Thinking Out Loud

August 11, 2018

The Biebs Focuses Attention on a 2011 Tim Keller Marriage Book

Filed under: books, Christianity, marriage — Tags: , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 7:50 am

A publisher couldn’t ask for a larger amount of publicity, especially for a title about to turn seven years old. This past week, The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller got an unusual amount of attention after Justin Bieber was seen carrying the book around following an intense emotional time with fiancée Hailey Baldwin, which caught the attention of the paparazzi and had the tabloids buzzing.

At DailyMail.co.uk it was the story lede:

Justin Bieber revealed he has turned to an incredibly conservative Christian self-help book for relationship guidance in the wake of his tearful public exchange with fiancee Hailey Baldwin.

The 24-year-old Canadian pop star, who was pictured crying while comforting an equally-emotional Hailey, 21, earlier this week, was seen carrying the religious book about marriage while out and about in New York on Wednesday

Justin seemed to credit the book with helping him to overcome ‘bad days’ as he spoke to photographers outside of Hailey’s Brooklyn apartment building – however it is unclear whether he is following all of the advice in the tome, which also tells men and women to abstain from sex before marriage, suggests that wives should submit to their husbands, and depicts the Bible’s view of marriage as being monogamous and heterosexual.

Justin did seem to suggest that he is leaning on the book heavily for guidance as he and Hailey navigate their relationship ahead of marriage, holding it up and showing it to photographers and fans when they asked about how he and his fiancee are doing after their emotional display on Tuesday…

The lengthy article is more about the book than about the couple.

Then in a sidebar, there is further description:

…In addition to discussing the relationship between a couple, and the importance of their bond with God, Keller’s book… has more than 1,000 five-star reviews, also suggests that wives must submit to their husbands, and advises men and women to abstain from sex before marriage.

Through his writing, he aims to show everyone – ‘Christians, skeptics, singles, longtime married couples, and those about to be engaged’ – what the Bible’s view of marriage really is which, according to Keller, is monogamous and heterosexual…

The article concludes,

The couple are devout Christians and have been going to church together since rekindling their romance.

But then, just when you think you know everything there is to know about the book, the same website published yet another article with the endless headline, “Inside the conservative Christian self-help book Justin Bieber is using to navigate his relationship with Hailey Baldwin – which suggests wives should submit to their husbands and warns against sex before marriage.” Yes, that was all headline for the article.

The précis in the article seems to have borrowed much material from a chapter summary by Justin Taylor at The Gospel Coalition and from Tim Keller’s blog.

…’Men and women each have distinct glories and we need one another. Marriage is the primary (though not only) place where those glories are blended and we are profoundly enriched.’

One chapter in the book, written by Keller’s wife, is about the different roles men and women play in marriage.

According to The Gospel Coalition, it discusses the Christian teaching that marriage is a place ‘where the two sexes accept each other as differently gendered and learn and grow through it’

Keller and his wife seem to believe that men and women are fundamentally different, and take on different responsibilities in a partnership.

It’s unclear how well that particular passage resonates with Hailey Baldwin. While the model hasn’t spoken out about feminism, she does count several feminist among her friends…

Many online publications and news sites connected with the book this week including Cosmopolitan, Billboard and a brief mention at CNN. It will be interesting to learn to what degree all this publicity has impacted sales.

 

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August 27, 2014

Wednesday Link List

Wonderful the matchless

You know, that thing where you take a bucket of links and pour them over your head…

So there you have it! Not a single link about the social media story of the week, unless you count the sideways reference in that last item. To submit a link, send it by noon on Monday, except for next week, which is a holiday Monday.

 

December 2, 2009

Best of this Week’s Links

Before we get into this week’s lynx links, I want to refer back to something on this blog a few days ago.

When I wrote a post a few days ago questioning some aspects of the Samaritans Purse Christmas shoebox project, I was simply giving voice to some things that were rumbling in the back of my mind.   I was hesitant to formulate much more than a few random thoughts because I really thought I was alone in criticizing a program that is so widely subscribed to by local churches.

