In this section we will examine some of the people partnering with and promoting Tim Keller who also have a significant influence in the professing church.
Piper is a well-respected pastor with much influence in the church; beloved by many, he is considered to be a solid source for guidance in biblical truth. Though on my part there has always been cause for concern with John Piper, it is his eager promotion and support of Tim Keller that exposes a devastating lack of discernment. The more I researched Keller, the more I ran head on into Piper- he was just always running around in the same “cultural renewal – social justice – race reconciliation” circles that define Keller’s “ministry” but have nothing to do with the gospel, the church or the Great Commission. Below are a few links and excerpts that demonstrate the need to examine Piper and his ministry against the truth of scripture.
In the below link (4.32 min) Keller promotes his powerless gospel at one of Piper’s Desiring God conferences, referring to the supernatural Gospel of Christ as “a magic bullet that doesn’t work anymore.” (see the section on this site titled “The Gospel” for a more thorough critique of this video excerpt). To date, Piper has yet to condemn Keller’s heresy and still heartily supports Keller’s ministry, partnering with him continually.
In the article link below Dr. J.D. Watson critiques “Christian Hedonism” and exposes the danger of Piper’s unbiblical concept. http://www.svchapel.org/resources/book-reviews/4-christian-living/117-desiring-god-a-the-pleasures-of-god-by-john-piper
he·don·ism- NOUN: the pursuit of pleasure; sensual self-indulgence
As anyone should be able to see from the clear definition, you cannot “Christianize” hedonism…..and why would any believer want to?
Craig W. Booth breaks down any form of hedonistic thought in the church against the truth of scripture: http://www.thefaithfulword.org/wakeupcall.html
An excellent critique by Manuel Kuhs warns of Piper and the danger of any form of hedonistic thought in the church. http://reasonablechristian.blogspot.com/2010/12/critical-examination-of-john-pipers_5960.html
Like Keller, Piper seems to feel a real need to make God acceptable to the world- a god they will like and can embrace; one they would eagerly sign on to. Piper’s recent devotional Happy God seems to serve the same purpose as his Christian Hedonism- which is to make God “okay” to the world; maybe soften the blow of “the God of wrath” ~ But scripture crushes this fallacy:
*Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Luke 21: 26, 35
(snare- NOUN: a trap for catching birds or animals, typically one having a noose of wire or cord.)
*But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Luke 12:5
*They told the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. Revelation 6:16
*Vengeance belongs to me,” says the Lord, “I will repay.” Again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Hebrews 10:31
*You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come. Matthew 3:7
*You are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God. Romans 2:5
*God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day- If he turn not, he will whet his sword; he hath bent his bow, and made it ready. Psalm 7:11
*Behold, the day of the LORD is coming, Cruel, with fury and burning anger, to make the land a desolation; And He will exterminate its sinners from it. Isaiah 13:9
*For all our days have declined in Your fury; We have finished our years like a sigh. Psalm 90:9
*By the breath of God they perish, And by the blast of His anger they come to an end. Job 4:9
*They lie helpless at the head of every street, Like an antelope in a net, Full of the wrath of the LORD, The rebuke of your God. Isaiah 51:20
*Now I will shortly pour out My wrath on you and spend My anger against you. Ezekiel 7:8
*On account of these the wrath of God is coming. Colossians 3:6
*What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience and longsuffering vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? Romans 9:22
*From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He treads the wine press of the fierceness of the wrath of God, the Almighty! Revelation 19:16
hap·py ADJECTIVE -feeling or showing pleasure or contentment; having a sense of confidence in or satisfaction with a person, arrangement, or situation.
synonyms: cheery merry joyful jovial jolly jocular gleeful carefree delighted smiling beaming grinning lighthearted content sunny thrilled elated blissful euphoric overjoyed exhilarated ecstatic untroubled
Regarding Paul’s counsel to Timothy, Piper states:
“This is the gospel: the gospel of the glory of a happy god. That’s a quote from the Bible!”
But the Bible actually states:
“According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.”
1 Timothy 1:11
Definition of blessed
1. religious context
This is a dangerously misleading concept, as per Merriam Webster’s definition above, the term blessed in a religious context does not mean happy, but hallowed. Scripture says The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10) ~ who would fear Piper’s cheerful, carefree, lighthearted, untroubled, overjoyed happy God?
