In this section Keller’s Center For Faith and Work (CFW) will be examined. Some of the problems with this arm of the Redeemer Network have already been examined in other sections on this site but it is most certainly necessary to devote a section to exposing CFW, as it is the primary source for the spread of Redeemer’s anti-biblical, ecumenical false theology and Marxist ideology. According to former Redeemer NYC member Jonathan Cousar, a substantial sum of the church’s funds are directed to their Center For Faith and Work. The excerpt below is from an article Jonathan published on his website regarding Redeemer and CFW:
First, I should tell you that the CFW is an integral and important part of Redeemer. The church pours almost a million dollars into it each year ($959,404 in 2014 to be exact). And it employs several full-time paid staffers. David H. Kim is the Executive Director. The CFW website used to say that it was the “social justice arm” of the church. They have since removed that polarizing phrase on the current version of the site. But that is indeed what the CFW is all about – as you can easily discern by taking a quick look at their website.
(Link to the full article http://gospelmasquerade.com/tim-kellers-fruit/)
CFW annually selects artists they want to partner with for what they call “gospel work in the city”. In the section on Keller & homosexuality some of the artists chosen by Redeemer have been shown to have no biblical foundation whatsoever to assist anyone in the proclamation or understanding of biblical truth. Below is a summary of some of the other artists the Redeemer Network has supported and promoted for so-called “gospel renewal”.
2016 CFW Artist in residence applicant’s theme will be inspired by a collection of essays by Marilynne Robinson.
Who is Marilynne Robinson?
Excerpts below from a Huffington Post Q&A:
Q: Gay marriage is one of the culture’s hot-button issues right now. Can people coexist in that controversy?
A: Sometimes I wonder about the authenticity of the controversies themselves. My own denomination (the United Church of Christ), has blessed same-sex relationships and married them as quickly as it became legal in my state. It has been a process that’s gone on for a long time. Nobody gives it a thought, so when you read in the newspaper that there are people calling down brimstone, it’s startling. In time it will become an old issue for the culture that simply will not bring out this kind of thing anymore.
Q: For Christians who hold the view that marriage is between a man and a woman, do you think they’ll become a smaller group over time?
A: There has never been a period in world history where same-sex relationships were more routine and normal than in Hellenistic culture at the time of Christ. Does Jesus ever mention the issue? I bet it must have been all around him. You can get in a lot of trouble eating oysters if you are a literalist about Leviticus.
Q: Can you explain what in Calvinist theology was so profound to you?
A: One of them certainly was the importance of human consciousness. He’s also a humanist; he’s terrifically admiring of what the human mind does.
(link to full article) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/12/marilynne-robinson-christianity_n_5310407.html
Excerpts below from Robinson’s interview with Sally Quinn:
Do you believe in sin?
“Well, it depends how you define the word. The way I would read Genesis is a phenomenon . . . what it describes is a human predisposition to what amounts to self-defeat — to be given a wonderful planet and find yourself destroying it. Or, to have a wonderful civilization and then engage yourself aggressively in ways that destroy your civilization and another besides. If you look at human history or practically any human biography, it’s very hard to say that people don’t incline toward harmful and self-destructive acts, whether they intend to or not. So I believe in sin in the sense that people do harm. I believe in grace in the sense that we cannot make final judgments about the meaning or the effect of what we do.”
Why does Calvinism have such a bad name?
“I am very aware of that. One of the things that of course attracts me to Calvinism is that its reputation is so historically inaccurate and unfair. I mean Congregationalism is a Calvinist tradition, as is Presbyterianism. All the liberal main line churches come out of the Calvinist tradition.”
Where did Calvinists get the reputation for being rigid and puritanical and not joyful?
“In the South you have slavery. In the South you have low rates of literacy. You have very backward laws relative to women and children. And that is treated like, “Oh those people knew how to live.” Whereas to New Englanders, who were educated, prohibiting and really detesting slavery, are treated as the people who were inhumane and unjust. I think there is a culture of self-discipline that comes with the moral strictures of their thinking.”
Would you say you are a Calvinist?