I was wrong.   When Sarah’s comment came, I realized I had only begun to scratch the surface of issues raised by the program.   Here’s a reprint of her comment, but I want to strongly recommend you visit the link, which documents why in one Canadian province, a large denomination isn’t encouraging support of the program.   It takes you to a 16-page (.pdf file) report of which pages 4 to 11 are most important and will only take you a couple of minutes.

Thanks for this article–I think all your questions and concerns are excellent. If you’re interested in more, with a powerful eyewitness story about shoebox problems, see http://ucskco.sasktelwebhosting.com/TheGiftMattersSchoolkit.pdf

It shouldn’t be about followup for the giver at all; that’s a form of strings-attached giving.

Additional questions:

Does this encourage children to value Western cultures more than their own?

Do “shoebox” gifts become better than something simpler made lovingly by a family member?

Are they introducing commercial gift-giving into a culture that doesn’t celebrate Christmas in that way?

Do they respect people of other faiths who don’t celebrate Christmas at all?

Do they portray one race/culture as being better or more successful than others?

Most importantly, how do they work to bring about real change, in places where the needs are for justice, peace, and access to the necessities of life?

~ Comment by Sarah Shepherd

Your responses to this can go here or in the comment section of the original post.    If anyone has seen other good pieces online where the program has been critiqued, feel free to put the link in a comment as well.

Other links this week:

  • Bill Kinnon looks at youth culture ministry and points out that, “What we win them with, is what we win them to. Win them with entertainment, and you’ve created customers – who expect to be continually entertained.”
  • Here’s a book that’s got me curious.   Trevin Wax reviews Chris Armstrong’s book Patron Saints for Postmoderns. “Chris focuses on ten ‘saints’ from Christian history and offers insights from their lives that can be learned and applied today.”
  • Some of the Christian cartoons I use here are a lot of fun.  This one digs a little deeper, and could only be written by someone with an intimate understanding of life in the Charismatic or Pentecostal environment.  So some of you are going to really, really connect with this, and others maybe not so much.   But if you’ve been in those circles, you won’t want to miss this.   Check out World of Dod’s blog.
  • Speaking of all things Charismatic, over a week ago Christianity Today did a really good article on that community’s voice of reason, Charisma magazine editor J. Lee Grady.   I also recommend subscribing to Lee’s weekly e-mail, although it’s bundled with other things from Strang Communications, so it’s an all or nothing subscription.
  • Our iKettle still needs the support of our Canadian readers.   Money given to the Salvation Army stays in the donor’s community.   Click here.
  • Jessica at the general-interest blog, Indexed accurately sums up why people feel the way they do about their wealth.    It’s all relative.    Ain’t that the truth!
  • Paul Stoecklein, author of the general market humor book You Had Me At Idiot, has a very irreverent post about surviving the Thanksgiving holiday in a ‘religious’ family.  Sample:  “Protestants are different. With them, saying grace is like really bad performance art. I swear, I think these people believe that saying grace should have been one of the categories on Star Search… Read — if you dare — the whole piece here. [HT: Shallow Frozen Water blog]

  • Christian apologist Josh McDowell and coauthor David Sterrett discuss why they wrote a book, titled ‘O’ God, about Oprah Winfrey and why they don’t think Christians are equipped to respond to Oprah’s ‘teaching.’  This link takes you a four minute video on YouTube.
  • Speaking of Christian Apologists, New York Magazine profiles Timothy Keller and his Redeemer Presbyterian Church in the Big Apple.  “Although relatively few secular New Yorkers know about it—Keller prefers to keep Redeemer mostly under the media radar… —an Evangelical Christian megachurch is growing in the heart of Manhattan.”
  • Carlos Whitaker invites readers at his blog, Ragamuffin Soul, to leave their favorite quotation.   So far, over 80 responses, but plenty of room for you to add yours.

