Princeton Seminary President: Tim Keller Controversy Showed ‘Painful Fracture’ Among Reformed Churches

(Photo: Godwell Andrew Chan) Timothy Keller, author of Making Sense of God: An Invitation to the Skeptical, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC.

The president of Princeton Theological Seminary recently stated that the controversy over Tim Keller and the Kuyper Prize revealed a “painful fracture” among Reformed churches.

Earlier this month, Keller gave the Kuyper Lecture at the seminary, but was not given the accompanying prize due to protests over the pastor and best-selling author’s conservative theology, namely his positions on the ordination of women and LGBT individuals.

In a statement released Monday, Princeton Seminary President the Rev. Craig Barnes said that the controversy became “symbolic of a painful fracture in the Reformed family surrounding ordination standards.”

“As a school of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Princeton Seminary affirms its polity, which requires the ordination of women and permits the ordination of LGBTQ+ persons,” stated Barnes.

“We have had many other speakers on campus who represent denominations and religions that do not ordain women or LBGTQ+ persons and we certainly will again, but granting an award for excellence in Reformed theology took on a greater significance, revealing a deep wound among the divided Reformed communions.”

Barnes went on to say that despite canceling the award for Keller, “those who hold different theological perspectives also belong” at Princeton.

“Last week as I was participating in worship in Miller Chapel, I looked at the Seminary choir as we sang Amazing Grace. There I saw students who were evangelical and progressive, liberal and conservative, Presbyterian and Baptist and Lutheran and Pentecostal,” continued Barnes.

“They represented different races, nations, and sexual orientations. Together they were leading us as we gave praise to the amazing grace of God that centers our covenantal community.”

A best-selling author and founding pastor of the multi-campus Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, Keller was originally announced as the recipient of the 2017 Abraham Kuyper Prize for Excellence in Reformed Theology and Public Life.

However, the choice was protested by Princeton Seminary alumni and others who took issue with Keller belonging to the Presbyterian Church in America, a theologically conservative denomination that does not allow for female or LGBT ordination.


SOURCE: The Christian Post – Michael Gryboski