Tag Archives: New York City

Is Tim Keller right to say that New York City brings the gospel to Christians?

Can New York City can teach Christians about the gospel?
Can New York City teach Christians about the gospel?

(Source)

Here is a short guest post from my friend the software engineer.

Tim Keller dusted off an old pearl of wisdom of his and re-posted it on twitter. I discovered it on Facebook as many of my friends were making fun of it. One Twitter user remarked:

I think it’s been three years since the last time you tweeted this. I predict no misunderstanding this time.

To which Keller responded:

It happens every time. Hard to understand this–unless you realize how much the city can teach us and how much we learn about Christ through common grace, other Christians, the humbling that happens here. Oh well.

I can conjure up in my mind a way for this to not be meaningless tripe. It could be that Keller has in mind the number of ways men made in the image of god remind him of god’s grace and represent an opportunity to live out the sacrifice Jesus called us to.

But I have a hard time believing it doesn’t mean something else. That Keller has in mind here that we should allow the city and its emergent values to exert undue influence over us. I have a hard time believing this because I don’t see Keller’s church actively changing the culture around them and thereby setting an example for the rest of us to follow.

I would further submit that one of the reasons Tim Keller’s church has not been successful in changing the city is that they are too busy succumbing to the social justice influences that are popular today.

Why don’t people take churches like Keller’s seriously anymore? Perhaps it’s precisely because those churches have, as Keller tweeted, allowed the city to bring them the gospel.


OK That’s it for my friend’s post. I was supposed to add two of my beefs with Tim Keller. The first one is that he’s far left on questions of origins.

Here’s an article from Creation.com. I am not a young Earth creationist, I’m an old Earth creationist. Still, my YEC software engineer friend (a different software engineer) tells me that they are the best and largest YEC site.

They say:

Timothy Keller, author of The Reason for God (see our review), recently authored a paper for the theistic evolutionary organization Biologos (see Evolutionary syncretism: a critique of Biologos) titled “Creation, Evolution, and Christian Laypeople” (read the entire paper here). In this paper, he wrestles with how to present science to Christian laypeople in such a way that evolution and the Bible seem compatible.

[…]Keller devotes several pages to showing that believing that evolution happened as a biological process does not necessarily mean that one has to embrace the “Grand Theory of Evolution” involving naturalism and social Darwinism.

The young Earth creationists are concerned that evolution is not what God described in the Bible. Old Earth creationists think it’s worse than that. Not only does evolution not agree with the Bible, it doesn’t agree with good science either. The problem with Keller is his disagreement with what mainstream science shows about the origin of life, the Cambrian explosion, molecular machines, irreducible complexity, etc.

But that’s not the only problem with Tim Keller.

Here is what he says about a statement signed by conservative Christians disagreeing with “social justice”:

A controversial statement signed by more than 9,000 evangelicals and Christian organizations deploring social justice as a dangerous concept to the Gospel, belittles Christians who talk about race and justice, says Tim Keller, founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City.

[…]The Statement on Social Justice & the Gospel was released early this month with initial signers including John MacArthur of Grace Community Church, who recently denounced evangelicalism’s “newfound obsession” with social justice.

Among other things, the statement notes that: “Specifically, we are deeply concerned that values borrowed from secular culture are currently undermining Scripture in the areas of race and ethnicity, manhood and womanhood, and human sexuality. The Bible’s teaching on each of these subjects is being challenged under the broad and somewhat nebulous rubric of concern for ‘social justice.’

If you want to know what Tim Keller really thinks about moral issues, you can read his opinion / editorial in the far-left New York Times, where he has nothing to say about the traditional teachings of the Christian worldview (voluntary charity, chastity, pro-life, natural marriage, not coveting your neighbor’s wealth, limited government, people defined by the content of their character instead of the color of their skin).

Moderate conservative Doug Wilson notes:

So get the vantage of two hundred years from now, and have a doctoral student in American history examine Keller’s op-ed piece for any reference at all to abortion, or to the fact that Planned Parenthood, subsidized by our tax dollars, sells baby parts. It is not there.

[…]So why didn’t more churches apply what the Bible requires of slave-owners two hundred years ago? The answer is that back then it would have taken courage to do so, just as it would take courage today for Keller to denounce Planned Parenthood in The New York Times.

