Recently, Keller’s long standing “winsome” approach to Christian cultural engagement has been the subject of scrutiny and criticism, particularly by those who view American culture as having taken a hostile turn toward Christians in recent years.
In a May 6 article titled, “How I Evolved on Tim Keller,” associate editor of First Things magazine James Wood said, “Keller was the right man for a moment. To many, like me, it appears that moment has passed.”
“Respectfully, when we began Redeemer in 1989 we experienced great hostility. We were thrown out of facilities for our faith. We were mocked in the press. Anyone who thinks Manhattan culture was then “neutral” toward evangelical Christianity is mistaken,” Keller tweeted on May 7.
“Redeemer’s ministry and my work were forged in a ‘hostile’ culture, not a ‘neutral’ culture,” Keller went on to say, indicating that he still values winsomeness as a virtue worth preserving in cultural engagement. “Also, it was forged FOR people to use in hostile cultures everywhere going forward.”