"Granted, Keller hails from the RPCES wing of the PCA, those descendants of the Bible Presbyterian Synod who grew tired of Carl McIntire’s antics but who retained much of his Christian America outlook. The southerners in the PCA were likely unaware that receiving the RPCES into communion would bring a form of religious social justice since they thought they had left such Protestantism behind in 1972 in the mainline church."Here's the short version of the chronology: As the liberalism of the northern Presbyterian denomination crystallized in the 1920s, J. Gresham Machen left Princeton to establish Westminster Seminary. By 1936, he left the denomination to found the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC). The next year, Machen died, and tension between two camps of the OPC rose.
That year, 1937, premillennial fundamentalist culture-warrior Carl McIntyre led one of those camps out of the OPC to the Bible Presbyterian Church (BPC). He also presided over the fundamentalist American Council of Christian Churches. In 1956, the BPC divided, and the splinter group, most notably identified with Francis Schaeffer, eventually (after morphing a bit) folded into the PCA in 1982. It's that splinter group—a descendant of Carl McIntire's premillennial culture warrior fundamentalism—that Hart argues was the soil for Keller's views on culture.
If Hart is right, how ironic that the driving force for social justice issues (and postmillennialism?) in the 2010 PCA ultimately emerged from the premillennial fundamentalist refugees from the OPC of 70 years ago. Perhaps this lesson might be appropriate with the approach of July 4th—the day Baptists everywhere gather to worship . . . something.
P.S. And you thought Baptists liked church splits. So much for the unifying nature of Presbyterian polity.