Timothy Keller and Yoga
Tuesday, May 23, 2023
Good Morning and Welcome to this week’s Gospel and Culture update, by Alan Vink
Timothy Keller and Yoga
Tuesday 23rd May 2023
Dr Timothy Keller has left an enormous legacy. The New York based Presbyterian pastor and popular author Tim Keller has passed away, four days ago aged just 72. He had been struggling with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer for a year and a half. He is survived by his wife, Kathy, three sons and seven grandchildren.
Hundreds of tributes from around the world have already been written including from The New York Times and The Atlantic. Here is a tribute written by the Gospel Coalition and embedded in it is a 7 minute video of tributes from around the world.
I started this blog called ‘Gospel and Culture’ four years ago. Tim Keller’s exegesis of the Scriptures and of contemporary Western culture has been (and will continue to be) my most preferred ‘go to’ for background reading. Tim and the others that wrote for the Gospel Coalition helped me to understand what is going on in our world, the deeper cultural and social movements and how to respond from a Christ centre-ed and biblical worldview. In every way he was superb, as a teacher and a writer. People much closer to him talk about him being an amazing pastor, a loving husband, a devoted father and a adoring grandfather.
Here’s what I would like to do. I would like to invite Christian Leaders in NZ to write a short tribute stating what Tim Keller meant to you. I will collate them and publish in next weeks blog. Then I will send all the tributes I have received to the Keller family. I thought it would be nice to send some reflections and memories from New Zealanders.
Here are the details:
Word Length: 50 words (give or take a littl
Sign off: Please be sure to add your name and your role and in doing so giving me permission to include your tribute (and your name and role) in my blog next week.
Send to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks. And now onto a completely different topic………
Last week in the Sunday Star Times there was a feature article titled, ‘kiwi yoga studios criticised for appropriating Hindu practice’. It got me thinking again about not only yoga but other new age practices. And the pressing question is, should Christians go to yoga? I thought I’d reach out to Lew Meyer. Lew was formally National Director for OAC and has both completed a lot of research on the cults and world religions and written extensively on this topic. Lew wrote me a succinct response which I fully agree with. Here it is.
POV by Lew Meyer.
Yoga is part of the heart of Hinduism, as recognised by the article you sent.
There are various forms like Kundalini, where the snake spirit thought to dwell is the base of the spine is awakened.
There is a sexual form of yoga.
Some of the yogic exercises are gentle and I have just spoken to a lady who does them on YouTube and they are probably not a spiritual problem.
What we sometimes miss in our Western way of thinking is that in the East, there is no distinction between secular and spiritual. Everything is spiritual and your yoga teacher can be a guru or spiritual master. Part of the goal of yoga and in fact other margas in Hinduism, is ultimate ‘union’ with Brahmin, the pantheistic form of the god that everything is part of and that is part of everything. Yoga will assist in reincarnation to a higher level in this journey.
Many teachers play down the whole spiritual side for the secular market, but others don’t. The exercises and deeper breathing are probably healthy and OK, but I would not recommend a Christian joining a yoga group.