Another post that appeared this week–well worth a read–is Dr Scot McKnight’s defence of New York pastor Tim Keller:
Dr McKnight writes:
Recently Tim Keller was interviewed by Nicholas Kristof about Christian orthodoxy and Christmas. The oh-so-vigilant-and-sensitive crowd immediately set off a chorus of “yougottabekiddin’me” posts and ballyhoo articles, some of which came from the chorus of the Right and others from the Left. There was some crowdpounding and some lining up of “Who is on the Lord’s side?”
If Keller said Jesus was raised from the dead, some would say that’s insensitive and others would say “but he forgot ‘for our justification’!” Let ’em yap. Perhaps the yappers could learn something from Keller.
I know of less than a handful of pastors who are reaching a generation of skeptics and cynics as well as he is. I admire him for it.
There are buckets of pseudo-evangelicals who fashion themselves as specially sensitive to the doubting crowd and they do lots of hand holding with their doubters and patronizingly pat them on the head a bit, and they do some beer swigging with fellow pseudos, but if someone came up to them out of the blue and said, “I really like Jesus and want to know what I need to know and do to become a Christian,” they’d fumble around with nuances and niceties and negatives about gospel tracts and leave the person stranded and wondering why that so-called leader couldn’t just tell them what to do.
Jesus did, you know. So does Keller. Keller tells people Jesus is trustworthy and the Bible is trustworthy and the creed is trustworthy, so let’s start there. He tells them Jesus lived and died on the cross for their sins because sins need to be resolved and he tells them God vindicated Jesus on Easter morning and he tells them this is God’s plan for the world’s redemption. The man is not ashamed.
Maybe his critics would do themselves a favor by looking in the mirror and asking if they are reaching with the gospel and converting skeptics and cynics and doubters. If not, maybe they could look at Tim Keller and ask Why is he? I know I do.