Olson, The Story of Christian Theology
Keller and Alsdorf, Every Good Endeavor
Keller, Center Church, Chapters 15-18
A Brief Introduction to Cultural Renewal
These first three audio talks are from Tim Keller given on the topic of cultural renewal for Redeemer leaders. The corresponding handouts are also included for you to read through. They are more comprehensive than his talk so I encourage you to read through them as well. The fourth talk you'll need to listen to is a file titled "Making Culture" by Andy Crouch.
Keller: What is Cultural Renewal, Part 1
Keller: What is Cultural Renewal, Part 2
Keller: What is Cultural Renewal, Part 3
Andy Crouch: Making Culture
Understanding the Context of Exile
Watch: David H. Kim, "Calling: Context is Everything"
Read: Article | Jerusalem or Exile?
Gotham Kick-off Retreat
Introduction to Worldview
Class 1: Gospel as Public Truth
Religious faith is commonly viewed as a personal and private matter, and in many respects faith is a deeply personal reality. Following Christ demands the totality of our being—who we are and what we do—and this impacts us at the very core of our being. However, should the gospel be merely a private reality or should it affect the public realm and the way we think about the public square? Historically, many have argued that the public square should be stripped of religion, yet this is an impossible task as some underlying belief structure will always inform the way we approach public life, whether it’s Christianity, atheism, pragmatism, or utilitarianism. In this class, we will ask the question should our faith be merely privatized or should it enter into the public square. How does the gospel of Jesus Christ affect the way we understand our Christian faith and the way we live it out in the world?
Read: Gotham Reader 1 (GR1) | Bertrand, Rethinking Worldview, Chapter 1
Read: GR1 | Newbigin, Truth to Tell, Intro
Read: Brooks, Kicking the Secularist Habit
Read: Gotham Devotional: Glimpses of a Greater Glory, Days 1-5
Listen: Keller: The Gospel to the African
Listen: Listen to the Hymn: Fairest Lord Jesus
Read: Optional Background Reading on Tri-Perspectivalism
Class 2: Alternative Worldviews
Everyone has a worldview, an understanding of reality that shapes both how we interpret the world around us and how we respond to it. Worldviews provide meaning to the reality around us, but like eye-glasses we are often unaware that they are functioning and even there; however, when we understand these worldviews, we begin to see the power they have in shaping who we are and how we respond to various life situations. In this class, we will read three excerpts that characterize popular worldviews in our society. Using Keller’s analysis of worldview, we can begin to identify some of the salient aspects of prevalent worldviews and see how they shape the way we interpret our day-to-day experiences as well as the values we hold.
Read: GR1 | Plato, Machiavelli, Franklin
Read: GR | Kuyper, Lectures on Calvinism: Life System
Read: Gotham Devotional: Glimpses, Days 6-10
Listen: Keller: The Gospel to the City
Listen: Brian Moss: In the Morning
Class 3: The Bible Storyline
After analyzing several varying worldviews, Kuyper presented Christianity as an all-encompassing life-system aiding us in a proper understanding of our relationship to God, to man, and to the world. In order to seek the flourishing of each of these relationships, we must understand what’s broken and how it can be healed. Scripture provides this meta-narrative to give us the big picture so that we can properly frame how each of these relationships are affected. The Bartholomew reading will give a helpful overview of the Biblical redemptive narrative and the Wolters reading will explain the theological significance of the main contours of the Biblical narrative as understood through the normative framework of Creation, Fall, Redemption.
Read: GR1 | Bartholomew, Story-line of the Bible
Read: Wolter's Creation Regained, Postscript, ch 2-4
Submit: Write a one-page summary of the Biblical narrative.
Read: Gotham Devotional: Glimpses, Days 11-15
Class 4: Doctrine of Scripture
Last week we discussed the significance of understanding the Bible as a grand narrative, highlighting the significance of creation, fall, and redemption. Each of these Biblical events provides critical anchors in our understanding of the world in which we live. The application of God’s word requires an understanding of the situational context and Spirit-led wisdom. This week we will look at the doctrine of Scripture to understand Scripture’s view of Scripture and how we are to understand the Bible as God’s authoritative word. We will see how the situational perspective is critical in our understanding of the application of God’s authoritative word.
