Tim Keller: Jesus versus the ‘Religious People’?
On first reading of this recent Facebook post from Tim Keller, well, I’m not sure I can agree with him.
Tim Keller (accidentally?) reinforces the old myth that the Pharisees and Sadducees were “Bible believers.”
No, they weren’t.
Jesus constantly called the Pharisees to task for not believing the Old Testament, which pointed to Himself as its fulfillment.
Also, it’s tiresome to hear an (accidental?) “irreligious versus religious” people mantra.
In fact, everyone is religious in some way.
Jesus’s ministry attracted conservative Jews (such as many of his disciples, Nicodemus, and the apostle Paul). He also attracted heathens and Gentiles.
Similarly, faithful Christians’ ministry today can attract pagans, atheists, and repentant conservative traditionalists.
And in either case, it does not matter which “percentage” (anecdotally or measured) of “irreligious versus religious” people accept the gospel.
What happens if anyone says “this gospel message is not for you, because you’re too bad for it”–about any group? Including progressivists, liberals, conservatives, traditionalists, nationalists, Trump voters, Hillary voters?
Well, that can quickly lead us to an evangelism Dark Side.
I think Tim Keller himself knows this. After all, Keller has been the most popular voice I’ve seen reminding us that even “anti-legalism” can turn into legalism. God bless him for it.
So if anything, this just goes to illustrate the limits of sharing quick doctrine-oriented thoughts on the internet.
That’s a risk I plan to keep in mind this new year.
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