Keller does denounce sins in this piece. But he is still being careful because the sins he denounces are safe sins to denounce—we know this because they are all the sins that the secular world routinely uses to denounce the conservative Christian world. There is the sin of not working for “better public schools,” or not working for a “justice system weighted against the poor,” or “to end racial segregation,” or failing to “lift up the poor.” It is as though we found John the Baptist chiding the Israelites for failing to see the moral imperatives contained within Herod’s economic stimulus programs.

And that’s because the readers of the New York Times, and the residents of the city of New York are pro-abortion (which is the equivalent of slavery in our modern times).  In fact, New York is pro-infanticide – they have a law that allows infanticide. And this did not deserve a mention from Tim Keller in his New York Times editorial. Perhaps he thinks that infanticide is one of the things that New York city has to teach traditional Christians about the gospel.

Clinton, Rubio, GOP establishment and leftist media defend Trump’s New York Values

So, during the debate, Cruz responded to Trump’s attacks on him by asking him about his New York values, and then Trump got all offended and pretended that he did not know what New York values are.

Well, I managed to dig up this video that shows what New York values are:

Yes, that’s Donald Trump explaining what New York values are. So he actually does know what they are, and he embraced them.

Anyway, Trump is still feeling very offended by Cruz’s disagreement with New York values, and so he has gone on a Twitter meltdown about it. And many of Trump’s friends are backing him up.

Donald Trump and his friends, the Clintons
Donald Trump and his friends, the Clintons

The Hill reports that Hillary Clinton is backing Trump up:

Hillary Clinton on Friday made the rare move of backing up Republican presidential rival Donald Trump amid an attack from fellow contender Ted Cruz on the real estate mogul’s “New York values.”

“Just this once, Trump’s right: New Yorkers value hard work, diversity, tolerance, resilience, and building better lives for our families,” tweeted Clinton, a former New York senator whose campaign headquarters is in Brooklyn.

And why not? She’s gotten so many donations from him. And he really really likes her:

The Hill article also notes that the socialist mayor of Bill de Blasio is backing Trump up:

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) also backed up Trump, tweeting he agreed with the businessman’s “love for NYC” and “appreciated his tribute to our city’s heroic response to terrorism.”

And why not? Trump said that de Blasio would be “good for New York”.

The socialist governor of New York is backing Trump up:

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) also slammed Cruz’s “anti-American” remarks in a series of interviews Friday morning, calling them “highly offensive” to several groups, including gays.

And why not? Trump is proud to defend New York state against conservatives like Ted Cruz.

The Republican establishment

National Review reports that the GOP establishment is backing Trump up:

The developing feeling among House Republicans? Donald Trump is preferable to Ted Cruz.

“If you look at Trump’s actual policies, they’re pretty thin. There’s not a lot of meat there,” says one Republican member in Ryan’s inner circle, who requested anonymity to speak frankly about the two front-runners as leadership has carefully avoided doing all week.  If Trump were to get the nomination, he would “be looking to answer the question: ‘Where’s the beef?’ And we will have that for him,” says the member.

Ted Cruz is bad, because he doesn’t like the liberal policies of the establishment Republicans – such as the massive spending bill that Paul Ryan sent to Obama, or the debt limit increases, etc.

The far-left CNN reports that Marco Rubio, the candidate of the Republican establishment, is backing Trump up:

Rubio also jabbed the Texas senator for his recent string of attacks on so-called “New York values.” Cruz last week explained his terminology, describing New Yorkers as “socially liberal, pro-gay marriage, pro-abortion, focused on money and the media.”

Those comments, which critics in and out of the GOP contest have criticized, with some suggesting they amount to a dog whistle aimed at anti-Semitic voters or homophobic elements in the party, represent a deeper dishonest, Rubio claimed.

Andy why not? Rubio has the backing of a billionaire donor who favors amnesty and gay rights. Rubio has no problem with New York values.

I think by now, everyone understands who the real “outsider” candidate is. It’s Ted Cruz. He is the one that the Democrats and elites hate and fear. They want to destroy him.

Trump lashes out at Cruz

In addition to the anti-Cruz meltdown on Twitter, Trump is whining about Cruz to his friends in the liberal media.

ABC News reports on Trump’s comments to former Bill Clinton Senior Advisor George Stephanopolous:

“I don’t think Ted Cruz has a great chance, to be honest with you,” Trump told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos in an interview on “This Week” Sunday. “Look, the truth is, he’s a nasty guy. He was so nice to me. I mean, I knew it. I was watching. I kept saying, ‘Come on Ted. Let’s go, okay.’ But he’s a nasty guy. Nobody likes him. Nobody in Congress likes him. Nobody likes him anywhere once they get to know him. He’s a very –- he’s got an edge that’s not good. You can’t make deals with people like that and it’s not a good thing. It’s not a good thing for the country. Very nasty guy.”

Trump is running to all his Democrat-Clinton friends in the news media and telling them how much Cruz hurt his feelings by criticizing Trump’s New York values. Mayor de Blasio’s New York values. Governor Cuomo’s New York values. Hillary Clinton’s New York values. Marco Rubio’s New York values.

Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, initially thought that Cruz had made a mistake in criticizing New York values. But the latest episode of the Weekly Standard podcast features Bill Kristol and the host now saying that Ted Cruz made a brilliant move to draw Trump into an attack that cannot win in most of the country outside of New York. And it also sets the GOP primary race as Trump vs not-Trump, with Cruz as the not-Trump. Trump is making Cruz into the not-Trump.

In my previous post, I explained all the liberal positions that Trump spoke out about before he decided to run for President as a Republican.

One of the murdered NYPD police officers was a chaplain-in-training

The rhetoric of the leftist mob
The rhetoric of the leftist mob

Nancy Pearcey shared this story from the Christian Post about Officer Ramos.

Excerpt:

Officer Rafael Ramos was passionate about serving God and saw his work as a police officer as a form of ministry; he would have been commissioned as a lay chaplain this past Saturday, the day he was killed.

Ramos was shot and killed execution style along with his partner, Wenjian Liu, on Saturday by a lone gunmen who took his own life inside a New York City subway station after committing the double murder.

Rev. Marcos Miranda, the president of the New York State Chaplain Task Force where Ramos was studying to be certified as a chaplain, remembers the officer as kind man.

“It was an honor to have him (Officer Ramos),” Miranda told The Christian Post. “He had just taken the 10-week course and was a faithful member of his local church, Christ Tabernacle. He was due to graduate this past Saturday, where we graduated 144 chaplains. Ramos would have been a lay leader and been endorsed by his denomination.”

“I will remember his kindness the most — even the kindness in his eyes — in our talks, he asked what I thought of him being a police officer, and I said it was an honorable job. He said he thought it was ministry because he was helping those in need. He never thought he could be a chaplain, he saw himself doing this type of ministry after he retired from the NYPD. He was very excited about that possibility,” Miranda added.

Miranda is not the only person to remember Ramos’ faith and passion for the Lord.

“My cousin had a couple of priorities in his life,” Ramos’ cousin, Ronnie, told The Wall Street Journal on Sunday. “One was God, because he was a God-loving man. I wish I could be half the man my cousin was. He was sweet. He didn’t deserve to die.”

[…]Ramos turned 40 this month and was due to graduate from a community-crisis chaplaincy program, which was incredibly important to the father of two.

Ramos’ 13-year-old son, Jaden, posted a heartfelt message about his father on Facebook, which has since gone viral.

“He was the best father I could ask for,” Jaden wrote. “It’s horrible that someone gets shot dead just for being a police officer. Everyone says they hate cops but they are the people that they call for help. I will always love you and I will never forget you. RIP Dad.”

Why did these two minority men, one Hispanic, one Asian, get shot?

Famous black economist Thomas Sowell has the answer in his latest column.

He writes:

Mayor de Blasio has made anti-police comments with Al Sharpton seated at his side. This is the same Al Sharpton with a trail of slime going back more than a quarter of a century, during which he has whipped up mobs and fomented race hatred from the days of the Tawana Brawley “rape” hoax of 1987 to the Duke University “rape” hoax of 2006 and the Ferguson riots of 2014.

Make no mistake about it. There is political mileage to be made siding with demagogues like Al Sharpton who, as demagogue in chief, has been invited to the White House dozens of times by its commander in chief.

Many in the media and among the intelligentsia cherish the romantic tale of an “us” against “them” struggle of beleaguered ghetto blacks defending themselves against the aggression of white policemen. The gullible include both whites who don’t know what they’re talking about and blacks who don’t know what they’re talking about, either, because they never grew up in a ghetto. Among the latter are the president and his attorney general.

Such people readily buy the story that ghetto social problems today — from children being raised without a father to runaway murder rates — are “a legacy of slavery,” even though such social problems were nowhere near as severe in the first half of the 20th century as they became in the second half.

You would be hard-pressed to name just five examples from the first half of the 20th century of the kinds of ghetto riots that have raged in more than 100 cities during the second half. Such riots are a legacy of the social degeneracy of our times.

