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February 10, 2008Interviews, Leadership

More on Tim Keller and Newsweek

Tim and I dialogued a bit last night and this morning about his Newsweek profile. (See my comments yesterday for context.)

Some have been discussing a few problems with the story, and a couple have mentioned the reference to evolution in the article.

Tim wrote (with permission for me to share).

We should be charitable to the writer on the issues mentioned. They are pretty minor.

Yes, it isn't my first book, but the last one was over 20 years ago. I don't preach at all 5 services--I preach 4 and every week someone from the preaching team preaches the fifth one.

I wouldn't in the least style myself a new C.S. Lewis (who would want a new one when the old one is still so great) but she got that from publicity copy written by well-meaning people at Penguin.

I wouldn't want to characterize myself as another Rick Warren but she likes Rick and wouldn't see that as a negative statement.

I believe in the historicity of Gen 1-11 and Adam and Eve and I don't believe in young earth-creation or six 24-hour day creation, but, as far as she's concerned, that means I believe somewhat in evolution. She's not used to the fine distinctions on these things we make inside the church.

Also, I've never lived anywhere near Georgia (but maybe I've spent so much time in the airport it's affected my accent!)

And even the statement that my book disappointed her in comparison to my preaching is actually true--I'm a better speaker than writer, and always will me. That was more a compliment to the preaching than a criticism of the book.

Despite this list of nits to pick, it was an overall positive, even warm article, especially considering it comes from someone whose beliefs are so different. The writer clearly likes the church and appreciates the ministry in many ways. So I'm glad for her efforts.

Remember, we should not assume that secular reporters get the distinction between 6-day creation and evolution. And, yes, there are some minor story details that are incorrect. But, as I told Tim, I thought it was a strong article that I believe will bring glory to God.

Finally, the (mild) criticism in the article is normal-- no reporter writes a nice piece without a few critical comments. And, Keller is a great speaker, so the book will have to be very good to keep up.

Thanks, Tim, for the update and for your humility.

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