Dr. E.S. Williams has devoted much time and research to exposing the New Calvinist movement, including John Piper. The excellent video critique below exposes the root source of Piper’s “Christian Hedonism”. He has also released a book warning the church of the serious error in Piper’s theology. The book is titled Christian Hedonism? A Biblical Examination of John Piper’s Teaching, available at Amazon or through his website www.newcalvinist.com
video (39.57 min) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzNoQwrZkdg
This link is a website launched by Dr. ES Williams in an effort to examine the theology of John Piper against the scriptures: http://www.therealjohnpiper.com/
Dr. Williams is a member of Spurgeon’s Metropolitan Tabernacle in London, currently pastored by Dr. Peter Masters, who has also expressed serious concerns about the dangers of Piper’s unbiblical theology: https://www.the-highway.com/christian-hedonism_Masters.html
Dr. E.S. Williams partnered with Irishman Enoch Burke in England recently to hand out flyers and warn conference goers to the London Men’s Convention in Westminster about the dangerous theology of John Piper. Piper was the keynote speaker at the 2018 conference, which draws pastors and churchmen from all over the world. Enoch Burke released an excellent and stern critique of the dangerous error of Piper in a new book titled “The Pied Piper: Is John Piper and New Calvinism Destroying the Church?” available at Amazon.com
Faithful stewards Dr. E.S Williams and Enoch Burke
In the below link Paul Flynn critiques Piper’s mysticism and catholic affections
On March 12, 2013 Rick Warren tweeted, and John Piper re-tweeted the following:
“Join me today in fasting and prayer for the 115 Cardinals seeking God’s Will in a new leader.”
Seeking God’s will? The above tweet is a reference to the Roman Catholic pope, of which the blessed reformers correctly identified as the seat of anti-Christ- I wonder what Charles Spurgeon would have thought of such a “re-tweet” from an influential, professing protestant pastor?
“It is the preacher’s business Sunday after Sunday, and weekday after weekday, to preach the whole gospel of God and to vindicate the truth as it is in Jesus from the opposition of man. Thousands are the heresies which now plagued the church. O children of God! Fight the battles of the Lord for truth. I am astonished, and yet even more astonished when I think about it- about the lack of seriousness that there is in the Protestant Church of the present age. How do you imagine that Cardinal Wiseman pays for all his splendors, and that the Roman Catholic Church is supported? By fools and people with lazy hearts, these are those who supply much of their wealth. If the Catholic Cardinal is scheduled to preach in some church or hall, who is it that crowds the church until it is full, and even pays for admission to get in? The Protestants! And thus the Protestant Church of England pays the wages of the Pope! I am ashamed that sons of the Reformers should bow themselves before the beast, and give so much as a single penny to the shrine of the devil’s firstborn son. Be careful you Protestant! lest you be partakers of her plagues; do not touch her, lest you be defiled. Give a grain of incense to her censors, and you will be partakers of her adulteries and partakers of her plagues. Every time you pass a Roman Catholic Church call down a curse on her: For the Lord has said: – “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes. Give back to her as she has given; pay her back double for what she has done. Mix her a double portion from her own cup. Give her as much torture and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself. In her heart she boasts, ‘I sit as queen; I am not a widow, and I will never mourn.’ Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.” – Revelation 18:4-8. “Some men’s minds are growing weaker in the battle. I hear them speaking of incorporating certain Roman Catholic beliefs into our Protestantism – and what is that but Roman Catholicism made worse than it was before, by being more despicable and deceivable than even Catholicism itself. Don’t you hear men talk of the Roman Catholics these days and say, “Oh! well, they differ a little from us.” Doesn’t the evangelical party in the Church of England seem at the present moment to embrace some of the Roman Catholic teachings? All is well with that Church when it is separated from the heretics, and a great gulf is fixed, but all that helps to bridge that gulf will mar her glory and destroy her power. We must have no truce, no treaty with Rome. War! War! War! with her! There cannot be peace. She cannot have peace with us – we cannot have peace with her. She hates the true Church, and we can only say that the hatred is reciprocated. We would not lay a hand on her priests; we would not touch a hair of their heads. Let them be free; but we will attempt to destroy their doctrine from the face of the earth because it is the doctrine of demons. O God, let the Roman Catholic Church perish, let it be consumed in the smoke.” (Excerpt from Spurgeon’s sermon titled “War, War, War” preached on May 1,1859)
The below link is an interview with Pastor Patrick Hines on The Semper Reformanda radio podcast discussing the controversy behind Piper’s works based views on justification. https://thorncrownministries.com/srr/2018/4/18/srr-77-a-wolf-among-the-sheep
On January 12, 2016 Piper tweeted the following:
Twitter 01/12/2016 John Piper @JohnPiper Jan 12
If “Black Lives Matter” matters, know why from their own website. http://blacklivesmatter.com/ . See What We Believe and Herstory.
What is the “Black Lives Matter” movement? And what do they hope to achieve through their vitriol and protesting?
A brief but excellent critique by JD Hall of Piper’s tweet
John Perazzo exposes the BLM movement (FrontPage Mag)http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/263460/black-lives-matter-movement-built-lies-john-perazzo
The link below is the excellent article by James Simpson exposing the Black Lives Matter movement.
Worldview Weekend discusses Piper’s support of the BLM movement.
