Neo-Calvinist & Neo-Marxist Tim Keller & The Acton Institute

NOTE: The following is protected by federal copyright law and is an excerpt from the book Marxianity written by Brannon Howse and is not to be published online. The footnotes that document the content in this article are found in the book Marxianity or the eBook.


The Acton Institute also likes to promote Tim Keller. His book Generous Justice certainly is consistent with the Acton cause. On October 17, 2018, Tim Keller was the keynote speaker for the Acton Institute Annual Dinner. In his book, Keller uses another magnanimous-sounding communitarian-masking term: reweaving a community. He borrows the term from social justice activist, John Perkins, well-known for his work among the poor in Mississippi. John Perkins sometimes uses the phrase “reweaving the community” in place of what it really is: redistribution.

Even more disturbing than including folks like Keller and Perkins, the Acton Institute web has entrapped well-known evangelicals such as Al Mohler. He and others involved with The Gospel Coalition now work openly with the Acton Institute. As a result, some of the biggest names in evangelicalism are becoming “change agents” for cultural Marxism as they transform the churches of America into mere community organizations.

Just to be clear, though: I’m not saying that everyone associated with The Gospel Coalition is interested in promoting a social gospel rather than the true gospel. Some have simply been deceived and don’t recognize what The Gospel Coalition is doing. But Gospel Coalition founder, Tim Keller, and others like him, know exactly what they’re doing. Some even admit that they were influenced by the Frankfurt School.

Along with using positive-sounding catch phrases like ‘reweaving the community,’ Tim Keller has promoted Marxist ideas and quoted Marxist authors without fully disclosing to his readers who he’s quoting. And the influence appears to go both ways. The Acton Institute has actively promoted a video by Keller.

The institute “team,” as the Acton website calls the staff, includes a senior editor by the name of Joe Carter who maintains some telling liaisons with the evangelical community. According to the Acton Institute website, “Joe also serves as editor at The Gospel Coalition and a communication specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission” (emphasis mine) –  that would be the Southern Baptist commission run by Russell Moore, who is also a Gospel Coalition council member. So: Joe Carter works for the Acton Institute, works with Tim Keller, works with Russell Moore.

Now, the question is: Why would any so-called evangelical Christians want to work with the Acton group that encourages redistribution of wealth, a.k.a., the common good, a.k.a., social justice unless they, too, are in favor of socialist approaches to the economy? The obvious answer is that they support the idea because they believe in the idea.

You’ll recall that in Keller’s book, The Reason for God, he points out that the history and philosophy departments were socially radicalized when he was in college and heavily influenced by the Neo-Marxist critical theory of the Frankfurt School. As a result of this influence, Keller became convinced that mixing Christianity with neo-Marxism is the right approach.

Keller’s book, Generous Justice, offers another connection in the tangle of evangelicals participating in the social justice movement. Rick Warren endorsed Generous Justice, no doubt pleased with Keller’s support for the three-legged stool of communitarianism. Rick Warren, though, has background influences that have tainted his perspective.

By his own admission, Warren was discipled by Peter Drucker, a professor of business who was not a born-again Christian and who believed that John Maynard Keynes was the greatest economist of all time. But Keynes was a Fabian Socialist who believed wealth could—and should—be redistributed through many means. One of them was to use a continuous process of inflation to steal the majority of the people’s wealth. Only one man in a million, he reasoned, would know what was happening. And on the morality side: Keynes was a known child molester.

So, according to Rick Warren, his mentor, Peter Drucker, revered John Maynard Keynes. Drucker also thought existential nihilist, Søren Kierkegaard, was a great person, to the point that Drucker taught himself Danish so he could read the writings of Søren Kierkegaard in their original language. Consistent with Kierkegaard, he believed a person could somehow be a Christian and believe in subjective (rather than absolute) truth.

It’s little surprise, then, that Rick Warren has propounded his version of the three-legged stool through his purpose-driven churches and purpose-driven life teachings. And his global peace plan reads like a chapter from the United Nations. In the end, what Warren and Keller are doing is taking the respectable-sounding idea of communitarianism and bringing it into the reformed camp, the neo-Calvinists. But they’re not the only ones.


This block is broken or missing. You may be missing content or you might need to enable the original module. Banner