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« Belief and Fantasy | Main | Where Was God? »

July 19, 2012


Good sermon snippet but i must question how well Mr Keller truly thinks due to his very confused and and worldly compromised theory of theistic evolution or progresive creationism as he calls it.

This illustrates the complete distruction sin can cause in every area of life.

Wow Andrew... talk about a cheap shot...

Sorry Autin but I don't see Andrews comment as a "cheap shot" at all. Instead I see it as proper discernment on Andrews’s part. Discernment, btw, that Keller apparently lacks in several areas, of which Andrew, only mentioned one.

This is exactly why I could never return to Protestantism: the mind is too partial to sinful rationalisation, and Scripture simply isn't perspicacious. See Christian Smith's recent book: "The Bible Made Impossible".

Irrespective of Greg's 'Never Read a Bible Verse', it gets you absolutely no further forward. It's still utterly subjective.

So, to slightly amend Michael Ruse's comment under your 'Atheism and Meaning' post:

"So Scripture has to come across as something that is more than emotion. It has to appear to be objective, even though really it is subjective."

- Which is exactly what you at Stand to Reason - and all the Protestants I know (and I did) - do with it.

The best reasoning doesn't make it the best interpretation of the passage. It's simply a non-sequitur.

The only thing that guarantees authentic interpretation of Sacred Scripture is Sacred Tradition.

At least Jason Stellman has recently been honest enough to admit the problem. It'll be interesting to see where he goes next...

It's also interesting how nasty those who use the most 'reasonable' approach to Scripture can be to others 'inside' when they question the invalidity of the question-begging premises their whole structure stands upon.


"You search the scriptures for you think that in them you find life (Life, aka God-Is-Life)...."

I think scripture is helpful, or, rather, Necessary. But you are correct that it alone cannot get us around that particular corner. Jesus agrees with you.

Tradition, by the way, is just as helpless here. I mean to get us around that corner. Jesus confirmed this as well.

Scripture and Tradition are both specifically mentioned by Love-Made-Flesh as quite un-helpful at the end of the day on their own.

There is Something Else.

The Living God, being Person, will always be more than texts and traditions, therefor, what Scriptures and Tradtions "yield" will always be somehow "short of" that particular "It" we are looking for.

The Body of Christ, composed of so many from so many backgrounds, struggling through so many isms and ites and lusts and pains and fears and failures is a wonderful Body, and it is His. I mean to echo Him here, in that we are simply His. That starting point is enough for Him. It must be enough for me. After that, it is my own particular work to dig up within myself a genuine concern, and tender note towards His Body's other members. I suppose if there is a particular "group" who really are not In-Christ at all then I am permitted something less than that inward tender note, although I think He probably would have me love there too.

I understand your notion of not seeing enough in Protestant etc. I can't see enough there either, nor in Catholicism, nor in Fundamentalism, nor in Orthodoxy-ism, and on and on.

It is not Scriptures, nor Traditions; it is only "Me" according to Love Made Flesh.

When we find ourselves defending something Less-Than-That-Me as Necessary Substrate, well, I think we must just drop everything run to Him.

Those who never knew a scripture nor a tradition then hear some crazy preacher preach a Word on Christ-Alone and there repenting ask "What must I do" and they are ushered into His House. We find here someone whom He has sat down at His Own Table, yet who is void of Texts and Traditions in his entire experience. We must start "there".

Maybe part of (not all of)the renewing of our minds involves a sort of perpetual felt-readiness to drop the "current sightline" and reach yet further, palms upward, open. "He must constantly work as the iconoclast. Every idea of Him we form, He must in mercy shatter."

This perpetual felt-readiness to open up our palms may be a sort of avenue by which the Holy Spirit adds Himself to all of our (necessary) scriptural data and mixes Real-Life (Himself) into what is by itself, without Him, hopeless (texts and traditions).

CS Lewis talked about this "perpetual inward posture" as it relates to our (necessary) theology:

"The moment of prayer is for me, or involves for me as its condition, the awareness,the reawakened awareness, that this "real world" and "real self" are very far from being rock bottom realities. I cannot, in the flesh, leave the stage, either to go behind the scenes or to take my seat in the pit; but I can remember these regions exist.

