Tuesday, March 25, 2008

THE APOSTLE PAUL AT MARS HILL AND TIM KELLER AT UC BERKELEY
...what do you think?

Keller at UC Berkeley (the Q and A starts at 45:30)



Paul in Athens
Acts 17:16 Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols. 17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. 18 Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, “What does this babbler wish to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities”—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection. 19 And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean.” 21 Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.

Paul Addresses the Areopagus
Acts 17:22 So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for

“‘In him we live and move and have our being’;

as even some of your own poets have said,

“‘For we are indeed his offspring.’

29 Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.

32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, “We will hear you again about this.” 33 So Paul went out from their midst. 34 But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them. (emphasis mine)

59 comments:

cyd said...

To quote one of my favorite female commenters:

"The contrast couldn't be more stunning..."

Hayden said...

I listened to the last 10 minutes and can tell he stumbled BUT I think his answer to the last question was pretty good.

Admittedly, I didn't have the time to listen to all of it, because I preach tomorrow and am working on Matthew 6:5-15.

What was objectionable? Was it something in the part I didn't listen to?

SJ Camp said...

Hayden
Thanks for your thoughts here. The clip is long (about 94 minutes in total) but well worth listening to in its entirety when you have the time.

I am not going to share my thoughts just yet. I just put up both examples and am letting them speak for themselves.

I will comment a bit later about what I thought.
Campi

gigantor1231 said...

SJ

The heart of what he said seems to be that, as Christians, we should take his spin on the grace narrative, that means we should only present what we have held as truth but not choose sides! So, unlike Paul, we should not preach Christ and Him and crucified and in so doing automatically know that what we present offends the world, sinners love darkness and hate light, we should simply not choose sides.
First, this is just non-sense, as hard as he may desire it he will always be on a side of the issue, any thing else is just intellectual dishonesty and avoidance of what is true! When we are drawn to Christ and chosen to be saved we are automatically on a side, the side of truth, God's side, we can not explain that away. We are commanded to tell the truth no matter how divisive, uncomfortable or dis unifying it may be, what we need to understand is that when we do this it makes no difference the response, it is God's place to do the rest. We choose a side, better yet God has chosen us to be on His side! This is unavoidable, we can not dance around it, as Pastor Keller has done, nice dance but you always fall at the end!

andy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
andy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bretts said...

I listened to ALL of this a couple of weeks ago and thought it was brilliant. I’m not from the same tradition as Pastor Keller and I’m not real familiar with his writings, but I am deeply impressed with his reasoning.

I'm not sure why he is being compared to Paul in this article, because he doesn’t appear like the type that would raise his authority to the level of an apostle. If you compare him to any figure in scripture shouldn’t it be to the model of Jesus Christ in the 4 gospels? Pastor Keller falls far short on that mark; but then again don’t we all.

I can’t help but wonder if he had christian blogs in mind with his comment in section (33:15 – 33:25)

“A man is most often right in what he affirms and wrong in what he denies.”
- F.D. Maurice

SJ Camp said...

To All
No hidden agenda here. I heard someone compare Keller to Paul on Mars Hill and thought it would be great to post both accounts here and see what you all had to say.

Have at it.
Steve

gigantor1231 said...

"WHERE IS THE DEFINITIVENESS?"

Pastor Keller is not definitive, what he does well though is water things down and make them unoffensive, more acceptable to the masses. For instance his reply to the question about homosexual marriage, instead of answering according to the word of God he is pragmatic. Even when he was addressed about the Word of God he equivocated, he basically denied that it is God's inspired word. He did say the Gospels were a accurate historical account but beyond that he was very unclear.
I have to admit though he was smooth and articulate in his presentation... SO WHAT!

Acts 17: 30;

"30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead."

Jesus was definitive, Paul was definitive as a matter of fact all of the apostles, prophets etc... were definitive. So, why isn't pastor Keller?

rosemarie said...

Having listened to the entire presentation this is what popped into my head: Keller is to Paul as Dallas Willard is to John MacArthur.

TheThinker said...

I didn't really hear anything about repentance....but at the same time, I'm pretty sure his focus was not on preaching the Gospel, but on poking holes in anti-Christian philosophical reasoning. As one of the questioners noted...he was more defensive in our modern understanding than apologetic-defensive/promotional. He definitely spoke to the evidential nature of the resurrection and it's utmost importance to Christianity, but he didn't speak in regard to understanding that the resurrection means eternal damnation to those who don't place their faith in Christ Jesus...thus, his address of Heaven and Hell may have appeared reasonable and not Biblical (from an apologetic approach).

It's all about intentions here...if his intention was to preach the Gospel then perhaps he failed...if his intention was something else, perhaps he succeeded...

Evaluation...

The question, therefore, becomes "What intentions should he have had?"

David said...

Hi All,

I thought that this was a very enlightening video. This pastor was going into the heart of modern American Liberalism, and arguing for Christ. He was nervous, yes, but he was very direct in his interpretation of a Christian world-view.

We need more of this. This is coming from a pastor for a conservative denomination in the church.

