Sermon of the Week: Retracted

In the desire to keep Christ the center of what we do here at DefCon, the Sermon of the week has been retracted by the Author due to concerns regarding the character of the man who preached it.

63 thoughts on “Sermon of the Week: Retracted

  1. Linda says:

    I’ll be honest with you about Keller. I have a problem with him. There are some red flags with him and he is a master of the oblique approach to giving strait clear concise answers.. He may preach some fine sounding sermons to you and many other Christians but when I listen to him he is not solid…He also endorses mysticism which is very unbiblical.

    So I’m not trying to dish out on Keller but Christians need to know and be warned and weary of Keller just like people have had to do with John Piper…

  2. michael says:

    excellent articulate Word, full and edifying with a bit of humor and gravity! The man is brilliant and sees clearly! I guess the thing left to do is to do the thing left to do!

    thanks for posting this sermon!

    —————-

    Linda,

    isn’t that interesting that our views in a lot of way establishes Keller’s points, especially the plausibility component.

    I most likely do not know this man nearly as “deeply” as you and ironically the Dr. Lloyld Jones analogy from Mark 9 seems apropos as well considering how each of us has come down after listening to his message? Also the elephant scenario does too. We only know in part.

  3. RS says:
  4. mywordlikefire says:

    I am always leery of those who engage in contemplative practices. They are lied to by the evil one in the deepness of the meditative state, but they think they are speaking to God and feeling the love of God

    My rule is simple, and I don’t think it is too severe a response: If someone advocates, or practices, or brings contemplative prayer into the church, I do not listen to what they have to say about the the gospel.

    But you didn’t know about his contemplative leanings, and now I am sure you are researching. And that is good.

  5. Yvonne says:

    ATG ~ I did not listen to Keller’s sermon, but am wondering why anyone would think ‘our methods of evangelism should evolve’. It would seem to me that our ‘methods of evangelism’ should simply reflect what God commands Christians to do in Scripture (Matt 28, Mk 16, John 17, 20) then there would be no need for any evolution of methods.

  6. abidingthroughgrace says:

    To all, I’m not going to defend Tim Keller or what he has said and what is quoted by this critic or that critic. I’m not a Keller historian and I don’t know the man personally. So, I am not endorsing him as much as I am endorsing this message. I am also not going to weigh the opinions of these other blog posts against the guy because I know even less about the bloggers (or those who commented here) than I do Keller.

    I will suggest, however, that you should listen to the message because it deals with evangelism in a post modern world and it offers a profitable discussion and viewpoint.

    @Lyn, I actually have read the book in question and not only enjoyed it, but I didn’t find any dangerous theologies in it. It is a good book that I would recommend to others.

    @Yvonne, you may be making too big of a leap here. You seem to be comparing evangelism to the gospel…which isn’t what I said. Evangelism is the way that we would present the gospel. Do you present the gospel the same way to a 12 year old rich kid and a 50 year old atheist and a hindu and a mormon? Do you present it in the same way? I would suggest that we do not and that we will strategically approach each one differently in order to present the gospel where they are. Some already assume that there is a God or gods. Some believe in no God. Some don’t care either way. So, all I am suggesting is that the way or method that we might present the gospel to someone in NY city in 1950 is not necessarily the way we would today – but never watering down the message and never compromising the gospel. Getting to that gospel conversation won’t always go through the same door in the current culture that is familiar with the Bible and Christianity yet believes it has no credibility. I hope this helps clarify what I meant. We as evangelist need to know how people today think and what their worldview is so that we can have a God glorifying conversation.

    In the love of Christ,
    -atg

  7. mywordlikefire says:

    But this is posted here on this website, and most who read it are not going to read the comments (maybe I am wrong about that)–so, in this manner, it serves kind of as a recommendation for Keller rather than a cautionary warning, doesn’t it?

  8. So does DefCon now condone posting sermons by Driscoll, or Piper, both of whom have had extensive postings against their doctrine here? Is DefCon now endorsing messages, even if the men who preach them are questionable? If so, then why not post sermons by Piper or Driscoll, as long as the sermon is sound.
    Does DefCon really want to go down this path? Dear brothers at DefCon, consider the man behind this message and your stance against men like Driscoll and Piper. Consider this from Ken Silva, who most of us know as solid in his stance for truth…http://apprising.org/2012/06/15/tim-keller-teaching-roman-catholic-and-quaker-mysticism-to-his-rpc-leaders/

    I urge you to strongly consider this sermon of the week by Keller, I address you Pilgrim, and Manfred, and Jungle Missionary, and Bill, and Chris, as well as you Fourpointer; is this the kind of man you all want to endorse here?

  9. RS says:

    I very, very strongly stand with Lyn on this. This post is a radical departure from everything DefCon has stood for previously. Keller is a hard-core contemplative mystic, of which DefCon has previously been very much against (and rightly so). The documentation is there for anyone to see. If this post is not retracted, if this is now the DefCon stand to endorse mystics and other deceivers, then I will take it that this blog has departed into compromise, fallen for deception, lost it’s discernment, and will no longer support or contribute to it.

  10. abidingthroughgrace says:

    I desire peace and God’s glory and based on the concerns vocalized in these comments, I’ve pulled it. Thank you for your contribution.

    In the immeasurable riches of Christ,
    -atg

  11. mywordlikefire says:

    Thank you. I appreciate that. It is a fine line sometimes–but this isn’t one of those “fine line” times. So thank you for doing this.

  12. ATG,

    I didn’t mind Keller as SOTW, and I don’t mind you removing it either. Even though he’s a baby moisturizer, I agree with him on quite a few things. Sort of like R.C. Sproul, and even though Paul Washer’s not Presby, I don’t agree with everything he says and/or how he says it. I guess it’s easy for us “know-it-all” “armchair theologs” to become quite the censorious lot of unappreciative blog readers. No harm, no foul Brother.

    Todd
    Texas

  13. Hello Lyn,

    Thanks for your concerns. I am a little late to the scene on this particular post. My internet here in Liberia does not always allow me to post or see everything I would like before it shuts down!

    However, I want to state that I still remain firmly opposed to contemplative mysticism in any form. I know Tim Keller’s position on this is favorable and would not personally endorse his ministry.

    Every blessing in Christian love and grace to each of our readers and commenters and contributors.

    TJM / Mark

  14. abidingthroughgrace says:

    Todd, Thank you for your statement…you’ve expressed the way I feel about the situation. There isn’t a pastor dead or alive that can pass the smell test and we can be so quick to brand them as dangerous. I don’t agree with all of Washer or Baucham or MacArthur or Sproul or …many other notable names. They all have problems. In this case there is enough controversy around Tim Keller for me to err on the side of “it ain’t worth the battle” and I decided to remove the post to calm the storm and bring peace to the situation.

    I’d like to suggest that this is a good opportunity for each of us to question how dangerous our own opinions and teaching are. Without the grace of God we’d be far worse than any of those we have challenged. Have we (any of us) looked in the mirror lately and seen how off course our own opinions are? How Biblical and God glorifying are our own doctrines and interpretations? Its only by the grace of God that we aren’t rank heretics in straight jackets. If we are bold enough to examine ourselves, we’ll be falling on our faces instantly and begging for God’s forgiveness and mercy on our evil black hearts.

