Either he has taken touch typing to a whole new level or he has an army of literary Umpa-Lumpa’s working over time.
To be honest I don’t mind either option because he continues to bless us with helpful thoughts and life changing truths. Reading Keller is a little like a first date. There is nervous excitement. A nervous excitement that only comes from a knowledge that the person sitting across the table is smart enough, beautiful enough to potentially change your life.
Kings Cross: The story of the world in the life of Jesus, is a broad brush overview of the Gospel of Mark. He embraces the tools of narrative criticism and upfront divides the book in two halves;
- The identity of the King over all things
- His purpose in dying on the cross.
Now, if you’ve completed the PTC Course NT1 or sat 1st term of 1st year at Moore Theological College, you’d already have this framework firmly in place for Marks story of Jesus. Nothing new there.
Yet beyond the structure, Keller’s gift is to connect the narrative to our daily lives. Whether it’s asking us to consider whether our deepest wishes are deep enough p.35 or pleading with us to recognize our deepest wounds are not beyond healing p.94, Keller invites us into the gospel story.
Personally I was challenged by the way he flips Mark 10 around to invite us to see Jesus as the rich young ruler who never asks us to give up anything he already hasn’t. He also provided a great excursion into the world of real love, suggesting that “all real, life-changing love is a substitutionary sacrifice” p. 143. In classic Keller style he then proves this from real life examples – a girl defending a ‘nerd’ in high school, a parent properly raising a child – that substitutionary sacrifice is the only way of real love – worth a read.
You’ll be relieved to know that my nervous first date excitement was not directed at Timothy Keller – although I know many who would admit to such a man-crush. Instead I was thankful to have some time to sit down at the table with Jesus and realize this is a man both powerful enough and beautiful enough to change my life.
I recommend a read.