In the link below we see Piper and Keller teaming up at Redeemer NYC’s campus to drag the church into the so-called propaganda driven “race-war”, which has NOTHING to do with the church or her mission. They both clearly believe the church has “failed” on racial issues and must recognize this failure and focus much more on skin color going forward. Redeemer’s “Race and Grace Team” (?) hosted the event and Crossway Publishing was the lead sponsor, as it was surely a great way for Crossway to promote one of their latest publications- “Bloodlines: Race, Cross & Christian” written by John Piper. Redeemer’s Race and Grace team (?) indicated that the entire event was inspired by Piper’s book.
(video link of the event) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVjaNWSh4Hw
Exactly what is a Race and Grace Team? For the record, the church is not called to heal racial tensions.
The below link is the website for a conference in April 2018 sponsored by Keller’s Gospel Coalition and the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission on the church’s responsibility to heal racial tension. An excerpt from their mission statement explains their position regarding the church’s responsibility:
King’s tragic death marks an opportunity for Christians to reflect on the state of racial unity in the church and the culture. It creates the occasion to reflect on where Christians have been and look ahead to where we must go as we pursue racial unity.
Again, and for the record, the church is not called to pursue racial unity, just as we are not called to end human trafficking or shutdown the abortion clinics- THIS IS NOT OUR CALLING. John Piper and D. A. Carson headline this conference event sponsored by Carson and Keller’s Gospel Coalition. In the event that anyone doubts the intent of this so-called “evangelical” movement the below advertisement, which clarifies their position with regard to the gospel, appears on The Gospel Coalition website:
Editors’ note: Racial unity is a gospel issue and all the more urgent 50 years after Martin Luther King Jr.’s death. The anniversary of his assassination marks an opportunity for Christians to reflect on our past and look ahead to where we must go as we pursue racial unity in the midst of tremendous tension. Join the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and The Gospel Coalition at “MLK50: Gospel Reflections from the Mountaintop,” April 3-4 in Memphis, Tennessee. Learn more and register at mlk50conference.com.
This is a link to an excellent article exposing the deeply troubling aspects of Christians “celebrating” Martin Luther King for any reason:
In the article link below Piper reveals his deep empathy for so-called Christian rapper Lecrae, and his decision to separate from “white evangelicalism” (whatever that is!) ~ John Piper is wholly sympathetic and as is the norm for him in keeping the rampant racism narrative alive, he has posted a lengthy article on his DesiringGod website: https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/116-been-real
The video below is just sad, as Piper props up the narrative of rampant racism and racial inequality that do not exist. Laced with the typical Piper emotionalism, his plea rings hollow in a country where there are countless organizations, programs and incentives designed specifically and only for black people; from Affirmative Action to the United Negro College Fund or the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and many more in between; underprivileged whites, Hispanics and Asians can only dream of having this level of opportunity. In a sinful, fallen world there will likely always be various forms of racism and it is most assuredly not one sided, as there are black, Hispanic and many other ethnic racists just the same. Why do they put such unrelenting effort into keeping the past alive and at the forefront of our minds? Those who keep this narrative alive most assuredly have an agenda and thoughtless, undiscerning people are easy prey for the propagandists. Unfortunately, there are many in the church getting caught up in this illusion, but this is a dangerous message that is perceived by many as a battle cry. They are laying the foundation for potential violence and social unrest- but even so, irresponsible, gullible people just keep stoking the fire. I see this as just one more example of the blatant lack of discernment on the part of John Piper. (update: 07/06/18 this video, titled “A Pastor Apologizes for His Racism” has recently been removed from the internet, no doubt by the ministry of John Piper; what do they have to hide?)
The two links below illustrate the truth regarding so-called racism in America.
The always eloquent Larry Elder (8.16 min)
The outstanding Thomas Sowell (9.46 min)
The commission of Christ to His church:
15He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16: 15-16
The relentless social action campaigns, conferences and books of Keller, Piper and many others are nothing more than a distraction from the true work Christ has commissioned His people to do. Search your Bibles and you will never see Jesus, Paul, John, Peter or any other apostle or prophet of God engaged in any manner whatsoever with the social reform or cultural renewal antics of today’s church. This has nothing to do with the Lord’s church or the Great Commission. In fact, scripture makes clear the extreme moral and spiritual decline that will plague the latter days; things are not going to get better, but will wax worse and worse:
Jesus from Matthew 24:
3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? 4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
Paul from 2 Timothy 3:
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. 12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”
The below link is a video (49.55 mins) posted November 30, 2017 by Piper on his DesiringGod website titled My Burden for Our Racial Brokenness. It further demonstrates Piper’s constant and relentless obsession with pushing the “rampant racism that Christians need to fix” narrative. This presentation was much more than the typical leftist perversion of the Lord’s commission to His church, as Piper sets out in this video to primarily address what he claims is a problem in the church and a great burden to him- which is:
“How do ethnic minorities maintain their ethnicity and their identity, as they associate and partner with the “dominant, white form of the big God of the white church?”
I kid you not!
