No one is more associated with the rise of the urban church than Tim Keller, founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC. Increasingly, however, Keller has been a source of controversy and target of criticism online. What accounts for this? Is Tim Keller selling out?
Tim Keller's actions today need to be seen in the context of his entire ministry. Keller has proven himself over many decades by serving faithfully in a small town church for seven years early in his career, not publishing any books until his 50s, being willing to start Redeemer at a time when every rational person would have said he was crazy, and demonstrating high levels of competence in what he's doing. He's also shown generosity to those less famous than himself.
The root of Keller's problems today stem from a change in the times. The link below talks about the three eras of Christianity in modern America, the positive, neutral, and negative world. His ministry was perfectly tailored to the neutral world, but after the transition to the negative world he's become increasingly ineffective as he keeps pushing his neutral world formulas into a negative world context.
Keller will hopefully survive his fight with cancer. Assuming he does, he has many years of fruitful work ahead of him as a minister. But should he continue pushing neutral world themes as a public intellectual in today's world, there's a risk he could damage his reputation. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and former Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar provide cautionary examples of what could go wrong. Hopefully Keller manages to avoid their missteps.
The positive, neutral, and negative world: https://themasculinist.com/the-masculinist-13-the-lost-world-of-american-evangelicalism/