Oct 09, 2018 by Alyssa Duvall

Pastor Tim Keller: Too Many Christians Enjoy "Preaching Judgment"

In Saturday interview on Mike Huckabee's TBN show about his new book, The Prodigal Prophet: Jonah and the Mystery of God's Mercy, renowned author and theologian Tim Keller lamented that far too many Christians seem to enjoy preaching God's judgment in an imbalanced way. Watch Keller's interview in the video at the end of this article.

"God judges because He is righteous but it is not something he enjoys," the former pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan said, "and we're not supposed to enjoy condemning people."

"But I do think, I'm afraid there's too many preachers and Christians who enjoy condemning people," he added.

Huckabee agreed, adding that an imbalanced judgmental spirit is "one of the tragedies of the modern-day church."

In his book, Keller draws parallels between the prophet Jonah, who despised the Ninevites and wanted to condemn them rather than preach to them as God commanded him: "Jonah went to the city, and preached to the city, but didn't love the city."

"That wasn't good enough for God because at the very end," Keller continued, "He says to Jonah, How can you not love a city with 120,000 people who don't know their right hand from their left."

According to Keller, one major lesson we must learn from Jonah is that it is not enough to preach the truth without love (see also 1 Corinthians 13).

While God's judgement is real, "if you preach judgement without tears you don't have Jesus' spirit," Keller concluded, drawing upon the words of one of Christianity's greatest theologians, Francis Schaeffer:

"Because when Jesus looked at Jerusalem, and he knew at the time that this was a city that was going to rise up and crush him, but he looks at Jerusalem and says 'Jerusalem, Jerusalem if only you knew the things that pertain to your peace. But now they are hid from your eyes. I would like to take you under my wings the way a mother hen takes her chicks under her wings.' It's amazing the compassion, even though he is preaching judgment."

Watch the interview in the video below:

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