Sunday, February 26, 2006

Redeemer's redemption

I gotta hand it to Tim Keller. He's doing a helluva job...for a Protestant. Harharhar. Seriously, Keller has proven himself to be no charlatan preacher so he's got my hat tip. NY Times has a relatively sophisticated portrayal of "Manhattan's leading evangelist."

But I too question with the Times whether a church can or should be built on a singular personality, other than Christ himself alive and ever-present (which is and can only be the Eucharist):
A looming question for Redeemer, though, is how much of what Dr. Keller and his team have built can be maintained when he ultimately exits the stage. When he was out for several months in the summer of 2002 while undergoing treatment for thyroid cancer, attendance dipped noticeably.
The conventional Protestant reply is that it doesn't really matter. Churches come and go. So long as Christ uses Keller to transform lives and save the lost, then he's doing more than good, even if it all dies away in the long run. All our works are rags to God anyway. The problem with this answer is that besides being trite, it reinforces the "next big thing" mentality where Christians are trained to always look either to be or to consume the next hot Christian fad. Then believers are no longer seeking Christ, but chasing after their own desires and aspirations. This is the essence of a hyper-capitalist, not Christian, culture. Redeemer-type churches do nothing to liberate believers from the iron cage of American solipsism.

In essence, Keller is a good pastor in need of a even better Church.