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From Strength to Strength

  08/23/16 , by Dissidens, Categories: Evangelical culture


Having made such impressive strides toward racial reconciliation, The Gospel Coalition asks three of its favorite celebrities to waffle on about the intricacies of speaking about sex “to our culture”.

What could possibly go wrong here?

Russell Moore says we shouldn’t panic, DeYoung informs us that people are people, and Tim Keller advises us to address the theological and philosophical foundations of the topic.

Yeah, I know that when I want to understand theological and philosophical foundations of a thing, Evanjellicles are the first people I think of.

I wonder if this think tank is taking into consideration that it is, as Ed Stetzer says, speaking not from the center but from the periphery.


As I ask, what could possibly go wrong?


Comment from: Unk [Visitor]

Looks like they didn’t even manage to get comfortable chairs.

08/23/16 @ 17:31
Comment from: Dissidens [Member]  

If you want to achieve maximum implausibility, you cannot overlook any detail however small.

08/23/16 @ 20:27
Comment from: WDO [Visitor]

Has anyone tried explaining to them that you can’t subvert the cultural narrative unless you first hold the reigns of cultural power?

08/26/16 @ 17:43
Comment from: Dissidens [Member]  


That I can’t say.

First, there aren’t many people who make serious attempts at informing celebrities of the obvious.

Second, my experience has been that on the rare occasion that does happen, celebrities tend to respond with some avuncular bafflegab.

Third, the Evanjellicles I know would argue that the early church subverted a cultural narrative while being nowhere near the reins of power.

I am fascinated by Keller’s answer (although I don’t think fascinated is the word I want here): Evanjellicles have failed to lay a theological or philosophical foundation for any of the other obligations they want to lay on the modern heathen. Why would they all of a sudden succeed in establishing the theological or philosophical foundations for freedom and identity?!

08/26/16 @ 21:23
Comment from: the_divine_passive [Member]  

But Keller thinks he has succeeded. Look, there he is, talking with two other bobbleheads from TGC. Thousands of people will watch it and bobble their heads in agreement. If that is not a textbook example of success, what is?

Keller’s flummery sells. I am not entirely sure why: the man can’t give a straight answer about anything, and this interview does not diminish his flawless credentials on that point. But evangelicals by the stadiumful pay real cash money to drink deeply from his well of flummery. Keller interprets this as concrete marks of his own success in a culture war he hasn’t even properly identified.

09/06/16 @ 17:14
Comment from: Dissidens [Member]  

Indeed; and I wish more notice were being taken of this fact.

It is clear that celebrity is dear to the heart of an Evanjellicle of whatever stripe. He loves conferences, he loves briefings, he loves opinion pieces in mags and on websites, he loves councils, he loves commissions, he loves public convulsions on topical—or should I say trending—themes….

Evanjellicles don’t recognize the meaning of a thing, the significance of a thing, the importance of a thing, until a celebrity (or an event) makes it a topic for public contention. And when that finally happens, the waters will have been sufficiently muddied that reasonable people will have lost patience.

We should take it to heart that we do not listen to poets, we listen to ideological spokesmen; we do not think, we huddle together to hear our certitudes heartwarmingly validated.

And Keller is one of those generals who lives to fight the previous war.

09/06/16 @ 20:53

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