Preaching in the Concrete Canyons

A New York pastor and his flock fit right at home inside Manhattan

Always fun to check in on how the secular media is reporting on Christianity. Sometimes all wrong, sometimes all right, but always keeping us guessing as to whether a bias or two, or three will show up or not. Pastor Tim Keller

I like this story on a New York pastor with a growing number of followers. There’s something about the concrete canyons of NY city juxtaposed with the Holy Spirit moving through men and women. What a great God we have!

This from Newsweek:

The Smart Shepherd
A New York pastor who says he thinks too much wants to bring his Christian message to the world.


Place: New York City. Time: 9 o’clock on a Sunday morning. It’s fair to say that many, if not most, of the inhabitants of Manhattan —mostly single, professional, well educated and young—are sleeping it off somewhere. Half of America has roused itself by now and is heading off to church, but in the city that never sleeps, the Sabbath is a time for slumber.

There’s an exception. On a sun-splashed corner near Central Park a churchlike building is filled to the rafters with Christian worshipers. By 9:15, the room is at capacity. By 9:20, even the balcony is full. There’s nothing sexy here. There’s no rock band, no drop-down theater-size video screen, no 100-member gospel choir—just a few chamber musicians and a couple of prayer leaders to help the congregation along in its hymns. The crowd at Redeemer Presbyterian is overwhelmingly young, single, professional and—for lack of a better word—sober.

Don’t let your mind drift, or you will miss the main attraction. At 9:40, the voice you hear reading from the Scriptures changes suddenly; it becomes deeper, more authoritative and coarser, with traces of Pennsylvania and Georgia in the vowels. Look up. The callow junior minister has disappeared. Standing at the microphone is a man more than six feet tall with a shiny bald head and wire-rim spectacles, looking more like a college professor than a megachurch pastor. This is the Rev. Tim Keller, a Manhattan institution, one of those open urban secrets, like your favorite dim sum place, with a following so ardent and so fast-growing that he has never thought to advertise. He rarely speaks to the press.

His reticence, though, is about to belong to the past. With the publication this week of his first book, “The Reason for God,” Keller, who is 57, is in the midst of a dramatic change in direction…

Full Story

Photo: Rev. Tim Keller (Newsweek)

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