A controversial statement signed by more than 9,000 evangelicals and Christian organizations deploring social justice as a dangerous concept to the Gospel, belittles Christians who talk about race and justice, says Tim Keller, founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City.
“It’s not so much what [the statement] says, but what it does. It’s trying to marginalize people talking about race and justice, it’s trying to say, ‘You’re really not biblical’ and it’s not fair in that sense,” Keller said in a 3-minute clip from a recent session in the 2018-19 City Lab Series billed “Compassion and Justice: The Kingdom at the Margins.”
“If somebody tried to go down [the statement] with me, ‘Will you agree with this, will you agree with this,’ I would say, ‘You’re looking at the level of what it says and not the level of what it’s doing. I do think what it’s trying to do is it’s trying to say, ‘Don’t make this emphasis, don’t worry about the poor, don’t worry about the injustice, that’s really what it’s saying.’ Even if I could agree with most of it … it’s what it’s doing that I don’t like,” he added.
Keller evaluated the statement using a philosophical argument called the Speech Act Theory which, he explained, doesn’t just analyze words by what they say but also by what they do.
The Statement on Social Justice & the Gospel was released early this month with initial signers including John MacArthur of Grace Community Church, who recently denounced evangelicalism’s “newfound obsession” with social justice.
Among other things, the statement notes that: “Specifically, we are deeply concerned that values borrowed from secular culture are currently undermining Scripture in the areas of race and ethnicity, manhood and womanhood, and human sexuality. The Bible’s teaching on each of these subjects is being challenged under the broad and somewhat nebulous rubric of concern for ‘social justice.'”
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Source: Christian Post