“I believe I actually am a Calvinist, not only because I tend to find affinity with undervalued people, but also because I realize I was brought up culturally to think in terms of what can be described as Calvinist. One of the things that is very characteristic of him is that he dismisses . . . I mean he does not believe in the idea of a structured universe. He assumes that the theater of interaction between a human being and God is that person’s consciousness. I was not brought up with any sort of emphasis on heaven or hell, or any kind of objective order that had legitimacy or authority in its own right. I was brought up to think how I thought was important. What I saw was important. I think that that is very Calvinist.”
Talking about the Bible, we have not mentioned Jesus yet. Who or what is Jesus to you? Is he the son of God?
“Whatever that means? I mean all that sort of thing. God has given us sort of a poem, a way of dealing with things conceptually that are just barely on the limit of our comprehension because our comprehension is limited. One of the things that seems so striking to me in the narrative of Jesus is that we are to assume from the very beginning, from very early Christianity, that Jesus is a figure sacred enough to be understood as God and at the same time he can pass through the world as a man and be dealt with by most people under most circumstances, including his disciples. A man, an interesting one, an admirable one. It seems to me as if that is a sort of way of saying, “Look what a man is.” That God himself could be embodied humanly and nevertheless alter the human presence so little that he could pass through the world as Jesus did, a son of a carpenter. The idea of creation is human-centered. It seems to me the great assertion of the centrality of the human is the incarnation — because Jesus could be so utterly a man and so utterly God. I mean if we are made in the image of God then he is certainly the most unambiguous demonstration of what that could mean.”
Quinn concludes her interview with Robinson by writing:
The thread that unites her concerns is a tradition neglected today by left and right: liberal Christianity. Though the themes of Robinson’s work resonate with “crunchy conservatives” who emphasize virtues like duty, rootedness, and tradition, the author herself is a member of what she calls “that shaken and diminishing community, liberal Protestantism.” Like John Ames (and Barack Obama), Robinson is a Congregationalist, a member of the mainline United Church of Christ. And like Ames, she preaches—the occasional guest sermon for her congregation in Iowa City. Unsurprisingly, author and character at times echo one another. ” Calvin looms large in Robinson’s work: Gilead and its 2008 companion novel, Home, are surely the only bestsellers to hinge on a scene where a preacher ruminates about predestination. In her essays, Robinson presents Calvin as a Christian humanist—contrary to his stereotype as a cold-hearted theocrat—and his intellectual heirs as a vital corrective to our cheapened discourse.” “Those among us who call themselves traditionalists, and who invoke things like ‘religion’ and ‘family’ in a spirit that makes those honest words feel mean and tainted, are usually loyal first of all to a tooth-and-nail competitiveness our history does not in fact enshrine,” she writes in The Death of Adam. Later essays in When I Was a Child continue her attack on these purported traditionalists.
(Link to full article) http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/christian-not-conservative/
Excerpt from a NY Times article on Robinson:
In American religion, Robinson believes, moral rigor has become an obligation “to turn and judge that great sinful world the redeemed have left behind,” and self-righteous Christians can be “outrageously forgiving of one another and themselves, and very cruel in their denunciation of anyone else.” Christianity has become a mere marker of identity, even a sign of electoral eligibility, and Calvin’s cosmic Christ has degenerated into an “imaginary friend” in a faith that focuses solely on “personal salvation” and “accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior.” Christianity in her view has thus become the opposite of itself, and Christians seem preoccupied with “sins” Jesus never mentioned. For the prophets the great sin was always social injustice, but too many American Christians seem comfortable in a world in which 1 percent of the population controls 40 percent of the wealth, and are not perturbed to hear the Gospels cited to legitimize for-profit prisons or to sanctify the use of guns.”
Excerpt from an article on Robinson in The New Yorker by Mark O’Connell aptly titled The First Church of Marilynne Robinson:
The second reason why I love Robinson is how her writing puts me inside an apprehension of the world that is totally foreign to me, and that I have often approached with borderline hostility. (I’m Irish, so when I think about religion I tend to think about suffering and self-hatred. boredom and terror or the controlled intellectual and sexual famines the Catholic Church imposed on every generation of Irish people before my own. Or much worse things.) But even though I’m more or less a fully paid-up atheist, I’m more drawn to Robinson’s Christian humanism than I am to the Dawkins-Dennett-Hitchens-Harris school of anti-theist fighting talk. Robinson is a Calvinist, but her spiritual sensibility is richly inclusive and non-dogmatic. There’s little talk about sin or damnation in her writing, but a lot about forgiveness and tolerance and kindness. Hers is the sort of Christianity that Christ could probably get behind.
