Tim Keller on the Charismatics

Tim Keller on the Charismatics November 4, 2013

Tim Keller was asked about cessationism at about 49 mins in the video below. Interestingly he stated he was a moderate cessationist (or “80% cessationist”) himself. By which he meant that although he did believes some miracles have continued, he believes many reported miracles are not real.

He made a very important point, that a fear of experience often accompanies cessationism, and he believes that hinders revival. I have said many times that my main quarrel with cessationism is not really with the moderates like Keller, but with those who seem to leave no room at all for experience of God.

Indeed, Keller was very comfortable preaching to charismatics here in London even speaking about an experience he had:

Tim then joked, “I’m a Presbyterian so I don’t hear God as often as you do”! But went on to tell us how years ago he was reading Romans 1:16 and suddenly a thought came: “He who through preaching is righteous will die a thousand deaths every Saturday night” Tim said “even Presbyterians know where that came from!” – Read the rest

If only all cessationists were as understanding of us!

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  • johnfanai

    I am not surprised that he is a 80 % cessationist. I grew up in Presbyterian-Revivalist ( Charismatic ) Church or Province in North East India, Mizoram. Where I have seen many revival and the manifestations of the Holy Spirit. [ We just called in GOD or Lord 🙂 not necessarily HS. Because we believe in Trinity. ] I have seen the misused of it many many times. Since, continualists–charismatic believed in all of these manifestations-as in apostolic age; without a doubt there are more gateway-for Satan to intervene, twisted.

    And it might be good to note that Tim Keller say, ” Cessationism does not killed revival”

  • Jack O’Connell

    How can people claim that that Toronto and Lakeland are a revival if the fruits were laughter, silliness,casualness,lack of reverence for God and people acting like animals. Christ is our example and he behaved with dignity and soberness and we need to be conformed into His image. He didnt stagger like a drunk, or behave as someone who lost bodily control.To claim otherwise is blasphemy. How can many Charismatics point to these disgraceful antics as the power of the Spirit!!!
    Brothers and sisters such wickedness and mockery has been embraced by far too many for far too long. Silence is an accomplice to such evil. To be silent says that there is nothing worth warning of. It says we need not be on our guard, that we shouldnt be concerned of these infiltrations nor be concerned of the millions who are snared in them. Is this love, to let people who get told that such things are of God and in fact are the greatest evidence of His presence walk into the snares of Satan and get entangled in this web. Is that love for our neighbour to sit idly by and talk of love and care when we let people walk into a spiritual ambush. We need to warn as many as possible of these snares of Satan that are on the increase!

    • sethr

      those are expressions not fruits. Fruit takes a little bit longer to distinguish.

    • Brian Leffert

      Can you name any ministry done for the glory of God that our adversary
      doesn’t seek to corrupt?

      When Jesus came by the power of the Spirit to bring spiritual bread, he was followed by some who only wanted the bread that perishes. This is
      still true today.

      The disciples were glad that neither the gainsaying of the Pharisees or
      the disingenuous followers distracted Jesus from his ministry to

      Do you see yourself as fully qualified to discern the fruitfulness of the ministry in Toronto?

      Are you presenting yourself to us as an authority on the spiritual
      fruitlessness of the ministry there?

      Have you spent time with John and Carol?, Steve and Sandra? Heidi and Roland?

      Were they unwilling to hear, consider, or answer your concerns?

      I encourage you to not be tempted as some have to exchange the apostle Paul’s admonishment,

      “if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such
      an one in the spirit of meekness” (Gal 6:1),

      for ineffectual finger pointing.

      Did you seek to bring restoration to the brethren that you had witnessed
      stumbling there?

      If so how?

      Did the leadership and brethren there refuse your humble and patient efforts to be an example to them? (1Tim 4:12)

      Is your discernment of the ministry there the product of a genuine search for truth and fruit for yourself, and from eyewitnesses, or something

      We all can stumble,
      please receive these questions and admonitions in the same spirit of meekness that motivates me to share them.

  • Drew

    Adrian, you are still caught up with your own shenanigans. MacArthur has spoken at Challies (I am sure you have read it) which debunked some of what you have brought up in previous posts. You are more disturbed by the concerns than the abuses. Go shepherd the flock by teaching the Truth and warning them of the shenanigans that has taken over your camp. =)