Read: GR1 | Warfield, The Biblical Idea of Revelation
Read: Key Bible Passages for Hermeneutics
Read: GR1 | Ferguson, How Does the Bible Look at Itself?
Read: Gotham Devotional: Glimpses, Days 21-31
Read: Gotham Devotional: Glimpses, Days 16-20
Class 5: Interpreting Scripture
After establishing our Doctrine of Scripture, the next question we must ask is “How do we interpret the Bible?” In other words, does Scripture provide any instruction on how we are to interpret Scripture? Hermeneutics is the study of interpretation. The Bloesch article will provide a helpful overview of significant hermeneutical approaches and argue for a Christological hermeneutic, which focuses upon the centrality of Christ in all the Scriptures. This question of interpreting Scripture leads us to question of how we interpret our own lives. We all interpret the events of our lives, and that interpretation can have some significant consequences. Does Christ and the gospel affect the way you interpret your life and shape your response?
Read: GR1 | Bloesch, A Christological Hermeneutic
Read: Psalms Lectio Devotional: Days 1-5
Listen: Keller: Born of the Gospel
Class 6: Understanding the Death of Christ
We have seen how worldview is shaped by narrative and that the ultimate narrative is the biblical narrative interpreted through a Christ-centered lens. If Christ is the center of Scripture, then the center of that center is Christ’s death, resurrection, and glory. We now turn towards beginning to understand the Biblical rationale for using this D-R-G framework. How will God reconcile humanity who rightfully deserve his wrath and are at enmity with him? What is the significance of the death of Christ and what did it accomplish?
Read: Book | Murray, Redemption Accomplished & Applied, Part 1
Read: Excursus on Limited Atonement
Read: Psalms Lectio Devotional: Days 6-10
Watch: Steve Jobs Commencement Video
Class 7: Understanding the Resurrection of Christ
We have looked at the one-time completed work accomplished by the death of Christ. The atonement: (1) covered over our debts (expiation), (2) appeased the wrath of God (propitiation), (3) brought us into relationship with God (reconciliation), and (4) freed us from the power of the law and sin – its power & guilt (redemption). Part II of Murray’s book looks at the application of that accomplished redemption and the significance of the resurrection of Christ.
Read: Book | Murray, Redemption Accomplished & Applied, Part 2, Ch 1-8
Listen: Shelly Moore Band: Come Ye Sinner
Read: Psalms Lectio Devotional: Days 11-15
To Do: Calling Exercise
Watch: Further Resource: "Calling, Faithfulness in the Present"
Read: Further Resource: Biblical Overview on Calling
Class 8: Understanding the Glory of Christ
In understanding the gospel, we see that our union with Christ is the central reality that brings the gospel’s power into our lives. Through this union, we experience Christ’s death, resurrection, and glory. In the first two parts of Murray, we looked at the accomplished work of Christ’s death and resurrection; we now consider his glory, which, through this mystical union, becomes ours. This glory points us forward to the second coming of Christ as the culminating point of Christ's glory.
Read: Book | Murray, Redemption Accomplished & Applied, Part 2, Ch 9-10
Read: Book | Wright, Surprised by Hope, Ch 7-9
Read: Psalms Lectio Devotional: Days 16-20
Listen: The Giving of the Holy Spirit by Sinclair Ferguson
Class 9: Heart Renewal: Death
Murray and Wright have helped us unpack the deeper and nuanced significance of the life and work of Christ. His life, death, resurrection, and coming glory are the foundation to understanding how the gospel is at work in our own lives. We now move to the section of the curriculum where we focus on personal renewal or how the gospel transforms our hearts. Building upon the theological doctrines presented in the past two books, we now turn to see how this is applied into our own lives. Augustine presents to us a model of self-reflection that incorporates the situational, existential, and normative perspectives. His attentiveness to life and Scripture presents an uncanny model of thoughtful, theological reflection and introspection. Augustine develops the critical understanding of disordered desires and how that leads to the idolatry. Our problem is not our desires, but the ordering of our desires and the relative strength of those desires. Lusts are those good desires that we desire too much, over and against our greatest desire to love God and neighbor.
