Tim Keller recently spoke at a conference in London on the topic "What are the risks for evangelicals?" Darryl Dash has obtained the CD and has posted some highlights and his notes from the talk. This is one of the best things I have ever read on a blog, at least addressing the current state of evangelicalism - hence my post title - "Blog Post of the Year." I just think Keller hits all the right subjects and handles them in his typically wise and biblical manner. And I think Darryl has done the blog world a great service in posting this. Here's a couple of Darryl's highlights:
- Evangelicalism used to occupy the middle ground between fundamentalism and liberalism. It was orthodox, pro-scholarship, and facing the world. Recently, evangelicalism has become more hostile and condemning of culture. A younger generation has given up on evangelicalism as a middle ground and are looking for a new consensus. This group goes by a number of names, such as post-evangelicals or the emerging church.
- To respond, evangelicals must understand and practice biblical repentance as a result of believing the gospel. This will allow evangelicals to admit their sins, even if they disagree with 80% of the criticisms from the post-evangelicals, and even if the remaining 20% is expressed poorly. To the degree that we understand the gospel, we will be able to freely admit our shortcomings as an evangelical movement.
- Don't ever think that we can respond to legitimate criticisms of our practice by defending our doctrine. In defending our doctrines, we have not responded to the criticisms of our practices. Orthopraxy is part of orthodoxy.
- We need to approach the controversies with a repentant heart corporately and say, "Despite all the bad things that are being said here, there's a core of truth here and we need to deal with it."
Keller rightly identifies a crisis in evangelicalism and rightly (IMHO) shows where the traditonalists and the emergents are getting it right and where they are getting it wrong. For my part I find it hard to get on board with the emergents, yet I also find it hard to get on board with some of their critics. I take Keller's words as some affirmation that my tension here is not completely without warrant. And I think his emphasis on repentance and humility are sorely needed. But I'll stop there and not spoil the post for you - let me strongly encourage you to read Darryl's post and think on those things.
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