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Princeton Seminary Reverses Course, Won't Award Tim Keller

"Failed and dying liberal Protestantism self-defeatingly is prioritized over vibrant and socially effective orthodoxy." -- Mark Tooley, IRD President
Contact: Jeff Walton, Institute on Religion & Democracy, 202-682-4131, 202-413-5639 cell, jwalton@TheIRD.org

WASHINGTON, March 22, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ -- 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 speaker, is founder of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, which has planted many churches. The 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."