Guessing TKNY's Inspiration

From our co-editor comes word of a book that analyzes all of the sermon’s that Tim Keller preached between 1989 and 2004. The author then lists the ten-most frequently cited figures in those 985 sermons.

Today’s competition, running until Saturday (February 28), is for OL readers to guess those top-ten names. The person who gets the most right will win a copy of an OL inspired book. (Those who played this game by email are ineligible.)


89 thoughts on “Guessing TKNY's Inspiration

  1. (1) Tim Keller
    (2) Kathy Keller
    (3) John Piper
    (4) Jonathan Edwards
    (5) Harvie Conn
    (6) Peter Drucker
    (7) W. Edwards Deming
    (8) Hugh Hefner
    (9) Andre the Giant
    (10) Anita Ekberg

    I kind of ran out of steam there towards the end…


  2. I’m in.

    1. C.S. Lewis
    2. J.R.R. Tolkien
    3. D. Bonhoeffer
    4. Francis Schaeffer
    5. Kant
    6. Tolstoy
    7. Freud
    8. T.S. Eliot
    9. E. Clowney
    10. J.H. Newman


  3. Michael, you’re PCA, that’s not fair.

    Here’s the other 8



  4. Conflated from Eric and Michael’s lists:
    1. The Lord Jesus Christ
    2. C.S. Lewis
    3. J.R.R. Tolkien
    4. D. Bonhoeffer
    5. Tim Keller
    6. Kathy Keller
    7. John Piper
    8. Jonathan Edwards
    9. George Whitefield
    10. Richard Dawkins


  5. Wait, it’s a trick question.

    Who will admit to being the biggest TKNY ditto head?

    Scratch my stellar list of ten, I’m with Michael. If he wins, send him the book, I’ll come to his house and make him breakfast in bed. No joke.


  6. Anglicans

    1. CS Lewis
    2. NT Wright


    3. Richard Lovelace


    4. Francis Collins


    5. Plantinga


    6. Chesterton

    7. Tolkien


    8. Clowney

    9. Volf

    and then for wild guessing

    10. either Bonhoeffer or the brothers Niebuhr


  7. (1) Jesus
    (2) Paul
    (3) G.K. Chesterton
    (4) Jonathan Edwards
    (5) Tolkien
    (6) C.S. Lewis
    (7) President Clinton
    (8) President Bush (George W.)
    (9) Kathy Keller
    (10) Tim Keller


  8. Not looking at anyone else’s list before I do mine:

    CS Lewis
    GK Chesterton
    Francis Schaeffer
    NT Wright
    St Augustine
    Friedrich Nietzsche
    Soren Kierkegaard
    Dorothy Sayers
    Jonathan Edwards
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer


  9. Like Chortles, I tried not to peek:

    Soren Kierkegaard
    C.S. Lewis
    The Doctor
    N.T. Wright
    Jack Miller
    Richard Lovelace
    David Powlison
    Jerry Bridges
    John Stott


  10. Conn
    Lloyd Jones
    Charles Taylor
    C.S. Lewis

    I’m guessing he won’t own about three of those, but he’s TKNY maybe he does what he wants


  11. I think Michael must win. I’ve only heard about 6 Keller talks/sermons, and I’ve heard him quote/reference at least half that list.

    My bonus picks: Bono and, yah, DMLJ.


  12. C S Lewis
    Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones
    C H Spurgeon
    Jonathan Edwards
    Martin Luther
    George Whitefield
    G K Chesterton
    J R R Tolkein
    John Newton

    (OK, maybe not the last one, but I was struggling). My list was tilted towards those who had something to say about idolatry and ‘the heart’.


  13. Chris Townsend, I don’t know who you are, or where you came from, but you need to comment more.

    You’re up there with Michael T as one of my favorite newbies around here.

    Thanks man, happy Friday.


  14. Erik, whatever hat you pulled this guy out of, must resemble Bryan’s because that was wacky, looking him up.

    Oh, and honorable mentions:

    Keith: The Doctor
    Vermonster: 3
    RGM: N Tom Wrong
    d4v34xtv2thx11384,8,15,16,23 and 42: bono

    Oh, and McMark calling Clowney an evangelical, yeah, this thread is going well, IMHO FWIW.

    BFF CWU suckering? DGH? Well, I never..


  15. Not hearing one Keller sermon and trying not to read too many prior lists, here is my uninformed stab of who I think a mega-church multi campus NYC PCA minister would reference:

    1) David
    2) Christ
    3) Paul
    4) Adam
    5) Piper
    6) Spurgeon
    7) Calvin
    8) Mayor Giuliani (sp?)
    9) Bush
    10) Pope, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriquez, or Darwin

    When do the results come out?


