Many pastors struggle to translate their theological beliefs into fruitful ministry in the places they are called to reach. It’s not enough to simply know what to believe (theology), or on the other hand, how to do ministry (methodology) - they need something in between. They need help thinking about ministry in a culture that no longer believes Christianity is a force for good, let alone the source of ultimate revealed truth in the person of Christ.
This unabridged audiobook, a collection of 12 essays by Timothy Keller, outlines a theological vision for ministry that is organized around three core commitments:
Written by a practitioner for practitioners, Center Church will provoke serious reflection, creative adaptation, and decisive action. It can be used by groups or individually and includes questions for discussion and reflection.
©2012 Timothy Keller (P)2012 Zondervan
I am a pastor in New York City and an admirer of Tim Keller's preaching and writing, though I've only attended Redeemer Presbyterian Church a couple of times. This lengthy book reads as a carefully assembled notebook of the accumulated wisdom of Keller (and his team) in building one of the most thriving and paradigmatic churches in New York City today. It shows clearly the depth and clarity of thought and the faith put into practice that is embodied in Keller's work. It rightly rejects the idea that others can simply take over the Redeemer model and replicate it. Rather, Keller leads the reader to think substantively about the many elements that are part of the life of an urban church with a strong center in the Gospel. It ranges widely from the content of preaching and theology, to issues of interaction with secular culture, to diversity in worship styles, and many other topics.
While I think that the book will be most relevant to those who are directly involved in ministry, it will also provide a thoughtful journey through urban church life to anyone who reads it.
Tom Parks does an excellent job reading the book. I highly recommend it.
Heck no. Read it? Gladly. Listen to it? Not for another second. It's a bummer that such a good book is so irritating to listen to. It can't be that hard to find an orator that isn't whiny and annoying through every sentence.
1. Center Church draws us back to what is essential - the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
2. Center Church is practical yet far from giving us a specific method.
3. Center Church speaks to all the different expressions of Evangelicalism and calls for important corrections in all camps.
Loved every minute of what I was learning and how I was being moved, but it was a lot to take in just listening. Its definitely something I would rather read.
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