TIM KELLER & LOST BOYS LEADING THE CHURCH INTO MORE ERROR: HOW YOKING WITH APA & MORMON CHURCH ARE IMPACTING CHRISTIAN COUNSELING
By Thomas Littleton
Tim Keller is on yet another adventure into the abyss in the name of “redeeming culture.” This time his work is in the realm of Christian counseling. Keller and The Gospel Coalition decided in 2010 to make an interfaith American Psychological Association psychologist the go-to guy on LGBTQ+ issues instead of the Bible and helped give us the Living Out LGBTQ+ Inclusion Audit for churches and the radical Revoice conference promoting “LGBT+ flourishing (Tim Keller’s favorite unbiblical word) in historic (conservative PCA and Southern Baptist etc.) Christian tradition (i.e. in our churches).
The supposedly orthodox Reformed theological Keller and the Gospel Coalition he co-founded work very closely with the Libertarian, Catholic Acton Institute. Acton Institute provides the chief editor for TGC and has given our seminaries, Christian universities and homeschool curriculum the unbridled but stealthy influence of Catholic social policy (which is driven by Catholic theology). The Curriculum and its version of Austrian School of economics produced the now highly controversial “fruit” of conservative churches being urged to embrace the classic social gospel – now touted as “social justice is a Gospel issue” — resulting in the church being transformed into a global communitarian “Village.” That communitarian church vision is now charged with distributing justice and redistributing the wealth of Western Civilization toward “global goals” through the Church. Keller’s almost 500 church plants have been resourced for years and trained by the shallow and growth driven corporate models directly provided to Redeemer Church by the Willow Creek Association.
If the merging of these spurious influences were the true Gospel we would all owe Tim Keller and TGC a great debt for the Church finally recovering and meeting its long-lost call. This is, however, NOT the Gospel delivered to the Apostles and the New Testament saints. It is something else — something classically deceptive, culturally driven and based on a multitude of ideologies antithetical to the true Gospel and the Word of God.
The question that remains unanswered is, “Will the people of the PCA and SBC, whose churches and pastors have come under the sway of Keller and his multitude of errors, follow Keller and his minions into the ruins of shipwrecked apostates who have gone before, or will they awaken and rid their churches and denominations before it is too late?”
The Great Apostasy
1 Timothy 4 (NKJV)
4 Now the Spirit [a]expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron.
2 TIMOTHY 4
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth and be turned aside to fables.
NOW KELLER AND REDEEMER HAVE SET THEIR SIGHTS ON PARTNERING WITH THE APA. INTERFAITH FUNDING, AND THE MORMON CHURCH TO GIVE AN OVERHAUL TO CHRISTIAN COUNSELING.
Flush with millions from the Interfaith driven grant funding of The Templeton Foundation, Keller and his Redeemer City Counseling Department have set out to “influence Christian Counseling” through partnering with an institution (the APA) antithetical to Christianity but interested in “Spirituality” and another religion (Brigham Young University of the Mormon, LDS faith). The research project is touted to be the largest such effort ever undertaken.
Templeton Foundation Funding Goals
The Templeton Foundation is “committed to catalyzing research relating to scientific and spiritual progress, “in which all people aspire to and attain a deeper understanding of the universe and their place in it.” It provides philanthropic funding to projects that explore subjects ranging from “complexity, evolution and emergence to creativity, forgiveness and free will.”
“Redeemer Counseling Services has been committed to conducting research since 2012. Our first project by Dr. Tracy Prout was an outcome study that assessed spirituality and its influence on the therapeutic alliance. Since then, Dr. Judy Cha and Elena E. Kim have also conducted qualitative studies to examine the effects of God Image and the mechanism of spirituality on the client’s psychotherapeutic experience.”