  16. Since Keller is TKNY let’s go with a New York Themed List:

    (1) Donald Trump
    (2) Boss Tweed
    (3) Andy Warhol
    (4) Lou Reed
    (5) Woody Allen
    (6) Bette Gordon
    (7) Steve Buscemi
    (8) Nora Ephron
    (9) Lionel Trilling
    (10) Derek Jeter


  17. I would use most of Michael’s list though I would substitute Martin Luther King Jr for Freud. And there might be some references to Michelle Alexander. I would also put in the Bible as a commonly used reference.


  18. I wish I could say I didn’t peek at the other lists but,

    1. C.S. Lewis
    2. J.R.R. Tolkien
    3. Jonathan Edwards
    4. Richard Lovelace
    5. Soren Kierkegaard
    6. Dietrich Bonhoeffer
    7. John Bunyan
    8. Augustine
    9. Stanley Hauerwas
    10. Leslie Newbigen


  19. Michael,

    From what I know of TKNY, in all honesty, you put together a great list.

    If it were up to me, I’d say the OLTS book is “Christian View of Man” by my favorite author, that book is on amazon (and WTS, I later found out), and is in the mail coming to (all about) me.

    While we wait, I wanted to leave you some of my favorite author, I truly have appreciated the interaction you and I have had. Do take care, and hope all is well at your PCA. I’d love to hear more about it sometime, do drop by providencepresbyterianchurch dot org if you are ever in the area. I need to be staying off these blogs, but we all know that..:

    “Acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ, as He is offered to us in the gospel of His redeeming work, is saving faith. Despairing of any salvation to be obtained by our own efforts, we simply trust in Him to save us; we say no longer, as we contemplate the Cross, merely “He saved others” or “He saved the world” or “He saved the Church”; but we say, every one of us, by the strange individualizing power of faith, “He loved me and gave Himself for me.” When a man once says that, in his heart and not merely with his lips, then no matter what his guilt may be, no matter how far he is beyond any human pale, no matter how little opportunity he has for making good the evil that he has done, he is a ransomed soul, a child of God forever.”

    -J Gresham Machen,
    “What is Faith?” pg. 154



  20. The sermon on the drive home used the following:

    The Village Voice
    The Sound of Music
    Carousel, the musical
    Jerry Springer’s press agent
    John Newton hymn


  21. Erik,
    Don’t know why Christians, who know they are saved solely because of God’s mercy and grace, can feel free to talk down to others. Tell me your secret(s).


  22. Curt,

    You’ve been given free rein here to peddle your nonsense endlessly.

    That doesn’t mean you have a license to say dumb things without response.

    If you only want affirmation, go to the “My Little Pony” site comments section.

    Count your blessings.


  23. Good hints here from the bio of Keller mini-me Scotty Sauls:

    Influential voices in Scott’s life include Tim Keller, CS Lewis, Leslie Newbigin, Soong Chan Rah, Jonathan Edwards, Johnny Cash, Joni Eareckson Tada, Miroslav Volf, Paul Tripp, Ann Voskamp, Martin Luther King, Jr., Marva Dawn, and NT Wright.


  24. One thing that’s interesting is how much these PCA guys trot out a whole roster of names to tell everyone who has influenced them.

    Whatever happened to opening up the Bible with your Confessions alongside you and coming up with some original thoughts in light of them?


  25. Going through some books and just ran across:

    “Humanism as the Next Step: An Introduction for Liberal Protestants, Catholics, and Jews” (1954)

    Humanists know their target market.


  26. Erik,

    Yeah, I know.

    Have a good weekend and Lord’s day. I have 15+ kids on their way for my daughter’s 6th Birthday.

    David R, nice to see you again. Wonder how the Repub report in my church is coming..



  27. If anyone here likes great college basketball, check out Northern Iowa at Wichita State on ESPN at 1:00 central time today. Could be the best matchup ever in the Missouri Valley Conference between highly rated teams.


  28. So the second sermon on the commute was on 1 Cor 6-7

    I could forgive myself for thinking he dismisses the notion that fornication is really worse than any other sin, all sin hurts the community. The community being harmed seems to be the worst sin we can commit.

    Then tells us multiple times that the translators that the translators messed it all up. So I guess 2000 years of believers reading what is plainly there isn’t important. He delights in setting up two straw men at the extremes and presents his way as the sensible (but muddled to me) middle.

    On the passage regarding uniting with a prostitute, how they become one flesh, he appears to assume that everyone thinks this merely means a symbol of “the beast with two backs” and then enlightens everyone on how this means more than that, that emotional stuff can enter and that it can get complicated eventually. I doubt anyone in history has read that passage and thought the larger intention of Paul was that sexual unity merely means a melding of two bodies…

    I fail to see how anyone could be convicted of sin by this sermon, no matter how demented they are.

