In this 11th post of this series a revealing letter I came across during my research is examined to further expose Dr. Keller’s skillfully deceptive double-speak and language manipulation, thereby clearly illustrating the spiritual destruction his false teachings leave behind. It is an open letter to Tim Keller regarding his claim to hold to an orthodox view of hell vs. the universalistic view of total restoration of all at the return of Christ.
(pronounced yu-ni-VER-sul-iz-um) a doctrine that teaches all people will be saved. Other names commonly used for this doctrine are universal restoration- universal reconciliation- universal restitution- ultimate restoration- global salvation.
Universalism promotes the ear-tickling false teaching of “no need to fear, God’s wrath is a myth!”
This group, appropriately named “God’s Love Wins,” promotes the teachings of Rob Bell, Tim Keller, Lesslie Newbigin and others. They seem dumbfounded that Keller (when asked) will publicly claim a biblical view of hell that clearly contradicts his own teachings. As a result and in their frustration, they decided to write him an open letter. The below excerpts from their letter clearly identify Dr. Timothy J. Keller as the strongest influence in their arriving at the universal salvation view:
We were introduced to you through a mutual friend back in the early days of New Life Church and the late Jack Miller. Who we are today has been significantly shaped by your ministry. We have been sermon subscribers and have read and re-read all your books. You have shepherded us well through your preaching and example and taught us how to see Jesus and His gospel…
They’ve read and re-read all his books! They continue:
For the past 15+ years you and others, perhaps taking your lead, have been steadily helping us to reformulate and expand our understanding of the gospel from that of a personal salvation into that of being “blessed to be a blessing” to the world. You directed us to Lesslie Newbigin who taught:
“God’s electing grace calls into being a people charged with the responsibility of being the bearers of His universal salvation…To be chosen, to be elect, therefore does not mean that the elect are the saved and the rest are the lost. To be the elect in Christ Jesus, and there is no other election, means to be incorporated into His mission to the world, to be the bearer of God’s saving purpose for His whole world, to be the sign and the agent and the first fruit of His blessed kingdom which is for all.” The Gospel in a Pluralistic Society, Lesslie Newbigin (“The Logic of Election” pgs 86-87)
Whenever we read or hear your words regarding the glorious and breath-taking restoration of creation, we find we are unwilling to add the qualifiers needed to square it with the traditional view. If we did we would have to erase more than 90% of the hope you paint so beautifully in your summaries of gospel restoration. The following are the reasons for why we want to take literally the Biblical passages, as well as your words, which speak of a complete cosmic restoration of all creation…and that, “everything sad is going to come untrue”….You have often reminded us that sin is not breaking God’s rules but breaking His heart. You have said yourself that we need to see the Bible as a Story with principles sprinkled throughout as opposed to a book of doctrines sprinkled with stories. To be honest Dr. Keller, you have brought many of us to this very brink by your expansive and hopeful preaching and we are looking over the edge and we really want to jump. (Many of us already have.) There doesn’t seem like any valid reason not to, and looking back is a swirl of contradictions and irreconcilable doctrines….
.…”everything sad is going to come untrue” ?
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. Revelation 21:8
….“sin is not breaking God’s rules but breaking His heart” ?
Whosoever commits sin transgresses the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 1 John 3:4
….“the Bible is a story with principles sprinkled throughout as opposed to a book of doctrine” ?
All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears, And they shall turn away their ears from the truth. 2 Timothy 4:3-4
This group has surely heaped to themselves a teacher who scratches their itching ears. They end their letter by posing a question to Keller:
Could it perhaps be that this crisis exposed and stirred up by Rob Bell is God’s way of..trying to break into our thinking and perhaps expose some “traditions of men”?
These folks have labeled the biblical teaching of Christ and the apostles as the “traditions of men”! They adoringly sign the open letter to Tim Keller as follows:
A small group of your biggest “fans”
Below are excerpts from the personal testimony at the end of this open letter to Tim Keller:
I have continually thanked God for your ministry over the years. The truth is you have been extremely instrumental in preparing me for my encounter with Ultimate Restoration a few years ago. My expanded view of the gospel generated by Redeemer’s missional teaching prepared me for this understanding. You helped me see the Story underneath the story, how “everything sad is going to become untrue,” how God is going to restore everything and make, not all new things, but “all things new.”
Christ’s atonement and love were effectual for all.
http://godslovewins.com/ (website link that includes this open letter to Tim Keller)
A brief review of God’s redemptive plan according to God’s Love Wins:
“Electing grace calls into being a people charged with the responsibility of being the bearers of His universal salvation– to be chosen, to be elect does not mean that the elect are the saved and the rest are lost, it means to be the bearer of God’s saving purpose for His whole world and a blessed kingdom which is for all. Christ’s atonement and love were effectual for all.”
God’s redemptive plan according to the second person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ:
6 I have manifested thy name unto them which thou gave me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gave them to me; and they have kept thy word. 8 For I have given unto them the words which thou gave me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. 9 I pray for them: I do not pray for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. 11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. 12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gave me I have kept, and none of them is lost 14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.
John chapter 17
On a totally different website Tim Keller is promoted as the best representative of the global salvation view in reformed circles: ChristianUniversalist.com writes:
It was Tim Keller who opened up the vistas for understanding the Gospel as so much more than a “personal relationship” with Jesus that insured a place in heaven when we die. Keller brought a wide sweeping picture of the Gospel that could be traced from Genesis to Revelation. It was a vision that engulfed all of life not just the soul. As Dr. Keller preached on the Kingdom that is “already and not yet” I began to see that Christ’s life, death and resurrection applied to a truly cosmic restoration culminating in “all things new.” This brought a new sense of the sacredness of all space and all practice as everything was now seen as on a heaven-bound trajectory of restoration. This kind of teaching brought incredible hope and a renewed eschatological vision for all of creation. I had never before heard preached the passages where we find astounding promises of restoration over Egypt, Assyria, Sodom, Israel, and “all peoples.” Here in these passages we are promised the sure hope of a new heavens and a new earth where “God’s dwelling place will be with man.” All these ideas Keller has emphasized and unpacked through his preaching, writing and missional ministry. (Isa 19, 25, 45, 61; Ez 16, 37; Rev 21) http://www.christianuniversalism.com/2012/03/tim-keller-foundation-for-ultimate-restoration/
From their “About Us” page they heavily promote Keller’s book Generous Justice with its concepts of global restorative justice and redeeming the culture, which are deeply Universalistic concepts rooted in the false teachings of Liberation Theology. http://www.christianuniversalism.com/about-us/
No one can fail to see the staggering contrast between the theology of these apostates and the word of God- and they owe it all to Tim Keller, Lesslie Newbigin, et al. May God deliver them from the jaws of the wolf.
”So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, 50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 51 Then Jesus said unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They said unto him, Yea, Lord.” Matthew 13:49-51
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