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Tim Keller Explains ‘Conversion of the Heart’

Tim Keller used this story to illustrate the “conversion of the heart.”

Many years ago, when I was in college, I was part of a Christian fellowship, and there was a young man who joined up. And it shocked us all. This young man was famous on the campus for being incredibly sexually active, and he had the looks to go with it. He was handsome and charismatic. And then, to our surprise he came into the fellowship where he declared that “He’s a Christian now … and he foreswears his sexual past … and he going to live a chaste, pure life.”

He threw himself into the Christian activities. Everyone said, “Wow! This is a real change.” However, it wasn’t long before we came to realize that this young man, in every group, any committee, any Bible study, whether he was the leader or not, he had to be the leader. He always sought control. There was power struggle after power struggle, and after a while it became clear that when he was sexually active it really wasn’t about sex; it was about power. He would go after some girl until she fell for him, and then he lost all interest. It wasn’t about sex. It was about power.

When he came into the church, he suddenly adopted all the Christian beliefs, the Statements of Faith, and Christian practices. He stopped living in sexual promiscuity. But deep down inside, he still wanted power. Power in relationships.

Keller points out that we all have the need for deeper conversion in our heart. He says, “Deep down inside, every one of our hearts is saying, ‘If I have money, if I have approval, if I have power, if I have comfort, if I have control, if I have romance ….’ Every one of our hearts needs that deeper conversion from our idols to the Living God.”

You can read a free PDF copy of the book here.

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