Jewish Exiles’ Ministry In Babylon And Christians In The World Today (timothy Keller, Redeemer Pca)

Timothy J. Keller is an American Christian apologist, author, speaker, and the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, New York. He is the author of several books, including The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, which garnered awards from World Magazine and Christianity Today and was No. 7 on the New York Times Best Seller list for non-fiction in March, 2008.


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  1. Margaret Comstock

    I do not understand the connection between the captivity in Babylon and today’s cities. The Lord God planned the exile to keep those people safe until their return to Jerusalem 70 years later. He told them to live normal lives while in Babylon to prepare them for the rebuilding of the temple and city of Jerusalem. This is certainly not the case in our cities of today. Am I missing something?

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      I do not think that it is one and the same thing, but that there is a strong parallel.

  2. marinete

    I agree with DR. Eli lizorkin many interpret the Bible in error and want at all costs to convince others to accept too.

    Concordo com o DR. Eli lizorkin muitos interpretam a biblia de forma equivocada e querem a todo custo convencer os outros a aceitarem também.

  3. kostya

    The way Dr Keller began this with the comparison between what the Babylonians intended for Israel in the exile, what the false Jewish prophets stated, and what God wanted as expressed through Jeremiah, was a wonderful revelation to me.
    There is one basic assumption in the talk that followed. It does not change the fact that we need to be engaged for the transformation of our cities by the gospel in the way Dr Keller outlines, but it does give cities a different spiritual dimension. The assumption is the very nature of the cities and their initial purpose and meaning. Dr Keller has a very positive view about their initial purpose. But there are those like the French philosopher Jacques Ellul, who in his book, The Meaning of the City, had a very negative view. He saw cities as beginning with Cain on the negative side of salvation history. They were begun by Cain because he was unsatisfied with the security that God had offered him with the mark. For Ellul, the city is a place and symbol of open rebellion against God and in it’s nature fundamentally opposed to him. Ellul calls it a “counter-creation”. .Ellul’s view of Jerusalem and how God chose it, is also interesting.

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      I think that Prof. Ellul though being a prolific writter was simply mistaken. I always say that the engineers, should engineer. Pastors pastor. Doctors doctor. Philosophers should do what they do best too – philosphy :-).

  4. Drs. Charles van den Berg

    With so many towns and cities as today, the Christianity has more opportunities than ever before. Both for Christians themselves, as for the spread of Christianity in the world of today.

  5. Terry Lafferty

    I will be sharing this with my classes!

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Dear Terry, what are you reaching and where?

  6. Michelle

    Good points. As Mr. Keller shared about the Israelites in Babylon, I was reminded of Joseph in the Old Testament. Isn’t this what Joseph had to do – keep his faith and his heritage as a Jew – in order to bring success to the Egyptians in dealing with the plague? Suppose he had not retained his faith and connection to God? Suppose he had not looked to God for wisdom concerning the pharaoh’s dreams? Suppose he allowed himself to be assimilated? Then all would have been lost.

    Mr. Keller’s words also remind me of “tikkun olam” (please forgive me if I spelled that incorrectly) – to “repair the world.” How can we bring healing to the world if we don’t walk in the light God has given us, and share that light with the world? If we allow ourselves to be assimilated, the world would be lost.

    And yes, I agree we are to encourage spiritual seeking while holding Christ up as the ultimate satisfaction of that quest. But I would like to add that we should hold up Jesus Christ as the Jew He was: Torah believing, Torah observant, and ultimately satisfying Torah requirements by being the final sacrifice.

    1. Kim Ballard

      Michelle thanks for your comment esp during this season of Pesach. How glorious would it be if the “church” had not amalgamated into what is now “Easter” but held fast as Yeshua and the early believers did to Torah commanding the keeping of G-d’s appointed time. To be looking back and understand that Yeshua’s Crucifixion was the Feast of Unleveaned Bread and His Resurrection the Feast of First Fruits and to celebrate His passover in our own redemption. I know this seems off topic but if we as believer’s understood that Yeshua did not abolish G-d’s instruction, Torah( torah means instruction not “law”)we would not be a people of assimilation but consecrated to serve the world. Tikkun Olam is a great concept birth out of Kabbalah teaching, however better still…Isaiah 49:6, ” The Lord said to me,

      “I have a greater task for you, my servant.
      Not only will you restore to greatness
      the people of Israel who have survived,
      but I will also make you a light to the nations—so that all the world may be saved.”
      What a calling… would love you to read and comment on the following link:
      Chag Pesach Same’ach! Happy and Healthy Passover,

      1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

        Dear Kim, shalom! Thank you for your comment. One point of correction – Tikkun Olam is a great concept that is known in Kabbalah, but it is by no means originated with Kabballah. Tikkun Oliam (Restoration of the world) is a Biblical Jewish concept and therefore much older than Kabbalah. The concept of regeneration of the Earth is all over Hebrew Bible and is certainly present in NT especially in the Book of Revelation. Let’s keep on thinking together. Dr. Eli

      2. Michelle

        Hi Kim!

        Yes, Christians need to understand Passover. We need to understand all of the feasts! I heartily agree with you there.

        Um, the link you provided is not working. Could you check it?


  7. Anna Dempsey

    A great introduction to a subject which needs all the prayerfulness we can given it in the hope we can change our cities for God.

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Babylon is a city, but so is heavenly Jerusalem.