Tim Keller Video Notes — “Researching Your City”

In a short Q & A video, a church planter asks Tim Keller to discuss how one can learn the cultural narrative of his or her city. This can be applied on a larger scale–to one’s state or nation–and on a smaller scale–to one’s workplace or family. Here is Keller’s response:

  • You can start by studying it’s history. It’s amazing how much the history of your city continues to play itself out. NYC for example was started just to make money. Boston was started by the Puritans, who had an ideal. Pennsylvania was started by the Quakers, who had an ideal. Almost every other colony was started by people who had an ideal of what a human community should look like, but NYC was started strictly to make money. Period. And it’s still playing itself out.
  • As well as history, you should also talk to urban planners and anthropologists to understand the people groups inside your community.
The more we understand the people with whom we work and live, the more we are able to minister the gospel to them with compassion and understanding.

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

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