Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Keller on Risks for Evangelicals

Darryl Dash posts an extremely helpful set of notes on a recent talk by Tim Keller in the UK on the risks for evangelicals. Here are the highlights:
  • Evangelicalism used to occupy the middle ground between fundamentalism and liberalism. It was orthodox, pro-scholarship, and facing the world. Recently, evangelicalism has become more hostile and condemning of culture. A younger generation has given up on evangelicalism as a middle ground and are looking for a new consensus. This group goes by a number of names, such as post-evangelicals or the emerging church.

  • A new gospel is being preached about the Kingdom of God and Jesus Christ overcoming the evil powers forces of injustice in the world. The pendulum has swung the other way.

  • To respond, evangelicals must understand and practice biblical repentance as a result of believing the gospel. This will allow evangelicals to admit their sins, even if they disagree with 80% of the criticisms from the post-evangelicals, and even if the remaining 20% is expressed poorly. To the degree that we understand the gospel, we will be able to freely admit our shortcomings as an evangelical movement.

  • Don't ever think that we can respond to legitimate criticisms of our practice by defending our doctrine. In defending our doctrines, we have not responded to the criticisms of our practices. Orthopraxy is part of orthodoxy.

  • It is necessary to draw boundaries. What really matters is how we treat the people on the other side of those boundaries. People are watching. We're going to win the younger leaders if we are the most gracious, kind, and the least self-righteous in controversy. The truth will ultimately lose if we hold the right doctrines, but do so with nasty attitudes and a lack of love.

  • We need to approach the controversies with a repentant heart corporately and say, "Despite all the bad things that are being said here, there's a core of truth here and we need to deal with it."
You can read the complete notes here.