The Difference Christianity Could Make in the City

Tim Keller | February 11, 2016

At Redeemer Presbyterian Church we often speak of serving, strengthening, and “renewing” New York City. When we talk like this, we must be careful not to deny common grace. We believe God gives all people—not just Christians—talent and insight to preserve and cultivate human life.
But what if the body of Christ in center-city New York were, for example, to triple over the next decade or so? What difference might it make? I’ve been talking with our elders and lead pastors about our vision for what our church could look like, by God’s grace, in the coming decades. We might see: 

1. An explosion of radical philanthropy. 

Most people don’t go into “philanthropic mode” and give away large sums of money until they are very rich. Yet studies show that Christians adopt a philanthropic mindset far sooner, before significant wealth is amassed.

An explosion of God’s grace would prompt his people to limit their lifestyle and consumption in order to give away startling amounts. I think Christian givers could learn to be more non-paternalistic and involved with communities of need, and better partners with those who lead various charities and ministries. 

2. An increase in civility and true pluralism. 

Even in democratic Western cultures, the groups holding the reins of cultural power have always excluded and silenced…

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