    May Christ be Glorified,
    -atg

  15. Leo says:

    I’ve enjoyed and am big fan of DefCon, but one of the problems I see with such vigilante blogs is that everyone declares himself an expert here and divides over what they read on another blog or wikipedia.

  16. It is one thing to debate over issues such as eschatology, or limited atonement; it is quite another to promote mysticism and go outside the boundaries of scripture. If this were an issue of differing on infant baptism, or the rapture of the church, then I could have easily overlooked his differing views. However, to promote contemplative mysticism goes far beyond the word of the Lord.

    None of us measure up, true; however, we must be on guard against what creeps into the church and not have a hand in promoting unbiblical teaching. I do not think Keller’s promoting of contemplative mysticism is on the same scale as disagreeing with Washer, MacArthur, or Sproul.
    This isn’t a case of anyone declaring to be an expert, this is a case of a man who claims to be of God overstepping his boundaries by promoting unbiblical practices. Let us uphold truth, in love, and not embrace unscriptural practices or those who promote them. ‘A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough.’ Galatians 5:9

    Jungle Missionary,

    Bless you for your reply, the challenges you face are something most of us cannot comprehend!

    Kept by His power,
    Lyn

  17. Linda says:

    ATG I appreciate your submission to Good counsel and wise men here at Def/Con and I know it’s kinda one of those things that chafes against the grain of our nature..

    One thing you’ve stated that I’d like to point out and correct in a gentle way and in love to you is when you said “we can be so (quick) to brand them as dangerous.. This is simply not true. With Keller some of us have known his error for awhile now.. Also, the false teachings of mysticism from Keller are to be exposed just like the false teachings of Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    Keller espousing contemplative prayer and asceticism etc are dangerous doctrines that are not even in the same camp as say Premellinialism for those who think this as false.. We can disagree on dispensations but we cannot disagree when it comes to the essentials….

    correction will come with time and prayer that the Holy Spirit leads and guides not only you but ALL of us into all truth and righteousness for the Lord’s name’s sake——–

    http://solasisters.blogspot.com/2011/08/pastor-tim-keller-and-richard-foster.html

    Sincerely , Linda

  18. abidingthroughgrace says:

    Linda, thank you for your comment. I know you mean well in your comments. Please note that I didn’t suggest that this Tim Keller issue was “quick”. I was speaking in general about the pattern of many to label teachers as dangerous…it seems to be the thing to do anymore and many of these labels I disagree with. I understand the concerns about Tim Keller and see the numerous blog posts about him and his problems.

  19. RS says:

    I am grateful to see the retraction, for concern over the young in Christ, and for the gullible and unlearned. And I second Lyn, Linda, and TheJungleMissionary comments, being in wholehearted agreement. I am saddened to see such a lax, ho-hum, take him or leave him sentiment regarding Keller by some, because it reflects little or no care or concern for the young, the gullible or the unlearned. And I find it offensive to read distasteful slams such as Todd’s statement:

    “I guess it’s easy for us “know-it-all” “armchair theologs” to become quite the censorious lot of unappreciative blog readers.”

    Then for ATG to echo this sentiment leaves the impression that this post was pulled, not because any there was any issue with promoting this mystic, but just to placate us trouble makers who took offense at promoting him. And if that is truly the case, there is still a very real problem here. And I am greatly saddened at what I have seen become of DefCon.

  20. Linda says:

    Thanks ATG I DO agree with what you mean about “quick” and I’m glad you cleared that up since it was a bit ambiguous…

    . In fact I wrote this recently in a blog post on another site. “I’m becoming a bit disillusioned as I am realizing that some of the discernment is getting a little bit overboard and out of hand on some issues- nitpicking error on both sides. Does Jesus treat us like this? We all make mistakes and are wrong in many areas of our lives every single day. I’m sure that when Jesus was on this earth he could have pointed out the mistakes and sins of the disciples all day long.. But he did not. I believe some of our focus is too much on trying to find any and every error. Christ’s YOKE is easy and his burden is light.”…. He is gentle and humble and does not treat me as my sins deserve..

    Does this mean we should not call out error where we see it? Absolutely not –we should. ”

    Phil Johnson made the point clear about “discernment ministries” on an interview with Erin Benziger of what I was trying to say

    “In light of this, do you see a place for discernment ministries?

    I do, but it makes me nervous when any ministry devotes itself to critiques. Walter Martin was pretty good at trying to maintain the balance and there are a few others like that. I was just listening to a sermon by Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and he was speaking about how dangerous it is to concentrate on the errors and the Gospel twisters and become imbalanced in the sense that we spend more time critiquing the error than we do proclaiming the truth.

    It’s something I’ve struggled with. I started the blog at the peak of the popularity of the Emergent Church movement and I really wanted to deal with those postmodern tendencies that were infiltrating not just the emergent wing of the church, but the evangelical side as well. If that were my only ministry, though, I’d probably be really warped! If you listen to my sermons, you’re going to find that I don’t spend much time on that type of teaching. I open the Scriptures and do biblical exposition. I think you have to have that balance.

    I think there’s a place for websites that list and critique those gross errors, but it is a dangerous thing. You can see the danger in the direction that some of those discernment-oriented websites move. They get nasty or angry or bitter in various ways. The longer they go, they move further from a Christ-like attitude and become bitter and contemptuous.

    I think that’s a danger anyway with people who notice what’s wrong with the church. I think of the life of Arthur Pink. He didn’t spend his time with discernment or critiques, he taught the Scriptures, but he became so sour in his own mind about where the church was at because he could see the decline. He became bitter and reclusive and ended up dying alone, not part of any flock or congregation. It’s a really sad story, just to read his biography and yet, I confess that someone of my temperament, I understand that. It would be really easy to immerse yourself in bitterness and frustration thinking, “This is so clear to me, why can’t the rest of the church see it? Why don’t they heed the warnings and why do they marginalize people like Pink or Lloyd-Jones and then laud people like Steven Furtick and Mark Driscoll?” But it’s always been that way, Scripture acknowledges that it’s always been that way and there’s no point in being bitter about it. Part of being faithful is keeping a Christ-like, positive attitude even in the midst of all that.

    I think God does call people and gifts people with a certain kind of discernment. Certain people, very few people it seems, are gifted with discernment to see problems or false teachings earlier than others. You just compare Peter with Paul. Peter didn’t seem to grasp like Paul did the danger of the Judaizers. Paul had a certain gift of discernment, I think, that came through in what he wrote and how he ministered. But if God has gifted you with that then you have to bend over backwards to also cultivate joy and gladness and make sure your teaching is balanced so that’s it’s not only the things you’re critiquing that consume your energies, but the things that edify.”

  21. RS,
    I agree with your recent comment ; I do not claim to be anything except a sinner saved by grace, with zeal for truth.
    To compare going outside the boundaries of scripture with not always agreeing with Washer, etc. is hard to grasp. How can endorsing pagan practices such as mysticism compare to disagreeing with Washer’s words or how he speaks? I think this is a much more serious issue than some are willing to admit, but that is a matter for the Lord to deal with. May we all remember first and foremost to love one another, and to be careful in our choice of words. Let us think before we type, it is so very easy to say things that may be questionable as we sit behind keyboards. I have done it too many times myself; we are speaking to brothers and sisters that Christ died for.

