Showing posts with label jonathan cousar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jonathan cousar. Show all posts

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Kingdom Now? Cultures Being Redeemed? No and no. (A Few Problems With Dominionism)

Posted by Christine Pack

This article will (hopefully) expose how Dominionism, which is a view held by some Christians, often outworks itself in ways never prescribed by Scripture. Please note that there are often very varied beliefs among Christians who hold Dominionist views. For instance, not all Theonomists will be Christian Reconstructionists, not all Christian Reconstructionists will be Patriarchal, not all Patriarchals will be Quiverfull. However, what undergirds all of these movements or ideologies is their Dominionist worldview, and because of this, there is often a natural dovetailing of ideas between these groups and ideologies. The Dominionist view almost always flows out of the Postmillennial eschatalogical view. And whenever you've got your eschatology driving your Christian walk, you've got a problem.

* * * * * * *

Pastor Tim Keller, author of
Center Church
Kingdom Now ideology, which is a form of Dominionism, is also sometimes buried in concepts such as those taught by Tim Keller. Pastor Keller doesn't use straight up "Kingdom Now" language, but he does talk about "redeeming the culture." But as Christians we know that it is individual souls who are redeemed, not entire cultures.

Tim Keller is a contributor to the aggressively evolutionary think-tank BioLogos (you can read about that here in Ken Ham's article, Misrepresented By Leading Pastor). His "redeeming the culture" view, which has a strong social justice/social gospel slant is espoused in his book Center Church. His article Redemption and the City is excerpted from Center Church, and can be read here. And from the Cripplegate review of Center Church:
"Throughout large portions of (Center Church).......Keller is evaluating positions and approaches to the culture.  (Keller) believes that the mission of the church must be balanced between the great commission and (a) cultural mandate to advance human flourishing.
"The mandate (given to the church) is about being witnesses, testifying to the resurrection.  The mandate of the church is about testifying to the gospel until He returns (Keller agrees).  The mandate of the church is exclusively about testifying and not about establishing ‘shalom’ or cultural renewal in some sort of kingdom sense (Keller doesn’t agree).  After receiving the commission to witness, the apostles remain undistracted......Instead of leading the church into cultural renewal, (the apostles) point to the only One who can restore the creation.  The apostolic message is repent and believe so that Christ can come and reverse the curse placed on this earth.
"Peter preached that cultural renewal was a work of Christ by virtue of His imminent return as King.  Keller, however, believes that our pursuit of cultural renewal, social justice, mercy ministry, and human betterment are based on the fact that Jesus created and redeemed body and spirit.
(Center Church and Common Grace, Cripplegate, my emphasis)
Here is also an interview by a friend of mine (Jonathan Cousar) about Tim Keller. Jonathan attended the church where Tim Keller preaches (Redeemer Presbyterian in NYC) for almost 20 years, and in this interview, he discusses Keller's views, and his attempts to talk about them with Keller.
Interview With A Long-Time Member of Redeemer Presbyterian
Here is one longish (but good) article by Sam Horn of Northland Baptist Bible College that addresses the problems with Tim Keller's "Redeeming the Culture" view.
An Assessment of and Response to Tim Keller’s Theology of the City
Here is a series of articles by Dr. Paul Elliott about Tim Keller's problematic views:
Tim Keller: Dangerously Influential (Part 1)
Tim Keller's Gutless Gospel (Part 2) 
Tim Keller's False Gospel: Changing Both the Method and the Message (Part 3)
Tim Keller's False Gospel: A 'Sandwich' Made Without the Bread of Life (Part 4)
Tim Keller's False Gospel: A Point-By-Point Analysis (Part 5)
And here is the entire Cripplegate series of articles reviewing Tim Keller's Center Church:
Center Church: Summary and Contextualization 
Center Church and Common Grace
Center Church and The True Church


 Theonomy / Kingdom Now / Dominionism 

The Fault Lines of Christian Reconstructionism/Theonomy (Sola Sisters)

Christian Submission vs Belligerent Discontentment Before Civil Authorities (Justin Edwards, airo)

Brother's Keeper.....Some of the Problems With Theonomists (Fred Butler, Hip and Thigh)

What Is Kingdom Now? (Got Questions?)

