Tim Keller has been one of the most effective evangelical communicators of the last generation. His winsomely argued books on faith, marriage, and justice have convinced millions that orthodox Christianity is intellectually plausible. In the long summer of 2020 he released four articles on race and critical theory that provide helpful critiques of influential ethical theories: libertarians wrongly claim absolute rights over property and self; “liberal fairness” tells religious people to keep their claims out of the public square, while liberals smuggle in their own unproven claims about human nature, sex, marriage, and rights; utilitarians do “ethics by polls”; and Marxist critical theory posits guilt by group membership, presumes that unequal outcomes derive from social structures alone rather than culture as well, and sees whole races as sinful.
Yet when Keller turns to the Bible to develop a Christian response to racism, he uses scripture in ways that are unwarranted by the texts. As a result, he supports some of the most dubious aspects of the race theory he claims to criticize.
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