    We should all be concerned when a Pastor endorses unbiblical practices, there is much deception within the visible church and we must be extremely careful what we put out there for others to listen to or read. Far be it for us to cause someone to stumble. We all must never forget we follow Christ first and foremost, He is our Great Shepherd, He is our Master. There isn’t a man alive who has complete revelation or who is perfect in his knowledge; let us defend truth and expose error. No one was attacking Keller personally, his endorsement of mysticism is what causes most great concern. We are living in dangerous times, but that is nothing new. Let us look out for one another, just as we would look out for someone dear to us.

  22. abidingthroughgrace says:

    @RS,

    Brother, I do appreciate your zeal in this situation and your early comments that I weighed prayerfully regarding taking down the post. I think it is important that I express the following to you (with some tongue-in-cheek since it is late):
    1. Not all DefCon contributors agree on all points. We are individuals from different churches and denominations and backgrounds. My comments and decisions to post xyz are mine alone. There is not a DefCon conspiracy implemented to introduce and to support mysticism.
    2. I don’t support mysticism or contemplative prayer. Never have and never will. Your latest comments are pointing towards this being my intent. My intent was to discuss evangelism in the postmodern culture.
    3. I took the post down because it was the right thing to do because you and others were insistent, I’m not a Tim Keller historian, biographer or expert and figured there are things I was unaware of, I desire peace amongst brothers and not discord, and if I am to call others to have teachable spirits and humility, then I had better be the example.
    4. I read Keller’s book, Prodigal God and enjoyed it. I would recommend it because he does a good job laying out how God is the star of the parable of the prodigal son. I also liked his message on post modern evangelism quite a bit and obviously recommended the content.
    5. I have no endurance, taste, appreciation, or desire for the level of criticism that occurs on the internet regarding every pastor I’ve ever heard of. Yes, there are many that need the criticism and warns. Yes, it seems from what I have heard today that Tim Keller fits into this category. But also, I think in general the web is full of those who enjoy the watchdog criticism too much.

    Now, finally, Brother, regarding the “very real problem here” and your sadness of what DefCon has become…All I can say is if you only knew how bad we really are. Speaking for myself, I am a sinful man who only by the grace of God can tie my shoes in the morning. I am broken and not any better or higher or holier or righteous than anyone else. DefCon can only be as good as the sinners that produce it. My priority is Christ and him crucified…because of this, I’ll miss a few sideline details of what some pastor has said.

    in His Grace,
    atg

    ———-

    @Linda, That was a wonderful quote from Phil and I appreciate your words there as well.

    ———-

    @Lyn, my response above to RS should clarify some things for you. Your comment above sounds as if you are suggesting that somehow my intent was to endorse Keller’s mysticism junk by posting the sermon. Please make and effort not to link my recommendation of the sermon to DefCon’s endorsement of contemplative prayer and mysticism. I understand of course that by posting his sermon suggests that we support everything from him. This is not true and as mentioned above we are not and will not support those teachings.

  23. Looks like we arm-chair theologs have gotten pretty riled-up about Keller here folks. Perhaps it’s my own ignorance here, but I don’t even know what “contemplative prayer” is. Without consulting the ever-so-accurate Wikipedia to find out, I’ll go on my own hunch that it is “going within ourselves” and “centering” ourselves so as to go “deeper” into our spirits thereby making our prayers more effective. Just a guess. It’s all spiritism, or mysticism, or “eastern religion” garbage, and certainly should be rejected. I’m not familiar with Keller’s position on this matter, nor am I even curious enough to find out.

    Guess I operate with a “give him the benefit of the doubt” mentality. I believe, being Spirit-led and having had very good training in the Scriptures in my past, I can “weed-out” erroneous teachings. Take Sproul, MacArthur, Charles Stanley, David Jeremiah, Billy Graham, Tony Evans, or any other “mainline” Bible teacher….they’re not 100% accurate in their views or teaching, yet I don’t think it’s wise to reject everything a man may teach, just because he may be a baby-moisturizer, or a pre-mil dispensationalist, an easy-listening talker, or a misinformed covenantal theologian. Each one brings something different to the table, and likely to bring something edifying somewhere along the path.

    I can only think of a couple of men (preachers) with whom I have near 100% agreement, and it’s very likely most people haven’t heard of them. They are true theologians, faithful ministers, and labor fervently – largely in obscurity – for the good of God’s people in their respective flocks. They are true “double-honor” men. They may not write books, speak on the radio, have a program on Direct TV (channel 378), fill large arenas, or be asked to “keynote speak” at conferences, yet they continue to “cut it straight” through the Bible – verse by verse, precept upon precept, line by line – week in and week out, year after year. Faithful men, to be sure.

    Let us all “check” our motivations. Let us all “check” our attitudes. Let us all be cheritable toward our brethren here. Let us not be(come) censorious toward other believers. Let us all read, comment, share, pray for, help, assist, and act like brothers and sisters in Christ (who bought us).

    Todd
    Texas

  24. ATG,
    Please believe me when I say my intent was not to suggest you support mysticism, that actually never crossed my mind. My point is simply this, what Mr. Keller condones is unbiblical. DefCon has a reputation of not endorsing pastors who support unbiblical teaching/practices. I am taken aback, as many others are, as to why this didn’t seem to apply to Keller.

    I think enough has been said on this matter, it has been taken down and this is a good thing. This is in keeping with DefCon’s reputation of standing for truth and not endorsing men who step outside the boundaries of scripture. As I stated, Driscoll sermons or Piper sermons are not posted here, even though some may argue these men are sound in some areas.

  25. LInda says:

    Leo, there’s a serious problem with your advice and that is whenever someone has aberrant teachings they need to be rejected as well. This is the serious problem with the Church. WE cannot separate false teachings from the person who is teaching in error. WE MUST as Paul said reject them as well. This is extremely important for the purity of the Church..

    To espouse anything of Keller even though a person rejects his mysticism for example is to still support his false teachings and it affects the whole Body whom Christ died for… People have such an affinity with other people that they don’t know how to separate the two and so they continue to adhere to that person which is polluting the Church.

    People are doing this with People like Beth Moore and John Piper and Mark Driscoll..It’s wrong and it’s shameful… We cannot separate the error these people teach from the person and continue to embrace them..

    Do we love the Body of Christ enough to keep her clean or are we to continue to allow spiritual adultery and harlotry…

    One brother said it well speaking on Def/Con from another combox:

    Are you not familiar with the Scriptural mandate (command) for Christians? We are “to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. ((((Keep away from them.))) Romans 16:17.

    We are to take note of those who cause division by teaching that which is contrary to the doctrine we have been taught, and avoid them (Rom. 16:17). There are no clauses that say we can ignore this command. We do not see in the New Testament any loophole that says its okay to ignore this command for the sake of some “good things” from a book or that any false teacher may also teach.”
    The problem in endorsing them —-, is not only that such endorsement is a direct violation of God’s Word, but it places the gullible, ignorant, and immature in the faith in harm’s way by directing them to a false teacher. That certainly isn’t love, no matter what the intended “cause” or perceived “social good”. If someone teaches that which is contrary or at odds with the clear teachings of Scripture, then we are commanded to avoid them.”

  26. RS says:

    Lyn:
    I see that you and I think along the exact same lines, and you’ve expressed the thoughts of my heart beautifully. Thank you.

    ATG:
    First and foremost, thank you very much for the kind and courteous reply. And I appreciate your clarifications. I understand you would not support mysticism, and that the entire thrust of your intent and posting was on the issue of evangelism to a post-modern world. I agree this is a very important subject. But as Lyn stated so well, it’s important to be careful who we point others to, even in regard to valid issues. I believe MacArthur has given some very valuable information on this whole topic of understanding and reaching postmoderns, and I would highly recommend his book “The Truth War” as a valuable resource. And perhaps the subject of evangelizing the postmodern world could be revisited in a future post.

    I hear you and am in hearty agreement that we must guard against hypercriticism. I have run across those who seem to delight in looking for and finding every possible error no matter how insignificant, every possible mistake in the person they set their sights upon, rush to judgment, label them a heretic, and publish the most vile accusations about them, smearing their name and reputation far and wide, thinking they are doing God service. The flip side, and just as repulsive, is the hypocritical mentality: being so tolerant, that whatever lies outside of their particular interest is a “non-essential”, and thus irrelevant. Then promoting false teachers because they champion a pet doctrine or issue that resonates with them, overlooking or downplaying the falsehoods they also teach. I see both extremes among professing Christians today, and I am strongly adverse to each.

    As for your mentioning the importance of seeing how vile and wretched we really are, I completely agree with that as well. The Lord has so forced my attention on this so many times, that there isn’t a day that goes by that I am not keenly aware that NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING good resides in me apart from the Holy Spirit. ONLY God Himself is good, and absolutely everything about me is vile, wicked, corrupt and fully deserving of eternal hellfire. This isn’t mere standard “Christian-speak” to me, but very heartfelt truth. And I fall upon His mercy daily. Thus, I am in no position whatsoever to even entertain the concept that I am better than anyone else, no matter how evil they may seem.

    We all have gaps in what we know. And there are so many false teachers out there today, that just to briefly become familiar with them would consume all of our time, leaving us virtually no time for personal growth, edification of others, or meeting needs, let alone getting familiar with all the areas in which they spread their spiritual poison. So I appreciate that the Lord raises up some to do the research I have little or no time for. What I do know about the likes of Keller, Warren, Driscoll, MacLaren, Foster, etc., I share with my brothers and sisters so that they may know and not be deceived. And as we share what we know with each other, we are all benefited. We live in perilous times. I have lost many, who I once shared sweet fellowship with (at least so it appeared), who now no longer walk according to the Word, due to being deceived by the clever lies of messengers of Satan, who spoke like sheep, but laced it with the doctrines of demons, until their faith was shipwrecked. And I can’t help but wonder: if only they had known.

    In a sense, some positive things have come from this. I feel I understand more acutely where you are coming from, and I hope you understand my heart on this as well. Let us each be diligent to defend the truth of God’s word and contend for the Faith once delivered unto the saints, out of love for the Lord and His truth, out of love for the lost, and out of love for our precious brethren.

  27. I’m late to this, but I’ll chime in with a very few words (for me).

    Vigilance for truth is important and commanded. I would be thankful if the sermon were withdrawn because of vigilance. But I’d rather be a brother, and have a brother, who is mature in love than one who is perfect in vigilance.

  28. todd3588 says:

    Just a quick little comment:

    I vividly remember listening to the late Dr. Adrian Rogers (SBC preacher) on Christian radio as I was driving somewhere a few years ago. I heard him say (and it’s quoted)…”Election is one of the most damnable doctrines ever taught by heretic ministers in the history of mankind.” Hmmmm.

    Although I vigorously disagree(d), I still listened to the man via radio. Matter of fact, I’ve been blessed by him (more than once), and have uttered more than one “amen” to some points he’s made.

    Todd
    Texas

  29. LInda says:

    Dear todd,,,election is not even in the same camp as mysticism. It’s not on the same level as the doctrine of justification by faith. If you reject the deity of Christ or the doctrine of justification by faith or the inspiration and authority of Scripture, then I don’t think you’re really a believer at all. If you teach another Gospel then this is of primary concern and the person should be avoided… Election as important as it is is of “secondary concern”… It’s not that I like using terms to define what is a very important doctrine but a distinction needs to be made. We DON’T divide from believers over election, or the way you baptize people etc.But WE DO and are commanded to divide from ANYONE who calls himself a brother and is teaching ANOTHER GOSPEL..

    Mysticism IS another Gospel and is of primary concern..
    Mysticism love is not the same love of God that keeps true unity in the Body of Christ. Mysticism joins hands with others at the expense of the truth and at the expense of the Only true Gospel of Grace…Mysticism is what has joined together people like James MacDonald with TD Jakes and Steven Furtick… Theirs is ANOTHER Gospel another love that we as believers are commanded to AVOID..

    Let me clarify one thing I mistakenly said –that Mysticism is another Gospel it can be but rather it’s a false teaching..there ARE many who have fallen into Mysticism that are believers..
    Adrian Rogers called election damnable but I’m sure he did have many brothers whom he associated with that believed in election… There are people who call it damnable if you don’t read a KJV Only bible.. It’s just to the extreme here… these are not things to divide over but people do make them to be.

    All I can do is fall back on the word of God that commands us to not have anything to do with a brother or sister who is teaching false doctrines. Does this mean they are not believers? Absolutely NOT.. Tim Keller could be a believer… But we are to AVOID HIM because of his false teachings that lead people AWAY from the word of God..
    Romans 16:17..

  30. RS says:

    Jon:
    I’m sure you would agree that we can and should have both vigilance and love on an equal footing, rather than either/or. When it comes to truth, we must remain firm, without sacrificing love in the process. When it comes to love, we dare not compromise or sacrifice truth.

    Todd:

    It is becoming an increasingly acceptable practice in the churches today to be more tolerant, picking and choosing authors and preachers based upon the “good” things they say, and merely discarding or ignoring the errors they also teach. Such a concept of keeping the good (what “blesses” or benefits us) and discarding the bad (from the same source) we do not see anywhere in the Scriptures. In fact this mentality was Israel’s recurrent error all throughout the Old Testament. Which is why the Lord forbade intermixture of the sacred with the profane, of light with darkness, of His people with the heathen. The acceptance of the heathen into the camp of the righteous (for whatever “benefit” they reasoned) inevitably brought their false teachings into the camp as well. And the Lord brought great judgment upon Israel for it.

    If we ignore these warning of the Lord, because we think we can “handle it”, we do so to our own peril:

    “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers AMONG YOU, who will SECRETLY bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.” 2Pet.2:1

    “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles CONTRARY TO THE DOCTRINE that you have been taught; avoid them.” Rom.16:17

    “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Matt.7:15

    “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, DISGUISING THEMSELVES as apostles of Christ.” 2 Cor.11:13

  31. Leo says:

    If Tim Keller is teaching new age mysticism and if there is concrete evidence of this from his own lips and written material, then it should definitely be brought out to light. I am all for exposing erroneous teachings that don’t coincide with scripture. With that said, what also troubles me a bit is the lack of proof for such accusations (which are easily thrown on blogs). If he did state such things, bring forth the facts and not the opinions of what someone wrote on their own opinion blog. It just seems like if you’re making such serious accusations you should have some real serious sources to back it up with. It’s like lazy reporting.
    We are overly quick to react and to call someone a heretic based on what someone said on their blog, as if blogs are reliable sources.

