Now This Would be Funny (or not)

Unlike this:

Tim Keller: (Walks outside on beautiful fall day, inhales deeply, and sighs contentedly) This is such a lovely day that you could never imagine unless you accepted that yesterday was so much more oppressive than you ever dared imagine (and then he sat on the bench at the bus stop to pose for pictures).

Rachel Held Evans: What exactly are you implying about Kathy Keller?

Keller: Umm. Nothing, really. I just am saying that this particular day is pleasant because I get to have lunch with New York Times reporter, Nick Kristof.

R. Scott Clark: You know that bus doesn’t go to Nebraska.

Keller: (Starts walking east on 83rd Street) Why would anyone want to leave the city?

Evans: You don’t know any reporters of color?

Keller: I don’t have to respond to critics. Never have, never will


32 thoughts on “Now This Would be Funny (or not)

  1. Has Tim Keller indeed ever being known to respond to critics? The most in depth, respectful and balanced critique of Keller’s theology and lack of adherence to his supposed Presbyterian ecclesiology was in the book Engaging with Keller. Sadly Tim didn’t engage as far as I know with anything detailed in this excellent volume or bother to reply to the various contributors and their valid and serious concerns about his theology.
    I think Tim would do his basic integrity some good if he simply shifted to a non Presbyterian denomination as I see very little of the Westminster Confession and Reformed practise in his church practise. He simply is not adhering to his Presbyterian ministerial vows, and that is pretty serious for integrity, isn’t it? And couldn’t the same be said of his fellow PCA ministers in the GC? The chapter about Presbyterian ecclesiology in Engaging by DG Hart could equally applied to Tim’s fellow GC and T4G PCA peers regarding their inconsistent practise.


  2. Paul,

    Perhaps you could be more specific about how, in your view, Keller has failed to adhere to his Presbyterian ministerial vows? That seems like a hefty charge to proffer in the absence of substantiating evidence. Besides, if this is such a clear-cut case, why is no one bringing charges against Keller in his presbytery, or why is no one within the denomination taking steps to expel the NY Metro Presbytery for its failure to discipline Keller, or why is no one in another NAPARC denomination taking steps to expel the PCA from NAPARC for its failure to expel the NY Metro Presbytery for its failure to discipline Keller?

    For someone who claims to be an expert on how Presbyterianism should operate, you seem to be making your allegations against Keller in a rather un-Presbyterian fashion. I see no reason why Keller needs to respond to extra-judicial efforts to question his ministerial integrity. In fact, I tend to admire Keller for ignoring the crack-pots who are only comfortable criticizing him in venues where they bear no evidentiary burden and where they are not subject to cross-examination.


  3. Bobby, I think it rather strains credulity that Keller is approving of the form of gov prescribed in the WCF as he recommends presbytery and church money for the planting of non presbyterian churches. The very action serves to be dismissive and less than circumspect in pursuing and preserving the peace and purity of the church to whom he’s taken vows. Is he requiring that ministerial candidates supported by aforementioned monies submit themselves to the presbytery for internship, licensure and examination as to their belief in and fidelity to the system of doctrine as laid out in the WCF? If not, why not and on what ground does he recuse himself or his church or the presbytery in which he serves from these requirements in the BCO. That’s just off the top of my head, but give me the time and means and I could build a decent prosecution. That’s all before we touch upon the accommodation of doctrine to a ‘postmodern’ vocabulary or the emphasis of SJ that begins to threaten to eclipse the historic gospel understanding, complete with modern day comparison to liberalism and appropriation of missional theology from the PCUSA.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. evan/Bobby, that’s a hoot. Keller’s presbytery — which consists mainly of Redeemer church plants — going to charge its bishop?

    And you are the standard bearer for Presbyterianism?


  5. I’m Presbyterian enough to know that the internet is not the place to adjudicate such issues. Attorneys who know of another’s professional misconduct are under a duty to report that conduct so that the bar can take proper disciplinary action. One doesn’t go around publishing such allegations in comment threads on blogs. You guys hold yourselves out as the unofficial guardians of Presbyterianism. In reality, you’re a bunch of fundamentalist Baptists who’ve overcome your misgivings about paedobaptism.

