King’s Cross by Tim Keller is fantastic. I’ve been reading it devotionally since I bought it a couple of weeks ago. It’s hard. I want to keep on reading.
But it works so well devotionally, I’ll keep trying. What I mean is, I keep thinking about it throughout the day. Not that this should be the litmus test for devotional literature. That’s silly. But there is simply enough for me to think on within each section. Sometimes I read a section twice.
So here are some thoughts after reading about 60 pages…
1. More and more I’m attracted to writers who write like a poet. Their words move. There is life in the way the words are situated, not just used. Most Christian writers only whore out words. They do not love them. They use them. Tim Keller is not so much a poet. But he doesn’t merely use words. He writes clearly. Not many people can do this and still be interesting.
2. Familiarity breeds contempt. But contempt does not always out itself. Sometimes it is there but you cannot see it. I was not excited about a book going through Mark. I’ve taught and read it so much. We should fight against this familiarity while still being glad we have 4 gospels and many places to go when we need to hear from God.
3. I started reading this book at the very beginning of the Rob Bell drama. To read about the life of Jesus as he deals with Pharisees is helpful. That’s all I should say at this point. Except I think Peterson may be right.
4. Keller quotes George MacDonald, “…those who believe more must not be hard on those who believe less.” Then Keller answers why. “Because faith is ultimately not a virtue; it’s a gift.” There is a grand canyon between those two ways of looking at faith. And we are watching that gulf grow at rapid pace. Why? We love to be hard on people.
5. Different groups tend to try and co-opt Jesus. This will not do. He stands athwart the designs of those would ask him to identify with their group and he says, “You must identify with me.”