Steve, thank you for posting this.

mike rucker said...

as the last commentor stated, keller had the guts to go into what is certainly "enemy territory" - if you have to stay in that paradigm - and enter into discussion. berkeley isn't athens - there aren't a lot of carved idols referencing unseen gods that he could have used as a springboard for discussion. you find common ground. being the parent of three teenagers, beating them into submission with a grand apologetic almost insures that they will do just the opposite. the only way something will stick in their heads is if, by some miracle of miracles, they are allowed to reach the conclusion.

no one here criticizing keller has the [censored] to go into berkeley and do what he did, so stop sitting in your ivory towers judging him.

one would think i'd been in this comments section before ... what with all the 'comment deleted' headings.

if you really, truly think you are going to go into berkeley and start preaching that God had to nail a man to a cross to forgive us, then please - do so. add some supralapsarianisms and perspicuities, too. and toss in how God picked some - you could probably say, most of you here at berkeley - to burn in Hell for eternity for His glory. that should get their attention, eh? oh - and be sure to really sabotage your message by adding the p.s. - God loves you - piece. well, Jesus does, anyway - the Old Man seems to have a bit of a temper.

was it Ghandi who said, "i like your Christ - what i don't like is your Christians"? i need to get that on a bumper sticker.

if you're interested, i have a long (and getting longer) interaction with Keller's book on my blog. he's written a good book that should be read by everyone in the pews, if only to address the questions they've always been too scared to raise.

the contrast should not be keller and paul - athens and berkeley is the more stark of the two. many-godded and godless or man-is-god are far, far different mentalities.

mike rucker
fairburn, georgia, usa
mikerucker.wordpress.com

Debbie said...

Reading through this passage from Acts 17, the verbs that tell us how Paul was engaging with the people of Athens are: observing (v.16), reasoning (v.17), proclaiming (v.19), conversing (v.18) and preaching (v.18). They each have different and important meanings. (Wouldn’t you love to be a “fly on the wall” in each of these conversations? :-)) But in the end, there is no doubt that Paul shared THE GOSPEL (v. 34 tells us about those who believed.) Crystal clear and powerfully! Anything short of this really is an exercise in futility.

That’s where the danger lies --- we can observe, reason and converse endlessly (v. 21 tells us that this is what the Athenians did) but to no avail if we fail to share the hope of the Gospel and the need for repentance (v.30). As I watched this exchange and felt the weight and wearisome burden that these young men and women at Berkley (the philosophy majors, in particular) must live under, I kept thinking about the freedom and hope that could be theirs in the simplicity and power of the Gospel message! Imagine exchanging this heavy yoke and burden for one that is easy and light. Matthew 11:28-30 kept going through my mind as I was listening to their questions. I couldn’t help but pray that they will come to know His rest.

The Spokesman said...

"Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you,yet with gentleness and reverence (1 Peter 3:13-15).

There is more to apologetics than gentleness and reverence (grace narrative) - there is first and foremost a zeal for what is good (a love for the truth) that flows from sanctifying Christ as Lord in your heart. Then there is to be a defense (logical explanation and reasoning) for the faith. We are to be unoffensive (gentle and reverent) but the message will not be - that's why there is persecution for the sake of righteousness. We are never to attempt to remove the offense of the cross or of the Christ - He is a rock of offense and a stone of stumbling (Romans 9:33).

Truth is clear and we should be too! Keller missed some important opporunities - especially when the atheist questioner spoke of "geographical accident" - see Acts 17:26.

Grace and peace
Olan

SJ Camp said...

Olan
We are to be unoffensive (gentle and reverent) but the message will not be - that's why there is persecution for the sake of righteousness. We are never to attempt to remove the offense of the cross or of the Christ - He is a rock of offense and a stone of stumbling (Romans 9:33).

Bingo!

The message, not the audience, is sovereign.
Steve

SJ Camp said...

rosemarie
Having listened to the entire presentation this is what popped into my head: Keller is to Paul as Dallas Willard is to John MacArthur.

Quote of the day.

SJ Camp said...

bretts
I’m not from the same tradition as Pastor Keller and I’m not real familiar with his writings, but I am deeply impressed with his reasoning.

Well said. Keller does have a brilliant mind.

My question for you would be: did TK use his reasoning wisely in the exchanges with the students by giving lucid biblical answers to their deeply philosophical moorings? IOW, was he speaking as a reformed pastor/teacher or as a philosopher trying to relate to his audience?

I'm not opposed to relating to those we are communicating to... What I am opposed to is being purposely silent on the cross and the truth claims of the gospel of Jesus Christ in order to be more endeared by the very audience he is trying to proclaim the message of sola fide sola gratia too?

Thanks for your thoughts here...
Steve

SJ Camp said...

Gig
Jesus was definitive, Paul was definitive as a matter of fact all of the apostles, prophets etc... were definitive. So, why isn't pastor Keller?

Postmodern pragmatism which rules the day in emerging outreach.

SJ Camp said...

David
I thought that this was a very enlightening video. This pastor was going into the heart of modern American Liberalism, and arguing for Christ.

Kudos to Keller for going to these secular universities. That does take courage and probably does explain his obvious nervousness. I wish more pastors would do this kind of "in the marketplace" dialogue with unbelievers.

Two things to remember:

1. Keller wasn't exactly in a totally secularized hostile environment or in front of an audience of equal animosity against the gospel; These events were sponsored by a Christian organization (The Veritas Forum) and in conjunction with the Christian on campus group RUG (Reformed University Fellowship).

2. I didn't hear him arguing; I heard him going out of his way to be embraced by them. He wasn't an biblical apologist being polemical about the cross of the Lord jesus Christ which is foolishness to those who are perishing, but he was more accommodating and entertaining to win them over to him as a person by speaking around the text of Scripture rather than speaking out of the text of Scripture.

Thanks for your comment and i am glad i posted this here as well. Good discussion this.

Peace.
Campius

SJ Camp said...

Mike
was it Ghandi who said, "i like your Christ - what i don't like is your Christians"?

