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The Desperate Need for Deep People

By November 27, 2017 2 Comments

By Brian Keepers

Superficiality is the curse of our age. The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people. Richard J. Foster penned these words nearly forty years ago (Celebration of Discipline), but he could have written them yesterday.

We’re living in crazy times. Vitriolic rhetoric. Sharp divisions. Fake news and accusations of fake news. Lots of people talking at each other and past each other, but so few people actually talking to one another. So many words spew out on television and twitter and the blogosphere and every other form of social media. Yet so little is really being said that breaks beyond the superficial and gets to a place of deep substance. And where is the civility and generosity?

This is why I’m so grateful for Perspectives Journal and  The Twelve blog. There is a depth to the writing, flavored with an honesty and generosity, that frankly I find absent in these times. There is a desire to break beneath superficiality, even to wade into controversy, but to do so in a way that is different from how “the world” tends to do it (and “most Christians” for that matter). I love the diversity of voices and topics–all within a broad and generous Reformed theological framework that not only makes me think but draws me into a deeper discipleship.

There’s another key reason that I love reading Perspectives and The Twelve. There is a relational quality that I simply don’t have with other blogs I read and have written for. And maybe this is what adds to the virtues of generosity and civility: we know each other (or are getting introduced to each other), and the value of relationship makes a difference in the way we relate to one other. All of us who write for The Twelve not only appreciate the comments and dialogue that often result from a post; we are equally grateful for the relationships that develop.

I’m more convinced than ever that we need journals like Perspectives and blog spaces like The Twelve. And we need your help to continue to provide the deep content and generous spirit that characterizes this kind of writing and conversation.

Will you give a special gift today? You can play an important part in ensuring that Perspectives and The Twelve continue to help nurture a vision for “deep people” that is in such desperate need today.

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Brian Keepers

Brian Keepers is the lead pastor of Trinity Reformed Church in Orange City, Iowa.


  • Rowland Van Es Jr says:

    Sounds like John Killinger, in a A Reader on Preaching By Day et. al. (2005) writing about preaching and silence: Silence gives us focus & silence gives us substance. Words of poets have “husks of silence”still clinging to them…

  • RLG says:

    What is it that makes a person (or people) deep? If there is such a desperate need for such people, what is the substance of “depth”?

    I get the feeling, according to this article, that depth may have something to do with religious perception and conviction. But perhaps to the person on the street, looking at life through the lens of religion (including Christianity), only amounts to superficiality. Those in the CRC camp (of religion) may think of Pentecostal experiential religion as shallow or superficial. Whereas those who may have no religious perspective, may look at Christians, or Muslims, or Hindus as looking at life through the superficiality of primitive religion and the supernatural. So what may be considered depth of thought or superficiality may be different for different people. Maybe the superficiality comes from our own unwillingness to try to understand the thinking of others and what is substantial to them.

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