    *BTW I don’t have anything against blogs, but I have learned that you shouldn’t believe everything you read in a blog.

  32. LInda says:

    Leo, the Sola Sisters is a very sound and biblical based blog.. These sisters have been saved OUT OF the new age movement and were deeply into mysticism… They have exposed Keller and I even gave a link to Tim Keller and his asceticism in a previous post..Also apprising is very reliable.

    http://solasisters.blogspot.com/2010/09/way-of-monk-tim-kellers-redeemer.html

    http://www.redeemer.com/connect/prayer/resources.html

    http://apprising.org/2010/01/28/tim-keller-also-promoting-mystic-guru-peter-scazzero/

  33. RS says:

    Leo:
    I don’t know you and I don’t know what you understand about mysticism, so I don’t know what documentation you’re willing to accept. I take it you didn’t bother to read the documentation given in the links provided above by me or Lyn. But contained therein you will see Keller’s own quotes, his own hearty approval of the meditation practiced by Roman Catholic mystics, as well as his admiration and high recommendation of the practices taught in Richard Foster’s “Celebration of Discipline”. His recommendation of the works of mystics such as Peter Scazzaro, and Calhoun. His own church teaching Lectio Divina. And more. Clearly mysticism is a major interest to Keller, to which he seems to devote a great deal of approval and enthusiasm. These are not opinions or false accusations, they are documented facts, and they are far more than can be covered in a little combox such as this.

  34. RS says:

    Thanks for the links, Linda. The more resources, the better. And thanks so much for your stand for truth and righteousness!

  35. todd3588 says:

    @RS and @Linda,

    Thank you both for the dialog. Although I appreciate both your perspectives and passion on this subject, it is not my desire to be a “cop” of all speakers/preachers in evangelical Christianity. Too big a task, and I believe you both will agree with that.

    Just think…if it’s left up to us (DefCon) readers to police everyone who preaches, writes, goes on radio, blogs, etc. to ensure what they say fits into our mold, then we’d need an army of like-minded souls to do it. That’d be a HUGE undertaking – especially in today’s churches. There’s no question that the vast majority of people leading ministries today are NOT worth listening to, or reading, or to be given the time of day. But there are a few, noted men today who should be granted at least a sincere hearing, wouldn’t you agree?

    I’m not arguing that mysticism is errant because it is. We all agree. I’m simply asserting that it’s not wise to “throw out the baby with bath water.” Example….I don’t agree with Dr. MacArthur’s positon on eschatology. Should I, since I believe he’s in error, exclude this good Bible teacher from my listening? Should I, since I disagree with Dr. R.C. Sproul’s position on baby-moisturizing (aka infant baptism), not listen to him either? Should I not read Calvin for the same reason?

    I admit, I don’t know Keller well. I stuggled through his “The Reason for God” book. Found it to be a very sleepy read. I also am aware that he’s a Presby in flavor (which raises a red flag right out of the gate), BUT I’m not going to say he’s automatically disqualified or dangerous or unworthy of hearing/reading.

    Billy Graham and Dr. Charles Stanley are other examples. The men have a near “universalist,” invitation-driven, anthropo-centric view of salvation (in other words, 180 degrees opposite of the Bible’s….and mine), but there are many things the men have preached that are edifying and effective.

    I guess I’m saying I don’t want to be(come) the arbitrator of who’s right/wrong in what they say, write, preach, teach, etc. I’ll use the “filter” of God’s Word to guide me.

    Todd
    Texas

  36. LInda says:

    Todd said-”Although I appreciate both your perspectives and passion on this subject, it is not my desire to be a “cop” of all speakers/preachers in evangelical Christianity. Too big a task, and I believe you both will agree with that.”

    WE are commanded to defend the faith that was once for all given to the saints.. Paul never stopped warning believers of false teachings and ravenous wolves that would infiltrate the Church..
    Act 20:31 “So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.”

    It is NOT “too big a task” to point out what should be conspicuous that any form of occultism being taught should be avoided. This is not with an attitude of being like “cops”–. this is with concern and love for TRUE biblical brotherly love, true unity by keeping false brotherly love out and false teachings OUT.. Anyone who accepts false teachers by trying to reject their false teachings is bringing error in the Body of Christ for which Christ shed his blood for.
    It’s that our affections should be to protect Her from any and every error we see because we LOVE the Unity that is kept pure, holy and true.. False brotherly love is not the same love as God’s love in Christ

    Would a husband not protect his wife? Or would he allow her to commit adultery and not care.. Same goes with the Church. Do we love the purity and righteousness of Jesus Christ enough to keep her from committing spiritual adultery or are we just going to label people who are passionate about true love as police and not care that she joins hands with false teachers and teachings. Again I’m not saying where people like Keller stand–I don’t know and we are to let the wheat grow up with the tares… But, our faithfulness and allegiance is to Jesus Christ and should be to please the LORD.

    Sincerely in Christ,
    LInda

  37. RS says:

    Todd –

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate where you’re coming from. Sounds like me about 40 years ago. We do desire to use the filter of God’s Word to guide and direct us. That’s just basic. Of course we don’t sit as judges based on the whim of who we like or don’t like. Or of who lines up with our chosen presuppositions, and who doesn’t. It’s unfortunate if you think that’s our mentality.

    As you’ve already said, you didn’t really understand contemplative mysticism. So I can understand if you think it’s no big deal. What you may not realize is that mysticism is foundationally contrary not just to Christianity, but to the basic construct of God’s relationship with man in either Testament. It is at the very heart of heathen religious practice (Eastern or Indigenous). “Christianizing” it with Biblical terms and re-definitions doesn’t change it’s essence. To mix it with Christianity is to mix the deepest darkness with light, which, needless to say, is an abomination. And any public or celebrity “Christian” preacher/teacher who either advocates it, teaches it, or encourages it has placed him or herself as one of the individuals we are commanded to avoid (see those verses I just gave you in my last comment to you above). This is mere faithfulness to the Scriptures.

    As for your persistent argument for more liberality, perhaps I could put it this way. I have listened to and/or read sermons/books from the likes of Rick Warren, Driscoll, Copeland, MacLaren, Bell, Willard, and a whole long slew of others. For that matter, I’ve also read some Confucius, Socrates, Marcus Aurelius, and other heathens as well. I have found certain statements, even some basic concepts from them that I would agree with. But that doesn’t mean I would approve of them to others, or incorporate their teachings into my beliefs. As for the heathen, since they do not have the Holy Spirit, they have mere human wisdom, which though may contain certain common sense observations and conclusions, they do, nevertheless, lie among those of Ps 1:1, to which I have my instruction there in God’s Word. As for “Christian” teachers, we must apply the method of the Bereans. We give them a listen, BUT we SEARCH the Scriptures to see if what they teach is true to the Scriptures. If what they teach comes into serious conflict with, or is contrary to, what is clearly taught in God’s Word, those teachers I am COMMANDED to reject. It isn’t an option. And it would be grossly irresponsible for me to recommend any false teacher to any unlearned or young in the Faith, lest they be led astray by the false teachings that also come from these guys.

    Let me give one last example. I have a veritable library of religious authors in my home. I keep the works of false teachers for documentation purposes only. I treat them like poison in a bottle. And I keep them hidden from guests. It would be very irresponsible for me to let the unlearned borrow any of those books, lest they be taken captive by the deceptions therein. It would also be foolish, and counterproductive, to hand out one of those books for any “good” quotes, contained therein, yet with a disclaimer that they are nevertheless a false teacher. I’d still be dispensing poison in doing so.

    Todd, your choosing authors or teachers because you like the “edifying” things they say, and ignoring (or perhaps just not wanting to know about) whatever falsehood they also teach, will place you in a serious spiritual situation someday. Just a friendly and loving warning. Because I don’t want that to happen to you.

  38. todd3588 says:

    @Linda and @RS,

    Thank you both again for your thoughts.

    I don’t disagree with anything either of you stated in your respective responses. Guess my energies and enthusiam are just (mis?)placed in different areas.

    Todd
    Texas

  39. RS: “I’m sure you would agree that we can and should have both vigilance and love on an equal footing, rather than either/or.”

    Absolutely. But when vigilance tells us to ask our brother to change what he is doing (or has done), and he doesn’t see the point but changes anyway because of Christian love, I’m not going to object to his lack of vigilance. I’m going to be grateful for his charity.

  40. RS says:

    Todd:
    Just to be clear, I never once thought your enthusiasm was misplaced. You seem to have an enthusiasm for the things of God, and I am glad to see that. We are all gifted specially from the Lord to benefit each member of the body and glorify Him, as is so stated in 1 Cor. 12:17. My intent was just to provide a different point of view for your serious consideration, and a warning of potential hazard ahead IF (a conditional clause only) we do not rightly discern the gravity of all a preacher/teacher proclaims. Please understand, none of this was meant as a personal attack.

    Jon:
    I agree with you. But I don’t see how that applies here. I never asked anyone to change whether or not they see the point. The whole thrust of my appeal on this thread was for consideration of those weaker in the faith than us. And I give Todd the credit to process the information as he sees fit.

    Everyone else:
    This will be my last comment on DefCon. I have appreciated the many helpful insights given here, but it seems my input here has just not been fruitful. Too often my attempts to contribute what I thought would be commonly accepted among Christians, has either been greatly distorted, or grossly misunderstood by those who I take to be my brethren, and I just don’t understand it. But I do not wish to cause any discord among brethren, nor to be any sort of stumbling block. Nor do I think it prudent or beneficial to the readers to fill up comboxes with repeated clarifications. I do appreciate though the 2 or 3 of you that did seem to understand my heart. I look forward to the day when I will rejoice with all my brothers and sisters in one accord in the presence of our Father in heaven. Until then, au revoir.

  41. LInda says:

    RS-

    “Everyone else: This will be my last comment on DefCon. I have appreciated the many helpful insights given here, but it seems my input here has just not been fruitful.”

    I can’t believe you have said this and this is simply not true for “Everyone”. I’ve benefited GREATLY from your comments and have even grown some… This is not from the Lord for you to say this….

    I come on here at Def/Con and actually find myself excited to find out what RS has to say. You have so much wisdom the LORD has granted you and to withhold that simply because the majority don’t see it is simply hurtful for those few of us who do understand.

    I would greatly implore you RS to please don’t GO… I actually believe that we should be looking to please CHRIST so that we don’t fall into the trap of basing our stance on how people respond or don’t respond..

    Does not God’s word say to “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.”?-2 Tim.4:2

    “He who walks with the wise grows wise but a companion of fools suffers harm”-Pr.13:20

    I would sincerely ask that you would pray to the LORD about this

    Sincerely your sister in Christ,
    Linda

  42. RS says:

    My sister Linda,
    Fortunately, personal replies are different than comments on issues/topics. Thank you for the kind and encouraging words. But there’s a lot going on right now, and a certain complexity to this which prevents me from giving you an adequate reply at this time. Please give me a few days on this, okay?

    Linda,
    Better option. Email me at bnthrdnthat123@yahoo.com so that DefCon doesn’t become a posting board for personal replies and communications. Thanks.

  43. LInda says:

    I am posting this as a warning to error being treated lightly by Christians in hopes that Christians take heresies and teachers who teach them more seriously.

    “The fact is, that Satan doesn’t have to come up with new errors because people are ignorant of history and people are ignorant of doctrine and keep falling back into the same errors. But you know ignorance is not the only problem. Perhaps an even greater problem today is that too many Christians lack the boldness to confront error for what it is. Even the most serious errors this is true of. If an error becomes popular enough it can claim a certain immunity from criticism. Because our society and even in the Church we place too much value on tolerance and not enough on truth. WE love peace more than we love purity. WE often think that it’s better to be agreeable than it is to be aggressive for the truth. And that sorta thinking is a plague on the Church today. If the early Church had been as tolerant as we are of error, Christianity would have died out long before it ever got a foothold. And in fact that very thing almost occurred in the 3rd century and the early 4th century. This was a time when the church worldwide very nearly capitulated to error. And except for the efforts of ONE very courageous and bold determined defender of the truth one man who stood out against the world we’d all be JW’s today. I’m not exaggerating.
    One thing you’ll notice as we study these heresies is how subtly error tries to encroach on the Church. And how quickly it attempts to gain popularity always at the grass roots level. The obvious direct approach almost everybody recognizes. But it’s the subtle approach that is dangerous. That sort of approach that is obvious is direct confrontive attack on the truth. We see that as divisive we see that as occultish and recognize it easily and it is it wears a sinister face. And most of us immediately see the evil behind it.
    But error is most deadly when it masquerades as truth. These wacko fanatics that stand outside and pass out literature will probably never succeed in major error getting a foothold in our Church. But what frightens me are these subtle deviations from the truth that can creep in from the inside. And they come in wearing an angelic face. It arose from within the Church. It spread by quiet infiltration. and gained strength really because of the personal charisma of the teachers of this doctrine. This heresy took advantage of a climate of tolerance. And it developed to massive proportions before any strong voice rose up to oppose it.” Phil Johnson

  44. RS, I posted what I did because of the following:
    “Then for ATG to echo this sentiment leaves the impression that this post was pulled, not because any there was any issue with promoting this mystic, but just to placate us trouble makers who took offense at promoting him. And if that is truly the case, there is still a very real problem here. And I am greatly saddened at what I have seen become of DefCon.”

    ATG pulled the post out of a loving desire for peace, not because he saw the issue as clearly as you did.

    In my opinion, this thread worked pretty much the way it should have. Someone didn’t exercise as much vigilance as I believe is ideal. Someone else pointed it out. The first person, still not (in imy opinion) seeing the issue as clearly as others, responded in charity and thus received the benefit of the vigilance of others. Thus, because ATG was willing to respond appropriately, the corporate vigilance of the community was brought into play. Good and good.

    Although I disagreed with the paragraph I just cited, I believe your contribution to this thread was on the whole a very positive one, and it isn’t the first time I’ve felt that. There are many possible reasons for discontinuing participation. In your case, a feeling that your contributions are not valuable should not be one of them.

  45. LInda says:

    Jon Gleason I don’t know if RS will be back to reply. But with all that was spoken my impression and I Could be wrong was from a bit of a cavalier attitude. If the ONLY reason ANYONE pulls a post whenever brothers and sisters in Christ warn of a false teacher or false teachings is out of a love for peace then all this does is simply palliate the errors with Keller and his teachings of mysticism.. What does this say about the integrity of people who simply want peace? That’s ALL? No love for the truth? No sincere love and thank you to the brother or sister who spoke up about the error? If this is Peace I don’t want it because TRUE PEACE only comes from the prince of peace and with each other when we truly care enough to LISTEN to the WARNINGS..