    And, Sean, the conduct you’re referenced is an action of the church, not Keller personally. If such action violated the BCO, then the church should be removed. But it would not warrant subjecting Keller to professional discipline. After all, it is quite common for pastors ordained in the PCA to pastor churches that are not in the PCA, and which may even plant churches that are not in the PCA. For example, Tim Bayly pastored two churches that were not in the PCA, even while maintaining ministerial credentials in the PCA. Also, please note that the proper plural of “money” is “moneys,” not “monies.” The latter is slowly coming into acceptance, however, because post-modern people are too lazy to learn to spell their own language. If you’re free to adopt the post-modern attitude towards English spelling, then I suppose that Keller is free to adopt post-modern vocabulary to describe the Gospel…whatever that allegation means.

    I don’t hold myself out as a standard-bearer for Presbyterianism. I’m simply pointing out the rank hypocrisy evident in Paul’s more-Presbyterian-than-thou rant.


  6. Evan773,
    I reckon your feathers are a little ruffled by my comments, which are not a rant but observations which you do not address in any specific way. I don’t use words either like crackpot which I guess is aimed at me; are you channeling David Robinson or actually David writing under a pseudonym? He is the type who gets a little hot under the collar when addressing folks who don’t agree with him.
    I am not charging Keller with anything. What I am saying is that any even cursory check of his ministry and Redeemer NY shows the virtual absence of anything remotely Presbyterian. So how does he tie his vows as a Presbyterian minister called to uphold the Westminster Confession into what he is doing? That question is not a charge or accusation, nor am I or others in OL guardians of Presbyterian doctrine. OL does make one think though, and has led me to some excellent books which I have read especially about theonomy and folks like John Rushdooney. I am not a learned scholar in Presbyterian polity or MA degree theologian, merely a pleb/serf who appreciates seeing folks live by what they profess to uphold, be they politicians or ministers.
    I wonder why Keller’s peers have not taken up his virtual absence of Reformed identity up more. Perhaps to do so would incur the wrath of those who, among other issues, know that to even question such influential figures may lead to the curtailment of networks, contacts, resources, influence and finances. Best to keep quiet, some may think.
    Evan773, have a good day, and may any further exchanges be more cordial and kindly in tone, however much we may disagree.


  7. I always wonder if Keller has a picture of Machen on the wall of his office.

    Tim Keller— “We are an interfaith gathering today, and I freely acknowledge that every faith has great resources for dealing with suffering and injustice in the world. …Christians believe that in Jesus, God’s Son, divinity became vulnerable to and involved in suffering and death. He didn’t come as a general or emperor; he came as a carpenter…..True, we don’t know the reason God allows evil and suffering to continue, but we know what the reason isn’t, what it can’t be. It can’t be that he doesn’t love us.

    Click to access service_of_remembrance.pdf

    (A Defense of Particular Redemption), Rushton: “Those who love the gospel have fellowship with each other, and they are despised by the world and are separated from it. Lo! the people shall dwell alone, and shall nor be reckoned among the nations. If, therefore, the people of God are united in the bond of truth, nothing is so effectual to scatter
    them as the advancement of doctrines which obscure the glory of Christ’s Effective Atonement. Those who will not speak of God’s particular love for His elect tend directly to abase the Lord Jesus and to destroy unity among His people. The effect is also to exalt the preacher. While their doctrine has a direct tendency to obscure the glory of Christ it tends to magnify themselves. The preacher becomes the bond of union.”