Ghandi also said, "love the sinner hate the sin." Ghandi was woefully wrong on both accounts. You don't have to go to ECBerk trying to explain the Ordo Salutis, but you do have to go in the grace and power of the gospel of the Lord jesus Christ which is a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense to those who are perishing - a foolish assertion and belief. (1 Cor. 1:22-23)

Did Keller cause a riot while there? Was he driven out of town for being too bold for the Lord? Did the attending audience throw stones or throw praise?

Thanks for your thoughts here...
Steve

SJ Camp said...

Debbie
That’s where the danger lies --- we can observe, reason and converse endlessly (v. 21 tells us that this is what the Athenians did) but to no avail if we fail to share the hope of the Gospel and the need for repentance (v.30). As I watched this exchange and felt the weight and wearisome burden that these young men and women at Berkley (the philosophy majors, in particular) must live under, I kept thinking about the freedom and hope that could be theirs in the simplicity and power of the Gospel message! Imagine exchanging this heavy yoke and burden for one that is easy and light. Matthew 11:28-30 kept going through my mind as I was listening to their questions. I couldn’t help but pray that they will come to know His rest.

Nailed it. Thank you.
Steve

rosemarie said...

I agree that we don't know if Keller was there to preach the gospel or to open conversation and dialog. Listening to the introduction, the descriptor that caught my attention was "open-minded." This lends me to lean toward the position that his goal was the latter. If so, he met his goal.

I do not fault the man for being willing to work in those parameters if those were the in fact the parameters given. Having worked in higher education, I can tell you that this style fits in with the currently favored model of instruction. Keller would be walking into enemy territory on most campuses across the country, including "Christian" colleges. UC Berzerkly just has a grander reputation and tuition. Generally one has to be invited to speak at a venue like this, so it has more to do with being invited and compensated than having intestinal fortitude.

My criticism comes from comparing this style to Paul's Mars Hill address, which is the point of this post, was it not? There are some surface level similarities, but not enough that I consider it a valid comparison. Mars Hill Lite perhaps, but not in the same league with Paul.

The status associated in being a UC Berkeley student shouldn't lead us to assume that they are any tougher a crowd than those at Mars Hill or any where else. Sadly, I would agree that the education level and temperament of most entering college, even big name colleges, necessitates putting the dots very close together. Even then they need encouragement in order to connect them. That said, the gospel must never be watered down or cheapened. The gospel is foolishness to those who are perishing no matter how you present it to them. Our job is to give it faithfully and leave the results to God.

As for being in ivory towers, I assure you, I am made from the same dirt as everyone else. No ivory towers here. I didn't mind spending my time to listening to the man and had only heard about him briefly before watching the video. Looking forward to perusing your blog, Mr Rucker.

mike rucker said...

Show me rosemar[ie], I'll show her wild thyme.
See you at the checkout or on the credit line.

ian anderson, Piece of Cake

on mars hill vs berkeley: the difference is that religion and gods and the supernatural or uber-natural were not foreign to paul's listeners; they are to keller's. it's a completely different starting point. plus, the people of paul's day might just have seen a person or two crucified. this may be a stretch, but i don't think we see too many of those these days.

but, then again, when i try to post a comment at challies or pyros...

mike rucker
fairburn, georgia, usa
mikerucker.wordpress.com

bretts said...

Steve,

He may not have met your standards of “giving lucid biblical answers”; but in my judgment he was completely honest and his words rang very true to me.
So what else can you expect from a man that’s totally depraved, right?
Anything that is TRUE is from God, whether it is spoken by a Muslim, a Berkley liberal, a Buddhist, or even a Christian music singer; but of course Jesus Christ is the fullness of revealed truth.

I think the Pastor’s talk was pretty clear on the resurrection being the central truth claim of the gospel (and if Christ is not raised the rest of the bible is kind of pointless). I’m not attempting to be overly critical of you Steve, but I heard a recent radio interview you gave, in a much safer environment, where you were asked simple off the cuff questions like “what is the gospel”. Forgive me for saying, but in contrast to Pastor Keller I didn’t understand a word you were talking about.

The Spokesman said...

Mike said, "on mars hill vs berkeley: the difference is that religion and gods and the supernatural or uber-natural were not foreign to paul's listeners; they are to keller's. it's a completely different starting point."

The Word of God is the eternal contemporary! "The Word of the Lord endures forever" (1 Peter 1:25).

Take the context of Paul's sermon on Mars Hill for example in Acts 17:16-21: Athens was a mixture of atheists, pantheists, polytheists, and monotheists. (1) atheists - Epicureans taught that at death the body and soul (both composed of atoms) disintegrate; there is no afterlife (2) pantheists - Stoics rejected the idolatry of pagan worship and taught that there was one "World God." (3)polytheists - city full of idols and (4) monotheists - Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles.

Mars Hill/Berkeley - the exact same starting point! Keeping scripture in context and accurately applying it to the culture reveals the relevance of the Word of God. It doesn't have to be made relevant - it is!

Grace and peace,
Olan

Denise said...

For the apostasy of Keller go here:

http://biblicalthought.com/blog/apostasy-warning-tim-keller/#comment-3203

mike rucker said...

denise, it was quite simple for you to throw that link up and use the word "apostasy".

for myself, i want to pause just a second before i hit 'publish' and realize that there are real people, real faces, real families, real humans at the other end of my web connection.

thanks for making me write that.

mike rucker
fairburn, georgia, usa
mikerucker.wordpress.com

gigantor1231 said...

Mike Rucker

Wow sounds like you are a pluralistic type of guy, Keller too. Don't let em know that the truth is they are wrong and they will go to Hell unless they worship the one and only God, Jesus Christ, wouldn't want to offend with that.... right?

