Tim Keller Princeton

March 22, 2017

Princeton Seminary Reverses Course, Won’t Award Tim Keller

Institute on Religion & Democracy Press Release
March 22, 2017
Contact: Jeff Walton Office: 202-682-4131, Cell: 202-413-5639, E-mail: jwalton@TheIRD.org

“Failed and dying liberal Protestantism self-defeatingly is prioritized over vibrant and socially effective orthodoxy.”
-Mark Tooley, IRD President

Washington, DC—Prominent New York pastor and author Tim Keller will not be receiving an award from Princeton Theological Seminary after an outcry at the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)-affiliated institution.

Keller’s denomination, the growing and theologically orthodox Presbyterian Church in America, doesn’t ordain women or persons sexually active outside male-female marriage.

Keller was set to receive The Abraham Kuyper Prize for Excellence in Reformed Theology and Public Life, which honors contributors to the “Neo-Calvinist vision of religious engagement.” Keller is still scheduled to deliver the annual Kuyper Lecture on April 6 as planned, but according to Seminary President Craig Barnes the school will not award the Kuyper Prize to anyone this year.

Keller, a prolific author and popular speaker, is founder of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, which has in turn planted many other new churches in New York. The church network is notable for its success in attracting young urban professionals and for its racial diversity.

Frequently appearing in secular media as a religious and cultural commentator, Keller is one of the most influential pastors and Christian thinkers in America today. He is a guru of the rebirth of urban evangelical Protestant Christianity. His theology like his denomination’s is orthodox and Reformed, but Keller typically avoids culture war issues and hot button debates.

IRD President Mark Tooley commented:

“Wow, historically Presbyterian Princeton won’t honor arguably the most prominent & accomplished Presbyterian pastor of our time.

“The decision to not give this honor to Keller is an example of hyper political correctness prevailing over distinction and merit.

“Failed and dying liberal Protestantism self-defeatingly is prioritized over vibrant and socially effective orthodoxy.”

“The objectors to Keller speaking at Princeton would also, if consistent, have to object to the Pope and to the clerics of nearly every major Christian body.

“Nearly all of global Christianity disagrees with the PCUSA and Princeton Seminary on these issues and would align with Keller, who is not exotic or unusual in his stances.

“The PCUSA’s liberal perspective is largely confined to a handful of declining denominations collectively including not more than two or three percent of global Christianity. Much of global Protestant Christianity, including Methodism and parts of Anglicanism, plus Pentecostalism, ordains women. But almost none dissents from orthodox teaching on marriage and sexual ethics.”


7 Responses to Princeton Seminary Reverses Course, Won’t Award Tim Keller

  1. apriluser says:


  2. G. Michael says:

    This reversal is typical of political correctness gone bad. It is an example of the closing of the intellect. You are effectively silenced if you don’t agree with their point of view.

    • apriluser says:

      There are several “liberal” thinkers and professors who have gone to the mat regarding this very issue – Jordan Peterson (U of a Toronto), Jonathan Haidt (NYU). They have been the subject of attempted censure within their own institutions because they refuse to cowtow to Student demands. Kirsten Powers, journalist and self-described Democrat, has written a book, “The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech”. And the story goes on…

  3. Diane Soul says:

    Dr. Keller’s church draws thousands to Sunday worship services each week–and in New York City of all places, not exactly a haven for conservatives of any kind (!) So I would really like to know how large the congregations are of all the Princeton Seminary grads who as clergy are now protesting Keller’s appearance at the school. They present themselves to be as hateful and even more bigoted as they accuse orthodox Presbyterians and other evangelical Christians of being. Shame on them, but I doubt they have any shame–only pathetic self-righteous hate and jealousy. Where is the supposed “celebrating diversity” and Christian love being demonstrated at Princeton Seminary, especially toward Dr. Keller? No wonder the PCUSA is crumbling. Wonder if Princeton is too.

  4. CDR_N says:

    Allowing Keller to receive an award is bad. But allowing Peter Singer to teach ethics is good? Wow!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *