Keller On Fanatical Christians (with example?) Update

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Update

Just as I was about to post the quote below I was notified about the above tweet. I read it and thought about Keller’s words below. I wondered – does that tweet fit the definition of a fanatical Christian that Keller writes about?

Here are two quotes from two professing Christians with whom I have disagreements. Yet, I can learn from both.

First, Dr. Caner inadvertently helps me think about what I post on twitter and how I might come across. As one pastor put it, “So this is how the President of Truett-McConnell College publicly talks about brothers in Christ?!” The tweet in question does seems to fall into the what Dr. Keller states below as, “overbearing, self-righteous, opinionated, insensitive, and harsh.”

Now, I’ve been guilty of those things, but my goal is to grow in grace through Christ not to camp out in those areas of sin. This is where I can learn from Dr. Keller’s words. The gospel is big enough to overcome libel, my own self-righteousness and the disagreements I have with both men.

While I am reminded of my own need for repentance others do not always grasp their own need to repent in certain situations. In that light, Hebrews 13:7 weighs all the more heavily as to who I’m leading and whose leading me – Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith (ESV).

The people who are fanatics, then, are so not because they are too committed to the gospel but because they’re not committed to it enough.

Think of people you consider fanatical. They’re overbearing, self-righteous, opinionated, insensitive, and harsh. Why? It’s not because they are too Christian but because they are not Christian enough. They are fanatically zealous and courageous, but they are not fanatically humble, sensitive, loving, empathetic, forgiving, or understanding – as Christ was. Because they think of Christianity as a self-improvement program they emulate the Jesus of the whips in the temple, but not the Jesus who said, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone” (John 8:7). What strikes us as overly fanatical is actually a failure to be fully committed to Christ and his gospel. – Timothy Keller, The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism (New York: Dutton Adult, 2008), 57.

As far as I know the Acts 29 Network has done a great job of planting churches and spreading the gospel. If Acts 29 is the hidden pornography within Christendom then is it actually an anti-Christian cancer negatively affecting many lives. Which is it? (I hope no one really needs to think about this question.)

Is repentance in order for Emir Caner?

Update

First, one brother was unfriended on Facebook for asking if Dr. Caner’s tweet was real.

More importantly, Dr. Caner offered an apology of sorts (pdf).

I have come to realize over the past few days that Driscoll’s vulgarity is far too serious an issue to simply put out a satirical tweet. While it is easy to find Driscoll crossing the line (see articles by John MacArthur and Cathy Mickels) it should not be likewise with me, and for that I apologize.

I thought it only right to add the apology given the content of my post. I am not going to say much about this apology. The subject has changed from the whole Acts 29 Network named in the tweet to focusing on Mark Driscoll in the apology. That’s hardly fair to the parties involved. Is this a fair use of guilt by association? And was the apology for the accusation that was made or for merely “crossing the line” in the way the accusation was made?

Update II

A brother informed me that he was contacted by the current Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Truett-McConnell College. He explains what happened.

Soon after seeing this I was contacted by a few pastors who expressed their displeasure with Caner’s statement. While speaking to one such pastor, I was contacted by Mike Dorough, Youth Pastor at Second Baptist Church, Warner Robbins, GA, and current Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Truett-McConnell College. He noted that Emir Caner had asked him to call and hoped that his statement would be sufficient.

I informed Mr. Dorough that no one that I have spoken with was pleased with the statement. Mr. Dorough’s words were that it was more than he had expected Dr. Caner to say and that he had spoken to others who felt the statement was sufficient. [Click to continue reading]



{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jacob Allee May 17, 2011 at 11:47 am

It is comments like these that have often left the lips of Emir and Ergun that have brought me to the point of having no respect for them whatsoever. Both of these gentlemen need to find some maturity and Christ-like character. It is shameful and embarrassing that they have positions whereby they have a platform to represent Jesus.

2 James Reardon May 17, 2011 at 11:55 am

Bin Laden. Pornography. Islam. Acts 29.
I can’t believe someone, especially someone so seemingly influential, would dare put those terms together, in one 140character tweet.
Appalled? Perhaps. Grieved? Most certainly.

3 Chris Hamm May 17, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Deep, heartbreaking sigh.

4 Brent Hobbs May 17, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Disappointed? Yes, once again. Surprised, not a bit.

I hope our Acts 29 brothers know many Southern Baptists greatly appreciate their work.

5 Russ May 17, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Mark, unbelievable…and sad. Is this just more anti-reformed rhetoric? Is that why he chose Acts 29 for his target?

6 Mark May 18, 2011 at 12:22 am

Thanks for the comments, brothers. I have no idea why Acts 29 was the target, but I have my suspicions. It is sad and there are many Southern Baptists who appreciate the Acts 29 Network.

The number of comments I’ve seen that said they are not surprised by the comment is a little surprising.

7 Jeremy Bowlby May 19, 2011 at 1:56 pm

That doesn’t sound like an apology to me at all, as much as an opportunity to engage in a little self-aggrandizing self-righteousness.

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