Preparing Christians for the task of cultural renewal…

Tim Keller-6

One of the churches seeking to remedy the sacred-secular dualism discussed in the previous post is Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan.  In 2003 Redeemer created their Center for Faith & Work for the purpose of helping their congregation “make a difference for Christ in their respective professional fields.”

Redeemer’s Center for Faith & Work (CFW) is the cultural renewal arm of the Redeemer movement, founded to equip, connect, and mobilize our church community in their professional and industry spheres toward gospel-centered transformation for the common good.

Through our work, we respond to God’s mandate to continue in his creation. Through our work we serve God as we serve those he places in our lives. Our work provides a crucible where we more fully recognize our own limitations at the same time that we experience God’s majesty and grace.

According to the Center for Faith & Work website, “leaders and participants share a number of common characteristics:”

  • a passion for seeing the hope and love of the gospel renew the workplaces, professions, and culture of the city – which are all too often driven by greed, fear, power, and hopelessness;
  • a commitment to the truth that God intended for us to work “in his image” and be stewards of the resources and institutions of our world;
  • a concern that our lives are increasingly bifurcated, with little connection between our faith and faith community and our way of working in our careers;
  • a willingness to grow in our relationship with God and our relationships within the Christian community that God has provided for our support and refinement;
  • a desire to create programs, community, and initiatives that pool the talents and resources of Redeemer toward the goals of renewing our city and culture.

Stated more specifically, the Center has three ministry goals:

  • Equip individuals to fully apply the gospel to their lives and develop a Christian worldview of their profession or industry.
  • Connect professionals within a field in ways that inspire and challenge gospel-centered thinking and behavior.
  • Mobilize our leaders to become agents of change for the common good inside existing institutions and by creating new ones.

Redeemer’s Center for Faith & Work launched a lecture series in 2010 and in 2012 a series of conferences to point “us toward seeing God powerfully at work in our midst – a reality often overlooked as we live and work in the city.” Interestingly, this vision is very much in sync with that proposed by John C. Knapp in the previous blog:  The church should function as “a spiritual gymnasium to strengthen Christians for the transformative work they must do in the world.”

The fourth lecture in the 2010 lecture series was given by Tim Keller, founding pastor of Redeemer.  In this talk, “Why Work Matters,” Keller discusses many of the essentials of a Christian understanding of work and vocation under these two main points:

  • Why work matters to God.
  • Why God matters to work.


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2 Responses to “Preparing Christians for the task of cultural renewal…”

  1. Tim Keller is terrific..a breath fresh air. His book “Reason for God,” profoundly impacted me in my apologetics and gave me much needed confidence to be bold in the secular setting in which I teach.

    Doug Kennard

    • Thanks, Doug! I’ve been rereading Keller’s “Counterfeit Gods” with one of my sons. You may want to pick it up too. It is a useful aid in understanding what idolatry is and how it works, both in our individual lives and in the broader culture. Subtitle: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters.