NOVEMBER 11, 2014 | Matt Smethurst
Carson, Keller, and Piper Tackle a Common Objection
You still believe that? You do know it’s 2014, right? Are you sure you want to be on the wrong side of history?
What do we Christians make of this increasingly common line of questions, usually posed in regard to our supposedly passé—even evil—beliefs about sexuality?
The wrong-side-of-history objection “presupposes a certain view of history, an inevitability of certain social trends that are going that way no matter what we do,” Don Carson explains in a new roundtable video with Tim Keller and John Piper. “But if we look at history another way—space and time are going to unravel as the Lord of history brings all things to pass—you bet I want to be on the right side of history.” As Keller puts it, “Since Jesus Christ is coming again, the only way to be on the right side of history is to belong to him.”
“History is happenings, and happenings can’t dictate what ought to happen,” Piper explains. “It’s logically confused to make what is the determination for what ought to be.” Furthermore, he points out, “History is a flow. It changes. Being on one side of history today may mean being on the other side tomorrow. So we’ll wait and see.” Carson concurs: “Historical trajectories have been frightfully wrong. Many things that were once on the ‘right’ side of history are now in the dustbin of history.”
Watch the full six-minute video to hear the church leaders discuss the question Keller poses to New Yorkers, when Piper’s certain he’ll want to be on the wrong side of history, and more. Then register to see them address various topics in plenary sessions and workshops at our 2015 National Conference, April 13 to 15, in Orlando.