Paul said

1 Cor. 2:1, 2

And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

The New King James Version. 1982 (1 Co 2:1-2). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Good enough for Paul but not good enough for Keller or you? Even at the Areopagus, the so called "contextualization" that ECBers allude to, Paul used his knowledge of the unknown God as a segue to proclaim exactly the Gospel and he did not care that it offended because it was the truth and it commanded a decision!

Acts 17: 29-34

29 Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, “We will hear you again about this.” 33 So Paul went out from their midst. 34 But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.

Tim Keller as well as your words betray you, you are not ashamed of Christians, although you may say you are, what it boils down to is that you are ashamed of Christ, you are ashamed of the Gospel because it does not fit into your tidy little world view where no conflict is allowed! That would not be peace, that would not bring unity. The problem is that until the conflict comes and the lies are torn down, just like the high places were in Israel's time, you will never have true Peace. You will however have the deceptive peace that the world desires and the ECBers and the seeker sensitive folks are ushering in. It is clear in the word of God as to what is happening, problem is that you folks do not hold to the inerrant scripture, you only pick and choose what supports your world view. Just a FYI, God's ways are higher than our ways and He does things according to His omniscient view, He knows best and His best for all of us is contained in the Word of God. Truth in the mouth of a lier, such as the father of lies, can be turned into a lie, Ghandi was a fool and short of some miracle of God, tragically he is most likely in hell.
The people at Berkley deserved answers from Pastor Keller, definitive answers that would show the way, but they did not get them because of the false humility that seems to state that lies must be validated lest people are offended. And so like the pied piper leads they all follow down that broad, easy and unoffensive path, and in the end it leads to destruction. Rather be narrow, because small is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life. Jesus's death and resurrection on the cross is the answer, there is no other nor is there any other name under heaven by which men must be saved! Our goal should be to take them to the cross, show them where they stand in reference to it, deliver them the hope of the resurrection and then let the Holy Spirit do the rest, even if it means being booed, stoned or what ever, this is our mandate from God and this is exactly what people need to hear, it is the only thing that will change hearts, for better or worse but it will do it's work and not return to God empty!!!

mike rucker said...

what, in the end, is the gospel?

[T]he truth is they are wrong and they will go to Hell unless they worship the one and only God, Jesus Christ.

gigantor1231, is this the good news you share with people?

is the good news that they are wrong...

... and you are right?

mike rucker
fairburn, georgia, usa
mikerucker.wordpress.com

gigantor1231 said...

MR

Good news is that He, Jesus, came to deliver you from your sins, He is God in the flesh. He stepped into your life, the life of the world, stepped down into the this dieing, filthy, broken world to redeem the lost and restore fellowship between God the Father and you, the world. His death and ressurection on the cross accomplished this and now Christ sits a the right hand of the father. God makes your option simple, accept what He has done for you and worship Him, or perish in a eternal, infinitely painful and lonely death! The Gift He offers is free, all done for you because you could not do it for yourself, and the option is so terrible that you would have to be a fool not to accept the offer, powerful incentive. And why did God choose to do it this way, not because it pleased you, but because He is God and He can!
MR, who are you to question Him?

gigantor1231 said...

MR

By the way, I am only right by association with Christ! He is right and He showed me the way. He would do the same for you if you desired him too.

mike rucker said...

gigantor1231 wrote...
MR, who are you to question Him?

read my comment again. i didn't question Him.

i asked you about the gospel you shared.

we need a new creed - the Gospel Creed - twenty-five words or less, what is the gospel. we'll make it a contest. extra points if it rhymes.

mike rucker
fairburn, georgia, usa
mikerucker.wordpress.com

gigantor1231 said...

MR

I answered, but my question was still who are you to question Him? You are not pleased with the way He has chosen to do things, so you question. Perhaps I am confusing your questions for you questioning. Point is that He does things the way He does because He is God, not because we think He ought to be or do what we define, he does not exist because of us and He does not act because of us!

greuber said...

do you think sometimes instead of seeing a planted seed and watering it we stand back and expect to see it watered, grow and be harvested --right away-- and by somebody else while we complain and arque on why it doesnt look like we think it should or is taking too long? or maybe not the seed we would have planted?....right God?
Like Jonah watching from the hill...surely He wont save them...and if he did it wouldnt be like that!...right God

gigantor1231 said...

MR

A 25 word Gospel would be nice but not practical, just another canned thing. Jesus always spoke to hearts and gave his truth as needed. It is really nothing that you can rehearse for and canned stuff, although helpful, really limits more than anything else. The best thing that can be done is know the word of God and know Him, if we are obedient to this he will be obedient to give us what we need when we need it, He will speak through us!

Bart said...

Monergism just published an interview with Keller here.

The first question is about how Keller evangelizes:

"To preach the gospel is to show people their need for salvation against a backdrop of God’s nature and the character of sin, and then present Jesus as the only remedy for what ails them and the world. In my weekly preaching in the worship services I always call people to believe in Christ.

However, in various evangelistic venues, I don’t always give people the ‘whole gospel’. You can take your time. Multiple exposures are usually needed for very secular and skeptical people to grasp and be persuaded by the gospel. For example, you may spend most of your presentation on the nature of God and say fairly little about Jesus. That’s what Paul did in Acts 17. He laid a foundation and barely mentioned Christ. When I recently went around to speak evangelistically on college campuses my presentation I did not lay out very much about the cross and resurrection. Instead I worked on the problems of secularism and the nature of God. I have found that if you don’t do that, people aren’t ready to understand the concepts of sin and grace and atonement."

I think Keller would say that he was only doing PRE-evangelism at Berkeley.

gigantor1231 said...

