King’s Cross: The Story of the World in the Life of Jesus by Timothy Keller
(I enjoyed this as an audio book and, though deeply meaningful, it was very listenable)
Tim Keller is the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, and I have listened to his audio sermons for quite a few years – in fact, he is one of a very short list of preachers whose sermons I will actually pay to listen to. I’m familiar with his style and some of the flow of his thought, but this was by far the longest thing I’ve consumed of his to date. I was not disappointed.
Keller is an incredible communicator. He has an uncanny knack for taking a floating idea, snatch it from the atmosphere by way of scholarship, place it in it’s theological and sociological framework, and then in incredible ways apply these truths like a pastor. Keller is unique in his ability to say things you understand while retaining a strong sense of intellectual and spiritual integrity.
“King’s Cross” is basically a devotional and pastoral commentary of the Gospel of Mark. I will, in the future, use it as such and I would highly recommend it to anyone for the same purpose. He doesn’t exhaust the text, that wasn’t his intention, but he doesn’t leave anything out that needs to be in this book. His approach is creative, but in a familiar way; by that I mean that he will offer perspectives that you may not have heard before, but he does it in a way that causes you to think, “surely I’ve heard this before”. This is the genius of the book. The insights he offers are things that, after hearing them, you feel like you should have known. But, to be clear, I don’t believe that he is merely exploiting “low hanging theological fruit”, it is more the way he presents these things than the harvesting of them that makes them so easy to digest.
Highly recommended is my review of this book. Whether for a pastor or just someone who wants to understand Jesus’ life and the timeless, glorious message of the Gospel of Mark better – this is a definite gem in the Christian archives.
“Mark has given the story of Jesus and declared that this is actually the world’s true story as well. Jesus, the King, created all things in love. He has the power and beauty to see His vision for the world through to its glorious end; to undo everything we have been able to do to harm it. To accomplish that He had to come and die for it. Three days later He rose again, and one day will come back again to usher in a renewed creation. The Gospel is the ultimate story that shows victory coming out of defeat, strength coming out of weakness, life coming out of death, rescue from abandonment. And because it is a true story it gives us hope because we know that life is really like that.”
We should start a book exchange. My goal this year is to read at least 1 book per week. (Bonhoeffer’s bio has taken a bit longer…so good though).
That’s an ambitious reading plan, I’m duly impressed. I’d be willing to try an exchange as long as it wasn’t one of the Twilight books or 50 Shades of anything.