Read: GB2 | Rylaarsdam, Reading Augustine's Confessions
Read: Book | Augustine, Confessions, Book 1-5
Listen: Tim Keller: "Give Me Mine"
Listen: David Crowder Band: How He Loves
Read: Philippians Devotional — Week 1
Class 10: Heart Renewal: Death 2
While Murray helped us see the order of redemption applied, and laid out the benefits we have being united with Christ, we now attempt to understand how this union plays out in real day-to-day life and in order to do that we need theological tools that will help us understand the dynamics of change. We will start with Luther who will help us understand the doctrine of justification with a practical clarity. Faith is one of the foundational concepts in the gospel, yet it is often overlooked and improperly understood. Luther will refine our understanding of faith to help us experience more of the freedom we have and how in this freedom we bind ourselves to Christ.
Read: Book | Luther, Christian Liberty
Listen: Tim Keller: A New Heart
Watch: Philippians Devotional — Week 2
Class 11: Heart Renewal: Resurrection
Luther was instrumental in helping the church understand the critical role of faith in the Christian life. Faith is the new mode of living for the Christian helping us see beyond what is seen. Our faith must actively engage Christ in our day-to-day lives as we wrestle through the lingering doubts that cloud our ability to live in the freedom and joy of the gospel. We now turn to Calvin who will help us to understand the importance of the commandments in Scripture and why obedience is required. When read appropriately, we understand Calvin’s writings not as a rule-book but rather as a devotion. He points towards Christ and says, because of the gospel you ought to act as such. The gospel is at the heart of obedience. Our devotion to God is a response to seeing the glory of Christ. He consistently starts with looking to who God is and what he has done. Our obedience is a natural outflow of our love for Him. Calvin has a God-infused vision of life; this life is really about God and his glory. He structures an entire worldview upon living that principle out. The strength that he brings to the Christian tradition is a thoroughly God glorifying worldview.
Read: Book | Calvin, Golden Booklet
Read: Lords Prayer Devotional — Week 1
Listen: Tim Keller: Praying our Anger
Class 12: Heart Renewal: Resurrection 2
As we try to understand the Biblical dynamics of transformation, one critical piece that Owen will help us develop is a deeper understanding of our sins and the need to die to them. If the center of the gospel is Christ’s death, resurrection, and glory, and we are now united to Christ, what does it look like to experience this death in our own bodies? What does it mean to be buried with Christ so that we might also be raised with him to walk in the newness of life? (Rom. 6: 4) There is no new life without first actively putting to death the sins in our lives.
Read: Book | Owen, Mortification of Sin
Read: Lords Prayer Devotional — Week 2
Listen: Tim Keller: Heman's Cry of Darkness
Class 13: Heart Renewal: Glory
Once you’ve identified idols in your heart how do you dispel them? It’s not enough just to identify them, and you cannot just will sin away. This is a major reason why Keller’s sermons are so impactful because people long to worship Christ—ascribe to Him His worth or “worthship.” This is what’s lacking in the lives of many Christians—worship, entrenching Christ in the heart. How do we worship then? Christians must stress the importance of imagination and creativity, which are anchored in truth and beauty.
Read: Book | Wright, Surprised by Hope, Ch 10-12
Read: Wayne Grudem, Final Judgment and Eternal Punishment
Preparing for the Midyear Retreat
The following assignments will help you prepare for our next retreat together.