Bart

And what was his granting legitimacy to non Christian thinking, the validation of pagan thought? What was he doing when he stated that the Gospels were historical but He would not speak to the inerrance of the rest of the word? How about his unwillingness to answer the question regarding homosexual marriage, why did he not just tell them the truth from he word of God?
Pre evangelism, perhaps for a different Gospel, but not the truth!

Brian said...

To the subject at hand:

Keller's goal wasn't to present a complete evangelistic message but instead to get to their presuppositions and make them question the things that they assume to be true, which comes from a worldview of postmodernism and modernist rationalism. Truly the Gospel is the answer, but there's some work to be done to get them to a place where they will understand what the Gospel means.

I think of these verses when I consider what Keller did:

1 Peter 3:15
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

2 Corinthians 10:5
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Colossians 4:6
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

1 Corinthians 9:22
To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.

In Acts 17:22-31, Paul does not use the name Jesus or Christ, because those names would have been meaningless to his hearers. Furthermore, you can see all kinds of neat things if you study the Greek - Paul even used local idioms and some words and phrases in the attic dialect, the dialect of Athens. The principle is clear - he went to those who had no knowledge of Christ and spoke to them using what they could understand to build a bridge to share with them the reality of the person of Christ and what he did for them at Calvary so they could be saved. Did you see the way he responded to the person who said, "I don't think God would send me to hell?" Keller was startled and responded quickly - he knows what that person's eternal destiny is and was quick to get at the root of that person's disbelief, to make the way for the Gospel.

Paul would reason with the Jews from the Scriptures for weeks on end to save them. I bet in heaven we'll find out that he had to do a considerable amount of work to change the presuppositions of those Jews and what they thought the Messiah would be. Paul had to do different stuff to the Greeks to get them to believe.

I think Keller is good at sharing the Gospel to a particular audience - educated non-Christian professionals - and he knows what he has to do to bring them to the point where the Gospel is understandable. That's what Paul did.

Brian said...

To Mike

Don't get bothered by Gigantor. He calls people names and assumes he knows their hearts (at best) or (at worst) he purposely misrepresents people to bash them (who knows for what purpose). When he penetrated deep into my soul and discerned that I did not care for the salvation of my closest friends, I realized that maybe I should call him a name : "internet troll." It is a technical term, although slang.

"An Internet troll, or simply troll in Internet slang, is someone who posts controversial and usually irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, with the intention of baiting other users into an emotional response[1] or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion.[2]"

I seriously lost sleep over what he wrote to me because I have a high deal of respect for the people that post here, because most of them are older than me, but you would do yourself well to ignore him.

gigantor1231 said...

Brian

Spoken by a mature 23 year old master of divinity student, your professors are teaching you well Brian.

gigantor1231 said...

Brian and All

If what I have said is erroneous then refute it with the truth! I do not mind correction as long as it is with truth.

TheThinker said...

Thanks for your post Bart. I am glad that such information came to light as it gives us the answer to the intentionality question I asked. It also shows his reasoning for why such intentions are justified from his perspective.

What do you guys think? Do you believe that the message of the Gospel, though always the same, ought to be packaged differently depending on the audience (ie hamburger bun, tortilla, salad).....I guess the question is...Is the Gospel always to be preached exactly the same, and, in every situation in which you find yourself, should you preach that message which is always preached exactly the same?

My thoughts would move to Philip and the eunuch...Peter and Cornelius....Peter and the Jews....Stephen and the Jews...and then Paul and his travels....


I look forward to your responses.

God bless you and and keep you guys and gals,

gigantor1231 said...

Y'all Brian, MR

The grace narrative, as Pastor Keller says, takes those that are saved and sets them in a place of humility because they see that they are not better than anyone else. ABSOLUTELY TRUE but it does not stop here, it also addresses deliverance of the truth to others, the world especially. Many times addressing the world with truth is taken as hostile and violent, that is the nature of truth. The Gospel, as we see in Acts 17:30, 31

"30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead."

How is this not confrontive, how does it not demand us to take a side? As a matter of fact it spurred a riot. God commands that sinners repent, it is not a request and so when we pose the Gospel to the unsaved we should pose it as is, not a request but a imperative 'repent' and then let them know what the consequence is, eternal separation, hell. This is the loving thing to do!
How could a world view that holds to the grace narrative cause such strife "in the world?" The Bible actually answers this, Jn. 1: 5 'the light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not comprehend it' this is because Jn. 3: 19 '19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

The New King James Version. 1982 (Jn 3:19-21). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Now, addressing my concerns with Dr. Keller;

