Tim Keller was recently asked about the Dallas Statement on Social Justice and Gospel, and his words weren’t very kind. According to Keller, the statement can’t be judged based upon whether or not the words are right, but by the consequences those words might eventually bring about. To summarize Keller another way, the words contained within the Dallas Statement may be true, but they are still bad because of their ramifications. Unable or unwilling to explain any theological deficiencies in the statement, Keller cites Marxist philosophical tenet called Speech Act Theory.
This tenet is a subset of the discipline of pragmatics, and it holds that words not only convey information (their literal reading) but they can also be used to carry out actions. Speech-Act Theory was developed by American philosopher, J.R. Searle. Searle is a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and he is a protege and fan of Jürgen Habermas, the German Marxist and supporter of the Neo-Marxian Frankfurt School. Speech Act Theory has been pivotal in the aggression of Marxism in the fields of both philosophy and linguistics and has been essential in developing the notion of verbal microaggressions. Through Speech-Act Theory, Marxists have popularized the notion that words can be bad, even if they’re true if they cause adverse side-effects. Seemingly innocent and innocuous speech can be sinister if it’s a subtle cue from the majority to further oppress the victim class.
Keller began, “You can’t just analyze words by what they say, but analyze words by what they do.”
And that’s how Keller begins his denunciation of the Dallas Statement, with actual, honest-to-goodness, Marxist theory.
After acknowledging that the words in the statement are essentially true, Keller says, “In the end, what concerns me most about it is not what it says, but what it’s trying to do.”
Keller went on to complain about the political polarization of the church. Of course, John MacArthur has been very clear that politics can’t save you. It’s Keller’s side that is steeped, soaked, and saturated in the political philosophy of Marxism. Social Justice is a political ideology, not a Biblical doctrine. What Keller says is precisely the opposite of the truth. In fact, it was Tim Keller who recently met in Washington D.C. with other leftists to discuss how to move evangelicalism to the political left (source link).
While saying that what the Bible says about sexuality may sound conservative, Keller says:
A lot of things the Bible says about race and justice and the poor and today come out sounding extremely liberal.
So says the Marxist. He continues:
It’s not so much what [the statement] says, but what it does. It’s trying to marginalize people talking about race and justice, it’s trying to say, ‘You’re really not Biblical’ and it’s not fair in that sense…if somebody tried to go down [the statement] with me, ‘Will you agree with this, will you agree with this,’ I would say, “You’re looking at the level of what it says and not the level of what it’s doing. I do think what it’s trying to do is it’s trying to say, ‘Don’t make this emphasis, don’t worry about the poor, don’t worry about the injustice, that’s really what it’s saying.’ Even if I could agree with most of it…it’s what it’s doing that I don’t like.
Without pointing out a single unbiblical thing about the Dallas Statement or referencing Holy Scripture, Keller denounced the Dallas Statement based upon a Marxist linguistic and philosophical tenet. The words are true, but they’re still bad, so goes the argument. Impugning the drafters of the Dallas Statement with the intention of “marginalizing” the oppressed, Keller claims the statement is bad, even if it’s true.