  8. Indeed metrosexuals love Keller, and like their close cousins they can get quite snarky when questioned. I see Evan773 even mutters about “rank hypocrisy”. I get the sense this guy is a bit of a cough drop; stop mithering me Evan and man up.
    After Engaging with Keller we now need a book called ‘Why the PCA isn’t Presbyterian anymore’ as it hurtles towards women’s ordination and is hardly a bastion of conservative practise. Why did Kevin deYoung defect to the PCA? Probably because it is middle ground (think GC/T4G) on issues like worship as he is, with a big dollop of evangelicalism to top it off.
    Sorry to give quick fire points and thoughts, but time is short.
    On a less heated matter, DG you recently asked if I knew of the Royals TV series. I have heard of it but not seen it, but it is smart making it as such stuff appeals and sells to folks overseas like Father Brown does. We don’t have a TV license so we don’t have to fund the liberal smart ass behemoth known as the BBC who essentially control our UK media. Such series like the Royals seem to make folks look quite glamorous (like Queen Vic.), probably to appeal to female viewers. Of the real Royals as they exist, Charles is somewhat interesting for his care for countryside matters and has a keen sense of humour. William and Kate are nice, very nice, but not much more. Other Royals live nicely off their reputation and upper class connections.


  9. UK Paul, the series in question is the Netflix production, “The Crown.” Written by the same guy who did the screenplay for The Queen. And executive producer is Stephen Daldry (very accomplished). These guys are Brits and I think the series is respectful of the royal family. But some Brits I know think the series humanizes them too much, as in reveals (or speculates) on private lives.


  10. People are spending hours of their life writing little witty love poems and skits for Keller?

    Does he squeeze in that spot between John Lennon and Jesus Christ for popularity among inner-city rich folk?


  11. I have just read about how Netflix produced “The Crown”. I am glad they filmed it as the BBC either make subtle but very deliberate mockery of people like the Royals and upper class people except in some decent documentaries. The only ones they have uncritical and fawning admiration for is liberal luvvies like George Clooney and Elton John. A typical demolition job the BBC did recently was on Churchill being beaten in 1945 by socialist Clement Atlee. They portrayed the latter as a virtual saint and Churchill as a nasty old bloke.
    Amazon do some very good series and bloated tax funded (4 billion dollars) virtual monopolies like the BBC will hopefully be levelled by internet based productions in the long run. Meanwhile I’ll be content repeatedly watching The Andy Griffith show with Barney Fife and also The Fugitive.


  12. Paul & DGH,

    Trust me. My feathers are not ruffled. I’m a lawyer by day; that’s just how I write.

    Even so, if the PCA isn’t truly Presbyterian, draft an overture to the next OPC General Assembly to begin the process of kicking the PCA out of NAPARC. If you actually believe your own averments, act on them.

    Then, again, I’d guess that more people in the PCA share Keller’s vision of Presbyterianism than yours. It’s not that people in the PCA are afraid to question him. They largely agree with him, so there’s no reason to question him. Lastly, I see no reason why the ordination of women is material to whether a church is Presbyterian or not. The Westminster Confession and Larger and Shorter Catechisms are silent on the issue. Perhaps it wasn’t prudent practice at the time to ordain gifted women to pastoral ministry. But the issue of ministerial eligibility is expressly addressed in Q158 of the Larger Catechism, and the Divines did not include gender-based restrictions on the office. I see no reason why we must be bound by the prudential social concerns of previous generations.


  13. Re: Responding to critics.

    I seem to recall a mild back and forth on Twitter between you two right before Christmas. A quick scan of the timeline didn’t show anything. Did I dream this or did it go down the memory hole?


  14. Evan,
    So would the ‘prudential social concerns’ about women not being ordained around the time of the W.C. now mean women can now teach and be ordained in these supposedly more enlightened times? And have those concerns being today being so negated that we can also have homosexuals in the ministry as they are not explicitly excluded either in the W.C.?
    I note over here in the U.K.that the Church of England which went full tilt towards ordained women is now largely a ship of fools as a result except for a few brave BCP types. I see you are a lawyer. Sorry, but my abiding stereotype of such legal folks which may need to be banished from my head is Mr Tulkinghorn from Bleak House. The BBC did a great production of this great book. Dickens had the measure of some professions or a few bad examples with uncanny accuracy.


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