Deluded Tim Keller: the Dangerous Esoteric Doctrines He Unwittingly Embraces

Timothy J. Keller (b. 1950) is the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City and author of many bestsellers including The Reason for God.   He is also the most recent compromiser in a long line of Christian compromisers (priests and intellectuals) stretching back to the Renaissance, to embrace evolution and suggest that in order for it to be compatible with the Bible  we must see the Genesis account of creation ex nihilo in a non-literal, non-historical context.

In a position paper Keller published with the theistic evolutionary organization Biologos he argues,

“....there is no logical reason to preclude that God could have used evolution to predispose people to believe in God in general so that people would be able to    consider true belief when they hear the Gospel preached.”  (A response to Timothy Keller’s ‘Creation, Evolution and Christian Laypeople,’ Lita Cosner, 9 September 2010,

Evolutionary scenarios commonly proposed by evolutionary theists typically reduce Adam and Eve to mythical figures, with the consequence that Eve was never promised a ‘Seed' and death didn’t come from a Fall but rather from the death of the millions of evolved creatures that preceded humans by billions of years.   So evolution not only makes God responsible for death but in amputating the entire historicalprecedent from the Gospel it changes the rest of Scripture and makes Jesus Christ unnecessary as atheist Frank Zindler points out:

The most devastating thing though that biology did to Christianitywas the discovery of biological evolution. Now that we know Adam and Eve neverwere real people the central myth of Christianity is destroyed. If there neverwas an Adam and Eve, there never was an original sin. If there never was anoriginal sin there is no need of salvation. If there is no need of salvationthere is no need of a savior. And I submit that puts Jesus, historical or otherwise, into the ranks of the unemployed. I think that evolution absolutely is thedeath knell of Christianity.” (Frank Zindler, American atheist, in a debate with William Craig, Atheism vs Christianity video, 1996, from "Homeschooling parents demand evolutionary textbooks," Lita Cosner, 13 June 2013,

Shallow-thinking, weak-willed compromisers like Keller rush in where angels fear to tread, meaning that first of all, evolution is not what he believes it is, and second, it is completely at odds with the Bible.  It is the enemy of the Bible, as even evolutionary atheist Richard Dawkins agrees:

I think the evangelical Christians have really sort of got it right in a way, in seeing evolution as the enemy. Whereas the more, whatshall we say, sophisticated theologians are quite happy to live with evolution,  I think they’re deluded. I think the evangelicals have got it right,  in that there really is a deep incompatibility between evolution and Christianity..." (ibid)

So just what is evolution?  Where frank speaking occurs, it is revealed that evolutionary science is in fact an occult and/or esoteric subject.  When asked by a layman why he should be interested  "in so esoteric a subject as evolutionary biology," Professor S.J. Gould replied that evolution tells us,

“.... us where we came from, how we got here, and perhaps where we are going. Quite simply, it is science’s version of Roots, except it is the story of us all."   (The Religious Nature of Evolution Theory and its Attack on Christianity, John G. Leslie and Charles K. Pallaghy, Ph.D,

Gould candidly admits that evolutionary biology is an esoteric account of the ultimate origin of life.  According to this account, about 3 billion years ago lifeless chemicals laying around on an already existing earth (pre-existing matter)somehow combined and finally magically transcended themselves after a hundred or a thousand identical operations thus allowing the transmutation of the chemical substances into life.   Once life emerged, natural processes (evolution, natural selection, laws of nature) were set in motion that supposedly eventuated in the arrival of man:

"If man has arrived at his present state as a result of natural processes rather than a supernatural will, he can learn to control these processes...The concept of evolution, which is now basic to the life sciences, has provided new and in some ways revolutionary answers to questions men have been asking for centuries. The two most important of these are, ‘Why am I here, what is the purpose of human existence, and what is the nature of the world of life that surrounds us?"   (ibid, Dobzhansky, T., Ayala, F.J., Stebbins, G.L. and Valentine, J.W., Evolution, W.H. Freeman and Co., San Francisco, 1977)

 Evolutionary biology is an occult science, a modern Mystery Religion consisting of both an exoteric or outer meaning for mass consumption (for deluded people like Keller) and a hidden, or occult meaning, for higher initiates. 

Hiding beneath the idea that life will eventually emerge from the mixing of lifeless chemicals is a vision arising from the age-old technology of alchemy and its magical or mystical meaning: the ancient Egyptian Hermetic principle of the macrocosm's correlation with the microcosm, “As above, so below” symbolized by the great chain of being, or with Darwin the tree of life.

In occult theosophical thought for example, "As above" corresponds to a Divine One Substance and a number of different astral planes and sub-planes comprising the habitations of all,

"... supernatural entities, the locale of gods and demons, the void where the thoughtforms dwell, the region inhabited by spirits of the air and other elements, and the various heavens and hells with their angelic and demonic hosts....With the help of ritual procedures, trained persons believe that they can 'rise on the planes,' and experience these regions in full awareness." ("Beyond the Body: The Human Double and the Astral planes, Benjamin Walker, 1974, pp. 117-8)

The Apostle Paul speaks not of astral planes, cosmic trees and the inhabitants supposedly existing there but of fallen angels, the "spirits of wickedness under the heavens" (Eph. 6:12) and their chief, "the prince of the powers of the air." (Eph. 2:2) 

According to Paul, fallen angels are dispersed in a multitude throughout the whole blue expanse of sky which is visible to us under the heavens, the dwelling place for the host of fallen angels who have been cast down from heaven.    This means that the whole blue expanse of sky under the heavens where fallen angels dwell is the "As above" consisting of astral planes and sub-planes connected by the great chain of being up which the initiate ascends (evolves) by way of ritual (i.e., transcendental meditation) to reach divine status and gain powers. 

