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Tim Keller on Better Discourse

“Never describe the view of an opponent in a way he or she will not own. Rather describe their view so they say, ‘I couldn’t have put it better myself.’ Only then should proceed to refute the view. If instead you caricature your opponent — you persuade no one.”

Tim Keller on Twitter

If I had anything to change about this tweet it would be to change the word “opponent.” Usually when I decide to engage online it’s to *understand* the other person not to battle or fight or win. But wow, could you imagine what our discourse would look like if arguments looked more like this?

I know what it would look like. It would be boring. The tweets wouldn’t get retweeted. The cable news shows wouldn’t get watched. The memes wouldn’t get made. Could you imagine if End Game consisted of the Avengers going back in time to convince Thanos the destruction he caused wasn’t worth the cost? BOOOOOOOOOOORING. 🥱😴

Maybe it should be boring? Maybe our interactions should be calm and thoughtful instead of loud and caustic. 

More and more I try to shy away from entertainment that masquerades as news. I’m not interested in listening to people that present their “opponents” as caricatures to tear down. I’m not paying attention to theology that is there to elevate the person with the shocking views and not elevate Jesus. 

Probably not as exciting; but it’s certainly easier to sleep at night. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Tim Keller on Ministry and Marriage

“No form of ministry is more important than my marriage and family.”

Tim Keller from Twitter.

I’m not “in ministry.” I haven’t experienced the stress and the problems and the loneliness that a lot of people experience while trying to serve their calling from the Lord. I don’t support my family from sketchy sermons money and I’m hesitent to do so because I like the freedom to be able to walk away if need be. 

I have no idea how to solve the problems of ministry service but for me this statement is the truth. No form of ministry is more important than my marriage and family. I love what I do here but if it caused me to start missing basketball games and dates to Chick-fil-a then it would be time to scale down or pack it up entirely. 

It’s been said before; there’s a lot of people that can serve the needs of the people but my wife only has one husband and my kids only have one father and I’m it. 

Social Media Identity and the Church

Could at least some Christians be known for their love on the internet? And could they take part in the rebuilding of new spaces of public discourse in which we can present our faith confidently and listen to our critics carefully and humbly–at the same time?

Yes, we could. But will we?


Tim Keller’s article on Social Media, Identity, and the Church was an interesting read for me. For one, I spend a fair amount of time on social media. I post here, I post on Facebook, I post on twitter, and fortunately I’m small enough where I can (kinda) handle all of the communication that happens on each platform. One thing I noticed early on is that people don’t really share things that they find interesting; they share things that make a statement about themselves. That piece of art you made could be amazing, that short story or song could be well-crafted, but if a person doesn’t see themselves in it – it’s not going to be shared.

The problem is we tend to lose nuance and humility and share some of the more striking posts we find here. If anything, social media can take a topic and turn the volume all the way up. Sometimes that’s good and needed. Other times it just becomes a shouting match where people divide into two groups and hurl grenades at each other.

I don’t know how to fix it, but I’d love for this to be a safe space for the moderates. People who have nuance and don’t mind asking questions. I know I’m guilty of this, I post things about racism and politics from time to time and it tends to fire people up. But I’d love to be one of the careful and humble listeners that Keller talks about; looking to rebuild the public discourse.

Here’s a link to the article: https://quarterly.gospelinlife.com/social-media-identity-and-the-church/

The Rich Christian

“In Christ, I’m loved more than I dared hope. For the poor person, you should dwell on your high position with Jesus. For the rich Christian, you need to remember your low position as a sinner saved only by grace.” @timkellernyc

This is from an older YouTube video (well, almost a year but I guess that’s old now 🤷‍♂️) but it showed up on my recommended and since it’s from @careynieuwhof I watched it! There were a ton of topics covered here from inherited religion, conservative evangelicals vs. liberal evangelicals, fruits of the spirit, and more. This statement stuck with me though because it highlights the great equalizing effect that Jesus has on all of us. It flattens the hierarchy. Those who are low are risen up and those that are high are struck down and all are made equal under Jesus Christ.

Sadly, I had no idea who Tim Keller was before watching this video. Apparently there are so many great thinkers it’s hard to know them all! There were parts of this video I struggled with but I think that’s the point right?