In my few interactions with David Robertson, I have noticed that he does not suffer fools patiently. He also seems to have a patronizing attitude toward Christianity in the United States. Nothing wrong with either of these outlooks, but I do wonder if he sometimes hears himself.
For instance, he has been a defender of Tim Keller and appears at times to be inspired by the NYC pastor. But could anyone imagine TKNY writing this:
the kind of ‘reconciliation’ being posited is papering over the real cracks in society. This is more about politicians’ games and media manipulation than any attempt to deal with the real problems in our society. It enabled politicians to say look we are ‘better together’ and it allowed the Church to feel significant.
I found it all more than a little patronising and fake. And I’m not sure I do want to be reconciled to the poverty, injustice, sexual abuse and the growing gaps between the rich and powerful and the poor and powerless. I want to scream at the darkness, not pretend everything is sweetness and light. But even though there is a deeper reconciliation in society needed, there is something even more basic than that. . . .
God’s new community is salt and light in a dark and tasteless world. We are not those who speak of the shared values of the powerful elites, who say ‘peace, peace when there is no peace’. We are those who point to Christ, the light of the world and who ourselves live by that light. Reconciliation will only come through reformation, renewal and revival!
It would be hard to imagine Keller writing about Mayors Guiliani or Bloomberg the way that Robertson writes about Prime Minister Cameron and other UK officials (though if Keller channeled Robertson he would be a lot more interesting to read).
It would also be hard not to see a bit of Robertson’s views about religion and politics in the way that American Christians conduct themselves (except for Keller):
In 1979 I had just become a Christian – I saw in the Gospel a far deeper hope and more radical solution that even Mrs Thatcher was offering and, as I wept, I dedicated myself to proclaiming the cause of Christ, where-ever He called me. Today I weep again for my country and I rededicate myself to that same cause. I don’t want to spend my time trying to steady the sinking ship. I want to man the lifeboats and rescue the drowning. I want to turn the world upside down. Is that so wrong?!
So you say you want a revolution? A Christian one? Say hello to the U.S. of A.