For whatever reason, when I first began life as a solo pastor and had to pick my own Biblical books through which to preach, I have majored on the gospels.
Carl Robbins, a fellow PCA pastor in SC, did an informal but pretty thorough study and determined the gospels, of all things, were neglected in our preaching. One of the dangers of lectio continua preaching (preaching through whole books) is that a church might spend ten years in Ezekiel and never once encounter Jesus in the gospels.
Tim Keller was here Thursday night. I am glad I got to go. It reminded me of why I do what I do --try to introduce people to Jesus in all his awesome power. Many people are shocked when they are forced to ponder what Jesus actually said. I remember myself that experience in reading through Martyn Lloyd-Jones on the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus says incredibly offensive things, even as he extends his hand in compassion and love to all who will come to him. There is no other historical figure anything like him. He simply could not be "made up." No fictional character has ever proven to be as compelling.
One of Tim's points that stuck with me was just this:
Throughout history, many people have claimed to be God.
Throughout history, many people have poured their lives out in love and compassion for others.
Never, other than Jesus, have those two things coexisted in the same person.
Beautiful. I look forward to hearing Tim at General Assembly, and, DV, in NYC over Labor Day!