Tim Keller was a Marxist long before Critical Theory grabbed ahold of the church. This is, in part, because he has been instrumental in the long march through the institutions, specifically the remaining institutions that did not adopt modernism. Usually on Twitter, Keller has vague tweets, but on February 19th, Tim Keller tweeted a nod to Critical Theory.
To understand the impact of something like Critical Theory you must not only read lots of its theorists but you must also know face to face and work with the political and activist practitioners inspired by it (who are far less nuanced.) Don’t just read its critics.Tim Keller 02/19/2021 (in case of deletion)
There is a lot wrong with this statement here. First, Tim Keller is gatekeeping. He is putting extra barriers to understand something as basic as Critical Theory. Critical Theory is Cultural Marxism. It applies the bourgeoise vs proletariat dynamic in Classical Marxism to various social dynamics, not limited to race, homosexuality, transgenderism, and even obesity. Critical Theory which is synonymous with Cultural Marxism is not difficult to understand, nor is it difficult to identify.
Tim Keller is insisting that in order to understand Cultural Marxism, you have to do the “work.” The work according to Tim Keller includes reading an unspecified amount of primary material and knowing and working with Cultural Marxists.
As Christians, we cannot work with Cultural Marxists as we are opposed to their work. This is an extra barrier meant to shut down opponents in a fallacious manner. As someone who has actually read their material, I do not agree with this barrier, as we see the principles taught in these materials applied in our culture on a daily basis, where we, as Christians, already sense something is wrong with this ideology, because “My sheep hear my voice.” as Jesus tells us.
Further exposing Keller’s fallacy is if we were to apply this principle to other ideologies. Within the umbrella of Critical Theory is fat theory which we do not need to read its primary material to reject. But Keller’s principle could also be applied to Nazism, Mormonism, Islam, and a myriad of other false religions.
It’s doubtful that Tim Keller would take his own logic to its inevitable conclusion. So what is the authorial intent of Tim Teller’s words? He is defending Critical Theory, his pet heresy.
What asinine argumentation by Keller. It’s like saying of Hitler, you can’t just read his critics, you must read Mein Kampf to understand his nuances. It’s also like saying you can’t know Christianity is true unless you study ALL other religions. It’s absurd logic. Discernment is severely lacking in the Church, especially when you have so-called leaders like Keller and his ilk spouting nonsense.
Jesus said you will know the tree by its fruit. I am not faulting those who want a society free of racism etc. That is good and should be pursued. But, Critical Theory does not want that as its ultimate goal. And anyone saying otherwise is either ignorant or disingenuous.
It’s classic elitism. Unless you’re the experts like we are you couldn’t possibly understand. It’s above you (and it’s critics). It’s also standard fare for that group. His statement sounds very learned and highbrow, but in actuality he really isn’t saying very much at all. It sounds smart, but really isn’t!
Excellent critique of his statement, Ray.
Thanks, Ray. I completely agree. Keller makes it sound like Critical Theory is somehow above the minds of ordinary folk to understand when it’s truly the opposite: we know automatically, instinctively, that it isn’t true.
What Keller doesn’t do is state his intentions; I think if we did it would be clear how errant he is here. If CRT or Critical Theory is true, it’s proponents should have no trouble defending it biblically. Somehow, they are not able to do this. It’s as clear as crystal to me that many of our mainline leaders are fooled by this. They may be great writers who have contributed a lot to Christian doctrine (Keller) but they go wrong on some of these key cultural issues that are besetting us today. I would have hoped better from Keller. However, I’m thankful for discerning teachers such as Ray Fava and others. Keep fighting the good fight!
Was Tim Keller there at Gordon Conwell Theological ‘Cemetery’ in April 1981 when Gary North debated Ron Sider. Sider’s book, “Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger…”. David Chilton’s book, “Productive Christians in An Age of Guilt Manipulators” that Gary North used to lay waste to Sider’s APOSTASY. Did Keller plan his counter attack at that time? I say yes. Keller plotted his False Gospel, the Gospel Coalition from that moment. It was only 90 days later after this debate that I began to see Ron Sider at work responding. Keller and Sider plotting together with their Cultural Marxism of Antonio Gramsci..