Monday, September 24, 2012

Book Review: Center Church by Timothy Keller

Tim Keller has been called the C.S. Lewis of the 21st century. His books has been on the New York Times Bestseller list and always on the to-read list of pastors and theologians. Even lay people have benefited from the writings of Tim Keller. Just recently I finished his book on marriage and my first thought was this book needs to be given to every married couple whether they have been married one month, one year, or 50 years.

Keller's latest book, Center Church, addresses the church in how we can do gospel-centered ministry in our city. This book is based from his years in pastoral ministry at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, which he planted in 1989. This book is divided into three sections, or axis as he calls it, which are "principles of theological vision:" Gospel, City (a.k.a. culture), and movement.

When it comes to the theological formation of the church, Keller's asks these basic questions:

What is the gospel and how do we bring it to bear on the hearts of people today?

What is this culture like and how can we both connect to it and challenge it in our communication?

Where are we located, and how does this affect our ministry?

To what degree and how should Christian lay-people be involved in civic life and cultural production?

How do the various ministries in a church, word and deed, community and instruction, relate to one another?

How innovative will our church be and how traditional?

How will our church relate to other churches in our city and region?

How will we make our case to the culture about the truth of Christianity?

There is so much info in this book that it will take me a very long time to go over everything. If I can sum up what I think about this book, it will be this: Get the book. Pastors, get this book.

Thanks Zondervan for letting me review this book.

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