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Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City

, 2012
ISBN: 9780310499213
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Today many pastors are struggling to adapt to a post-Christian culture without abandoning orthodox theology. How do we communicate the concepts of grace and substitutionary atonement in our globalized culture and context?

In Center Church, Timothy Keller offers challenging insights and provocative questions based on over twenty years of ministry in New York City. This book outlines a theological vision for ministry—applying classic doctrines to our time and place—organized around three core commitments:

  • Gospel-centered: The gospel of grace in Jesus Christ changes everything, from our hearts to our community to the world. It completely reshapes the content, tone and strategy of all that we do
  • City-centered: With a positive approach toward our culture, we learn to affirm that cities are wonderful, strategic and underserved places for gospel ministry
  • Movement-centered: Instead of building our own tribe, we seek the prosperity and peace of our community as we are led by the Holy Spirit.

Check out the expanded content from this volume in the Center Church Collection (3 vols.).

Resource Experts
  • Explores how to communicate grace and atonement in the modern church context
  • Outlines a ministry vision centered around the Gospel, cities, and movement
  • Introduction: Center Church Theological Vision
  • Gospel
    • Gospel Theology
    • Gospel Renewal
  • City
    • Gospel Contextualization
    • City Vision
    • Cultural Engagement
  • Movement
    • Missional Community
    • Integrative Ministry
    • Movement Dynamics
  • Epilogue: Late Modernity and the Center Church

Top Highlights

“So what is a theological vision? It is a faithful restatement of the gospel with rich implications for life, ministry, and mission in a type of culture at a moment in history.” (Page 19)

“Preaching is compelling to young secular adults not if preachers use video clips from their favorite movies and dress informally and sound sophisticated, but if the preachers understand their hearts and culture so well that listeners feel the force of the sermon’s reasoning, even if in the end they don’t agree with it. This is not a matter of style or program.” (Page 15)

“As I read, reflected, and taught, I came to the conclusion that a more biblical theme for ministerial evaluation than either success or faithfulness is fruitfulness.” (Page 13)

“When fruitfulness is our criterion for evaluation, we are held accountable but not crushed by the expectation that a certain number of lives will be changed dramatically under our ministry.” (Page 14)

“At the heart of all of the biblical writers’ theology is redemption through substitution.” (Page 40)

In this important book, Tim Keller unpacks the gospel and gently but firmly reminds us that it is nonnegotiable. At the same time, he enables us to think through how we can responsibly interact with the culture, how we can—indeed, must—appreciate good things within it, and how we can firmly and faithfully apply the gospel to it.

—D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

  • Title: Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City
  • Author: Timothy Keller
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Print Publication Date: 2012
  • Logos Release Date: 2012
  • Pages: 395
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Church work; City churches; City missions; Evangelistic work
  • ISBNs: 9780310499213, 0310499216
  • Resource ID: LLS:9780310494195
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-09-28T22:11:42Z

The Logos edition of Center Church equips you for better study with cutting-edge functionality and features. Whether you are performing Bible word studies, preparing a sermon, or researching and writing a paper, Logos Bible Software gives you the tools you need to use your digital library effectively and efficiently by searching for verses, finding Scripture references and citations instantly. Additionally, important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, commentaries, theology texts, and other resources in your library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. With most Logos resources, you can take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Timothy Keller

Timothy Keller (1950-2023) was the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, which he started in 1989. For over 20 years, he led a diverse congregation of young professionals with a weekly attendance of over 5,000. He was also president of Redeemer City to City, which plants new churches in New York and other cities. For the last decade, the organization has launched over 200 churches in 35 cities. Logos has collected his sermons in the Timothy Keller Sermon Archive (1989–2011) and Timothy Keller Sermon Archive (2012–2013).

Keller wrote multiple New York Times bestselling books, including The Reason for God and The Prodigal God. His recent work included The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God, Walking with God through Pain and Suffering, and Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God's Work. He is also wrote his own commentary and study guide series. Christianity Today has said, “Fifty years from now, if evangelical Christians are widely known for their love of cities, their commitment to mercy and justice, and their love of their neighbors, Timothy Keller will be remembered as a pioneer of the new urban Christians.”


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  1. Shaun Lee

    Shaun Lee


    I have read the print edition and thoroughly enjoyed the read. It's one book that you can keep referring to again and again. The logos pre-order price is more expensive than the print edition though, which is not cool, because I do not see myself using much of the logos features as I would read it as I would an ebook.