(link to full article) http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/the-first-church-of-marilynne-robinson
Robinson’s church website: http://www.ucc.org/about-us_what-we-believe
Robinson’s horrid theology and blatant misrepresentation of John Calvin, Christ and of the very faith she claims is staggering. She is admittedly a proud liberal and humanist who clearly rejects the Bible.
In 2017 Christian Wiman was commissioned under Redeemer’s CFW’s inaugural Artists’ Fellowship program.
Who is Christian Wiman?
Texas Monthly reporter, Tom Bartlett, interviews Christian Wiman on his latest work, My Bright Abyss:
When asked if he believes that the son of God, the Word made flesh, was actually crucified and placed in a tomb only to rise again after three earthbound days, Wiman glances up at the ceiling of the perfectly quiet conference room in the stylish offices he will soon vacate. His eyes close behind his rectangular glasses. It’s probably unfair to ask a poet and a conflicted Christian , a man who writes carefully and slowly and wonderfully, to opine off the cuff about a topic so weighty. He does believe it, he says, though not in the same way that he believes in evolution or in the fact that the earth revolves around the sun. It is a different sort of belief, ‘I try to live toward it.‘”
https://www.texasmonthly.com/the-culture/wimans-rites/ (link to full article)
“Forged from pain, like most masterpieces, My Bright Abyss provides an advanced course in applied mysticism for the twenty-first century.” —Eliza Griswold, author of The Tenth Parallel
“Like the classic mystics, Wiman often resorts to a language of paradox to convey things that ordinary language can’t. Adam Kirsch, The New Yorker
Excerpt below from KirkusReviewOnline of My Bright Abyss:
Wiman acts as an apologist, but to himself as much as to others. Indeed, Wiman is careful not to allow himself belief in traditional Christianity, but only in a vague and open, Christ-centered idea. “Faith is nothing more than a motion of the soul toward God,” he writes. “It is not belief. Belief has objects like Christ was resurrected, God created the earth, but faith does not.” Wiman’s depth of knowledge as a reader truly undergirds his work – as the author struggles to understand God he also struggles to comprehend Christianity, seeing in it deep flaws, an inability to fully grasp the God it proclaims, and what he sees as “a childish clinging to legend and myth”.
https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/christian-wiman/my-bright-abyss/ (link to full article)
Excerpt below quoting poet Christian Wiman from an online interview with Jessa Crispin:
“There’s a theologian named George Lindbeck who says you can no more be religious in general than you can speak language in general. You have to have some sort of form in which to feel your way toward God, or let’s call it God. I was raised Christian, so for me that’s my language, those are my forms. I can’t change it, though my understanding of Christianity is very different from anything I grew up with. Similar to how I’ve experienced poetry in my life and just like poetry, faith doesn’t last. Many mornings I wake up an utter unbeliever — worse than any atheist, probably, because it’s an anguish for me. So much about religion in this country is appalling and, if you think of yourself as both a Christian and an intellectual, it’s embarrassing. But there are also some profound and very relevant contemporary religious writers – Marilynne Robinson comes to mind.”
http://www.bookslut.com/features/2009_03_014174.php (link to full article)
Excerpt from Christianity Today’s article on Wiman:
“I read a lot of theology, even though I am almost always frustrated by it. Thomas Merton once said that trying “to solve the problem of God” is like trying to see your own eyes. No doubt that’s part of it. There is something absurd about formulating faith, systematizing God. I am usually more moved—and more moved toward God—by what one might call accidental theology, the best of which is often art, sometimes even determinedly secular art.” When asked why he is drawn to mysticism… “I want to be taken over by God- I want the kind of revelation that precedes all doctrine and dogma. I feel that some people may be called to unbelief—or what looks like unbelief—in order that faith may take new forms.”