What Is Dominionism? (Derek Gilbert interviews Sarah Leslie of Herescope, beginning at 1:08:00 mark)

 Tim Keller 

Tim Keller's Social Justice (Gospel Masquerade)

Tim Keller's Environmental Gospel (Gospel Masquerade)

Redeemer's Tim Keller and the Problems with Ignatius of Loyola (Sola Sisters)

Redeemer's Tim Keller Recommends Ignatius of Loyola? (Sola Sisters)

Ignatius of Loyola, an Examination of His Teachings
 (Pastor Gary Gilley)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Of Sin and Mirrors and God

Article by Jonathan Cousar (Gospel Masquerade)
Printed with permission

People don't seem to be able to understand why small sins are so big to God. It doesn't seem right that God would damn someone to eternal hell for every day run-of-the mill kinds of sins.

If you ask somebody if they're a bad person they will almost always say NO! Then if you begin to point out some of their sins, they'll inevitably start making excuses. The most common excuses are, "Ah, come on! Everybody does that!" Or, "I'm not nearly as bad as some people."

This shows that people don't really understand the seriousness of sin. The reason sin doesn't seem like such a big deal to us is because we are not precision moral agents. But God is! He is the ultimate precision moral agent. He can spot a tiny little sin a thousand miles away. But we hardly notice them even when they hit us in the face.

Maybe this will help. Sin is kind of like dust. If a little speck of dust gets on your $25 bathroom mirror, not only will you not care, you probably won't even notice. In fact, it won't be until thousands of pieces of dust collect on it that you'll begin to think about cleaning it.

Those little particles of dust are like your sins. And your bathroom mirror is like you. A bathroom mirror is very forgiving when it comes to particles of dust because it's not a pure precision mirror. Same with people. Most people are very forgiving when it comes to sin because they're not precision moral agents. Bathroom mirrors are made very quickly, by slapping a reflective coat of tin and silver onto the back of a piece of glass. It can be made with corrupted glass and it will still function fine for most of our needs.

What if instead of a bathroom mirror, you had a precision telescopic mirror? In this case, you would need the most pure kind of mirror we know how to make. The raw power of any telescope is determined by the size and purity of its main optic mirror. This telescope will be used to view objects that are billions of light years away. This mirror has to be a pure precision instrument, completely unlike the "blunt" object you use in your bathroom every day. This mirror has to be absolutely perfect because the type of work it's going to do is so much more precise than what your bathroom mirror is made to do.

The mirror that will fly aboard NASA's next-generation James Webb Space Telescope is the most expensive, sophisticated and pure mirror ever made by man.
"They will be precise enough to capture single photons. And the slightest speck of dust or greasy fingerprint could ruin them." 
(Why space telescope mirror is most complex ever built, BBC online)
One of the most difficult parts of making this kind of mirror - and one of the factors that makes it so incredibly expensive - is the requirement that not a single speck of dust, not even the tiniest speck, ever touch it! Why? Because the mirror has to be so pure that even a micro speck of dust will destroy it.

This mirror costs $8.7 BILLION! It is a fine, precision optical instrument. Therefore, not only would the tiniest speck of dust be noticed - the tiny speck of dust would destroy it. That tiny impurity that's nothing to your $25 bathroom mirror, would ruin an $8.7 billion mirror.

Why? Because the $8.7 billion mirror, unlike your bathroom mirror, has to be so pure and so precise in order to do what it's designed to do.

And so it is with God - who is the ultimate in purity. When your little sins, the ones you hardly notice, bump up against the pure and holy God - He takes great notice. He notices it like an $8.7 BILLION mirror notices a tiny speck of dust or a hairline scratch. Your tiniest sin is a huge deal to God - just like a tiny scratch or speck of dust is a huge deal to a pure multi-billion dollar mirror.