April 15, 2009

Tim Keller on Jesus in the Old Testament

Filed under: bible, Christianity, Faith — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 6:42 pm

jesus-star-of-david-2Via Darryl Dash’s blog:

All About Him

“Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” (Luke 24:27)

  • Jesus is the true and better Adam who passed the test in the garden and whose obedience is imputed to us (1 Corinthians 15).
  • Jesus is the true and better Abel who, though innocently slain, has blood now that cries out for our acquittal, not our condemnation (Hebrews 12:24).
  • Jesus is the true and better Abraham who answered the call of God to leave all the comfortable and familiar and go out into the void “not knowing wither he went!” to create a new people of God.
  • Jesus is the true and better Isaac who was not just offered up by his father on the mount but was truly sacrificed for us. While God said to Abraham, “Now I know you love me because you did not withhold your son, your only son whom you love, from me,” now we can say to God, “Now we know that you love me, because you did not withhold your son, your only son, whom you love, from me.”
  • Jesus is the true and better Jacob who wrestled and took the blow of justice we deserved, so we, like Jacob, only receive the wounds of grace to wake us up and discipline us.
  • Jesus is the true and better Joseph who, at the right hand of the king, forgives those who betrayed and sold him and uses his new power to save them.
  • Jesus is the true and better Moses who stands in the gap between the people and the Lord and who mediates a new covenant (Hebrews 3).
  • Jesus is the true and better Rock of Moses who, struck with the rod of God’s justice, now gives us water in the desert.
  • Jesus is the true and better Job, the truly innocent sufferer, who then intercedes for and saves his stupid friends (Job 42).
  • Jesus is the true and better David, whose victory becomes his people’s victory, though they never lifted a stone to accomplish it themselves.
  • Jesus is the true and better Esther who didn’t just risk losing an earthly palace but lost the ultimate and heavenly one, who didn’t just risk his life, but gave his life to save his people.
  • Jesus is the true and better Jonah who was cast out into the storm so that we could be brought in.

jesus-star-of-david-1Jesus is the real Rock of Moses, the real Passover Lamb – innocent, perfect, helpless, slain so the angel of death will pass over us. He is the true temple, the true prophet, the true priest, the true king, the true sacrifice, the Lamb, the Light, the Bread.

The Bible is not about you — it is about him.

(Tim Keller, Ockenga Preaching Series 2006)

January 13, 2009

Buried Treasure: Short and Free Tim Keller Downloads

timothy-kellerWith some of the sermons at the Redeemer store being quite expensive compared with other churches offering sermons online, I was happy to stumble over these shorter clips from Redeemer with Timothy Keller answering some key questions in a Q&A format.   There’s a healthy mix of apologetics and ‘issue’ stuff.

Start streaming or downloading the Q&A session here.   If you haven’t read The Reason for God or The Prodigal God yet, maybe this will whet your appetite.

Suggestion:  Start with the first couple on Genesis 1 and 2, and then skip around…I’m listening to the one on the doctrine of election as a I type this.  (Don’t feel you need to agree with everything; but give him grace; these were time-pressed answers.)

November 29, 2008

Further Considering the Prodigal Son (and the Prodigal God)

Filed under: bible, Christianity, theology — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 8:45 pm

greg-boyd1prodigal-god-tim-keller1

Like many others, I have been quite taken with Timothy Keller’s new book The Prodigal God, which I considered briefly here a few weeks ago.   I am ever impressed at the ability of this story to challenge us in so many different ways.

So it was only fitting that we downloaded two of Greg Boyd’s sermons from Woodland Hills preached earlier in November which deal with the same topic.   As Greg points out, if the father in the story had simply pursued justice, no one would remember this story today.   (I would have added that no gospel writer would have included it then either.)

One thing I like about Greg’s preaching is that he doesn’t tell you all he knows.   This is a guy with such intellectual depth that I recently gave up trying to follow a particular discussion at his Christus Victor Ministries blog.   To adapt a term from television production, he leaves enough “intellectual headroom” that you know he’s done his homework, but doesn’t lose the common touch.   (The second part of the series includes a hilarious summer job story from Greg’s student days that is such a perfect fit to the parable under discussion.)