(Thomas Merton – catholic monk, theologian, social activist and mystic. He was fascinated by Zen Buddhism and Taoism and spent the later years of his life experimenting with a blend of eastern mystical religion and Catholicism for a Zen Catholic fusion. On one such interfaith trip to Thailand in 1968 he was electrocuted while bathing)
(link to full article) http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/january-february/god-between-lines.html?start=2
Wiman is the typical liberal of the mystical sort with a deeply man-centered understanding of faith; that is, when he has faith…some days he doesn’t! The poor fellow has no concept of the faith once delivered to the saints.
The Center for Faith and Work, professedly established for the purpose of gospel renewal through the arts, has launched their 150/W83 exhibitions. Below is an excerpt from their website listing some of the events promoted and hosted by Redeemer’s CFW. There is plenty of secular art, charismatic meditations, poetry, acting and theater, international diplomacy, entrepreneurial ventures, finance and investments, human rights, religious doubt & uncertainty, projections in reality, opera, public civility panels, and social media workshops…..but no gospel, as they make clear from the below statement at the CFW website:
An outreach of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, CFW is a space for culture and community on the Upper West Side of NYC.
Below are a few examples of what goes on weekly at Redeemer’s CFW workshops:
February 21, 2018 7:30pm – 10:00pm
Join us for a special evening with Pulitzer Prize winning author Marilynne Robinson (Gilead, Home, Lila, and Housekeeping), the recipient of CFW’s inaugural Commission of Faith & Work. Hear this luminary author read from and speak about her forthcoming work, What Are We Doing Here?, a sagacious collection of essays that explore the mysteries of faith and the climate of American cultural and political life. Mining great thinkers like Tocqueville, Emerson, and Calvin, while investigating how beauty forms daily life, Robinson’s unmatched voice finds a new urgency for Americans of faith. An in-depth conversation will follow, investigating the author’s illustrious body of work, her rigorous and scholarly devotion to the humanities, and how it all has intersected with her own personal faith.
March 1, 2018 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Join David Kim and Brad Katsuyama, CEO and co-founder of the Investors Exchange, for this event in our Soulful Work Lunch Series. Brad Katsuyama is the CEO and co-founder of IEX, America’s newest and fastest-growing stock exchange.
May 23, 2018 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Join David Kim and world-renowned artist Mako Fujimura, for this event in our Soulful Work Lunch Series. A popular speaker, he has lectured at numerous conferences, universities and museums, including the Aspen Institute, Yale and Princeton Universities, Sato Museum and the Phoenix Art Museum. Fujimura founded the International Arts Movement in 1992, a non-profit whose “Encounter” conferences have featured cultural catalysts such as Dr. Elaine Scarry, Dennis Donoghue, Billy Collins, Dana Gioia, Calvin DeWitt and Miroslav Volf.
April 4, 2018 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Join David Kim and Tony-nominated actress Elizabeth A. Davis for this event in our Soulful Work Lunch Series. Elizabeth is a 2016 CFW Artist in Residence and Gotham 2015 alum.
April 25, 2018 7:00pm – 9:30pm
This workshop is designed to inspire both artists and non-artists to re-examine their work and seek out ways to become more creative. Kyle Werner is a composer whose interest in showcasing performers’ expressive capabilities has led to collaborations with world-class musicians and ensembles such as the Chicago Chamber Musicians, Grand Rapids Symphony, Axiom Brass, Windscape, guitarist Jordan Dodson, and members of Eighth Blackbird.
October 23, 2017 – May 25, 2018 (various lectures will be announced periodically)
We believe that the arts are critical to the flourishing of our city. Artists steward the development of a healthy imagination that is crucial to innovation in every sector and vocation. In our inaugural lecture of CFW’s new series, artist and pastor Vito Aiuto expounds three modes of vision that engender artistic excellence for the person of faith. Here is his fresh and practical perspective on seeing the unseen:
“Your beliefs will be the light by which you see, but they will not be what you see and they will not be a substitute for seeing.” –Flannery O’Connor
Mary Flannery O’Connor (March 25, 1925 – August 3, 1964) was an American writer and essayist. She wrote two novels and thirty-two short stories, as well as a number of reviews and commentaries. She was a Southern writer who often wrote in a Southern Gothic style and relied heavily on regional settings and grotesque characters. Her writing also reflected her Roman Catholic faith and frequently examined questions of morality and ethics. Her posthumously compiled Complete Stories won the 1972 U.S. National Book Award for Fiction and has been the subject of enduring praise. She wrote ironic, subtly allegorical fiction about deceptively backward Southern characters, usually fundamentalist Protestants, who undergo transformations of character that, to her thinking, brought them closer to the Catholic mind. The transformation is often accomplished through pain, violence, and ludicrous behavior in the pursuit of the holy.
