When "Bigger" Means "Smaller"
"There are few people in the world I admire more than Pastor Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. His New York Times bestselling book,The Reason for God, is probably the finest popular defense of Christianity since C. S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity.
I was disappointed when, at a public forum at Columbia University, he steadfastly refused to say that Christianity has any political implications. Fearing the great danger of identifying Christianity with any particular political party or agenda, he declared: “Christianity is bigger than that.” But this is exactly the inverse of reality: the more Christianity lacks specific application to real-world, public square, political problems, the smaller Christianity becomes. The more Christian doctrine simply hovers above petty political problems, the narrower it becomes.
I appreciate Keller’s situation, pastoring a burgeoning and very diverse congregation in one of the largest cities in the world. I further appreciate that he has priorities, and preaching and teaching the salvation of sinners ranks significantly higher than making declarations on politics. But his view that Christianity is bigger than politics, and therefore has nothing particular to say about political issues, is wholly artificial and accomplishes the opposite of what he thinks: a vastly smaller Christian vision."