Even if you don’t go to the city to minister, make no mistake—the city is coming to you. Regardless of your particular cultural or geographical context, you will need to consider the city when forming a theological vision that engages the people you are trying to reach.
In Loving the City, bestselling author and pastor Timothy Keller looks at the biblical foundations for contextualizing the gospel as we communicate to the culture in a way that is both respectful and challenging. He articulates the key characteristics of a city vision, showing how the city develops as a theme throughout Scripture, from its anti-God origins, to its strategic importance for mission, to its culmination and redemption in glory.
Finally, he examines the need for thoughtful cultural engagement, unpacking four models for engaging culture, showing the strengths and weaknesses of each approach and emphasizing a blended approach that balances the key insights of each. Loving the City will help you to minister to your cultural context in a way that is biblically faithful and fruitful.
This new edition contains the second section of Center Church in an easy-to-read format with new reflections and additional essays from Timothy Keller and several other contributors.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Gospel Contextualization
1. Intentional Contextualization
2. Balanced Contextualization
3. Biblical Contextualization
4. Active Contextualization
Reflections on Gospel Contextualization (Daniel Strange)
Response to Daniel Strange (Timothy Keller)
Part 2: City Vision
5. The Tension of the City
6. Redemption and the City
7. The Call to the City
8. The Gospel for the City
Reflections on City Vision (Gabriel Salguero)
Response to Gabriel Salguero (Timothy Keller)
Part 3: Cultural Engagement
9. The Cultural Crisis of the Church
10. The cultural Responses of the Church
11. Why All the Models Are Right ... and Wrong
12. Cultural Engagement through Blended Insights
Reflections on Cultural Engagement (Andy Crouch)
Response to Andy Crouch (Timothy Keller)
"No one has listened more closely to the harmonies of city, culture, church, and Scripture than Tim Keller. In Center Church, he not only describes the different strains of music but also tells us how he has orchestrated the results for the sake of ministry outreach and renewal. Now it's our turn to listen,as Tim practically yet powerfully prepares us to participate in this great symphony of the gospel."
---BRYAN CHAPELL, president, Covenant Theological Seminary
"Center Church is an immensely helpful resource for the next generation of church leaders. It is theologically profound, thought provoking, and energizing, and it will make you uncomfortable in measure. Once again, Tim Keller has hit the bull's-eye!
---ALISTAIR BEGG, senior pastor, Parkside Church, Cleveland, Ohio