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Tim Keller and Communion with God

December 8, 2008

For several months now, I have been slowly working through Edmund Clowney and Tim Keller’s Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World lecture audio. It is a long lecture series (something like 36 lectures). It has been wonderfully helpful and fun to listen to. One of the last sessions that Keller does is focused on the pastor and his communion with God. This was one of the most beneficial sessions for sustained spiritual growth as a pastor. He focused a good bit of time on mediation and what are some practical steps to doing it. Here are some insights from Keller from some notes I took down – they are brief and scattered, sorry:

  1. Seek the face of God in experience.
    1. Don’t go after goosebumps.
    2. Seek God.
  2. There is something between Bible Study and prayer – meditation
    1. Take a specific part of your Bible-study (some new insight into a passage) and meditate on it “until your heart gets hot.”
    2. Do a slow and gentle reading.
    3. Meditate on parts that have been impressed upon me – This is how:
      1. Praise and adoration for an attribute or action of God in the text.
      2. Confess sin.
      3. In light of your praise and your confessed sin, solicit God for help to see his praiseworthiness and to fight our confessed sin.
      4. How is Jesus the ultimate example of this attribute, the solution of this sin, and source of this grace?

Keller attributes his understanding of this practice of meditation to Luther’s 40 page letter to his barber on how to pray. I found Luther’s letter and Keller’s explanation (with the addition of a 4th step) so helpful.

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