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Why so much Tim Keller?

If you’re like many visitors to The Other Criminal, you probably got here by searching for Tim Keller sermon notes or something along those lines.

The first day I knew of Tim Keller’s existence was the first day I worshipped God alongside Crystal, which happened to be the day before I declared my intention to marry Crystal. It was my first time in New York City; I had been staying there for the weekend in between attending a day of the Vision New England conference in Boston (I was there to hear Don Miller speak).

Needless to say, when Crystal and her roommate brought me to Redeemer Presbyterian Church on Sunday, I was a bit suspicious:

  1. It was Presbyterian (I wasn’t sure what that meant, but it sounded denominational-ish, and that frightened me).
  2. It wasn’t in a church building, or a retrofitted warehouse, or a business park; instead, it was in a rented auditorium.
  3. There were no projected images or lyrics on giant screens; there was no guitar or heavy-duty sound amplification system.
  4. And then, craziest of all, instead of a jeans-wearing pastor, an older gentleman in slacks and a sports jacket walks up to a lonely mic and places a small sheet of paper on a music stand. Crystal nudges me and says, “That’s him. That’s Tim Keller.”

But, within moments, I’m captivated. Tim spoke in a conversational tone, modulating his voice brilliantly while remaining calm. He referenced various sources from the broader culture while simultaneously illuminating texts that I hadn’t ever seen so clearly. If you’ve ever listened to him preach, you probably know what I mean.

This was in the early months of 2007. The Reason for God hadn’t been published yet. Redeemer was years away from beginning it’s Renew Campaign, which would transform the growing megachurch away from megachurchiness into several generative churches according to the collegiate model.

Two and a half years later, in the Fall of 2009, Crystal and I moved to New York City from Baltimore and became members of Redeemer Presbyterian Church. But before from, from the first time I learned of Tim Keller’s existence to our move to NYC, I became an avid listener (and aspiring doer) of Tim Keller’s sermons. I often could only listen to them in the car or while jogging or biking, but, on good days, I was able to sit down at a  computer and type up notes on the sermons. I still enjoy times when I can do this; I remember more when I take notes.

I hope to share some of the lessons we learned while being members of Redeemer on this blog someday. If that would be of interest to anyone, leave a comment and let me know!

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About davestuartjr
Dave Stuart Jr. is a full-time teacher who writes about becoming better, saner teachers at TeachingtheCore.com. He is a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband to Crystal, and a father to Hadassah, Laura, and Marlena.

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