Tuesday 1 October 2013

Engaging with Keller

Perhaps they will not be welcomed, but here are some sober essays on Tim Keller's theology. Having given a welcome to his reflections on work - see blog on 'Every Good Endeavour' - I feel a responsibility to take notice of criticisms of more fundamental elements of Keller's thought. Tim Keller, ordained in the PCA, was the founder of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, which has grown remarkably since into a major ministry. He is a very influential figure in the evangelical world: he both epitomises it and shapes it. It is a bold effort then to get a book like this published and EP Books are to be commended.
Keller's style is unashamedly philosophical. He is trying to reach a post-modern generation, particularly young professionals, and therefore seeks to jettison theological jargon. The problem emerges as to whether he (i) succeeds in 'translating' biblical terminology into his language correctly, and (ii) succeeds in conveying the truth through it. The authors of this book, led by Iain D Campbell, address this in the following areas of concern: the doctrine of sin, hell, the Trinity, creation, the church, and Mission. Quite a list! But Keller is handled very carefully on these matters by all contributors - perhaps too gently if the charges against him are fair. My conclusion is that there is a case to answer, and it will be interesting to see if Keller bothers with a rebuttal. But if avowed fellow evangelicals, fellow Presbyterians, find clear cause to sound a warning note against such a successful(?) fellow minister and brother, then something must indeed be up!
'Engaging with Keller' ed. Iain D Campbell & William M Schweitzer, p/b published by EP Books. RRP £9.99. Our price £8.49.

No comments: