(NOTE FROM TB: When I first published this post, I was remiss in not thanking Kamilla for pointing me to Kathy Keller's piece. Quite a few of our sources come from Kamilla and I am delighted to publicly acknowledge her for her faithful work that's been so helpful to us for years, now. Thank you, Kamilla! Here is some of Kamilla's good work opposing Rachel Held Evan's very public hissy fits, but everything Kamilla writes is worth reading.)
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Mrs. Tim (Kathy) Keller just did a post on the heretic Ms. Rachel Held Evans that her husband's friends put up on their web site. It's never good to provide a wider forum to a heretic, but if someone was going to give Held Evans more media coverage than she's already arranged for herself by her public fainting spells, I suppose Mrs. Keller is as good a person to look to as anyone else.
And her review is good. Read it. Now that you've read it, though, here are a couple things worth pointing out about Mrs. Keller's own words and arguments.
Mrs. Tim Keller writes:
...recording the relentlessly sinful behavior of his people (in the Old Testament) was God’s way of demonstrating how desperately in need of a savior they really were.
One commenter points out that in this review Mrs. Keller is employing faddish redemptive-historical techniques. So then, look at the above quote and ask yourself where this leaves us with redemptive-historical preaching? If the good things done in Old Testament narratives are not to be taken as lessons of spiritual virtues of men like David when he slays Goliath, what gives us permission to take the bad things done by David when he commits adultery and murders the adulteress's husband as a lesson of moral turpitude?
In other words, moralism is moralism whether pointing to the bad or the good. If the bad is to be read as pointing the reader toward how hopelessly lustful and bloodthirsty David is because of his faithlessness, and how he needs a Savior; why are we not allowed to read the good as pointing the reader toward how wonderfully courageous David is because of His faithfulness, because he has a Savior?
Your prophets have seen for you false and foolish visions; and they have not exposed your iniquity so as to restore you from captivity, but they have seen for you false and misleading oracles. - Lamentations 2:14
We oppose the men who evangelize for the Radical Two-Kingdom (R2K) and Redemptive-Historical Preaching (RHP) errors because they leave pastors standing in their pulpits bound and gagged. The only iniquity they expose is the iniquity of preaching contrary to their hermetically-sealed hermeneutics.
Understand, of course, that RHP men haven't said anything new about preaching when they exhort pastors to find the shortest path from the Old Testament to Jesus Christ. This approach may easily be traced back through all the godly preachers of Church history. As I said in an earlier post, our Lord Himself did it on the Road to Emmaus when He showed his travelling companions how Moses and the Prophets pointed forward to His life, death, and resurrection.
Who opposes the preaching of Christ from Moses and the Prophets? Every preacher needs to grow in his knowledge of the Old Testament's proclamation of God's plan of redemption--myself included.
But of course, that's the front end of the RHP plan, whereas the back end is where things run amok...
Moral societies are repulsed by crimes against nature. Citizens privileged to live in such societies voice that revulsion through laws and public discourse, but also through shaming those who sign their perversion in the way they speak and act, and the clothing they wear.
Immoral societies glory in their shame and are pleased to promote pastors and seminary professors who will justify their shamelessness. Such pastors and profs are easily recognized by their fruit. They preach and write in such a way that their kindness never leads men toward, but away from repentance.
Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? - Romans 2:4
There is no greater betrayal of the pastoral calling today than our precious parsing of any condemnation of sodomy that manages to escape our lips. We are so tender in our treatment of same-sex intimacy that, now, other-species intimacy is upon us and we have only ourselves to blame...
Last night my wife told me of a conversation with a friend...
Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. - 1Corinthians 10:10, 11
Who needs warnings against the ancient Church Fathers' allegorical interpretation of Scripture when you have the Procrustean bed of this sort of Redemptive-Historical hermeneutic declared normative by some of the most respected Reformed men of our time? Pastor Tim Keller, for instance, writes...
Scotland is seeing a radical loss of religious commitment and faith, particularly among her young adults. Why the decline?
Members of the Church of Scotland were polled and only 37% said they believe Jesus was God's son and came back to life after being crucified. Are the pastors who have been presiding over this apostasy still getting paid? If so, does it please them?
I ask because I'm remembering Kierkegaard's comment that, for many pastors, a church without people is their ideal. They want a sinecure—not a messy, smelly flock.
As goes the preaching, so goes the church; and as goes the church, so goes the nation. After years sitting in presbytery meetings listening to sermons by recent grads of my denomination's seminary...