The blatantly obvious answer, of course, to Piper’s outrageous assertion and question above is firstly, that the true church of Christ is not “white”, nor is the one true God. Secondly, “racial reconciliation” is not the Great Commission and lastly, minorities DO NOT maintain their ethnicity or their identity when they come to Christ….they will see themselves just as Christ and His people see them; as a child of God. “For there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free…..but we are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28
And he goes on to describe inexplicable, catastrophic acts of racism, the reckless presidency of Donald Trump and the shameful reality that a huge percentage of white evangelicals actually voted for the guy! He bemoans America’s widespread, structural injustice against minorities, as well as his claim that minority Christians everywhere are disillusioned with “white evangelicalism” and as a result they must separate themselves from us! Piper addresses the minorities that will depart from “the white church” and warns white people that we really can’t blame them for it! He warns the prominent white reformed church about the “indigenization of big God theology”….?%&#?! Whatever that is!
Dr. John Piper makes clear that he is addressing the “heirs of Jesus Christ” but that is a real problem, as the heirs of Christ (or true believers) are color blind, therefore we have no need of Piper’s rhetoric of preserving race and ethnicity in the church.
I found this video to be utter nonsense. What does it have to do with man’s deeply depraved state in the sight of a Holy God? What does it have to do with man’s dire need of repentance? What does it have to do with the finished work of Christ on the Cross of Calvary? What does it have to do with the Lord’s church? What does it have to do with reconciliation to the one, true God of the scriptures who is calling a people to himself from every kindred, tongue, people and nation! (Revelation 5:9)
(link to video presentation My Burden for Our Racial Brokenness)
https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/together-for-good (49.55 mins)
*Avoid the propaganda driven schemes and voices of error invading the professing church- the Lord is not glorified in any of this.
The below link is an episode of Semper Reformanda Radio on Piper’s perverted understanding of justification- it is exposed and examined by Tim Shaughnessy and Carlos Montijo. I think it’s more than notable that Dr. John Robbins and The Trinity Foundation have been warning about Piper’s compromised gospel for 15+ years. This episode is a must listen!
The article below contrasts Piper’s “gospel” with Roman Catholicism. Tim Shaughnessy and Timothy Kauffman, both former Catholics, demonstrate the likeness of the two.
In the below article, Kauffman graciously responds to the criticisms of the above article and presents further evidence for their concerns regarding Piper’s flawed, “evolving” views on justification.
Carson (Canadian-born, Reformed Evangelical theologian and professor of the New Testament) is co-founder alongside Keller of The Gospel Coalition (TGC); a professed gospel-centered organization that upon closer examination is actually promoting a man-centered, unbiblical message of cultural transformation by means of correcting the world’s social injustices. Again I say, this is not the Great Commission. Seated far left at the table in the below photo we have Carson attending a brainstorming session at Trinity International University’s Center for TRANSFORMATIONAL churches.
From their website they proclaim:
“Christ calls the church to be the primary vehicle for communicating the gospel and creating individual, communal, and cultural change, but In order for Christians to influence culture and cultivate fruit, missional engagement must include the world of work. By empowering pastors and congregation members to understand the value of their daily work, churches create a ripple effect in bringing about human flourishing. The work of the Center for Transformational Churches facilitates.” https://www.tiu.edu/about/core-values/
The visible church will no more “transform culture” than Jesus or his apostles did; this is not the mission. From a cultural standpoint, Christ left this world exactly as He found it; sinful and corrupt. See THE GOSPEL COALITION section of this site to gain more insight on the glaring lack of discernment of Dr. D.A. Carson.
Mark E. Dever is the senior pastor of the Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., and the president of 9Marks, a Christian ministry he co-founded that is quickly adopting the same “social” mission and practice as Keller’s Gospel Coalition. Dever eagerly promotes the teachings of Keller as evidenced by the numerous videos and panel discussions that can be found at The Gospel Coalition website and various other internet sites. He is also involved in the movement to get full acceptance of homosexual Christians into the church, led by “gay” Christian pastor Sam Allberry and Tim Keller through www.livingout.org. Dever’s church was set to co-host a “living out” conference in Washington D.C in November 2018 and though there was absolutely no mention of this partnership on any of Dever’s social media outlets, Living Out was promoting the partnership on their site, as the screen shot below clearly shows:
Some weeks later and after much condemnation by discerning Christians, Capitol Hill Baptist was removed from the promo ad; under the radar- their name just disappeared.
Living Out wants to help churches understand how we can better help those who experience same-sex attraction to stay faithful to Biblical teaching on sexual ethics and flourish at the same time. On our LOCAL (Living Out Churches And Leaders) course we will show you why many churches fail – but how the Bible wonderfully meets the challenges we all face.
