Tim Keller on how abiding in the gospel produces effective evangelists

This is from Tim Keller on how the gospel makes us both bold in presentation and winsome in spirit when sharing the gospel. The combination of both is a rare, but valuable and attainable, spiritual grace!

“When the gospel ‘comes home’-humbling and affirming you, it turns every believer into a natural evangelist…Evangelism happens because of a) the humility of the gospel. The gospel (unlike religious moralism) produces people who are not disdainful and contemptuous towards those who disagree with them. Also, it happens through b) the affirmation of the gospel. Because of the reality and joy of Christ’s love, we are not as concerned what others think. The gospel brings a gentle boldness.”

“The gospel makes us neither self-confident nor self-disdaining, but both bold and humble at once. To the degree I am still functionally earning my worth through performance (i.e. to the degree I am still functioning in works-righteousness), to that degree I will be either operating out of superiority or inferiority. Why! Because if I am saved by my works, then I can either be confident but not humble (if I am living up) or humble but not confident (if I am not living up). In other words, apart from the gospel, I will be forced to be superior or inferior or to swing back and forth or to be one way with some people and another way with others. I am continually caught between these two ways, because of the nature of my self image.

So the gospel humbles me before anyone, telling me I am a sinner saved only by grace. But it also emboldens me before anyone, telling me I am loved and honored by the only eyes in the universe that really count. So the gospel gives a boldness and a humility that do not “eat each other up” but can increase together.” 

For more on this, see my recently released Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary.

An Evening with Tim Keller

We at BtT would like to make you aware of An Evening with Tim Keller, an event being sponsored by DurhamCares and held on May 4th at the Durham Performing Arts Center. Keller will be speaking about the impact local churches can have on their cities for the Kingdom of God. In particular, he will be addressing questions such as: Is it important for the church to be involved in serving the community? If I want to be more involved in serving the community, what might the next step might be? Does community service commit me to ‘the social gospel’? After speaking, Keller will address questions from the audience.

For more information on An Evening with Tim Keller, click here.

Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary

You heard it here first. Advance the Church 2011 is coming to the Raleigh Convention Center May 4-5 with the theme, “Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary,” and you do not want to miss out. Tim Keller, Danny Akin, J. D. Greear, Tyler Jones, Eric Mason, Alan Hirsch, and Darrin Patrick are the plenary speakers.

The conference website poses and answers a provocative question: Is it possible that the reason the Church has lost its credibility and prophetic voice is that its Christians no longer believe the Gospel? The Gospel turned the ancient world of the Apostles on its head. It transformed the most unlikely of people into fervent ambassadors for God, while making enemies of both the secular and religious establishments. In contrast, the Church in many places today has become a part of a dying tradition that neither challenges the culture nor attracts the skeptic. Even in movements founded on Biblical truth, a pervasive legalism and moralism has eclipsed the explosive power of what God did for the world in Christ. There is only one thing that can restore the revolutionary power of God to the Church: the Gospel. The Church is in a moment of crisis. The Gospel is our only hope!

The plenary and breakout sessions will address many other questions at the intersection of gospel and ministry, such as: How does a gospel-centered worldview inform the way we preach, treat social issues, plant churches, think about current events, give pastoral counsel, treat our spouses, raise our children, and approach the task of world mission? In what ways do American Christians misunderstand the gospel? In what ways have Christ and the gospel been replaced in church life today?

I’ve attended Advance the Church in previous years, and I was not disappointed. I expect that this year’s conference will be equally profitable. If you would like to join me at Advance the Church Raleigh, you can click here for a link to the website or click here for a link to the Advance11 video.