    I can see why he is loved and misstrusted.


    CS Lewis from Screwtape, taking a minute to explain Screwtape’s concepts to the audience (really necessary???)

    A book by John White that might be out of print


  29. Erik,
    You demonstrate the problem really well. You assume the right to judge me as being beneath you. THerefore, I am to blame for your personal insults. There is nothing in you disagreeing with me that calls on you to be insulting. Blaming the target for one’s attacks is a trait found in abusive personalities.


  30. ‘m in late, and don’t have time for ten, but no one has yet said:

    1) Lesslie Newbigin, first place.

    Also, I bet Calvin is in there pretty high, and perhaps Flannery O’Connor and TS Eliot. Maybe James Davison Hunter?

    It seems others are likely correct about CS Lewis, Richard Lovelace, Volf and J. Edwards.

    Then again, I am sure if someone did that with my sermons, it would most likely be Jack Black or Kramer.


  31. Curt,

    But aren’t you attacking me in suggesting I have an abusive personality?

    How about we leave this psychobabble to the women and just converse as men. Thicken your skin a little.


  32. Erik,
    Never said you had an abusive personality. I said blaming the target is a trait of such a personality, but that doesn’t imply you have one.

    In addition, listing a trait of any personality type is a listing. Now let’s look at what you are writing:

    You’ve been given free rein here to peddle your nonsense endlessly.

    That doesn’t mean you have a license to say dumb things without response.

    How is the weather today on the Planet Lovetron?

    This game you play of talking down to others while putting the onus on them for what you say is a game I’m not going to play.


  33. Curt – This game you play of talking down to others while putting the onus on them for what you say is a game I’m not going to play.

    Erik – O.K.

    Have you noticed that I’m the only one still talking to you, though?


  34. Erik, I’ll read this after finishing my January 25 reading in my <Grace for the moment Daily Bible reading. Then on to Christian view of man.

    And then, that other thing. Not sure I’ll ever hit Mad Men, our host isn’t really a fan, and I have to be selective. Thought you wanted to know.


  35. Oh, and Mr. Charter..

    One scruple:

    You do this for several years, you eventually see it all.

    Rather, consider with me

    Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.


    But, as it is written,
    “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
    nor the heart of man imagined,
    what God has prepared for those who love him”—


  36. Erik,
    I appreciate the apology. I, myself, haven’t always apologized when I should have.

    If you really want to understand my political beliefs, realize two things. The direction that Lenin took the Soviet Union in was significantly different from what Marx taught. Also, I don’t disagree with Marx in the same way Lenin did. I will leave two youtube links to show how Lenin and the Soviet Union departed from Marxism. This might help in terms of understanding the context of what I believe.

    —This video lasts almost 3 minutes

    —This video lasts almost 16 minutes


  37. AB, wrong R. Lovelace. He’s a revival theorist from Princeton Sem. Wrote The Dynamics of Spiritual Life.


  38. Curt,

    My childhood friend (we went to elementary, middle, and high school together) Alex Green interviewed your homeboy chomsky

    A. Green wrote a lot for Huffington post, you should look him up.



  39. Tom Chantry—groups like the Gospel Coalition find it so hard to understand why people like us are skeptical of their project. Structurally, I have a problem, because if you’re Southern Baptist you have to sacrifice nothing in throwing your energy into something like the Gospel Coalition. If you’re a Presbyterian and want to throw your energy into the Gospel Coalition, you have to sacrifice everything that makes you a Presbyterian.” Gentlemen, you do know who the co-leader of the Coalition is, don’t you?

    And then there’s this: “We have by and large avoided personality cults. There are one or two big names in the PCA, but what strikes me about things like the Southern Baptist Convention is that for all of the fact that they repudiate Presbyterianism and they repudiate Episcopalianism, they are functionally Episcopalian, because they vest great power in significant individuals…What I like about Presbyterianism is that that power which you have outside your congregation is regulated by rules and procedures and other people. It isn’t just rooted in the charismatic personality.”

    A few years back I got word that a seminary classmate of mine had taken up the pulpit in a new church not far from mine. I had lost track of him, and I wanted to know what he was up to, and so I went to his church’s website. On their front page I found the following statement: “We are a church founded on the ministerial philosophy of Tim Keller and Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York.” And after I dug through every sub-page on their site I eventually found an acknowledgement that they were indeed a part of the Presbyterian Church in America.

    But no, you don’t have Presbyterian bishops. Of course not. You have been spared from the contemporary idolatry of the Big Name through your superior polity.


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