Anyway, all this to say, read Timothy’s book, and listen to Greg’s sermon.  To do the latter go to the Woodland Hills download page, and select the sermons for November 9 and November 16, 2008.  You can either listen to on streaming audio (allow 40 minutes of uninterrupted listening per sermon) or copy it to a disc as we did for those long car trips. You’re bound to read or hear things about this so-familiar Bible passage that you haven’t heard or read before.

Pictures: left: Greg Boyd; right: Timothy Keller book

November 16, 2008

Repenting of All Our Good Deeds

Filed under: Christianity, theology — Tags: , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 8:16 pm
“…What must we do, then to be saved?   To find God we must repent of the things we have done wrong, but if that is all you do you may remain just an elder brother.   To truly become Christians we must also repent of the reasons we ever did anything right.  Pharisees only repent of their sins, but Christians repent for the very roots of their righteousness, too.   We must learn how to repent of the sin under all our other sins and under all our righteousness — the sin of seeking to be our own Savior and Lord.   We must admit that we’ve put our ultimate hope and trust in things other than God, and that in both our wrongdoing and right doing we have been seeking to get around God or get control of God in order to get hold of these things.”

~ Timothy Keller in The Prodigal God, 2008 Dutton; pp 77-8; see also Prov. 16:2


November 14, 2008

Currently Reading: The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller

Filed under: Christianity, Faith, theology — Tags: , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 8:00 pm

Really looked forward to this after reading Keller’s The Reason for God. Highlight so far sorta goes like this:

  • prodigal-god-tim-keller“Prodigal” means “spendthrift”, which also means “reckless”
  • The father in the story is reckless in his willingness to forgive and reinstate the son
  • The father in the story represents God
  • God is “reckless” in that he chooses not to “reckon” our sin; instead offering forgiveness

Keller wrote this book based on someone else’s sermon that has stuck with him throughout his life.   This is a very different book than The Reason for God. Instead, we have essentially something that is “gift book” sized, not a whole lot different from The Prayer of Jabez. However, Jabez was a $9.99 U.S. hardcover, while Prodigal God is a shocking $19.99 U.S.   Great book.  Bad marketing/pricing decision.  Still, this is the right gift for that person who may have familiarity with the basic “Lost Son” story (which Keller summarizes in a single paragraph) but have missed out on or forgotten some of the basics of the Bible’s much larger story, which Keller believes is fully present in this single parable.

Really, the quality of a book is not a function of the book’s size.   This is a truly impressive reconsideration of the classic parable and I can’t recommend this enough.   As it will be on the bookshelf of more “elder brothers” than “younger runaways,” I can only say that this really causes us to analyze our motivation behind what we do.  

In many ways, the younger son emerges learning a lesson about the father’s love that the older son has yet to grasp.

October 6, 2008

New Timothy Keller Book Releases October 30th

Filed under: Christianity, Church, Faith, theology — Tags: , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 7:02 pm

Following the success of The Reason for God, New York City pastor and apologist Timothy Keller releases The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith. The first sentence of the publisher marketing grates somewhat, but otherwise, a lot of people in the blogsphere will be looking forward to this title.   The book releases at the end of the month in hardcover from Dutton (who, if they’re reading this, will send me a review copy, right?) at $19.99 U.S.

Publisher Marketing:
“The Prayer of Jabez” used a little-known story of the Bible to redefine success for Christians. The Prodigal God uses a famous story of the Bible to redefine nothing less than the central Christian message for believers and skeptics alike.
“Newsweek” called renowned minister Timothy Keller a “C. S. Lewis for the twenty-first century” in a feature on his first book, “The Reason for God,” In that book, he offered a rational explanation of why we should believe in God. Now, in “The Prodigal God,” he uses one of the best-known Christian parables to reveal an unexpected message of hope and salvation.
The Prodigal Son is the most well-known parable in the Bible. Incredibly, it is also almost universally misunderstood. Taking his trademark intellectual approach to understanding Christianity, Keller uncovers the essential message of Jesus, hidden in plain sight for centuries. Within this parable is the lost message of Jesus, where he outlines just how his followers are supposed to love and accept one another so they can join him in Heaven. With this book, both the devout and skeptics will see Christianity in a whole new way.

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