Why do they think “many churches fail”?? After much research into this movement I can say assuredly that it is because any church committed to scripture will condemn homosexuality, call the homosexual to repentance and will not accept the term “homosexual Christian”, as it is a direct refutation of regeneration and the transforming power of the gospel. These folks reject the scripture and are determined by way of language manipulation and double-speak to obtain full acceptance. Mark Dever fully supports this movement, though he has chosen to try and keep his name out of the spotlight. This article was published just after Living Out announced the partnership on their website: https://pulpitandpen.org/2018/09/27/gay-christian-event-planned-at-mark-devers-capitol-hill-baptist-church/?
The links below published by various different concerned churchmen layout the dangers of another movement to which Mark Dever is becoming more and more devoted to in his ministry, exposing a dangerous lack of discernment.
“Ron Burns changed his name to Thabiti Anyabwile to identify with the Black Nationalist Movement. When he converted from Christianity to Islam and then from Islam back to “social-justice” Christianity, Anyabwile continued to identify with the Black Nationalist Movement and kept his name. Today, Anyabwile – a protege of Mark Dever – is a favorite celebrity of the Social Justice primarily-political organization, The Gospel Coalition, and regularly posts content there.” Excerpt above from http://pulpitandpen.org/2018/04/05/thabiti-anyabwile-says-whites-complicit-murdering-martin-luther-king-jr/
Dever likes to hit the twitter feed daily, sending out messages that have nothing to do with the Lord’s church, or the work He commissioned us to do:
Okay, what does this have to do with the church, the gospel or the Great Commission?
Mark Dever Retweeted
We just released our Spring 2018 Journal—Church Life: Our True Political Witness. The goal of the Journal is simple: to redirect the Christian’s political hopes from the nation to the church. Check out the Table of Contents here: https://www.9marks.org/journal/church-life-our-true-political-witness/ …pic.twitter.com/ldQ1oOyF7R
Okay, what does this have to do with the gospel or the Great Commission?
Dever was a big part of the MLK50 Celebration, whereby the church celebrated and promoted communist and theological heretic, Martin Luther King. He was busy on the twitter all that week sending out tweets like this one:
Our brother and pastor
@CharlieDates just gave a good word of challenge, information & instruction, especially for white pastors and seminary professors and leaders and Bible-believing bankers and business-owners and government officials. When it’s available, listen & strategize.
Especially for “white” pastors? Yes, Mark Dever has very much fallen into the “white privilege” propaganda and promotes the false narrative that the church is to some degree responsible for racial injustice and must “solve” the problem. Which of course, does not exist and is not the mission of the church.
“I’m sitting here at the Southern Baptist Convention. Earlier today Vice President Mike Pence addressed the convention. We were told he initiated the offer to speak. I wish we had not accepted.”
The above tweet is odd, as I don’t remember there being any complaints when Hilary Clinton spoke to The National Baptist Convention? https://www.c-span.org/video/?414956-1/hillary-clinton-addresses-national-baptist-convention
“The special-grace work of the church is made easier by the common-grace work of governments.”
Huh??? The “common grace work of government” has nothing to do with God’s amazing grace to the sinner. Nothing.
Newly elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention, J.D. Greear, has been a student of Keller for many years. Greear released a book in 2011 titled “Gospel: Recovering The Power That Made Christianity Revolutionary”, foreword written by Tim Keller. The written endorsements are cause for concern as well: Steven Furtick, David Platt and Elyse Fitzpatrick, to name a few. Fitzpatrick and Platt have been very open on the influence Keller has had on their theology. Greear promotes a softer, gentler approach by the Lord’s church on the issue of homosexuality and is very much a peddler of the social gospel.
A quick look at Greear’s personal website reveals that he is deeply entrenched into Keller’s understanding of the church, the gospel and the Great Commission, as there are 131 postings and promotions of Keller’s ideology. From training pastors to “getting along” with the sexually immoral, Keller is clearly the “go to” guy for J.D. Greear. https://jdgreear.com/?s=tim+keller
In the below link Greear sits down with “his mentor” to gain insight on church planting; if you know anything about Keller, or have learned anything thus far from the information on this site, then you should know that this is an area in which Keller poses the greatest danger to the church, i.e. establishing more churches and pastors that are doing what he is doing:
A quick look at Greear’s Facebook page reveals his adoration for, and commitment to his mentor, Tim Keller: https://www.facebook.com/pastorgreear
Look for the SBC’s slide into apostasy to continue at a much faster rate under the headship of J.D. Greear.
Platt, former president of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board, is a prominent voice in the professing church, especially among the young, and his is a very dangerous voice. He is totally sold on the social gospel, as evidenced in his best selling book “Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream”; Platt uses the concept of the “American Dream” to push his liberal, progressive social gospel, excoriating and guilting his readers for any pursuit of success or financial security. This is not biblical- success and wealth are only anti-Christian if they are idols, as there are many examples in scripture of faithful men of God who were materially blessed. Platt’s book is laced with just enough truth to reel you into his unbiblical ideology, as the overarching theme of the book is to leave you guilt-ridden over any material or financial blessings in your life, attributing them to “individualism in the pursuit of the American dream.” Platt like Keller, is just another collectivist seeking to transform the Lord’s church into a vehicle of social change via redistribution of wealth, otherwise known as Marxism. And whether out of ignorance or intent, Platt subverts the true gospel as he pursues racial reconciliation and income equality. Jesus did not commission His church to pursue either.