    And what about those who have no idea about mysticism and it’s dangers and syncretism? Why speak up and defend someone if you have no idea how extremely dangerous it is? The word of God says “He who answers before listening–that is his folly and his shame.:-Pr. 18:13…

    WE all have given answers when we shouldn’t have spoken. I get the impression many of us would rather WIN the argument than truly defend the FAITH. This is not some kind of intellectual exercise. This is a real and present danger and not all of us have the SAME GIFTS. Some of us are not feet when we are the EYE. Some of us have been given the gift of discernment and some the gift of teaching. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with anyone being less or more intelligent or whatnot. It has everything to do with using our gifts for the body of Christ and when someone SPEAKS UP about error and false teachers then people should LISTEN. Unless of course it’s obvious it’s not true.

    As Phil Johnson stated in my above post “we place too much value on tolerance and not enough on truth, we love peace more than purity, and “too many Christians lack the boldness to confront error for what it is.”

    Another thing is this is showing lack of discretion. There were people who spoke up for mysticism and really have no idea just how dangerous it actually is…

    What happened to Scripture that commands us to: turn away from what is falsely called knowledge, and to watch your lift and doctrine closely, to persevere in them, and to be on our guard so that we will not be carried away by the error of lawless men?

    none of this was considered but was glossed over and pulled only because a few of us (IN LOVE) for our brothers who might not KNOW, sounded the clarion call against Keller and his error.. If you want to JUST pull it simply because you want (peace)) then shame on you for not caring enough about Christ and the truth that is way more important for souls are at stake here.
    we are to expose the deeds of darkness-Eph 5:11 “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.”

    To sell out the truth for the sake of peace is unbiblical

    2 cor. 6:14-15-”if we have a dispute between bretheren, between people who are in Christ and are comitted to Christ we can resolve it and we must resolve it because our Lord commands us to live in unity with one another. ((But)) at the same time Scripture warns us that grievious wolves will enter the flock. And we dare not make peace with the wolves. So when somebody’s doctrine is so escewed that it corrupts the doctrine of Christ or obscures the Gospel, when somebody’s proposing a different Christ, then souls are placed in eternal peril. When THAT’S THE ISSUE peace is NOT an option. Peace is not the primary goal. What is? the casting down of the false doctrine!

    1Ti 6:20 “Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge,
    1Ti 4:16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
    2Pe 3:17 Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position.

    sincerely in Christ, Linda

  46. abidingthroughgrace says:

    Linda, are you addressing any of this towards me and my actions? Or speaking in the generic sense?

  47. LInda says:

    ATG, I am speaking to you out of concern since you are an admin here and have voiced your thoughts but I do have ALL people in mind (including myself) who are Christians.

    This is your site not mine—really it’s GODS. I don’t have any right to change your site and I don’t care to. I just thought it was rock solid in defending the faith. But it’s beginning to wander and deviate from from the normal course Scripture

    This Site is Called Defending/Contending and I’m concerned along with others at the lack of discretion on the part of Def/Con which you represent and have personally voiced. You take on a HUGE responsibility as a man of God who is one of the admins here. If the admins cannot make decisions and choices responsibly and wisely according to the word of God or if they fail to base their decisions on Scripture when it concerns such serious matters what does that say about all the rest of the decisions that will be made that are to come? False teachings are rife and they are not going away.

    Sincerely in Christ,
    Linda

  48. abidingthroughgrace says:

    Linda,

    I don’t understand where you are coming from on this and I don’t know what your concern is at this point….we’ve dealt with this issue backwards,forwards, and upside down. My last response was way back on 8/6. I fear you may be trying to pick a fight or seeking acknowledgement as being “right” on this issue. I have made my last statement on this issue over a week ago and moved on. This is a non-issue because no Def/Con admins, including myself, are disagreeing with you on anything.

    However, you are now accusing me of not being “solid in the faith” and “lacking discretion” and suggesting that I am “failing in my responsibility” here at Def/Con. It seems as well that you are suggesting that I am on a path of false teaching.

    I am sorry to have let you down and given you any cause for these feelings toward me. All I can ask is that you pray for me. I can only stand true by God’s grace, mercy, and steadfast love.

    In the love of Christ,
    -atg

  49. LInda says:

    ATG, not everyone has reached your conclusion that this was a settled matter. I’ haven’t drawn the same conclusion as you that this was tackled thoroughly and properly but is only palliated and thus this is why we have people leaving Def/Con now. this is not “picking a fight” as you say and it’s rather a kind of impropriety for you to use such language -it’s unwarranted. Jon Gleason chimed in his 2 cents and evidently didn’t think so either with RS. Was he picking a fight ? Ridiculous

    I can understand if I was flat out picking a fight with you but that’s the last thing on my mind. The reason why I say this is if you read my concerns, along with Scripture this is far from “picking fights”. I’m pointing out the truth that you as an admin really do lack discretion and again concerned for the direction of Def/Con.

    let me leave this statement by Phil Johnson:

    “We live in an era where most Christians today have the attitude that it’s not really right to contend for the faith against other Christians. So if somebody professes to love Christ and professes to be a Christian the attitude today is we’re not supposed to contend against that. We’re not supposed to argue against that. We’re not supposed to fight and so we can disagree with one another and we can agree to disagree but we can never get serious about contending for the faith. That is the spirit of postmodernism. But I want you to know that Jude is commanding us to fight. And he said what’s at stake is the faith once for all delivered to the saints.”

    With love in Christ and have had no hard feelings the whole time nor “fighting”, Linda…

  50. abidingthroughgrace says:

    Linda,

    Why do you feel justified to accuse me of numerous things above after I have not been in this conversation for many days, and I suggest you may be trying to pick a fight with me and you are offended and again bring charges that I am the one without discretion and so on. You are demonstrating unbalance in these comments. As one who is so quick to point out all my flaws and weakness over and over again and accuse me now of being “on the path to false teaching”, and “not solid in the faith”, I would expect you to have the wisdom to except reproof in return. What is most confusing to me in this whole thing is that I took the sermon down, agreed there were things that I didn’t know Tim Keller had taught, and agreed with what you were suggesting.

    I suggested you may be trying to pick a fight because you addressed me specifically after I have been gone for many days. I asked you directly if you were addressing me in those comments because it wasn’t clear to me. If your beef is with what Jon Gleeson said, direct it towards him. Again I wasn’t in Jon’s discussion and I haven’t read ALL the comments that Jon wrote or RS or whoever else since 8/6.

    Since I am unclear of what your want from me and what your expectation is, will you please do me the courtesy of specifically spelling out what you would like me to do to satisfy your frustrations on this issue?

    your brother in Christ,
    -atg

  51. Linda, a loving desire for peace, and the humility to consider the input of others, is a work of Christ for which we should be thankful. I’m sure you agree.

    ATG did the right thing in pulling the sermon, and he did it for a godly reason. You and I agree that he wasn’t as vigilant as he should be in this case. OK. The issue was raised and he still doesn’t see it the same way RS, you, and I all see it.