And I also remember that my apparent self--- this clown or hero ---under his Grease-paint is a real person with an off-stage life. The dramatic person could not tread the stage unless he concealed a real person. Unless the real and unknown I existed, I would not even make mistakes about the imagined me.

And in prayer this real I struggles to speak, for once, from his real being, and to address, for once, not the other actors, but---what shall I call Him? The Author, for He invented us all? The Producer for He controls all? Or the Audience, for He watches, and will judge, the performance?

The attempt is not to escape from space and time and from my creaturely situation as a subject facing objects. It is more modest: to re-awaken the awareness of that situation. If that can be done, there is no need to go anywhere else. This situation itself is, at every moment, a possible theophany. Here is the holy ground; the Bush is burning now.

Of course this attempt may be attended with almost every degree of success or failure. The prayer preceding all prayers is "May it be the real I who speaks. May it be the real You that I speak to." Infinitely various are the levels from which we pray.

Emotional intensity is in itself no proof of spiritual depth. If we pray in terror we shall pray earnestly; it only proves that terror is an earnest emotion. Only God Himself can let the bucket down to the depths in us.

And, on the other side, He must constantly work as the iconoclast. Every idea of Him we form, He must in mercy shatter. The most blessed result of prayer would be to rise thinking "But I never knew before. I never dreamed..." I suppose it was at such a moment that Thomas Aquinas said of all his own theology, "It reminds me of straw.""


That's not discernment at all, it's irellevant. That's why I called it cheap.

Even if Keller is wrong in his view of Creation, it has not caused him to sin. If it were a serious sin to get any part of scripture wrong, then we should all be repenting and not taking shots at others for it. Not only that, but this is a prominent Christian leader who probably leads hundreds of people to Christ, by God's grace, yearly. He understands, and is able to communicate, the Gospel more clearly than most. People need to get off their high horses and show the man some respect, even if they disagree with him on this non-essential.


The best reasoning doesn't make it the best interpretation of the passage. It's simply a non-sequitur.

What do you mean by best interpretation? Do you mean to say, the correct interpretation? If so, “reasoning” is precisely how we get there. This isn't taking away from the power of the Holy Spirit, but rather identifying its modus operandi. The ability to reason has been given to us by God.

You’re definitely not saying we should toss out reason – so what do you have against reasoning, or rather what are reasoning’s weaknesses, that tradition doesn’t suffer from? Isn’t tradition just uniform reasoning over time?

To think well, learn to think well.


Sorry if you feel that was a cheap shot Austin, it was not intended to be. Believe me i have ploughed through many Christian authors books who i disagree with on some points but have still learned a great deal so i don't throw out the baby with the bathwater and i am sure i could still learn some things from Mr Keller. However when it comes to not believing the narrative history from the holy ghost, or to compromise the word with worldly notions, or to be afraid to stand up for the truth of Genesis account, or picking where you start to believe the Bible, i do take some exception. Jesus believed the Genesis account as fact. I am not saying Mr Keller or his followers are not saved by these compromises with the world but i do find it a worrying trend in Christianity. Only God can truly decide if it's a sin or not to not believe his account of creation or to compromise that belief. I stopped going to a church that believed this, next they said the flood was local not worldwide, next they said people did not really live to be over 900 in the old world. Once this lack of faith in the word kicks in, it leads to bigger and bigger compromises with worldly thinking.

“That's not discernment at all, it's irellevant”

And there’s your problem Austin, you apparently, like Keller, do not see how these “compromises” lead to an undermining of God’s word.

I suggest you give some serious thought and prayer.

Please bear in mind that Mr keller has written a very heretical article supporting the "idea" of evolution however he tries to hide that definition, that both "adds and takes away" the word from the Bible for Biologas an organisation that emphasizes a compatibility between "science" and Christian faith. An institute dedicated to intergrating false pseudo science and compatibilty with the truth of God and God's account of creation. This is not irrelevant. This is very much revelant to the times we live.


I get your point. I don't believe in evolution at all. I like some of Keller's apologetic strategies, but he's human like the rest of us and not immune to deception. I understand what you're saying though.

There is a lot I do not agree with in his sermon. However I am thankful to Amy for posting this. The first paragraph alone reminded me about a topic that I had conveniently shelved, but should be thinking about constantly.

In other words, sin makes you stupid.

I think sometimes it's calked deception.

"called" not calked.

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