Friday, May 23, 2008

Tim Keller is the New Francis Schaeffer

My dog's name is Schaeffer. I named him after the pastor-apologist not the beer. If I ever own another dog, I might name him Keller after the apologist pastor, not the... Well, you get the point.

Last night Catherine and I "geeked out" and went on a date to hear Tim Keller speak here in Pittsburgh. I even stayed to get a couple of books signed.

While waiting in line to talk to Tim, I pondered what I might say to him. Should I, for instance, mention that in the early 1990's I used to transcribe his sermons and give them, along with boot legged tapes of his best sermons, to my seeker friends. Should I mention that his "marriage series" based on Ephesians 6, changed my wife and I for ever. Should I tell him that after leaving Redeemer in 1993 to go and do ministry in DC, that I would, largely because of his preaching ministry, go to seminary where I would wind up 15 years later as a church planter in Pittsburgh. Should I tell him that most of the really good ideas that I have in preaching have come from him and Shaeffer and Lewis and other giants. Or, should I just say thank you and not hog the huge line of eager people waiting to thank him for his brilliant understanding of the Gospel and its application to the culture we live in.

In the end, I chose not to "gush." I just thanked him and then we chatted a bit about church planting in the East End of Pittsburgh. Oh, how was the content of his talk? Well, read his new book, The Reason for God if you want a summary. He stuck pretty close to the book. By the way, I noticed a few people recording. If anyone has audio or video of Tim Keller in Pittsburgh, please post it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Speed Racer: Indy or Just Another Layer of the Matrix?

In a bold move last Friday, I took a much needed afternoon off, leaving Catherine to have a spa day which, believe it or no,t consisted of working on her volunteer stuff for our church plant, Jonah's Call, and making summer plans for the family. My afternoon off included lunch out with my daughters followed by a movie. We saw Speed Racer. Emma was galvanized and Lydia sat on my lap the whole time with her mouth half open. 
I never thought that I would watch a Wackowski Bros. film with my girls before they turned sixteen. However, I had read enough good reviews about this film to take a chance and take them without previewing the movie first. As a "family film" the movie is clearly all about relationships- but in a kind of emo (emotional) indie way more. From a theological-cultural perspective it is conveying a spirituality connected to relationship and being authentic rather than being a "sell out" to corporate culture. At one point, Speed says something like, 'Racing is in my families blood. In fact, in my house, corporate sponsors are referred to as the devil.' Wow, being indie instead of corporate, grassroots and relational, instead of top-down and self-centered, seems like amazing messages to be sending me and my kids. I am all for it... Until, we get to the point in the movie where one of the characters reaches for his "walkie Talkie" and we read, as clear as day, MOTOROLA." So, at the end of the day, is this Warner Brothers Film, sponsored by the major conglomerate, Motorola, a film advocating independent grassroots sports and racers who love their families, or is it a just a corporate film using the "indie label" as a marketing tool to reach a hard to get to segment of hipsters? Are we in the Matrix, or are we free? You decide.

Monday, May 05, 2008

It's Been a Long Time!

I just realized how long it's been since I posted. I have been spending a huge amount of time at and the new website for our new church Needless to say, launching a new church has not afforded a great deal of reformedanglican fun.

Just for fun, I went back and checked out a video that David Sadd and Jodie Dorrel and I filmed with Josh Bell and J Howard Duff and his wife Dawn. I came up with the concept of this video for a sermon on the prodigal son. I can't wait to do more of this. Check it out: