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Sep

05

2011

Discouraging Interview with Bashir and Keller

I was happy to see an interview posted on Justin Taylor's blog between Martin Bashir and Tim Keller. I liked the honesty and directness of Bashir in his earlier interview of Rob Bell that I had seen, and I was excited to see how Tim Keller would answer him. The first 10 minutes were quite encouraging. Tim Keller gave insightful answers to tough questions. But starting around 11 minutes, Bashir asked about what happens to people who do not believe in Jesus, will they go to hell?

I don't know why but this is the question that many people seem to just have a hard time answering straightly about on TV. Keller gave a pretty discouraging answer. Bashir even made the question easy by specifically talking about people who have heard about Christ and then rejected him, leaving out for the moment people who had never heard. Still, Keller did not use the "h" word.

Keller’s other answers were great and very insightful, but this one left me quite surprised! He said God gives us information on a "need to know basis" (which is true), but wrongly included this answer in the categories of things he did not reveal. He  straight up said, "I don’t know" at one point! 1 John 2:23, 5:11 along with Acts 4:12 and a myriad more show God has included this item in the "need to know" category! Give us someone who knows!

I'm not sure if he has since acknowledged this was a moment of weakness, but this answer leaves me with a little less respect for Tim Keller. I'd already lost some when I heard he sort of supports Biologos, and now this is another discouraging blow. He is a wonderfully gifted man and can teach some things in a marvelously alive and convicting way, and I often very much enjoy listening to him. Yet if this is the direction we must head to "engage" the culture, then count me out.

I’m even more surprised Justin Taylor's blog post did not bring this out, in particular with the debate as of late with Rob Bell's "Love Wins" and the blogosphere lit up over the reality of an eternal hell for all who do not believe in Christ. I hope his answer will be confronted.

Times like this particularly remind me of John MacArthur, whose reputation is simply for saying the truth like the Bible says it, no matter what situation, often on Larry King Live. When so many fumble at this point, MacArthur stands out as an example of courage and fidelity, for whose example I am greatly indebted, and I hope I myself would be able to emulate.

(Edit: Good news is that this was a sort of  lapse of communication between Keller and Justin Taylor. Keller had already renounced his answers in this video 3 years ago when it happened, and he clarifies this on the TGC blog. The discouraging interview gives way to an encouraging conclusion!)

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Matt Hauck (郝柏昇)

A once enemy now son, forgiven and freed by Jesus' blood, adopted and called by grace for glory.   (more...)

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