Why Didn’t Douthat Recommend Keller?

When Ross encouraged liberals to go to church on Easter, he even mentioned Marilynne Robinson:

Liberals, give mainline Protestantism another chance.

Do it for your political philosophy: More religion would make liberalism more intellectually coherent (the “created” in “created equal” is there for a reason), more politically effective, more rooted in its own history, less of a congerie of suspicious “allies” and more of an actual fraternity.

Do it for your friends and neighbors, town and cities: Thriving congregations have spillover effects that even anti-Trump marches can’t match.

Do it for your family: Church is good for health and happiness, it’s a better place to meet a mate than Tinder, and even its most modernized form is still an ark of memory, a link between the living and the dead.

I understand that there’s the minor problem of actual belief. But honestly, dear liberals, many of you do believe in the kind of open Gospel that a lot of mainline churches preach.

If pressed, most of you aren’t hard-core atheists: You pursue religious experiences, you have affinities for Unitarianism or Quakerism, you can even appreciate Christian orthodoxy when it’s woven into Marilynne Robinson novels or the “Letter From Birmingham Jail.”

Did Princeton Seminary spook Douthat? Shouldn’t Jonathan Merritt be outraged that Douthat snubbed Keller?


19 thoughts on “Why Didn’t Douthat Recommend Keller?

  1. Dr., Hart, you should have IDed the guys in your photo. I might be the only reader old enough to recognize them. Incidentally, they didn’t think they were “liberals.”


  2. Why Didn’t Douthat Recommend Keller?

    Because Keller still has that one fatal flaw: He hasn’t changed his teachings on the Atonement, Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, Heaven, Hell, Demons, the Trinity, etc. Even worse, he still adheres to Biblical teaching on sexual relations between men and women. The terrifying implication is that he thinks that same-sex relations are sinful and gay marriage is prohibited.

    Tim Keller: erudite, winsome, cultured, articulate, and poised; connoisseur of “the arts” and “the humanities,” welcoming of the Refugees, and The Other, comfortable living in The City with and among gays, Democrats, immigrants, powerful women, people of color, and the entire mélange of urban multiculturalism has the same exact views on gay marriage as John Hagee, Jerry Falwell Jr., and Ken Ham.

    Mainline Protestants will never accept Keller with the warm embrace they’ve given to Rachel Held Evans. He’s too far gone. Too compromised. He’s still got that too much of that Ol’ Time Religion in his soul.

    To paraphrase Richard Dawkins: A fundamentalist in a cheap tuxedo is still a fundamentalist.


  3. D.G,
    Should we be concerned that you seem to be obsessed with Keller? Indications of your obsession are your articles about him especially when the mention of Keller is a stretch for the article.


  4. Curt, I’m only taking my cues on TKNY from the Gospel Industrial Complex. When they tell me Keller is no longer important, I’ll move on.

    If you can’t stand the fame, don’t be a poster boy.


  5. D.G.,
    So the people at Gospel Coalition are teachers you imitate in a way that makes you bizarro Gospel Coalition?

    BTW, don’t forget that poster boy is a fellow believer who shows the fruit of the Spirit more than you do.


  6. Thank God I’m not a woman, slave, gentile or obsessed like this:

    So we begin our examination of this study committee’s Report by pointing out the sins against God’s Order of Creation of Mrs. Keller serving as a voting member of the committee. The Moderator of the General Assembly sinned by calling Mrs. Keller to serve in this way; Mrs. Keller herself sinned by agreeing to do so; and Pastor Keller sinned in allowing his wife to sit formally as a voting member with teaching and ruling elders making theological judgments and recommendations concerning the proper relationship of the sexes within Christ’s Church.


  7. Dr. Hart, many thanks for sharing your views and insights, and for providing this forum. It’s refreshing. Here people can talk about the things that they are not able to otherwise in complete freedom.
    To answer good fellow blogger Curt on being obsessed with Keller – I see you commenting on a wide variety of people and topics, though, when some issues are more outward and glaring in not squaring with the scriptures, it would seem warranted to continue to to speak to them, and does not strike me as ‘obsession’.


  8. Help with how to pronounce Ross Douthat’s name – Do that?….Dow that?….Duh that?….D’ That?…..Dowt hat? Never heard it pronounced on the air or in videos….


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