We’ve started 2019 with a bang, as Dr. Tim Keller joins the show to discuss The Prodigal Prophethis new book on Jonah.

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Posted by Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is the Founder and Lead Writer of Mere Orthodoxy. He is the author of Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to our Faith and The End of Our Exploring: A Book about Questioning and the Confidence of Faith. Follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.

  • hoosier_bob

    This talk illustrates precisely many of us have stopped paying attention to Keller. He says many of the right things. But he never gets around to pointing out and explicitly deconstructing the errors he’s implicitly trying to counter. For example, he continues to affiliate with the Gospel Coalition despite the organization’s leaders’ adulation of CJ Mahaney at recent T4G conferences. As another example, he continues to affiliate with the PCA , despite the fact that the denomination’s flagship church hosted rallies for Roy Moore. And, when his C2C group held a conference last fall, it elected to hold the conference at Moody Church in Chicago, a fundamentalist church that trafficks in soft-core white supremacy and denies a biological basis for sexual orientation.

    I attend a C2C-affiliated church. Our pastor refused to attend the organization’s conference because he felt that doing so would lend moral legitimacy to Moody Church’s history of racial paternalism, misogyny, and homophobia. The church, which has only one member over the age of 50, supported this decision. Institutions like TGC, Briarwood, and Moody Church represent a brand of “lifestyle Christianity” that is thankfully passing away. Hastening its demise is something that all good Christians should desire. It does nothing but weigh down the Gospel with the appearance that its practitioners’ bigotry is somehow endorsed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Keller seems to have all the right Gospel priorities. But he never gets around to criticizing those for whom Christianity is little more than a defense of the social traditionalist predilections of certain generation of middle-class white people in the United States. I believe that the social preferences of traditionalists often reflect a degree of wisdom. But such wisdom is the stuff of Christian orthodoxy. It’s just a right-wing version of moralistic therapeutic deism. And if proponents of these errors represented a small fraction of white evangelicalism, Keller’s silence may make some sense. But, when nearly 80% of white evangelicals approve or strongly approve of Donald Trump’s presidency, it suggests that these are the biggest problems facing white evangelicalism today. The reality is that, on any given Sunday morning, the pews of SBC and PCA churches are chock full of people for whom the gospel amounts to little more than outward conformity to the principles of social traditionalism. So, Keller’s silence, coupled with his refusal to name names, seems unwarranted.

    • doug sayers

      Come on hb, that’s not helpful. Your comment illustrates precisely why many have stopped paying attention to blog comments.

      One is forced to wonder what impeccable group you belong to, or associate with.

      It would have helped if you made some attempt to engage with the content of the podcast.

      (Speaking of which, how is it that the hosts seem certain that no individual Ninevites were actually converted? From whence cometh the certainty? Could they have been unregenerate/dead in sin and somehow repented at Jonah’s preaching?)