The Art of Storytelling and Public Speaking for Business
September 26, 2017 7:00-10:00 pm
In this three hour workshop, you will focus on the persuasive power of telling personal narrative stories and how to connect to employees and clients like you never have before. Also, you will touch upon various techniques that will help you become more comfortable with public speaking and work presentations. Led by Adam Wade, a record 20-time Story Slam Champion at The Moth, whose comedic storytelling has been lauded by critics at The New York Times, The Village Voice, Newsweek and New York Magazine.
Soulful Work Lunch Series
May 23, 2017 12:30 pm
Join David Kim and Michael Wear, former Obama administration staffer and author of Reclaiming Hope, in the second event in our Soulful Work Lunch Series. Each month CFW will host dialogues with professionals from various industries, utilizing a practical theological framework to identify the inherent goodness of work, its outcomes, and the deeper questions it asks of us. Lunch and a time of Q&A will be included.
June 20, 2017 12:00 pm
Join David Kim and Fiona Dieffenbacher, Director of BFA Fashion Design at Parsons School of Design, in the third event in our Soulful Work Lunch Series. Each month CFW will host dialogues with professionals from various industries, utilizing a practical theological framework to identify the inherent goodness of work, its outcomes, and the deeper questions it asks of us. Lunch and a time of Q&A will be included.
“Ruah”: A solo exhibit of Mike McManus
Thu, Jan 12, 2017 6:30 pm Mon, Feb 27, 2017 9:00 pm
“Ruah” is the breath of life, the Spirit that animates and awakens living beings. In this exhibition, Mike McManus seeks to understand God through a creative practice of personal worship and meditation. Supplementing traditional church and religious Christian practices, McManus works out the deep utterings and groanings of the spirit in a visual exercise of “speaking in tongues” and communing with God through his art-making. Exhibition opens January 12, 2017, runs through February 27, 2017. Open daily 8 a.m.-9 p.m.
An Evening With Poet Christian Wiman
Saturday, January 28, 2017 8:00 pm 10:00 pm
CFW presents an evening with acclaimed poet Christian Wiman. The intermingling of calling and desire, the inhering of the self in our work, the catalyzing hunger of longing — these tensions form the high-wire meditation that Wiman treads. Join Wiman as he investigates the ineffable essence of God’s calling in our daily lives in his brand new work, presented for the very first time, commissioned under CFW’s inaugural Artist Fellowship. Ticket includes a reception with drinks following the program.
THE SOULFUL ENTREPRENEUR
Thursday, April 20, 2017 12:00 pm 1:30 pm
What makes a Christian entrepreneur? What makes an investment gospel-oriented? The answers are often not black and white. And perhaps the questions themselves as a starting point are misguided. Which means there’s a better way for the Christian entrepreneur or investor to consider their sense of call that unravels the categories we so narrowly create.
Join pastor/theologian David Kim (CFW) and best-selling author Dave Evans (Designing Your Life) for a lunch-time discussion on how the intrinsic, instrumental, and innovative work of entrepreneurs and investors can embody God’s incarnate glory in our world.
Cost: $12 – Includes lunch
One Harmony Concert: Art as a Language for Diplomacy
Monday, December 12, 2016 6:30pm 10:00pm
Classical violinist Hyung Joon Won embodies “art as a language of diplomacy” with his project One Harmony, a first ever combined classical orchestra of Koreans from both the North and the South peninsula. Hear Won perform and speak about his ongoing efforts to reinstate dialogue between the two Koreas through music. Following the concert will be a panel discussion with the artist, joined by panelists: CEO / Founder of Newsdeeply Lara Setrakian, Author Jieun Baek and CEO / Founder of The Human Rights Network Elias Popa.