On homosexuality: Approx 49 minutes in he addresses the question regarding moral legislation and Pastor Keller answers that he does not think that we should take a side on this, it is not clear to him. My question is how does the Bible address the issue? Dr. Keller should at least explain how the Bible is crystal clear with respect to the sin of immorality and homosexuality, then address the issue of moral legislation. By the way, the issue of 'moral legislation' is truly no issue at all because all that is legislated is morals! Bottom line here is that DR Keller disregards the truth and panders to what is popular with the world! Pure pragmatism!
Christianity is not a social ideal among many that is up for grabs. This is because any other option to following Christ ends up in death, this is definitive, it leaves no room for error, you follow or die.
Dr. Keller's presentation was well put together, as far as presentations go. He said some good things, he said some right and reasonable things. What he did not do was deliver the truth according to the word of God, he denied the word of God starting at 1:06 Dr Keller gives his explanation as to the credibility of the Bible, in his summation he states that he will not address the infallibility of the Bible but he does hold that it is historically accurate, he says 'you can trust what the Bible says about historic accounts, read that and figure out who Jesus is and then go from there.' I do give him credit that from the stand point of a piece of historic literature he gives the Bible credence, but he does not address it from there and this undermines all that he states about the Gospel! Why? Because where does his narrative come from but from the Word of God itself, either he believes the Word of God is all that it says it is, perfect truth, not of private interpretation, and completely of God by inspiration of the Apostles, inspiration is the key word here because the Greek translates it as though he put on the Apostles as instruments and used them to write allowing their character to come through! Now, either the Word of God is all that it says and he believes that completely or the hole of the Gospel message is undermined. He should have been definitive on this point, just as Paul was definitive in the Areopagus!
You can take this for what ever it is worth, but as gentle and kind as Dr. Keller was, do not be deceived in thinking that being definitive and offending by being definitive is not being humble and loving, because it is more so. It is more loving because we have been given definitive answers by God, we should love the world enough to give them those definitive answers so that they can have a opportunity to accept or reject based upon all the truth available. As Dr. Keller correctly states, he really did not address Christianity, he addressed his grace narrative. The 'Christianity thing' rises and falls based upon ones belief in the resurrection and this is true, either you decide it is true or not, but he never completes the thought by answering why one should believe, why did this crucifixion and resurrection happen and that is the offending point he continually avoids. People need Christ, they are commanded to believe in Him and if they do not they perish. This is the rub, take them part way and get part belief, give them all they need and then they can make a valid decision, even if it is a hostile decision. We need to take sides, we are commanded to take sides, we are chosen to and to not be definitive is wrong.

mike rucker said...

please read this very carefully:

if someone in a comments section is stepping in to defend me from someone who has been accused of trolling...

...then we really are in the end times. :)

thanks for your thoughts, brian. my skin's thick, my wit's quick, and i can take a licking and keep ticking with anyone. i enjoy the exchange of thoughts - and even once in a while i actually read something i ain't heard before - and i'm doing my darndest to smooth my own rough edges that keep tagging me persona non grata at various sites around w's internets.

we're all like the blues brothers - on a mission from God. the common thread among us is that we don't like to give up the driver's seat...

mike rucker
fairburn, georgia, usa
mikerucker.wordpress.com

Drew said...

I'm concerned by his statement that he (Keller) is willing to learn from the Eastern Orthodox tradition (about the 54:30 mark) when answering the question about his failure to delve into Melchizedek. Why would anyone want to learn from an apostate church that worships icons?

glip said...

"we're all like the blues brothers - on a mission from God. the common thread among us is that we don't like to give up the driver's seat..."

- unfortunate though sadly true. we truly are totally depraved..arent we. just go by the Truth. It is too bad when a person's particular theological and/or emotional bent supersedes that Truth.

The world needs more Tim Keller's, and Ravi Zacharias's. Amen to these men.

The Spokesman said...

Bart
Keller said, "However, in various evangelistic venues, I don’t always give people the ‘whole gospel’. You can take your time. Multiple exposures are usually needed for very secular and skeptical people to grasp and be persuaded by the gospel. For example, you may spend most of your presentation on the nature of God and say fairly little about Jesus. That’s what Paul did in Acts 17. He laid a foundation and barely mentioned Christ.”

Paul barely mentioned Christ in Acts 17? What Bible is he reading from? Maybe his Bible doesn’t have Acts 17:18 in it! “And also some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were conversing with him. Some were saying, ‘What would this idle babbler wish to say?’ Others, ‘He seems to be a proclaimer of strange deities.’ – because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection.”

Warren Wiersbe said of this text, “The word translated ‘preached’ in Acts 17:18 means “to preach the Gospel.” Those who say that Paul modified his evangelistic tactics in Athens, hoping to appeal to the intellectuals, have missed the point. He preached the Gospel as boldly in Athens as he did in Berea and would do in Corinth” (Bible Exposition Commentary, pg 472).

Brian
“In Acts 17:22-31, Paul does not use the name Jesus or Christ, because those names would have been meaningless to his hearers.”

Brian don’t conveniently leave out Acts 17:16-21 – his hearers were the ones that invited him to speak more to them about this Jesus he was preaching. You can make the Scriptures say whatever you want if you take them out of context.

Grace and peace,
Olan

Brian said...

Right! Of course he talks about Jesus afterwards. That's the whole point. If you can show me that Keller doesn't talk about Christ afterwards, then I'll shut up.

Didn't Paul make the way paved for them to hear about Jesus? There was some work to be done before hand, to bridge the worldview gap.

gigantor1231 said...

Brian

'Truly the Gospel is the answer, but there's some work to be done to get them to a place where they will understand what the Gospel means.'