Calling this social degeneracy “a legacy of slavery” is not just an excuse for those who engage in it, it is an excuse for the ideology of the intelligentsia behind the social policies that promoted this degeneracy.

Let those who have laid a guilt trip on people in our times, for evils done by other people in past centuries, at least face their own responsibility for the evil consequences of their own notions and policies. If they won’t do it, then the rest of us need to stop listening gullibly to what they are saying.

I wonder if the leftist leaders who demonized the police feel sorry for what they did now. I know that they want to claim now that they never meant things to go this far, but things did go this far. And I think that there is a direct connection between the rhetoric of the leftist leaders and the deaths of these police officers. Maybe instead of complaining about the police, they should complain about how subsidizing single motherhood with welfare and repealing welfare reform causes fatherlessness, and how fatherlessness causes young men to commit crimes. But they can’t do that, because that’s where their votes come from – government dependency.

Brookings Institute: three simple rules to avoid poverty

An editorial from the left-leaning Washington Post, by scholar from the left-leanings Brookings Institute.

Take a look at this:

Policy aimed at promoting economic opportunity for poor children must be framed within three stark realities. First, many poor children come from families that do not give them the kind of support that middle-class children get from their families. Second, as a result, these children enter kindergarten far behind their more advantaged peers and, on average, never catch up and even fall further behind. Third, in addition to the education deficit, poor children are more likely to make bad decisions that lead them to drop out of school, become teen parents, join gangs and break the law.

In addition to the thousands of local and national programs that aim to help young people avoid these life-altering problems, we should figure out more ways to convince young people that their decisions will greatly influence whether they avoid poverty and enter the middle class. Let politicians, schoolteachers and administrators, community leaders, ministers and parents drill into children the message that in a free society, they enter adulthood with three major responsibilities: at least finish high school, get a full-time job and wait until age 21 to get married and have children.

Our research shows that of American adults who followed these three simple rules, only about 2 percent are in poverty and nearly 75 percent have joined the middle class (defined as earning around $55,000 or more per year). There are surely influences other than these principles at play, but following them guides a young adult away from poverty and toward the middle class.

The most interesting part of the editorial was where the left-wing pro-abortion group Planned Parenthood complained that telling people the likely consequences of their own actions was either “racist” or “judgmental”:

The recent attacks by Planned Parenthood on Michael Bloomberg, New York City’s mayor, for launching a campaign designed to inform teenagers of the consequences of teen pregnancy provides a good example of how many in our society face the effects of nonmarital births on teen mothers and their children. In one of the campaign posters, a baby with tears rolling down his face says: “I’m twice as likely not to graduate high school because you had me as a teen.” Another shows a girl saying to her mom: “Chances are he won’t stay with you. What happens to me?” Planned Parenthood criticized the ads, displayed in the subway and bus shelters, for ignoring racial and economic factors that contribute to teen pregnancy. Other critics say the ads stigmatize teen parents and their children.

This is what George W. Bush called “the soft bigotry of low expectations”. Planned Parenthood thinks that trying to get women to think in terms of cause and effect is pointless. They are too stupid to do anything but have sex with brutes and then murder their children. Over and over. That’s Planned Parenthood’s view of women. They won’t lift a finger to help women towards marriage, and the prosperity and security it would bring them and their children.

The simple fact is that Planned Parenthood makes a lot of money off of killing babies, and they don’t want the killing to stop.

New York judge grants injunction to allow churches to use school buildings

Here’s an interesting story from the Christian Post.

Excerpt:

Churches in New York City will be allowed to return to public schools starting this weekend after winning a court order Friday.

District Judge Loretta Preska granted a preliminary injunction against the city’s ban on weekend worship services in vacant school buildings after determining that the plaintiff – the Bronx Household of Faith – demonstrated irreparable harm and will likely win its lawsuit against the Board of Education.

The judge wrote in the court opinion that the church has a good chance of winning based on the argument that the ban “fosters excessive governmental entanglement with religion” and violates the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment – which provides that “Congress shall make no law … prohibiting the free exercise [of religion].”

The city plans to appeal the ruling.

[…]The ban on worship services at public schools went into effect on Feb. 12, affecting more than 60 other churches in New York City.

[…]While Judge Preska recognized the Board of Education’s concern that allowing schools to be used for religious worship services could be perceived as violating the Establishment Clause, she stated, “In this Court’s view, losing one’s right to exercise freely and fully his or her religious beliefs is a greater threat to our democratic society than a misperceived violation of the Establishment Clause.”

Let’s hope that the injunction survives the challenge by Michael Bloomberg.