Read: GB2 | Chalmers, "Expulsive Power of a Greater Affection"
Read: GB2 | Edwards, "Personal Narrative"
Read: Book | Bonhoeffer, Life Together
Listen: Tim Keller: "How to Change"
Listen: Tim Keller: "How to to be Strong"
Watch: Tim Keller: "The Missional Church"
Read: Lords Prayer Devotional — Week 3 & 4
To Do: Work Visits with Prayer Partner
Class 14: Community Renewal: Death
Read: Book | Bonhoeffer, Life Together
Read: GR2 | Edwards, "Love the Opposite of a Selfish Spirit"
Listen: Tim Keller: "Neighbors"
Read: Prayer of Examen Devotional — Week 1
Attend: Saturday Session — Placeholder for Leaders
Redemptive Feedback Project
Read: Project Instructions
To Do: Stage 1: Email feedback for prayer partner
To Do: Stage 1: Provide redemptive feedback for work-related person (suggested in-person)
To Do: Stage 2: Meet in person with your Prayer Partner to discuss feedback
Take: Self Reflection
Class 15: Community Renewal: Resurrection
Read: GR2 | Powlison, "Unconditional Love"
Read: GR2 | Edwards, "Love the Sum of All Virtue"
Listen: Tim Keller: "A New Community"
Listen: Tim Keller: "A Community of Peace-Making"
Read: Prayer of Examen Devotional — Week 2
Class 16: Community Renewal: Glory
Read: Catch-up on any incomplete assignments
To Do: In-class Key Work Moments exercise
Listen: Tim Keller: "Work and Rest"
Listen: David H. Kim: "The Power of Words"
Read: Prayer of Discernment Devotional — Week 1 (Esther)
Saturday Session: Imagination
Attend: Saturday session — Placeholder for Leaders
Cultural Renewal Project
Read: Cultural Renewal Project guidelines
Class 17: Cultural Renewal: Death
Read: GR2 | Sayers, "Why Work?"
Listen: David H. Kim: "Workplace Discipleship"
Read: Prayer of Discernment Devotional — Week 2 (Esther)
Submit: Personal Devotional (set deadline in order to start reading for Class 22)
Class 18: Cultural Renewal: Resurrection
Read: Book | Mouw, He Shines in All that Is Fair
Read: GR3 | Berkhof, "Common Grace"
Listen: Tim Keller: "Blueprint for Social Revival"
Read: GR3 | Strange, "Can the Enemy of My Enemy Be My Friend?"
Read: Near Unto God Devotional — Week 1
Class 19: Cultural Renewal: Resurrection
Read: GR3 | Stackhouse, Capitalism, Society, Religion & Poor
Read: GR3 | Hunter, "To Change the World"
Listen: Keller: The Gospel in a Pluralistic Society
Watch: Bacote, Public Faithfulness
Read: Book | Bacote, The Spirit in Public Theology
Read: Near Unto God Devotional — Week 2
Class 20: Cultural Renewal: Resurrection
To Do: Prepare 2-min CRP Pitch
Listen: Tim Keller: "The Dream of the Kingdom"
Read: Callings Devotional — Week 1
Attend: Saturday Session — Placeholder for Leaders
Class 21: Cultural Renewal: Glory
Read: Kuyper, "Inaugural Address"
Read: Book | Wolter's, Creation Regained, ch 5
Listen: Godfrey: "On Abraham Kuyper"
Read: Case Study on Sphere Sovereignty
Read: Callings Devotional — Week 2
Class 22: Cultural Renewal: Religion
Read: Book | Kuyper, Lectures on Calvinism: Religion
Read: Callings Devotional — Week 3
Class 23: Cultural Renewal: Politics
Read: Book | Kuyper, Lectures on Calvinism: Politics
Read: Callings Devotional — Week 4
Class 24: Cultural Renewal: Science
Read: Book | Kuyper, Lectures on Calvinism: Science
Read: Tim Keller on Creation and Evolution
Read: Fellows Devotional — Week 1
Saturday Session: Cultural Renewal Project Submission & Presentation
Submit: Completed Project
Read: Renewal in the Workplace exercise (to be completed during session)
Watch: David H. Kim, Isaiah 6 — Responding to the Right Call
Class 25: Cultural Renewal: Art
Read: Book | Kuyper, Lectures on Calvinism: Art
Read: Fellows Devotional — Week 2
Class 26: Cultural Renewal: Future
Read: Book | Kuyper, Lectures on Calvinism: Future
Read: Fellows Devotional — Week 3