How do pastors go about influencing those who influence culture, the “cultural elites” as Tim Keller calls them? Is it wrong to strategize ministry in order to reach this class of society? Doesn’t the apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 1:27–28, have something to say about how God uses the “weak and foolish” to shame the “strong and wise” of the world?
Keller (TGC vice president, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, and author of Center Church) and Russell Moore (president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and author of Onward) have unique vantage points on this issue. From media moguls to presidents, they often interact with individuals who help set the course for Western culture. To help us think more carefully about this topic, Kevin DeYoung (pastor of University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan) asks Keller and Moore how they prioritize the gospel in their own ministry to today’s thought- and culture-shapers. Moore helpfully unfolds a Christian vision of power, while Keller considers the need for engaging the city with gospel confidence—the very place where culture is formed. They also offer caution and encouragement for church planters strategizing to reach cultural elites.
Finally, DeYoung asks if some critiques of TGC and similar ministries might be valid: Do we focus too much on reaching the cultural elites that we ignore “the least of these”? Don’t miss how Keller and Moore respond.