“And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19
Link to Platt’s book https://www.amazon.com/Radical-Taking-Faith-American-Dream/dp/1601422210
Platt also heavily promotes “white privilege” propaganda in the church. He gave an emotional plea in his speech at MLK50, pleading with the church to stop being racists and get involved in racial reconciliation, of course by coming out of your “all white” racist church and seeking to make all churches racially balanced. This in nonsense, as believers are all one in Christ and no one, anywhere inside the true church should ever see a need to conduct a head count based on race. This very narrative, in and of itself reeks of racism.
25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:25-29
Most importantly, racial reconciliation is not the Great Commission. This is just one of many “injustices” Platt and many others have laid at the feet of the Lord’s church to “fix”, and it is the epitome of the false, social gospel. Columnist, researcher and Pastor Thomas Littleton is a leading voice in exposing these men and the movement. Below is a link to a very informative interview with Littleton on the serious danger and rapid growth of this movement inside the professing church. It is near the end of this interview that Platt is discussed in depth complete with excerpts from his own speeches.
Dr. Ligon Duncan is chancellor of Reformed Theological Seminary, a position that grants him quite a bit of influence in what is considered to be orthodox Christianity. He is also a longtime promoter of, and “ministry” partner with, Dr. Tim Keller. Duncan is a council member of Keller’s Gospel Coalition and a frequent contributor to the TGC website, as well as regular speaker at the TGC conferences. When Reformed Theological Seminary decided to expand into New York City, Duncan chose Keller’s Redeemer Network to partner with him in establishing RTS – New York. As Chancellor Duncan tells us in a statement released By RTS:
“RTS is thrilled to collaborate with Redeemer City to City and with Tim Keller to prepare a new generation of ministry leaders and establish an RTS extension in New York,” says Dr. Ligon Duncan, chancellor & CEO of RTS. “I have known and admired Dr. Keller for many years. I count him as a friend and I am deeply grateful for his ministry and vision for planting churches in New York and in other major metropolitan centers around the world. The board of RTS and I are pleased to partner with CTC to offer a rigorous program of graduate theological study in order to equip a new generation of ministry leaders in NYC.” https://www.redeemercitytocity.com/blog/cityministryprogram
Duncan has a permanent video on the RTS New York website lauding the ministry of Tim Keller: https://www.rts.edu/site/about/campuses/newyork/
Ligon Duncan is becoming deeply entrenched in the “white privilege” propaganda and false social gospel of the modern and visible church, as one would have to be in order to continue a relationship with The Gospel Coalition; a far left, Marxist organization cloaked in Christian language. Duncan has been very outspoken about racial reconciliation and the church’s “responsibility” to correct “her error”. His highly politically charged message at the Together 4 the Gospel 2018 shindig (TG418) was pure politics, completely void of biblical truth and empty of any resemblance to the true mission of the Lord’s church. The below link is a must read in understanding why Duncan and others are veering off the narrow path.
And as is the norm, you will find a constant promotion of Keller and The Gospel Coalition via Duncan’s social media outreach:
Ligon Duncan Retweeted
55 speakers. 28 breakouts. Southern California.
#TGCWest18. @RayOrtlund @RevKevDeYoung @LigonDuncan @AlistairBegg @PastorMNunez @MichaelHorton_ @KyleStrobel @DA_Horton @JeremyTreat5 @ThomasJTerry @PJTibayan @ButlerJosh +more! Register by 8/16 to save: http://TGC.org/west18
The below video excerpt from the RTS New York 2015 Convocation gives a look inside the close partnership between Ligon Duncan and Tim Keller revealing just how like-minded the two men really are, as Keller couldn’t resist giving a plug to his Marxist roots by quoting Antonio Gramsci, a fully committed Marxist who despised Christianity.
Antonio Francesco Gramsci ( Italian: [anˈtɔːnjo franˈtʃesko ˈɡramʃi] ; 22 January 1891 – 27 April 1937) was an Italian Marxist philosopher and communist politician. He wrote on political theory , sociology and linguistics . He attempted to break from the economic determinism of traditional Marxist thought and so is considered a key neo-Marxist .  He was a founding member and one-time leader of the Communist Party of Italy.
“Socialism is precisely the religion that must overwhelm Christianity. In the new order, Socialism will triumph by first capturing the culture via infiltration of schools, universities, churches and the media by transforming the consciousness of society. The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters.” Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937)
Elyse Fitzpatrick is a very popular writer and speaker in so-called “Christian counseling” circles; her teachings are widely promoted in evangelical women’s ministries. Fitzpatrick has openly acknowledged that her understanding of grace & law drastically changed after being exposed to the theology of Tim Keller; it would be his study on Galatians that completely turned her thinking around, or rather upside down.
