Tim Keller on Christianity & power
The Atlantic has an excellent interview with best-selling author and pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC, Tim Keller. I want to highlight something which really seems to resonate with what I’ve been thinking for some time now: that once Christianity is no longer the culturally dominant position, authentic Christianity will flourish. Keller writes:
Things have really, really changed in a place like New York. There was a time at which, you had to, essentially, profess to be an orthodox Christian, to even really be in power, to work your way up, to get a loan.
It’s the other way around now. Frankly, if you are an orthodox Christian in Manhattan right now, it’s a social problem. People are nervous about you, they feel like you’re bigoted. And so actually right now if you are a graduate of Harvard, Yale, or Princeton, and you’ve got your MBA, and you’re working on Wall Street, or being a downtown artist or something like that, and if you are an orthodox Christian, that’s very, very subversive. It’s very transgressive. And in that setting, to some degree, it’s tough to be a Christian here. But in other ways, it is the kind of soil in which Christianity does well. And that is: Christians are out of power.
He also writes about how Redeemer has managed to steer clear of the current backlash against Christianity:
I would say that as a fairly orthodox believer, that I’ve seen in a place like New York, because of the identification of orthodox Christianity with conservative politics, there’s actually more antipathy here than there was 20 years ago. There’s more fear. Part of the reason why Redeemer has done well is because we’ve always said, “We’re about Christianity, not politics. And we know that your Christian faith is going to affect your political views. We know that—we’re not saying that won’t happen. But we also don’t think that your Gospel faith necessarily throws you into one party or the other. “
(via Vitamin Z)