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Timothy Keller: Turning Believers Into Unbelievers?

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“…when the Son (Jesus) cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18.8)

Jesus never accepted unbelief! He challenged His own to believe fully; indeed, He often rebuked His disciples for their unbelief:

  • their fear in the storm on the Sea (1);
  • Peter sinking as he walked on the water to Jesus (2);
  • the disciples’ inability to cure a demon-possessed boy (3);
  • His men overwhelmed as Jesus fed 5,000 men, plus women and children with only a few loaves and fishes. (4)

Sadly, despite His miracle of feeding the multitude, many in His audience turned away from His claim on deity and His demand for total faith, trust, and obedience. (5)

Again, a rich, young ruler came to Jesus asking what he, the young man, had to do to inherit everlasting life. When the Lord quoted the Law’s requirements, the young man assured Jesus that he had done all of them.

Then, Jesus emphasized the need for love of Jesus rather than love for earthly treasures. The rich, young ruler, whose treasures owned him, found Jesus’s price too high, so he rejected Jesus’ invitation to follow Him. (6)

Response of Jesus to Unbelief

Jesus did NOT chase after the rich, young ruler, nor did He change His demands to suit the man. Rather, Jesus used this example with His disciples of what it means to have faith in Christ…and in Christ alone.

Jesus never accepted unbelief, never altered His demand for faith. No matter the circumstances or the situation, Jesus rebuked unbelief and insisted on nothing less than full and abiding faith on the part of those who would follow Him. The same holds true today and forever!

Pattern of Timothy Keller’s Response to Unbelief

Sadly, Keller did not follow Jesus’ example. Early in his article, “Creation, Evolution, and Christian Laypeople” (7), Keller described the opposition between creationists and evolutionists, specifically identifying professing believers and unbelievers who, like the rich, young ruler, doubt God. (8)

Keller maligned those who believe in creation and reject evolution. On page one, paragraph 3 of the PDF, he labeled their position as “anti-science religion.” Indeed, Keller preferred those who doubt the Bible and cling to evolution OVER against those who believe the Biblical creation accounts of Genesis 1-2. He opted for evolution.

Keller ends the introduction of his article by declaring that the confusion over creation versus evolution exists for three (3) reasons:

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  • mutual exclusion of creationists from evolutionists;
  • the prominence of the creationists; and
  • the loudness of the creationists’ argument. (9)

Keller did not consider as a factor the accounts of creation in Genesis 1-2. By implication, then, he degraded Biblical authority.

In review, Tim Keller contradicted Christ’s demands, choosing, instead, to side with the evolutionists while demeaning those who subscribe to the Biblical description of creation in Genesis 1-2.

To paraphrase Keller’s teaching, those who believe the Biblical accounts of creation must deny their beliefs to accept the unbeliever’s evolutionary theories as the means of creation.

Keller made no demands on the evolutionists, while defending their trust in their theories.


The difference between Christ’s approach and Keller’s becomes obvious: Christ demands mankind believe in Him and His Word without doubt or unbelief, including the Genesis 1-2 account of creation. Keller does not agree.

I implore you as Christ’s followers to subscribe to God’s clear and truthful Word, all His truth, unreservedly, including the Genesis 1-2 account of creation.

Put all of your faith, trust, and confidence in Christ…alone!!!


  1. Matthew 8.23-26
  2. Matthew 14.31
  3. Matthew 17.14-21
  4. John 6.5-13
  5. John 6.16-66
  6. Matthew 19.16-22
  7. Keller, Timothy: Available at this link: http://biologos.org/uploads/projects/Keller_white_paper.pdf
  8. Keller, PDF p. 1 ¶ 1-2.
  9. Keller, PDF p. 1 ¶ 1.

Tom Hill is the founder of Master Ministries International


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