In an interview for CBMW.org she explains the impact Keller had on her thinking:
Trillia Newbell: You write and speak a lot about the grace. Was there an aha moment when you realized, this is the gospel?
Fitzpatrick: Yes…I think that there was a time when I resisted this message but I had good friends who were continuing to speak the message of grace to me. They made me read [Tim] Keller and listen to grace-centered sermons. And then, while I was on the road to writing Because He Loves Me (a strongly theological book) I had epiphany after epiphany. And then once I was on this road the message just became stronger and stronger in my heart.
(link to CBMW interview)
Fitzpatrick was interviewed by counselingoneanother.com, where she again confirmed the deep influence Keller had in opening her eyes to a right understanding of grace:
Paul Tautges: What people, circumstances, and influences did the Holy Spirit use to move you from your former thoughts to your current convictions?
Fitzpatrick: There were a number of people who influenced me including pastors, authors, and friends. I would say that at the beginning Tim Keller’s study on Galatians began to open my eyes.
(link to Tautges’ interview)
In the below video link (5.36 min) Fitzpatrick explains her new position on grace in which she labels the believer’s pursuit of holiness and deep desire to please God as “moralism”.
The term “hypergrace” is regularly used by those who are warning God’s people about this dangerous perversion of God’s wonderful grace and mercy. Scripture warns us of this error:
If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?
Learn hence, 1. That although to transgress Moses’ law was an heinous offence, yet to sin willfully against the gospel, after we have received the knowledge of it, is far more heinous.(William Burkitt – Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament, published 1700-1703)
In the two links below Wayne de Villiers of Grace Community Church (John MacArthur) examines the “hypergrace” movement, exposing several prominent teachers in the movement with much emphasis on Elyse Fitzpatrick. I remind you once again that she admittedly changed her understanding of God’s grace and the gospel after reading and listening to Tim Keller.
Both links are a must listen!
https://www.gracechurch.org/sermons/8503 Hypergrace Part 1
https://www.gracechurch.org/sermons/8551 Hypergrace Part 2
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John 14:15
The below link is a brief synopsis by Fitzpatrick on Mary’s anointing the feet of Christ in John chapter 12. She sensualizes the passage, completely misrepresenting and distorting Mary’s complete devotion to Christ and taking the reader’s mind immediately back to “the flesh.”
“It is an undoubted truth that every doctrine that comes from God, leads to God; and that which doth not tend to promote holiness is not of God.”
George Whitefield (1714-1770)
Barbara Duguid is a counselor and ministry assistant at Christ Presbyterian Church (ARP) in Grove City, PA. where she crafts the weekly liturgy. She is a pastor’s wife and the mother of 6 children, and she holds an advanced certificate in “biblical counseling” from the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF) in Glenside, PA. Duguid, like Fitzpatrick, is a very popular author and speaker in women’s ministries throughout the professing church. She is married to Iain M. Duguid, professor of Old Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary. He has several seminary degrees and is very involved in missions and church planting- he personally planted and pastored Redeemer Presbyterian Church (EPCEW), Barton-Oxford, England.
Barbara Duguid has published a book titled “Extravagant Grace” which heavily promotes the “hypergrace” understanding of the gospel, as she wholly rejects the regenerative principle of the believer’s transformation into a new creature in Christ empowered by the Holy Spirit to walk in obedience and newness of life. Like Fitzpatrick, she credits Tim Keller for straightening her out on grace and gospel; the Duguids lived with Tim and Kathy Keller while her husband attended Westminster and it was during this time that she was personally mentored by Keller.
In the link below Duguid discusses grace and sin as she understands it, disclosing the strong influence Keller had on her thinking and understanding.
According to Duguid, “Extravagant Grace” approaches law and grace from the perspective of English pastor and hymn writer John Newton, author of the classic hymn Amazing Grace. One problem with this is that though Christians typically own a Bible, and will have it on their laps during small group studies or the like, few (if any) would have a copy of Newton’s book lying around for reference and comparison- this makes it much easier to teach her own ideas while attributing the teaching to a true man of God, like Newton; as a result, Duguid’s theology is easily passed off as something John Newton also taught and believed. One pastor addressed this issue in his review of Duguid’s book:
Newton as a guide remains safe and reliable. But Duguid ventures too far away from Newton to her own theology – and drastically at times, it seems to me – without always giving proper citations for the ideas she is attributing to Newton (pp. 49-50). The topics that Duguid confronts are the most sensitive theological issues that pastors and counselors deal with on a weekly basis. Thus, good answers to the problems of sin, guilt, discouragement, etc., would be welcomed. Regrettably, this book is filled with too many theological errors for me to commend it as a faithful guide to the problem of sin and grace.