Keller boasts in the short video linked above that “Redeemer Counseling has been given the chance to change the field of psychology …with the gospel.” Elena Kim is the lead investigator with the Templeton-funded project. Kim says, “historically the fields of religion and psychology were not receptive to each other but there has been a recent focus on spiritually in psychology which has created a window of opportunity and the John Templeton Foundation intends to take advantage of this opportunity.” Judy Cha, the Director of Redeemers Counseling Center, says, “millions of dollars have been set aside to BRIDGE (The BYU program name) to counselors (Cha) Clergy (Keller) and Researchers (Kim) with the goal to bring spiritually orientated psychotherapy into mainstream healthcare.” “Your involvement,” says Keller, “can allow Christianity to influence the field of psychology at a vast cultural level. We, the church, are urged to join them in their “’historical endeavor to bridge Christianity and psychology’.”
In addition to the atheistic roots of psychology add to this the bland universalism of the “new age” spirituality being espoused and the interfaith application of the funding research and outcomes. Redeemer’s team are proud to be working with experts in the field who are part of the APA partnered project, headquartered at BYU and of and with the Mormon Religion. Yet Redeemer participants and Keller call their mutual work a “validation of Christian integrated psychotherapy.” Thus, Keller is illustrating again the lack of care or discernment for the conservative Reformed theology Keller has wrapped himself and his ministry / TGC in. Keller’s PCA credentials are often all he needs to retain respectability and acceptance among many Biblical evangelicals, thanks in large part to their pastors providing cover for Keller and endorsing him. In PCA/ TGC churches in this author’s area Keller’s books are often used as Sunday School study and discussion materials.
Grants & Awards
Kim, E. E., Chen, E. C., Cha J., Keller T. (2017). “Empirical validation of a Christian-integrated psychotherapy framework: A task analysis.” John Templeton Foundation and Brigham Young University.
The work is also deeply partnered with the APA as indicated by their presentations.
Kim, E. E., Chen, E. C., & Brachfeld, C. (2016, August). Patients’ experiences of spirituality in psychotherapy: A grounded theory analysis. In P. S. Richards & J. N. Nelson (Co-Chairs), Spiritually oriented psychotherapy: Processes, outcomes, and research challenges. Symposium presentation proposal submitted for the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Denver, CO.
Prout, T.A., & Kim, E.E., (2015, August). Christian Counseling: Initial Report on A Large-Scale Study. Presentation at the American Psychological Association Convention, Toronto, Canada.
Prout, T.A., & Kim, E.E., (2014, August). Therapeutic Alliance, Client-Therapist Match, and Outcomes in Christian Counseling. Presentation at the American Psychological Association Convention, Washington, D.C.
THE APA “ANDROCENTRIC PAST” AND CURRENT ATTACK ON “TOXIC MASCULINITY”
Keller’s work with the APA puts him and Redeemer in full step with the organization’s attack on masculinity.
“APA’s new Guidelines for Psychological Practice With Boys and Men strive to recognize and address these problems in boys and men while remaining sensitive to the field’s androcentric past. Thirteen years in the making, they draw on more than 40 years of research showing that traditional masculinity is psychologically harmful and that socializing boys to suppress their emotions causes damage that echoes both inwardly and outwardly.
The needs of men
“Prior to the second-wave feminist movement in the 1960s, all psychology was the psychology of men. Most major studies were done only on white men and boys, who stood in as proxies for humans as a whole. Researchers assumed that masculinity and femininity were opposite ends of a spectrum, and “healthy” psychology entailed identifying strongly with the gender roles conferred by a person’s biological sex.
“But just as this old psychology left out women and people of color and conformed to gender-role stereotypes, it also failed to take men’s gendered experiences into account. Once psychologists began studying the experiences of women through a gender lens, it became increasingly clear that the study of men needed the same gender-aware approach, says Levant.
