Is Tim Keller a Cultural Marxist? Let’s ask Tim himself,
“The history and philosophy departments were socially radicalized and were heavily influenced by the Frankfurt school. In 1968 this was heady stuff. THE SOCIAL ACTIVISM WAS PARTICULARLY ATTRACTIVE, AND THEIR CRITIQUE OF AMERICAN BOURGEOIS SOCIETY WAS COMPELLING. But its philosophical underpinnings were confusing to me. I seemed to see two camps before me. And there was something radically wrong with both of them. The people most passionate about social justice were moral relativists. While the morally upright didn’t seem to care about the oppression going on all over the world. I was emotionally drawn to the former path. What young person wouldn’t be? Liberate the oppressed and sleep with who you wanted. But I kept asking the question, if morality is relative, why isn’t social justice as well? This seemed to be a blatant inconsistency in my professors and their followers. Yet, now I saw the stark contradiction in the traditional churches. How could I turn my back to the kind of orthodox Christianity that supported segregation in the South and South Africa? Christianity began to seem very unreal to me, though I was unable to discern a viable alternative way of life and thought.”
1.) The only fault Tim had with the Frankfurt School, per his own testimony, was its moral relativism. Take away the moral relativism of Cultural Marxism and Tim was good with the Frankfurt school.
2.) Tim says the Frankfurt school’s critique of American Bourgeois soceity was compelling. Please understand that the Frankfurt schools critique of American first assumes a Marxist framework to make this analysis and second assumes that America had a bourgeois society to begin with. Already, with these words, Tim tells us that he is a Cultural Marxist.
3.) Tim assumes that soical justice is what the Cultural Marxists defined it as. No Christian defines social justice in the framework of Cultrual Marxists.
4.) Tim agreeingly speaks of the “oppression going on all over the world.” Now it is possible that there is “oppression going on all over the world” but if there is no Christian would conclude that on the basis of a Frankfurt school paradigm — and that is exactly what Tim is doing.
5.) It is interesting that the chief accusations first brought against each social order was first brought by Marxists. Until the Marxist started screaming about these social orders Christians understood that they were providing a social order, while hardly ideal, was providing stability. Does anyone want to argue that South Africa is more whole now with its Marxist social order than it was before it got rid of Apartheid? Does anyone want to argue that the South is more whole with the elimination of segregation? Has the Communist social order that has replaced Apartheid an improvement? Is the black community in the South in America better off than it was before segregation was forever ended? Statistics regarding the dysfunction in the black community suggest the answer is “no.”
Here is a lecture on Christianity and apartheid in South Africa that is important to consider on this matter,