US theologian Timothy Keller has responded to criticism over the decision to name a new apologetics venture after him, with some arguing that it buys into Christian “celebrity culture”.
The pastor recently announced the launch of The Keller Centre for Cultural Apologetics, comprised of 26 fellows that will produce essays, podcasts and video content discussing, debating and explaining a range of theological topics.
However, some were disappointed to hear the project was going to be named after the apologist, highlighting him as the main name behind the venture.
Taking to Twitter to straighten the record, Tim Keller said: “I am very excited about this venture and hope it will bring great fruit over time. A few have asked, "Why a new apologetics ministry based on the name of one individual?"
He continued: “I was resistant at first with the name of this centre, until I realized that the centre was less concerned about propagating my works and more interested in forging ahead to meet the ever-changing needs present.
“The name, in my mind, then has two functions: One - Internally, institutions have culture and some think the name will help guide vision and goal alignment aspirationally.
“Two - it also helps externally with those who are unfamiliar with apologetics quickly associate with what it's trying to do.
“As more understand the necessity of apologetics in both formation and evangelism, I think the name will matter less as the centre delivers great resources for the church and beyond.”
The centre includes a number of big names – many of whom are British – including, Craig Ellis, Glen Scrivener and Alan Nible.
Collin Hansen, executive director, said the centre hopes to equip churches, teaching them to “close the back door, open the front door and send out the equipped,” lessening congregation decline and evangelising to those that have yet to encounter Christ.
Three online “cohorts” are already available to join, hosted by Trevin Wax, Dr Chris Watkins and Pastor Joshua Ryan Butler.