That's why even the smallest of your sins must be dealt with and paid for before you can enter the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of heaven is absolutely pure and not even the smallest sin can enter it. That same tiny speck of dust that is completely inconsequential to your bathroom mirror will totally destroy a precision $8.7 billion mirror. Same with your every day sins. In front of another person, they appear inconsequential. But before a completely pure and holy God - they bear eternal consequences.

The reason we don't understand the seriousness of our sins is not because we don't understand sin, but because we don't understand the absolute purity and holiness of God.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

(In the video below, notice how the guy inspecting the mirror at 4:00 - actually touches it with his hands. On a precision telescopic mirror this would destroy it!)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Interview With a Former Member of Tim Keller's Church

Posted by Christine Pack
Jonathan Cousar,
City of Deception

Jonathan Cousar, a friend and fellow writer, was recently interviewed about his concerns over mysticism at Tim Keller's church (Redeemer Presbyterian) in Manhattan. Jonathan discussed what happened when he became aware of Tim Keller allowing Roman Catholic Mysticism to be taught at Redeemer, and what played out when he tried to bring his concerns to the leadership. Jonathan was a member of Redeemer for almost 20 years.

You may listen to this show in its entirety here.

 Additional Resources 

Learn to Embrace Your "Inner Monk" at Pastor Tim Keller's Redeemer Presbyterian Church?

Lectio Divina at Tim Keller's Redeemer Presbyterian Church - material adapted from the book Sacred Companions by David Benner. (From David Benner's bio: "I first heard of spiritual direction through reading Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, and this quickly led me to an engagement with the Orthodox tradition of the Christian faith. It was here that I encountered the Jesus prayer – a gift from the Russian Orthodox Church – something that was to change the way I opened myself to God in prayer for ever. Here I also encountered the gift of using icons as an aid to prayer. This led me back to the Christian mystics I had long been attracted to but not ready to really engage, and to the discovery of the Benedictine and Cistercian traditions of centering prayer and lectio divina..... I discovered the Sufi mystical poets, Hafiz and Rumi, people who have been intimate spiritual companions since that first meeting. Within a few years, my wife and I were blessed to be invited to spend several extended periods of dialogue with Buddhists and Taoists at the Tao Fong Shan Centre for Christian Spirituality and Interfaith Dialogue in Hong Kong. Once I tasted the richness of meeting people of other faiths in this sort of sacred place there was no turning back. I quickly discovered that I had more in common with those on a spiritual journey within other religious traditions than I had with Christians who had allowed faith to be reduced to beliefs and counted the holding of these beliefs to be their journey. It remains so to this day.")

Ron Choong’s Ties to Tim Keller and His Heretical Teachings (City of Deception, Jonathan Cousar)

Tim Keller and Social Justice (Sola Sisters)

Tim Keller Recommending Roman Catholic Mysticism (Sola Sisters)

Learn to Embrace Your "Inner Monk" at Pastor Tim Keller's Redeemer Presbyterian Church? (Sola Sisters)

Redeemer's Tim Keller Recommends Ignatius of Loyola? (Sola Sisters)

Tim Keller and the Problems with Ignatius of Loyola (Sola Sisters)

What Is Mysticism? (Sola Sisters)

Mysticism: Spiritual Crack (Sola Sisters)

Catholic Mysticism Infused Into Our Society (Berean Beacon)

Why the Reformation Was Important (Sola Sisters)

After The Darkness, Light (Post Tenebras Lux) (Sola Sisters)

Biblically Explaining The Heresy of Catholicism (Dr. John MacArthur)

A Chart With Christian/Catholic Views Side-By-Side (Berean Beacon)

Testimony of a Former Roman Catholic Priest....From Darkness to Light (Berean Beacon)
Tim Keller

Far From Rome Near To God (Amazon)

On The "Faith" of Mother Teresa: John Ortberg Strikes Out (Sola Sisters)

The Myth of Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa A Lost Soul (Berean Beacon)

Mother Teresa in Her Own Words (Sola Sisters)

CNN Reports That Mother Teresa Underwent Exorcism (CNN Archives)

BBC Reports About Exorcism Performed on Mother Teresa (BBC Archives)