“Hope: An Exhibit of Uncertain Faith”
Thu, Mar 2, 2017 6:30pm Sun, Apr 9, 2017 10:00pm
The word hope is one used when we desire something but do so with uncertainty. Merriam-Webster defines to hope as “to want something to happen or to be true and think that it could happen or be true.” The Biblical concept of hope, however, is defined with a certainty we lack. The Book of Hebrew says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance of what we do not see.” In “Hope: An Exhibit of Uncertain Faith” women of faith in New York City visually work out the challenges and persistence of hope in the face of doubt. Curated by Christina Young.
Exhibiting Artists: Lourdes Bernard, Karen Hartmann, Teuta Ibriqaj, Lindsay Kolk, Teressa Valla and Kristen Somody Whalen
BROKEN HEARTS: a concert for piano, quartet and actor
Wednesday, December 14, 2016 7:30pm 9:30pm
The Elsewhere Ensemble presents an evening of storytelling through music and the spoken word. Experience Brahms through the lens of one man’s personal journey in “Letter to Brahms.” In “The Happy Prince,” Oscar Wilde’s beloved tale tells of the unlikely bond between a little swallow and a golden statue and how they open their eyes to the suffering in the city around them. All concert proceeds will go to Restore NYC, an organization whose mission is to end sex trafficking in New York and restore the well-being and independence of foreign national survivors.
Thursday, November 17, 2016 7:30 pm 8:30 pm
Soprano Annabelle Han’s solo recital. Presenting arias and songs composed by Gluck, Handel, Mozart, Puccini, Ambroise Thomas, Amy Beach, John Adams. Pianist: Maestro Keith Chambers. Admission: $20 (Students/Seniors $15) Cash at the door.
“Home: Seen. Unseen.”: Solo exhibit of Christopher Voss
Tue, Nov 1, 2016 6:30pm Sun, Dec 18, 2016 9:00pm
Christopher Voss explores the perceptions and realities of how we define and experience home and belonging in his series, ‘Home: Seen. Unseen.” Through the layering and piecing together of fragmented images, Voss asks the viewer to consider the tensions that may exist between what we choose to remember and choose to forget, the narratives that stay with us, and the narratives we recall through an altered lens.
Civility in the Public Square: Nicholas Kristof, John Inazu & Tim Keller
Monday, October 24, 2016 7:30 pm 9:30 pm
Join us for an evening with Nicholas Kristof (Pulitzer Prize winning NY Times editorialist), John Inazu (author of Confident Pluralism), and best-selling author and pastor Tim Keller (Redeemer Presbyterian Church) to discuss rediscovering civility and dignity in the public square. Co-sponsored by Redeemer West Side and The Center For Faith and Work.
@Sree’s Social Media One Night Stand
Wednesday, September 28, 2016 6:30 pm 9:30 pm
Sree Sreenivasan, the newly-appointed Chief Digital Officer of NYC, will be teaching a social media workshop joined by other industry experts and guest speakers. Topics include best practices, how to cut through the noise using innovative tools and strategies, and tips and tricks for reinventing yourself and job searching. Admission includes one-on-one and small group consultations with “social media doctors”.
The above CFW tweet well demonstrates Redeemer’s understanding of the Christian walk; they teach that our identity is formed by our imagination, experience and community. But the true believer’s identity is solely in Christ, shaped by Truth as revealed to us in scripture alone. Keller’s Center for Faith and Work is completely void of any biblical foundation of gospel truth. Their mission is clearly to “enrich” the city through entrepreneurial ventures, random secular workshops, comedy and storytelling with heavy emphasis and promotion of secular arts, as well as partnerships with and tolerance of false religionists. They regularly partner with and promote artists, writers and poets who do not believe the Bible. The secular, worldy “activities” of Keller’s Center for Faith and Work are completely void of any scriptural context or biblical truth, and as is the norm for his entire organization, CFW only serves the world by catering to their flesh.
“The chief modern rival of Christianity is ‘liberalism’… at every point, the two movements are in direct opposition. According to Christian belief, man exists for the sake of God; according to the liberal church, in practice if not in theory, God exists for the sake of man.”
John Gresham Machen