Tim Keller’s preoccupation with social justice within his theological discourse is a matter of concern that merits critical evaluation by those who adhere to his teachings. In his sermons, he frequently posits a significant emphasis on social justice issues, often linking it to the concept of salvation and proffering it as an integral aspect of the gospel message.
It is crucial to acknowledge that scriptural theology affirms that salvation is procured through faith alone and not by works. While compassion for the marginalized and the impoverished is a commendable undertaking, it should not be conflated with the gospel message. Keller’s assertion that one’s concern for the poor is indicative of salvation is, at best, misguided and at worst, pernicious. Such a stance can also give rise to the false notion that certain deeds are necessary to attain salvation.
Furthermore, Keller’s claims that justification leads to justice and that justice serves as an indicator of justification, fundamentally misconstrues the biblical message. Scriptural theology unequivocally states that good works, including social justice efforts, are an outcome of salvation and not a prerequisite for it. Social justice should be an organic extension of one’s faith, but it should not be a focal point or a prerequisite for salvation.
It is Keller’s infatuation with social justice that leads him to make such absurd and incoherent observations about perceived injustices in society. One such claim that recently surfaced is a clip where Keller alleged that such things as white men negotiating the price of cars at a used car dealership, particularly where black women didn’t have the same negotiating skills, is a form of systemic racism. As absurd and illogical as this statement is, Tim Keller still made this claim and, as usual, links it to Christianity.
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