I recently read How to Reach the West Again by Timothy Keller. I learned a lot from this short book. Tim is a deep thinker and unfolds these ideas like very few people can.
The book is not a list of practical steps. It is an exploration of how to adapt our approach to outreach in 2020 and beyond.
Here are some main takeaways for me:
1. Instead of lamenting Christianity’s influence in our society, we need to approach our culture like missionaries, being creative in how we engage with the world around us.
2. Traditional ways of explaining the good news don’t make sense to many people these days. We need new ways to express the good news!
3. People used to think that “the meaning of life is to be good.” Increasingly, the narrative is becoming, “the meaning of life is to be free.” This has deep implications for how we express the good news.
4. Tim gives a framework for how we might approach social issues in a Biblical way. It is based on the way that the fledgling church in the New Testament approached these issues. It is “category-defying” because the list doesn’t fall nicely into any political bucket.
The list is:
- Multi-racial and multi-ethnic
- Highly committed to caring for the poor and marginalized
- Non-retaliatory, marked by a commitment to forgiveness
- Strongly and practically against abortion and infanticide
- Revolutionizing the sex ethic
I would highly recommend reading this short book. It’s a quick read (58 pages long). It is available for free as an ebook, or as an audio book. You can also download a bibliography and a discussion guide.