The orthodox Christian theology of Hadley Robinson

Tim Keller -- A Review of His Teaching on Homosexuality

by Hadley Robinson

There are many who greatly admire Mr. Keller and his ministry in New York city.

Though I am not familiar with most of his work, various Christians around the country have sent me information on some of his teaching.  Something that is particularly troublesome has been evidence of his stance on homosexuality.

Sodom was completely destroyed without a Prophet warning the people of what was about to happen.  The sins of these men were so vile and contrary to nature that they were given no opportunity to repent.  From then on, Sodom became a warning to all of what happens when men sink as low as they can go.  Both rejecting the Creator and being unthankful to him, they exchanged the truth for a lie and were delivered over to shameful lusts, both men and women.

Why is Mr. Keller ashamed of this clear teaching of Scripture? 

If one reads his brief essay called The Missional Church the similarities it has with Dan Kimball's The Emerging Church are striking.  One of the trademarks used by the Emerging Church movement is the use of flowery and novel language to describe the plain and simple.  Sin and repentance disappear form their vocabulary.  As Mr. Keller writes,
The missional church avoids 'tribal' language, stylized prayer language, unnecessary evangelical pious 'jargon', and archaic language that seeks to set a 'spiritual tone.'
Translated: Do not talk about sex-sin and why entire peoples have been wiped off the earth by God because of it.  According to Mr. Keller, we must all have discourse in the vernacular.  Where in Scripture are word games a preferred method of communication?  Was not this the style of the Pharisees and others who hated God?

In another way, style has replaced substance.  Biblical repentance is rarely mentioned, if ever, in the lingo of those in the Emerging Church movement.  It is more about how we must respond to the culture around us so that we look better to the heathen and – somehow – give them a gospel that is as attractive as possible to the human heart that has become stone.  While Mr. Keller might not embrace all of the aspects of the Emerging Church, he sounds like Mr. Kimball.

Another example is Mr. Keller's recent address (including a Q & A) to the students at Covenant Theological Seminary.  Here is one of his responses to the question, "How should we respond to homosexuality in truth and in love?"  It is a relevant question and here is his response:
Uhhhh….well…(sigh)…The church is afraid to touch the topic? I….it may…….it..it's possible…that….in the 20 years that I’ve seen that this issue has actually not.…ummm. it..uh…it hasn’t gone away it's really gotten to be much much more...socially….1
Did he say anything at all?  Is this the voice of an anointed teacher guided by the Holy Spirit or of a church leader who is afraid of losing status among the social elite of New York City?

The goal of this website is to hold the more notable of the teachers and preachers in the Protestant Evangelical Church to some sort of accountability with regards to the essentials of the Christian faith.  Of paramount importance to most of them in this age is to downplay or ignore sin and its consequences, especially immorality, in general, and adultery and homosexuality, in particular.  These are not minor matters.

Most in the United States have chosen to be grossly immoral and some of these people want to be a part of Christ's body without 1.) Confessing their sin and 2.) Repenting of it.  Church leadership is aware of this and too many have bent over backwards to not offend these people.  Consequently, there is concerted effort to avoid addressing gross sin, as had Mr. Keller.

How do you grow a church if you make people upset and mad?  (Please see Jn. 16:52ff.)

Jesus Christ is not interested in mere numbers in the church but in the lives of those who will hear and obey, His elect.  The Emerging Church movement and its clones have this priority reversed. 

The Savior and God we serve hits hard at our pride and sin as any converted Christian knows, including this writer.  The woman at the well (Jn. 4) was confronted by Jesus with her main issue – serial adultery.
The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. Jn. 4:18).
Those in the Emerging Church movement would not have the manhood to say this.  They are more anxious to please the heathen and fill the churches with them, not to mention selling more books and making great names for themselves.

Were there more men like John the Baptist (Mt. 14:3-5) and Zechariah the Prophet (2 Ch. 24:20-21).  Let us pray that God will grant us the courage to be like them and faithfully deliver the truth to a wicked generation and cease dodging the issue of sin and its consequences.  Hopefully, we will not be murdered in the process but if the Baptist is any example, we may lose our heads, just the same.
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1 For a transcript of the relevant parts of his remarks, go here.