(Dr. Mark Jones- Pastor at Faith Vancouver Presbyterian Church)
Below are excerpts from two reviews of “Extravagant Grace” from discerning churchmen that are helpful in understanding the seriousness of this error:
What was perhaps the most unsettling aspect of this book, however, was the nagging feeling that she seemed to sanction a sort of wallowing in our sin. She kept making the point about how we are, as Christians, meant to try and fail. That sometimes we are not going to grow, and that it is ok.- that we need to learn to find contentment despite our inability to overcome certain sinful behaviors. This kind of language is ubiquitous in the book, and in my mind, this is a monumental misunderstanding (and misrepresentation) of sanctification. Recall in John 8:3-11, when the Pharisees brought the woman caught in adultery to Jesus, and Jesus responds in love and kindness, without condemning her, but he also calls on her to “go and sin no more.” He doesn’t give her an out. He doesn’t sanction her sinfulness. He doesn’t tell her to find contentment in her inability to conquer her sin… He tells her to go and sin no more. This is our commandment too. http://bookishnerd.com/2014/08/31/review-extravagant-grace-by-barbara-duguid/
Duguid’s extravagant grace will use our sin to make us prize Christ- her extravagant grace will humble us. But her grace isn’t extravagant enough to free us from the power of sin because of our spiritual union with Christ. You won’t find grace that says, “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.” You won’t find grace that says, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption of sinful desires.” That kind of grace is totally missing in “Extravagant Grace”. You won’t see Paul’s cry in Colossians 1:29 “To this end I labor, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works in me.” You won’t see Titus 2:11-12, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.” Her grace leaves a sinner helpless in the hands of sin. https://www.amazon.com/gp/review/R2CVQB35RQD9TS?ref_=glimp_1rv_cl
“The nature of Christ’s salvation is woefully misrepresented by the present-day evangelist. He announces a Savior from hell rather than a Savior from sin. And that is why so many are fatally deceived, for there are multitudes who wish to escape the Lake of Fire who have no desire to be delivered from their carnality and worldliness.” A.W. Pink (1886-1952)
All who are in Christ are justified solely and only by his righteous covering for any and all sin. Believers are equipped by the Spirit with a newfound love of His law and a deep desire to honor and obey Him; it is called regeneration- the new birth- a new creature- born again! Keller’s perverted teachings on law and grace turn obedience into a ball and chain and the pursuit of holiness into legalism. Scripture calls us to do battle everyday in order that we may slay sin (Col. 3) by putting on the full armor of God to quench ALL the fiery darts of the devil (Eph. 6). These folks have clearly laid down their arms, and are convinced that it is they who really “get the gospel”. Scripture proclaims “fight to the death”- Keller and company whisper “relax, you’re covered”. And this false understanding of grace is deceiving many false professors and producing many more false converts, as they grow ever-more comfortable in their sin.
Guthrie is another widely read author who has been (and continues to be) heavily promoted in women’s ministries circles- she has also been very much influenced by the teachings of Tim Keller:
From the Home Page of Nancy Guthrie’s website:
“God has been preparing me my whole life for teaching his Word,” says Nancy Guthrie. “He has blessed me with so many sound Bible teachers to sit under—from my days as a college student in Bible classes, to amazing Sunday School teachers, Bible Study Fellowship teaching leaders, gifted pastors in my church —as well as teachers like Tim Keller and John Piper that I listen to almost daily on my iPod.
Guthrie’s book ”Hoping For Something Better” was widely promoted in churches through “women’s ministries”. This book was the focus of study in a group that I attended for a number of years and I found many troubling, unbiblical revelations in Nancy Guthrie’s theology. One such excerpt from the book seems to be her personal exhortation of the Christian life:
“It’s this disappointment with God, or with our experience or understanding of God, that creates real inner conflict. It seems so terribly unspiritual to admit that the Christian life, as we’ve experienced it so far, does not seem to really be what Jesus meant by the “abundant life.” It often feels as if we’ve missed it somehow, as if everybody else must be experiencing something we can’t seem to achieve, but we don’t want to admit it to ourselves or anyone else.”
In sharp contrast, below we see the Apostle Paul’s personal exhortation of the Christian life:
“Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 11 For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:4-7,11-13
“Disappointment with God?” I don’t think so.
Beware of anyone promoting, partnering with or quoting Tim Keller.
“From the beginning, Christianity was certainly a way of life; the salvation that it offered was a salvation from sin, and salvation from sin appeared not merely in a blessed hope but also in an immediate moral change. The early Christians, to the astonishment of their neighbors, lived a strange new kind of life—a life of honesty, of purity and of unselfishness. And from the Christian community all other types of life were excluded in the strictest way. From the beginning Christianity was certainly a life. A new and more powerful proclamation of the law is perhaps the most pressing need of the hour ~ A low view of law always brings legalism into religion; a high view of law makes man a seeker after grace. Pray that the high view may prevail.”
J. Gresham Machen (1881-1937)