Paul's job, your job, Dr. Keller's, mine is to preach Christ and him crucified. It is expedient that we deliver the Gospel as soon as possible because it is "the power of God" for salvation to everyone who believes. Nothing is guaranteed and man's time is any time, so give them the truth, the Gospel so they have something to accept or reject. It is not up to you to manipulate or play with men's heads to bring them to some emotional state so that they will make a decision, the decision is mandated by God, it is commanded just as Paul stated in Acts 17 (this is in the imperative) 'all people everywhere should repent! Also, Paul was preaching Christ the whole time, see Acts 17: 18, he was not preparing hearts, that is not his or our Job, the heart belongs to God. Paul laid it all out and that is why he got the response that he did. Point is that we water and we sow but we are nothing, see 1 Cor. 3: 5-9, it is God who brings the increase and nothing is credited to us, it is all to Him!
As far as Dr. Keller is concerned, he even states that he was not speaking directly of Christianity, and while he speaks of the Christian's world view of the Gospel and how Christians see there need for Christ, he does not address the crowd on their dire need for him nor God's imperative that they repent, as Paul did! At the end of the whole thing he undermines any presentation of the Gospel by casting doubt on the reliability of the Word of God, as well as his weak answer with regards to our place in legislating laws that protect society from destructive things such as homosexuality! He states that the grace narrative precludes that we remain neutral and not choose sides on things such as this, which is a total fabrication. We are to be lights and as such when we see evils that are destructive we are to warn both the saved and unsaved of such evils. If it is in our power we should legislate such laws that will protect society from those evils, anything less is selfish and evil in itself, we are to protect and warn those being led to destruction.
Keller also undermines himself with his own reluctance in speaking the entirety of the truth as well as the reliability of the word. He may be a wonderful and patient orator but I would not want to follow him into battle, he vacillates far to much.
Brian, no one is asking you to shut up, why would you think that. Just because you are challenged in your beliefs does not mean we want you to shut up or leave, just defend what you believe with the word of God. I have apologized to you personally on your blog for anything that you perceived as offensive, so why don't you get over it. As far as what I said to Mike, I perceived him as being pluralistic, which I still do, it is not a wrong thing to say. I perceived you as liberal, even emergent in your thinking, so perhaps not emergent, but even as you admitted 'you grew up in a uber liberal family,' your words not mine, and I would imagine that is what I saw and still see. If that is offensive to you, I am sorry, but it is what I see.
You obviously believe in being at least as frank as demonstrated by your earlier drive by. At any rate, pull out the sword and prepare to be challenged and sharpened.
In the mean time you ought to take a listen to the spokesman's, pastor Strickland's, sermons, you might profit from what he preaches!

http://www.sermonaudio.com/source_detail.asp?sourceid=olanstrickland

Brian said...

I said I'd shut up not because I assumed you wanted me to shut up, but because then I would obviously be wrong.

Keller is not manipulating them into an emotional state. That is dishonest evangelism, imo, although lots of times the Gospel will and SHOULD effect your emotions.

Keller is establishing grounds upon which the Gospel can be intellectually considered true. Not addressing their concerns and ideas contrary to the Gospel would be the opposite of instructing them or helping them. Look at the life of C.S. Lewis - he needed to realize that Christianity was intellectually possible and even superior to the secular mindset before he became a Christian. Christian intellectual writings paved the way for him to hear the Gospel, even though he had heard of Christ long before. It was God's gracious work in C.S. Lewis that allowed him to see the folly of his ways and accept Christ. The means by which God's work was carried out was not the Gospel only but also intellectual writings that defended Christianity.

My faith would be shaky if I had never heard anyone address the attacks upon Christianity that I hear. For those who do not have faith, their worldview has to be broken down. Is that not what Keller does?

The Spokesman said...

To Brian

2 Corinthians 10:5
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

That’s exactly what TK didn’t do! In his attempt to be gentle and reverent and to let his words be full of grace, TK failed to “demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God….”

On the other hand that is exactly what Paul did on Mars Hill. Keeping in mind that Paul was gentle and reverent and his speech full of grace, look at the content of what he said:
(1) I observe that you are very religious in all respects (v.22).
(2) For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD’ (v.23a)
(3) Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you (23b)
(4) In verses 24-29 Paul demolished their arguments and pretensions that were set up against God by showing both the illogic and futility of their ignorance.
(5) Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent (v.30)
(6) Why? “Because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead” (v.31) – notice that at this point Paul didn’t mention Jesus’ name – why? Because in his so-called “pre-evangelism” he wasn’t paving the way for them to hear about Jesus – he was preaching Jesus (see verses 17-19).

Notice carefully how Paul indicted his listeners as ignorant and in need of repentance:
(1) In his introduction (verses 22-23) he connected with their false assumptions and faulty presuppositions that were raised up against the knowledge of God (“I observe that you are very religious in all respects”) through empirical evidence (“for while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship”) for the purpose of destroying their false assumptions and faulty presuppositions about God (“Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you”).
(2) In the body of his message (verses 24-29) he destroyed their false assumptions and faulty presuppositions using both biblical truth and logic.
(3) In his application (verses 30-31) he called for a response to the truth of his indictment for their sin (“Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent”) in the light of the certainty of the judgment of God based on the resurrection (“because He has fixed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead”).

Wow! Paul indicted his listeners of ignorance in a gentle and reverent manner (no shock, no mischievousness, no ambiguity, just simple clarity) proved it, and offered the only solution. Now that's the kind of apologists we should all seek to be!

Grace and peace
Olan

gigantor1231 said...

Brian

You said;

'Keller is establishing grounds upon which the Gospel can be intellectually considered true. Not addressing their concerns and ideas contrary to the Gospel would be the opposite of instructing them or helping them.'

The fact is that Dr. Keller, you or anyone else, accept God, knows the conditions of the hearts of the individuals that are being addressed. You paint everyone with a broad brush of being 'intellectual' when you have no idea how that even lines up with each individual. The point is that God knows the hearts of all men, and He alone knows what it takes to draw any man to a saving faith. We know for sure that the Gospel is the power of God for salvation to them that believe and our job is to give that to them no matter what else we give, not second guessing the Holy Spirit because He is the one that will do the real work!
Paul realized what it took to bring a man to Christ and his conclusion is that it is the pure and simple Gospel of Christ and Him crucified and resurrected.

1 Cor. 2:2-5

And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, 4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but din the power of God.

The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (1 Co 2:1-5). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

I have no problem with reasoning, but reasoning to what end? And then if your reasoning concludes with elements that undermine the premise for your belief, then what use is your reasoning?
Dr. Keller does not take the Biblical stand that he should, he takes the pragmatic stand! How is this paving the way for anything but more pragmatism and equivocation? His grace narrative, where one is so humble he/she takes no side, is absolutely antithetical to what the Word of God commands us to do, and in itself is intellectual treason. Intellectual reasoning with respect to the defense of the faith should have one goal in mind and that is leading those that hear it to the 'true' Gospel, it leads those who hear it to take a side!

