Tim Keller's Idol Thoughts

One of the posts that WordPress says is among our “Top Posts” is something that Keith wrote a while ago about Tim Keller’s thoughts on women being ordained. The reason that a post on this topic might re-emerge as a popular search item may have something to do with Keller being quoted thus,

“…there is an idolatrous reason behind each behavioral issue. For example, behind the belief that women should be ordained is the need for power and a love for feeling in charge.”

Bill Kinnon has a good discussion on the matter in which he points out that this is not characteristic of how Keller usually treats these topics. Kinnon also makes the point that men are certainly just as likely to desire ordination for “the need for power and a love of feeling in charge.”

Regarding Kinnon’s first point, the line we see above from Keller is in stark contrast to what Keller and his wife say here:

“Some 15 years ago, we would have entered the Presbyterian Church USA to minister, but we were told that our view of women-in-ministry precluded us from serving there. Though we would have worked beside people with different views, those on the other side of the fence would not work with us.

We do not want that to be the case at Redeemer. If you hold a view that differs from church policy or of the personal approach of the pastor, you should not feel bound to leave. We know what it was like to be ‘disfellowshipped’ over this issue once! We will not do it to anyone else.”

These are two very difficult points of view to reconcile here. On one hand women – any and all women – who believe that they are called to ordained ministry are power-mad idolaters, but on the other hand, Keller can totally work with them and it’s no big deal at all. Perhaps Keller now sees the issue as being as big a deal-breaker as he says egalitarian counterparts once did.