In "God and the Knowledge of Reality," the Catholic philosopher and historian, Thomas Molnar (1921–2010), writes that during the Renaissance Christian mystics and scholars such as Emanuel Swedenborg discovered Hermetic and Jewish Cabala esoteric texts and like Pico della Mirandola, argued that hermetic science---the divine technology of reaching divine status and powers through magic, ritual procedures and for Swedenborg, astral plane traveling----is the best proof of the divinity of Christ.    In other words said Molnar,

" the time of the Renaissance the esoteric texts of the first centuries A.D. had acquired in scholarly and humanist circles an unparalleled prestige, confronting as equals the texts held sacred by the church.  In Pico's estimation, 'nulla est scientia que nos magis certificet de divinitate Christ quam magia et Cabala' (there is no science that would prove for us Christ's divinity better than magic and the Cabala.)"  (ibid, pp. 78-79)

The astral plane is well-known around the world in its' many esoteric traditions:

" References to this reality are the Dreaming of the Australian Aborigines, the Spirit-world of Shamanism, the Duart of the ancient Egyptians, the Bardo (Intermediate State) of the Tibetans, the Imaginal world of Islamic Esotericism - e.g. the Barzakh (Interworld) orof Suhrawardi and the the Mithal (Imaginal realm) of Ibn Arabi - the Universe of Asiyah of some Kabbalists, or of Yetzirah according to others.  Other descriptions are the Nervo degree of the Physical State of Theon, the Astral or 2nd Prakritic plane (corresponding to the Linga Sharira or Subtle or Astral body) and the Kama (Desire-Plane)  of Blavatsky,  the Astral Plane of the Adyar school of Theosophy and of popular occultism, Rudolf Steiner's "Soul World"; and and the Vital and Subtle Physical described by Sri Aurobindo and Mirra.  These are just a few of the innumerable descriptions of this plane of existence. " (The Astral Plane,

In order for occult rituals to work, matter (the One Substance) must either pre-exist or have come into being from the Big Bang in order for lifeless chemicals to be laying around on an already existing earth.  In either scenario, all being is at bottom one, or monistic: As above, so below.

Esoteric knowledge pertaining to the One Substance with its' different astral planes and sub-planes andgreat chain of being teaches that the "vehicle beyond the etheric body"  begins to progress (evolve) as it makes its way to the heaven-world as in Swedenborg's teaching, is inseparably linked in Hermetic doctrines. 

Molnar writes that the Hermetic practitioner must strive first for separation of the soul from the body (purification), and second, for the spiritualization of all matter.  For modern Western practitioners, Teilhard's spiritual conception achieves the second goal while Darwin's esoteric formula attains the first as it imaginatively un-creates man as God's spiritual image bearer:

"....the doctrine of evolution has swept the world, not on the strength of its scientific merits, but precisely in its capacity as a Gnostic myth. It affirms, in effect, that living things created themselves, which is in essence a metaphysical claim....Thus...evolutionism is a metaphysical doctrine decked out in scientific is a scientistic myth. And the myth is Gnostic, because it implicitly denies the transcendent origin of being; for indeed, only after the living creature has been speculatively reduced to an aggregate of particles does Darwinist transformism become conceivable."  ( Dr. Wolfgang Smith in From Old Gnosticism to New Age I, Alan Morrison, SCP Journal Vol. 28:4-29:1, 2005, pp. 30-31)

In his great masterpiece, "That Hideous Strength," C.S. Lewis points out that humanist philosophy, naturalism (monism), Hermetic magic, Cabala, evolution, cosmic trees and other forms of occultism were two sides of the same revival of Renaissance paganism underlying the intellectual edifice of modern science. Thus he argued that occultism and humanistic rationalism were not enemies in principle but rather cooperating philosophies united against supernatural Christian theism and Christian civilization. Lewis underscores this point in "The Abolition of Man:"

"You will even find people who write about the sixteenth century as if Magic were a medieval survival and Science the new thing that came in to sweep it away. Those who have studied the period know better. There was very little magic in the Middle Ages: the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries are the high noon of magic. The serious magical endeavour and the serious scientific endeavour are twins: one was sickly and died, the other strong and throve. But they were twins. They were born of the same impulse. I allow that some (certainly not all) of the early scientists were actuated by a pure love of knowledge. But if we consider the temper of that age as a whole we can discern the impulse of which I speak." In conclusion, evolutionary biology and Darwin's tree of life symbolize deep religious desires of transcendence and self-redemption, thus are incarnations, “ ...of the ancient, deeply religious endeavor “to become like God” – infinitely wise, omnipotent, autonomous, and immortal." (Dr. Erdmann)

In embracing occult evolutionary science, shallow-thinking deluded enthusiasts like Keller not only negate God's Revelations to man through the Old Testament prophets but unwittingly sign onto a whole host of dangerous occult doctrines and philosophies: naturalism (monism), Hermetic alchemy and Cabala, the cosmic chain of being, occult mediumistic rituals and the idea that  man can reach divine status and gain powers. 

@Linda Kimball