In 2021, we reported that John MacArthur had refuted what Tim Keller referred to as the “Urban Mandate.” Tim Keller’s “urban mandate” theology interprets Genesis 1:28 as a dominionist mandate for Christians to move into cities, assimilate to the culture, and contextualize the gospel in order to turn urban areas into Christian cities.
Keller, like most dominionists, puts an over-emphasis on the importance of cultural things such as art, entertainment, and community input on worship music style and other Evangelistic activities to reach people. His theology has similarities to the New Apostolic Reformation’s “Seven Mountain Mandate,” which aims to Christianize seven “areas” of culture. Keller’s view is rooted in his social justice gospel, which has been criticized as a false gospel. In contrast, John MacArthur argues that the biblical “urban mandate” is to warn cities of God’s wrath and call them to repentance.
During a sermon in 2021, John MacArthur refuted that theology but did not mention Tim Keller by name. You can view that sermon clip here: (YouTube Clip). And because he did not mention Tim Keller by name, but I said that he did in the previous article, you can imagine the kind of backlash I received from people who just couldn’t believe that someone like John MacArthur would disagree with someone of Tim Keller’s stature (sarcasm). But I did, and it was a lot, and I was told that it wasn’t about Tim Keller and that Tim Keller was perfectly orthodox, not given to social justice, and not a compromised teacher in any way. (not sarcasm)
Well, during the Shepherd’s Conference, John MacArthur made it clear who he was referring to, and he clearly called him out by name. Guess who it was. That’s right! Tim Keller. Oh, and Andy Stanley too. Watch: