Executive director Collin Hansen: In a post-Christian context, the church is challenged to collaborate—and humbly pray—for new strategies in its witness.
When Tim Keller arrived in New York City in 1989 to plant Redeemer Presbyterian Church, about 30 percent of Manhattan residents claimed no religion.
In 2023, about 26 percent of people in Indiana identify with no particular religion. The numbers are around the same or higher in states across the US—Nevada and New York, Colorado and Wisconsin.
The country’s disaffiliation and apathy to faith underscores the urgent need for cultural apologetics, according to Collin Hansen, editor in chief of The Gospel Coalition (TGC) and executive director of its new initiative named for TGC cofounder Tim Keller.
The Keller Center for Cultural Apologetics, which launched last week, isn’t out to replicate the 72-year-old pastor but to equip leaders to also think deeply about how to present the gospel to the post-Christian context they find themselves in.
“This is not about teaching everyone to think what Tim Keller thinks, but this is about helping people to think the way he learned to think about his culture and applying that to our own day,” said Hansen.
This next generation of ministers and apologists have a big challenge before them. The Keller Center has gathered 26 fellows to collaborate and generate resources for the church. Among the first is Hansen’s spiritual biography on Keller—Timothy Keller: His Spiritual and Intellectual Formation—which released last week.
TGC says it has also commissioned “the largest-ever survey of people who have left the church” and plans to share the results through its forthcoming book The Great Dechurching: Who’s Leaving, Why Are They Going, and What Will It Take to Bring Them Back? The book is written by Jim Davis, Michael Graham, and Ryan Burge. …