by Henry Kaestner
If you spend any time browsing through the titles of Tim Keller's sermons, you'd think that he rarely talks about faith in the workplace. However, spend some time listening to his sermons (on the Gospel in Life podcast among other sources) and you'll find that he talks about faith and work quite a bit. His sermon, "A World of Idols" is a great example of this.
There is much to apply from this sermon, and I don't want to shortchange you listening to him by giving too much detail with the key learnings of his sermon. If you're a frequent reader to this blog, you'll know that my favorite way to consume Tim Keller is on a run.....this doesn't make for the fastest pace, but there's nothing like coming back from a 46 minute run feeling leaner AND wiser.
Tim's chosen Scripture for this lesson is from Acts 17 as Paul engages in the Agora....the marketplace.... in Athens. The marketplace for wares and services....and the marketplace for ideas.
Keller talks about how we often engage in the market, how 98% of the time we have the wrong balance, either between being too much of a moralist or a relativist. Paul manages to bridge the two beautifully in the way we most often don't. Paul's model of course? Jesus. And Keller looks at how His interaction with Mary and Martha after the death of Lazarus shows the compassion and conviction that we might use as inspiration for sharing our faith.
My favorite piece is likely how Keller chooses not to tell us how to share in the marketplace. He says that we are often practical at times to the point of being impractical. The only way to know "how" to share our faith in the marketplace is to endeavor to have the knowledge of the Father that Jesus, and maybe more realistically for us, that Paul had. Should Paul's knowledge and faith still seem inaccessible, Keller breaks down the story of Naaman who brought soil back from Jerusalem as a witness to his new Faith. Naaman pledged to spread the dirt of his new faith by not embracing, nor running away from his cultural context, but engaging it.
Where are you spreading the dirt?