Dt. 30:19, 20

19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, 20 loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”

The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Dt 30:19-20). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Acts 17:30, 31

"30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead."

Choose life, repent, take a side and get out of the darkness and into the light. Christ is the only way into the light, and His foolish Gospel has been chosen to confound the wise and shame them, this is not a comfortable thing to grasp, to intellectuals it is foolishness and to the Jew it is a stumbling stone. Dr. Keller may say some really nice sounding things, but he does not even get close to taking his hearers to the Gospel, if anything he leads them further from the truth by his non biblical conclusions and weak assertions.

greuber said...

Romans 12

3For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
4Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,
5so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
6We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his[b]faith.
7If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach;
8if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

how do you take an hour and a half of somebody's life and and make such final judgments?
I screwed up today, Lord please forgive me, and in some conversasions today, even talking to unsaved people, I didnt give the whole gospel......I am going to have to call them back now and make sure I do incase one of my Christian brothers finds out and it affects them like it has affected gigantor

Romans 14
1Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters.
2One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables.
3The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him.
4Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

I guess as long as at the end of this there is encouragment and Jesus is lifted up and God is praised it is worth it....I can say for me it has in prayer...for myself, in my dealings in public and for leaders
I LOVE this verse and have been using it in prayer

Philippians 1

3I thank my God every time I remember you.
4In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy
5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,
6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
7It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God's grace with me.
8God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

9And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,
10so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ,
11filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. !!!!(exclamation marks added my me)ha

gigantor1231 said...

Greuber

James 3: 1

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.

The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Jas 3:1). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Acts 17: 10, 11

10 The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ac 17:10-11). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

You said

'how do you take an hour and a half of somebody's life and and make such final judgments?
I screwed up today, Lord please forgive me, and in some conversasions today, even talking to unsaved people, I didnt give the whole gospel......I am going to have to call them back now and make sure I do incase one of my Christian brothers finds out and it affects them like it has affected gigantor'

Have you looked at the man's credentials? What I wrote was not just based on 1.5 hours but on who the man holds himself up to be as a teacher! It is not that Pastor Keller made simple mistakes in his oration, it is that he did not present the truth! Part truth, sure, nice platitudes and ideals, OK but did he speak as though he were speaking the word of God? NO!
We are called to be discerning, we are called to warn others of false teaching and doctrine, we are called to judge rightly! Here is a challenge to you Greuber, go back and answer some of the criticisms regarding his presentation, defend his grace narrative, support what he says on legislation on homosexual marriage, and in light of what he said about the word of God tell me what you think. Be discerning, be circumspect, go find the truth.
I never judged the man's eternal standing before God but I certainly did judge what he said.
You might consider the contrast here, what I say is not to the masses and held out as truth to the thousands, or millions, Dr. Keller's words are! Because he has chosen to get up on the podium he has asked, even demanded that his words be judged! So, judge rightly! Why are you so willing to accept compromise Greuber?

Brian said...

"The fact is that Dr. Keller, you or anyone else, accept God, knows the conditions of the hearts of the individuals that are being addressed. You paint everyone with a broad brush of being 'intellectual' when you have no idea how that even lines up with each individual."

Not everyone is, but the people that go to that conference that aren't Christian at Berkeley certainly are individual. That's pretty obvious, right?


"Dr. Keller does not take the Biblical stand that he should, he takes the pragmatic stand! How is this paving the way for anything but more pragmatism and equivocation? His grace narrative, where one is so humble he/she takes no side, is absolutely antithetical to what the Word of God commands us to do, and in itself is intellectual treason."

Concerning what Keller said about homosexuality, he was talking with reference to how the grace narrative affected the politics of legislation of homosexuality. He answered that it doesn't affect politics. The question asked by the student presupposed that Keller viewed homosexuality as wrong. From when I listened to it, Keller's response was with regard to political legislation and not with regard to whether or not homosexuality was wrong. Also, whether or not homosexuality is wrong was not the question at stake.

Brian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian said...

"2 Corinthians 10:5
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

That’s exactly what TK didn’t do! In his attempt to be gentle and reverent and to let his words be full of grace, TK failed to “demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God….”"

When I said that he reminded me of Paul here, I was thinking specifically about what he said regarding knowledge as a local social construction. Remember how he pointed out that that very idea of a social construction of knowledge was the result of a social construction of scholarly people? Keller basically concluded 'if that theory is true then that theory is not true' or in other words showed the idea self contradictory or irrelevant. Why is this tactic good? Because it's a doctrine against the knowledge of God that would limit Christianity's truth claims to only Christian people, and that Christian truth claims would ultimately be arbitrary. Keller refutes that to get to step 1: the Gospel is not a local social construction of Christianity but timeless truth relevant to all people.

(This post replaces my last deleted one because I forgot a word "not")

Alex said...

The funny thing is that Keller, while you may argue that he "waters down" the truth, has penetrated much farther into the culture of intellectual skepticism with the Gospel than someone who goes in with both doctrinal guns blazing. One of the reasons? The intellectual centers of the US are post-Christian. They see the Christian faith and the Bible itself as been there done that. What Keller does successfully is he presents the truth of scriptures and the gospel in a way that directly challenges their most basic presuppositions/beliefs. And I would argue that he almost always does this without compromising on the truth of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Some of you would rather he simply throw passages at people. See how far that gets you. Oh, and I agree with Brian.