    So? The fact remains: he responded in a godly manner. I wish he agreed with us entirely, but he doesn’t. That doesn’t diminish the fact that he responded rightly out of godly motivation. This was not “making peace with evil” on his part, it was making peace with committed brothers and sisters. It was not compromising truth to buy peace. It was putting aside what he viewed as his right to post a sermon for the benefit of his brothers and sisters. It’s the attitude that pervades I Corinthians 9, when Paul said he put aside his rights for the benefit of others. It’s a beautiful thing, not a bad thing.

    Perfect? No. It would be perfect if he saw the same dangers we did, in my opinion. But there are a lot of beautiful things that aren’t perfect.

    That’s what I mean by my comments. And I’m willing to stand beside a man who responds in that way and help him be vigilant as long as he’s willing to accept my help, as he was in this case. Even if he doesn’t see it himself. And if you and RS will stand beside him, too, all the better.

  52. LInda says:

    Sincerely ATG, why has RS left? why has lyn left and why haven’t you given much thought as to finding out. I’ve brought up the reasons why and yet you continue to just shoot me down. Does it matter at all to you that RS has left? Same thing with Lyn. Lyn has been here for several years and sees the same thing as I do. I haven’t been here that long myself. apparently they like me see the direction of Def/Con and are concerned.

    Do any of these people matter to you?

    yes ATG you took the sermon down BUT while taking it down you STILL dropped the other shoe and said we should listen to the sermon anyway. How is this kind of advise wise to people who just exposed a false teacher? Where’s the discretion in that? This is not about finding nits this is about people who care enough to warn you about Keller

    Simply because you haven’t been active on the blog for several days doesn’t remove the responsibility of what has happened. Is this not your post? Apparently something is not right…

    Listen ATG, I have no animosity nor bitterness in my heart and nor am I sitting behind my computer with hatred toward you at all..In fact I’m a very even tempered person because of how Christ treats me so kindly and patiently. Gee I love you in Christ ATG… I’ve had WAYYYYY more lurid things happen in my life that Jesus Christ has healed me from

    If Def/Con continues down this same course then well I’ll have to sequester..Until then I’ll continue to pray for myself and you and pray the Lord’s will is done…

    Sincerely in Christ,
    Linda

  53. abidingthroughgrace says:

    Linda,

    Ok, I have taken the time now to go back and read the comments above and I’ll address you specifically here in detail. This is long, but I believe I owe it to you. I mean this in the most loving sense and in the most prayful, earnest desire to set this thing right. I am writing this to you in attempt to put your heart at ease and put to rest the concerns you have.

    - why RS and Lyn left…I did not realize they left (I actually don’t see lyn leaving on this thread, but I might have missed it). I don’t want RS to leave. He and I came to an agreement above and I thought we were fine. His disagreements with Jon and Todd are just that since I wasn’t participating or following the convo. Of course I care and would like to have them back as each contributes with wisdom.

    -I have not shot you down…I’ve been trying to figure out what you were upset about STILL since I was gone. I believe I am seeing your concerns more clearly now. I must say I don’t think that you have given me the benefit of the doubt, but have assumed that I am something I am not and assumed I am sitting back celebrating Tim Keller. I’d appreciate a bit of patience and explanation rather than the unfounded and unreasonable accusations tossed my direction. Part of love is not assuming such things, but working together to sort it out. You assumed I was current with every comment as you were and I was not…but am now.

    -does it matter to me? yes of course and I think you have unfairly branded me w/o all the information.

    - I took the post down Monday morning after the concerns and I clearly stated that I would remove it to keep the peace. I didn’t have all the information, but could tell something was wrong and rather than fight for something I didn’t care about (i.e. didn’t know about) I pulled it out of respect, concern, and desire for peace. Then I did some research and saw what you guys where talking about and agreed with RS and you that I was against all such things that he has been found teaching. I think you are missing a sequential step here where I realized there was more to it than I had seen originally.

    - I suggested that the sermon was worth listening to before I had all the information. I am fond of the sermon and was disappointed that there was controversy around him and confused as I didn’t have all the information. I also said later that I liked the book and would recommend it from that specific perspective on that parable. I understand your point on all or nothing…I don’t disagree. I won’t recommend it any longer since I know now how he is off track. I am not here to endorse Tim Keller and have not interest in all his flaws. He wrote a book I read and I liked it. He gave a lecture I heard and I liked it. This was the extent of my knowledge when posting originally…now I know more about him and my opinion of him has changed.

    - Where is the wisdom and discretion? I recommended it before I fully understood the information.

    - I did post this piece and am responsible and did the responsible thing by taking it down. I am NOT responsible for all the comments, all the heated discussions, everyone’s opinions, misreading, misstating, perfection, Tim Keller’s biography and history of teaching and list of false teachings, or anything else. To suggest that there is something “wrong with me here” is a little over the top. I can’t police, defend, or agree with everyone’s opinions on this thing. I have a young kids and wife to care for, ministry and discipleship, I run a engineering company, taking 2 seminary courses, and run multiple Bible studies during the week…Tim Keller’s mysticism wasn’t my highest priority last week after I took the post down and agreed with you and Lyn and RS.

    - Defcon is not heading in any new course or direction. if you believe that it is I encourage you to talk with Pilgrim via email. If you are basing this off this post and string of comments, I believe that is an unfair characterization. Again, though, the reader comments cannot be argued at every level…and I believe that readers should have the freedom to agree and disagree and argue all they want because we don’t know everything and we might actually learn something at some point if we have a teachable spirit.

    - You say you have no bitterness or hard feelings. I am thankful for that. I take you at your word. It sure doesn’t feel as such over the last month, but I appreciate the clarification.

    I am expecting that this will not answer all your concerns or questions. Please, ask specifically if you have a concern…like, “do you agree there are no such thing as purple elephants?” and I’ll be able to answer directly so there is NO confusion and you don’t assume what I believe.

    I hope this helps and put this thing to an end as I believe there is no issue and no disagreement anywhere here…but I’ve been wrong before.

    Grace and Peace,
    -atg

  54. abidingthroughgrace says:

    @ Jon Gleason, I hope you read my reply to Linda above as it should answer some of your concerns as well. I can assure you that my opinion of Tim Keller has changed and that my actions early on were for peace and to diffuse the conflict and upon seeing what Keller was teaching, I agreed and still agree that it is garbage. I don’t know what more I can do in regard to any of this at this point, but please ask if you have additional concerns.

    Grace and Peace,
    -atg

  55. Hi, ATG. You’ve made where you stand on it very clear. Thank you. I have no problem with how you’ve handled this thing, and I’m glad you see Keller a little more clearly.

    For what it’s worth, I’m not bothered that you liked one of his sermons (which I never listened to). I see a lot of value in some of his writing, too. Love rejoices in the truth, even when the wrong guy is the one saying it. Paul quoted pagan poets. We tend to forget that in these discussions..

    If I wanted to link to something from Keller, I’d do it, but with a disclaimer that he isn’t to be trusted on some very important things, but this that he’s said is worth hearing. I’d want to be very sure that my readers wouldn’t see it as a broad endorsement. On the other hand, I don’t think I’d ever link to Driscoll. Sometimes it is hard to know exactly where we should draw the line on these things.

  56. abidingthroughgrace says:

    Linda, I have read all the comments and responded to you directly at your request. Are you going to respond in return now?

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