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Engaging with Keller: Thinking Through the Theology of an Influential Evangelical Paperback – May 17, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Evangelical Press (May 17, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0852349289
  • ISBN-13: 978-0852349281
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.7 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #903,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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This book is very clearly and carefully written.
Ryan Speck
There is no question that the book is accurately portraying Keller's ideas, and the critics seem to be on the right side on some of the points discussed.
John Dekker
The introduction gives such a good 'apologetic' for the book it might as well be an 8th essay.
Warren Hill

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Southern Gentleman on July 19, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Influential public theologizing calls for public critique. Rarely is such critique carried on in a way that is open and edifying. This book, Engaging With Keller, is a refreshing exception. Not only did one of the editors communicate personally with Tim Keller on the main topics of the book prior to publication, but the book is written in such a way that it demonstrates love for the truth, for Christ's church and for Pastor Keller. Clearly the writers wish him well and want to see the many positives of his ministry prosper. Not every point of criticism is equally weighty but the overall concern of the writers is to address in Pastor Keller's thought an issue that transcends his ministry, a matter of grave concern to Reformed ministers and congregations, namely, the matter of contextualization. The writers believe that Dr. Keller has helped to put the church on an unbiblical trajectory on the matter of how she relates to culture. One case in point is Pastor Keller's tolerance for and encouragement of the evolutionary viewpoint of BioLogos. If I in my ministry were teaching viewpoints that my fellow ministers believed were having a widespread and detrimental effect on the witness of the church despite my best intentions, the kind of criticism offered by the respected pastor theologians in Engaging With Keller is the sort of straightforward but gracious critique I would desire. This reviewer hopes that the content of the book dealing with many matters but with the overall theme of how the church should relate to culture will be taken seriously and that the stated desire of the authors to encourage open, free, honest and thoughtful debate will result.
David B. McWilliams, Ph.D.
Sr. Minister, Covenant Presbyterian Church Lakeland, Fl.
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33 of 45 people found the following review helpful By John Dekker on November 1, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is a book of essays critiquing certain aspects of Tim Keller's theology. It is written by Presbyterian ministers, acknowledging that Keller is committed to Reformed orthodoxy (p. 20) but taking issue with the way he has chosen to express certain things (p. 21). Now, I like Keller (and have for the last fifteen years) but I found this book surprisingly convincing.

Of course, there are three levels at which one must be convinced:

1. Does Keller really say these things?
2. Is he wrong?
3. Does it matter?

There is no question that the book is accurately portraying Keller's ideas, and the critics seem to be on the right side on some of the points discussed. As to how important Keller's unfortunate phraseology is, I'm not sure. Nor am I sure that it was worth writing a book about it.

Anyway, here are the chapters of the volume, with a running score:

Introduction - the editors do a fine job defending the publication of the book, but I am still uneasy. Is it really worth the effort? The editors asked Keller to write responses (p. 22), but he was too busy. That's a real shame, I think, and at this stage the points are shared.

Keller ˝, Critics ˝

Sin - when Keller talks to "moderns" he talks about sin as disobedience, but in preaching to postmoderns he emphasises sin as being idolatry. Are we allowed to emphasise different aspects of biblical truth like that? I see no reason not to.

Keller 1˝, Critics ˝

Hell - following C. S. Lewis, Keller argues that people in hell are there because they chose to be.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Speck on November 8, 2013
Format: Paperback
The writers bent over backwards both to affirm their honor of Tim Keller and to interact with him personally regarding the issues they raise in this book. I am not sure what else they could have done in order to avoid the criticisms I have read from certain reviewers except, perhaps, to keep their concerns to themselves? Are we not allowed to critique? Once something is published (such as Keller's writings), are we not allowed to interact with them in published form for some reason?

This book is very clearly and carefully written.

I appreciate how the writers show that a certain emphasis (or neglect of a certain emphasis) in doctrine can have serious implications for those who are being taught (as well as for the teacher).
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93 of 147 people found the following review helpful By David Robertson on July 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I bought this book with some sense of anticipation as well as dread. I will write a fuller review but for now let me say that this is probably one of the most discouraging, depressing and pointless books I have ever read. The main question is why would reformed evangelical Christians write a book which is quite clearly a sustained polemic against one of the leading reformed evangelical Christians of our day? I know that it is supposed to be irenic and loving and to enable theological discussion. But apart from the very first chapter by Iain D Campbell, I found it anything but. It is clear that the purpose is to warn people about the dangers of Keller's teaching - apparently he is not sound on hell, creation, the church, the social gospel, interpreting scripture and the Trinity. It is a pretty damning list - no matter how 'peacefully' and 'nicely' the words are put. The fact that none of the authors have actually engaged with Keller and only one has actually had any correspondence with him is itself indicative of what is wrong with this book. Is Tim Keller really that important that several ministers can find time to write about his writings? Why not just write about the subjects that concern them? This seems far more like a personal attack than a theological discussion.

The claims by a couple of the authors that Keller is just mistaken or does not really know what he is talking about (whereas of course they do) are breathtaking in their arrogance. I'm afraid this arrogance comes across in several (though not all) of the writers. DJ Hart's attack on working with other churches (through the Gospel Coalition) is particularly depressing.
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