Tim Keller on His Theological Training

Question: How did your theological training affect you?

Keller:    I don’t think my theological training necessarily… I don’t know.  It could be I have an entrepreneurial spirit.  I’m actually I’m not giving a good answer to that.  Most of the people who like my model are not my age.  I do know that.  I’m not sure why.  And most of the people who are in my age I think are more locked in the older models.  And I’ve got a lot of folks who though they wouldn’t do it exactly Redeemer does it because they were in 20s and 30s and I’m in my 50s, and there’s a lot of people looking to Redeemer as a pioneer to seeing both the younger brother and the older brother as both alienated from the father, both are traditional Orthodox Church models, being alienated from the culture, and the main line… Put it this way.  A lot of folks would see the main line churches as having in a sense sold out to the culture become too modern, having too assimilated to the spirit of enlightenment.  And the Orthodox Churches having becoming recalcitrant and proud and self righteous, and they are looking for a third way.  And I don’t know why I came upon it in the way that a lot of other folks my age don’t appreciate, but a lot of people younger than me appreciate, I don’t really know where that came from exactly.  I got an idea.  I actually think coming to New York City was important to me, 20 years ago in my 30s.  I think cities tend to create prototypes for the rest of the culture, because cities are always a little ahead of the curve, things are always, things happen in New York, in London and Hong Kong and Los Angeles, and then five years later, they happen in the other big cities, and 10 years later, they happen in the rest of the country.  And I think I saw some things here and therefore I don’t know that my theological training made me a pioneer, I think it was New York City maybe.

The Pastor explains his entrepreneurial spirit.

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