Saturday 17 November 2012

Tim Keller and Katherine Leary Alsdorf on Work (1)

Timothy Keller with Katherine Leary Alsdorf, Every Good Endeavour: Connecting Your Work to God’s Plan for the World (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2012).

I had this book on pre-order for months. It came through the post earlier in the week and has gone very close to the top of my ‘to read’ pile.

It’s briefly profiled here on the Redeemer City to City website, where there are two short trailer videos posted, one of Keller himself and one of Katherine Leary Alsdorf (who, one suspects, will have done the hard work in bringing the book together). There is also an excerpt from the book and a related essay on common grace.

The Gospel Coalition website has an interview with Keller about the book – ‘When the Gospel Invades Your Office: Tim Keller on Faith and Work’. Here are a couple of representative paragraphs:

‘The gospel includes the news that the problem with the world is sin – sin in all of us, sin marring everything – and the only hope is God's grace. That prevents us from locating the real problem in any created thing (demonizing something that is God-created and good) or locating the real solution in any created thing (idolizing something limited and fallen). Also, the Bible lets us know that while Christ's kingdom is already here, it is not yet fully here. We are saved, but still very imperfect, yet we live in the certainty that love and goodness will triumph in the world and in us.

‘In short, we have no reason to become too angry or too sanguine about any trend or object or influence. We have no reason to become too optimistic or too pessimistic. In the book we argue that this balanced gospel-view of life has an enormous effect on how we work. Christian journalists should not be too cynical, nor should they write puff pieces or propaganda. Christian artists should be neither nihilistic and unremittingly dark (as so much contemporary art is), nor sentimental, saccharine, or strictly commercial (doing whatever sells). Christians in business should avoid both the “this company will change the world” hype or cynically “working for the weekend.”’

Ever quick off the blocks, Byron Borger already has a review of the book here, in which he says that Keller brings ‘something a bit unique in terms of perspective and tone, and that is, in fact, this gospel-centered, foundational teaching that our vocational lives are a response to, and grounded in, the grace of our Triune God, shown in the saving work of Jesus Christ’.

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