermon a day, and I listen to it at least twice, because of his richness. Like Spurgeon, like Jonathan Edwards, Keller's sermons always end with the cross. I love how every priest, every prophet, every bridegroom, every suffering servant, and every slain lamb points to a better priest, better prophet, better bridegroom.... I am experiencing more of the sweetness, the presence, and the inextinguishable joy of Jesus. I encourage everyone to listen, but particularly Christian speakers. As Keller says, he used to say: 1. Esther did this 2. If you do what Esther did 3. God will bless you Now he says 1. Esther did this 2. You can never do it 3. But there is a better Esther who did 4. Gaze on Him and He will transform your heart. And He is.

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Not Xavier

June 05, 2009  3:54pm

Not sure if I would call that an expose...

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Susan

June 05, 2009  3:08pm

While living in Manhattan, I attended services at Redeemer regularly . I do not know if we were all from the same "socio economic group" . What I do know is that Tim Keller spoke to all of us in a language we understood. The college professor analogy is a good one. We were not asked to leave our brains at the door but rather were challenged to discover the Gospel through our minds as well as our hearts and souls.

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Ted Voth Jr

June 05, 2009  2:52pm

("I, for one, have never met anyone truly interested in the comparative number of manuscripts that exist of Plato and the Bible, a statistic that is just that, a statistic that says nothing." You don't know me, buster! 'Not many intellectuals are called', but I thank God for that 'm'!) But seriously, I like what I hear. 'When you find a scholarly Presbyterian who believes you've found a rare jewel.

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Peter

June 05, 2009  2:35pm

I've been to Redeemer, though not lately. While I have great respect for Dr. Keller, I hope the church moved beyond being a gathering of those who look and dress alike, and are of roughly the same socio-economic group; after all, the church, or at least Hunter, is located on the Upper East Side. As for DeMoss House, I went there once, and felt as though I wanted to stick needles in my eyes when the head of the "Bible" study started in on a rehash of some sort of Josh McDowell chatter. (I, for one, have never met anyone truly interested in the comparative number of manuscripts that exist of Plato and the Bible, a statistic that is just that, a statistic that says nothing.)

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Xavier

June 05, 2009  2:05pm

This exposé might be of interest: "Does Tim Keller’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church Have a Race Problem?" - http://www.reformedblacksofamerica.org/blog1/index.php?itemid=401 .

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cityresident

June 05, 2009  2:01pm

I know Tim Keller and his ministry. He is very good at what he does. BUT I get very tired of people describing New York City as a cesspool of vice. All cities have these areas of high crime rates, drugs etc. The Upper East Side, where Keller started Redeemer has not had a "vice" problem since Grand Central was built about 100 years ago.

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Reid Davis

June 05, 2009  1:41pm

Fantastic article! Just one quibble -- it's "Scot Sherman." One "t," not two.

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MP

June 05, 2009  1:17pm

What a wonderful story! CT needs to offer many more like this one, rather than the same old warmed over "mega church" news that is about the latest "new and improved" techniques for building a successful church. Keller's witness is exemplary in that he takes the Gospel seriously and understands that the matter of its acceptance or rejection is not something he can control by experimenting to find the right "means and methods" that work. How refreshing to hear about a pastoral leader who studys, prays, and takes the exegtical and doctrinal responsibility of his office seriously! Your seminary readers and those who are young in pastoral ministry need large amonunts of this kind of encouragment. Spare us more stories about Saddleback and Willowcreek and let us hear more about Keller and others like him who believe their primary business is the Gospel.

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