“The main thrust of the subsequent research is that traditional masculinity—marked by stoicism, competitiveness, dominance and aggression—is, on the whole, harmful. Men socialized in this way are less likely to engage in healthy behaviors”
BRIDGES PROJECT DISCUSSED IN REDEEMER VIDEO PARTNERS WITH BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY
Templeton funding March 2017-March 2020
Grant total – $3,572,011
“For most of the 20th century, mainstream healthcare professionals ignored the role of spirituality in therapeutic healing. Recently this has changed as scholars and practitioners have described many spiritual treatment approaches, grounded in the healing practices of both Western and Eastern spiritual traditions (e.g., prayer, meditation, gratitude, love, forgiveness, altruistic service). Although some research supports these approaches there are weaknesses with the database. Without a more satisfactory research base, spiritual approaches will remain at the fringes of the mental health and medical fields, which will deprive many people of access to sensitive and effective services. The long-term aim of our project is to create an international, interdisciplinary network of researchers and practitioners dedicated to advancing research and practice in this domain of mental healthcare. “
“Funding from the Templeton Foundation for this project will enable us to attract research teams and treatment sites from around the world to collaborate in creating the largest and richest data set in existence about spiritually integrated treatment approaches. Our research and network of collaborators will help ensure that religious and spiritual resources for therapeutic change are never again neglected in the healthcare professions. Spiritually committed people throughout the world will have greater access to mental health services that are effective and that honor the healing resources of their spiritual worldviews and communities.”
Earlier grant was $207,440.
The director, co-director, project manager and both additional leaders in the Bridge project are from the Mormon Church, Brigham Young University.
Phillip Scott Richards of Brigham Young is project Director.
“P. Scott Richards is a licensed psychologist and a full professor of counseling psychology at Brigham Young University as well as the Director of Research for the Center for Change. Dr. Richards received his PhD in counseling psychology in 1988 from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and he has extensive research training and experience. He is the author of numerous scholarly articles in professional journals and has authored and edited several books published by the American Psychological Association.”
Daniel K. Judd of the Bridge project is an expert of “ancient scripture” and the Book of Mormon.
“Bio: Daniel K Judd received an M.S. degree in family science and a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Brigham Young University. He has been a seminary and institute instructor in Utah, Arizona, and Michigan, and he was a professor of family science at BYU-Idaho. Presently Chair of the Ancient Scripture Department at BYU, he has published several articles on religious and mental health issues. He and his wife, Kaye Seegmiller Judd, have four children and reside in Orem, Utah.
“Courses Taught: Book of Mormon, New Testament, LDS Marriage and Family
Areas of Expertise: Religion and Mental Health; Marriage and Family
Areas of Research: Doctrinal perspectives on current issues; Philosophy and psychology of Religion; Marriage and Family”
CONCLUSION: KELLER’S REDEEMER COUNSELING EXPECTS ORDER OUT OF CHAOS AS AN OUTCOME FOR HIS COMPROMISED INVOLVEMENT.
Is Tim Keller able to discern the fundamentally flawed approach in the partnership his Redeemer Counseling Center is undertaking? Keller says his ministry is “engaging to influence the field of psychology with Christianity.” So again, how is he going about this? According to his own website, Keller’s team is working as part of a broad effort using the funding providing by the Templeton Foundation to collaborate with research in order to “merge psychology and Christianity.”
Also, again, how does Keller expect that to happen? How does Tim Keller, co-founder of The Gospel Coalition and who is licensed to ministry by the Reformed, conservative, theologically driven Presbyterian Church of America intend to bring about this outcome?
1. Partnering with grant funding provided by an interfaith universalist program focused on a totally new age /generic brand of spirituality.
2. By aligning with and yoking to a historically anti-Gospel organization driving much of the pro-homosexual and redefining marriage movement now focused on “spirituality.”
3. By collaborating with a cult religion with a history of polygamy, abuse, and corruption and which adheres to its own religious text which it claims as a third testament of the Bible.
Tim Keller is either a fool on a fool’s errand who understands nothing about the Gospel or orthodox theology he espouses — or he is wolf in sheep’s clothing who cares nothing for the Gospel or orthodox theology he espouses. Either one of the above or a mingled mixture of the two disqualify Keller for consideration as a trustworthy leader in Evangelical Christianity today.
Matthew 16:11-12 (NKJV)
11 How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread?—but to beware of the [a]leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”12 Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the [b]doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Acts 20:28-30 (NKJV)
28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church [a]of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking [b]perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.
2 Peter 3:14-18 (NKJV)
14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
1 John 4:1-6 (NKJV)
Love for God and One Another
1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess [a]that Jesus [b]Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. 4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. 6 We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.