CNLP 548: Tim Keller on the Rise and Fall of the American Evangelical Church, Pastoral Moral Failures, Justice and Forgiveness, and Liberal Democracy and Nominal Christianity

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In a wide-ranging interview, Tim Keller talks about the decline of the mainline and evangelical church, how forgiveness and justice get mishandled during pastoral moral failures, the threat to liberal democracy, civil dialogue and how nominal Christianity created consensus.

Welcome to Episode 548 of the podcast. Listen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

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Tim Keller touches on some really important topics about the health of The Church today and thriving in the future. But there is another really important health factor in YOUR church that you need to have a pulse on. And that’s the health of your church’s Generosity.

Keeping track of generosity and giving is important all year long, but especially in January/February as you gear up for a new year.

You likely already know what your total giving was for last year, but do you have a good perspective on what happened IN your giving database?

What if there was a tool that would eliminate the guesswork and provide your team with significant insights into the state of generosity in your church?

Thankfully our friends at Generis have developed just that with the free Generosity Pulse Report.

This tool assesses the current health of your church’s giving and provides deeper clarity into your financial reality beyond the total given to your church in the most recent year. You will see the behavior of your givers, not just the financial numbers.

Not only does it provide a snapshot of your culture of Generosity… but most importantly, helps you understand what might be possible if you implemented a few key measures in YOUR church.

Generis has over 33 years in the field and they know that the best way to begin building a thriving culture of generosity is to understand your church’s current state of generosity and stewardship, which is why they created the Generosity Pulse Report.

And the best part? Generis has made this tool TOTALLY FREE to church leaders. That’s right, you get all this, and you don’t even have to pay.

Don’t miss out on this timely opportunity to assess the health of generosity in your church. Visit to schedule a completely free pulse report and 30 minutes from a team member for your church today


Who else here has intentionality high on your New Year’s Resolution list?

A new year is the perfect time to implement more intentional leadership habits.

As I’m talking with Leaders, I hear all the time that 1:1 meeting effectiveness is a felt need.

Why? Because your people aren’t participating. They’re not feeling cared for and developed. They’re not engaged in the process.

My friends at Leadr are working to solve that problem.

They’re the first-ever People Development Software, focused on helping you have better 1:1 meetings that are employee-focused, drive engagement, and put an end to meeting dread.

And as a one-stop-shop software solution for all things people-focused, they also help you streamline the other healthy leadership habits you’re struggling with, such as effective feedback, clear goals, and better performance reviews.

They believe this all starts with the 1:1 meeting. And there’s no better time to start.

Join me in becoming a more intentional leader this year by checking out for how you can better engage and grow your team today through 1:1 meetings: a leader’s most powerful leadership development tool.

Be sure to mention promo code Carey for 20% off your first year.

Conversation Links

Gospel In Life

Redeemer City to City 

The Decline and Renewal of the American Church (Extended Version)

Forgive By Tim Keller

The Reason for God By Tim Keller

Prodigal God By Tim Keller

The Meaning of Marriage By Tim Keller

The Democratization of American Christianity by Nathan O. Hatch

God and Race in American Politics: A Short History by Mark A. Noll

The Civil War as a Theological Crisis by Mark A. Noll

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Thriving Church Checklist

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Quotes from Episode 548

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Spread the Word. Leave a Rating and Review.

Hopefully, this episode has helped you identify or break a growth barrier. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?

The best way to do that is to rate the podcast on Apple Podcasts and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher and on TuneIn as well.

Your ratings and reviews help us place the podcast in front of new leaders and listeners. Your feedback also lets me know how I can better serve you.

Thank you for being so awesome.

Next Episode: Bill McKendry

Advertising expert Bill McKendry breaks down how to build a Superbowl Ad that works, the marketing mistakes churches and non-profits make, the story and principles behind the massive He Gets Us campaign, and how to brand when you have no budget.

Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 549.

Lead With Confidence and Clarity. Grow Your Church.

As leaders, we tend to see the challenges and roadblocks before other people do.

We've all been there before...

  • You need to refresh your vision for the future but know that change will be an issue for that person.
  • You're overstaffed (or missing a key role) and can't find the right person to fill the role.
  • You aren't reaching enough new people even though you've tried everything that's working for other churches.
  • You can see the issue but aren't confident in what to do about it.

And with another Sunday morning coming up, it'll just have to wait until next week when you have a few minutes to figure it out.

Now ask yourself this:

What would it feel like to have those answers at your fingertips 24/7?

Whether it's reaching new people, improving your preaching, increasing volunteers, refreshing your vision, engaging your staff, or any of the countless challenges we face as church leaders, The Art of Leadership Academy will equip you to lead your church with confidence and clarity.

Between comprehensive church leadership courses, live coaching calls, staff and volunteer training resources, and direct access to a private online community of senior-level church leaders, you'll get the exact insights and answers that fuel your church for growth.

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Carey Nieuwhof
Carey Nieuwhof

Carey Nieuwhof is a best-selling leadership author, speaker, podcaster, former attorney, and church planter. He hosts one of today’s most influential leadership podcasts, and his online content is accessed by leaders over 1.5 million times a month. He speaks to leaders around the world about leadership, change, and personal growth.