How the Gospel Makes Us Bold and Humble

May this be your meditation today:

Without the gospel, our self-image is based on living up to some standards – either our own or someone else’s imposed on us. If we live up to those standards, we will be confident but not humble; if we don’t live up to them, we will humble but not confident. Only in the gospel can we be both enormously bold and utterly sensitive and humble, for we are simul justus et peccator, both perfect and sinner! (Keller, 2012, p. 50)

The Gospel reminds us that we are both sinners and saved, and this truth uniquely equips us to live lives of boldness (because we are saved) and humility (because we know our only contribution to this salvation was the sin that made it necessary).

Keller, T. J. (2012). Center church: Doing balanced, gospel-centered ministry in your city. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

Timothy Keller on Sabbath Rest

Tim Keller writes thoughtfully on Sabbath and rest. In a society full of bustle, I appreciate his challenge to take rest seriously.

His most practical points follow below, but consider reading his entire article on Sabbath.

  1. Take Some Time for Sheer Inactivity
  2. Take Some Time for Avocational Activity
  3. Consider Whether You Are an Introvert or an Extrovert
  4. Don’t Necessarily Count Family Time as Sabbath Time
  5. Honor Both Micro- and Macro-Rhythms in Your Seasons of Rest

Keller concludes the article beautifully and succinctly:

“The purpose of Sabbath is not simply to rejuvenate yourself in order to do more production, nor is it the pursuit of pleasure. The purpose of Sabbath is to enjoy your God, life in general, what you have accomplished in the world through his help, and the freedom you have in the gospel—the freedom from slavery to any material object or human expectation. The Sabbath is a sign of the hope that we have in the world to come.”

(HT: The Resurgence)

Tim Keller Talks Missional Ministry

Tim Keller

“Missional Ministry” is a hot topic right now amongst churches.  There’s been a great deal of discussion and confusion circling this concept, but recently, I came across an article written by Tim Keller (in June 2001 no less!) that I found extremely helpful and very relevant.  Check out the article The Missional Church.

One of my favorite quotes is:

The missional church avoids sentimental, pompous, ‘inspirational’ talk . Instead we engage the culture with gentle, self-deprecating but joyful irony the gospel creates. Humility + joy = gospel irony and realism.

You get ’em Tim Keller!