Wednesday, April 26, 2017

No honor among. . . academics. . .

Whether you agree with him or not, it would be difficult to deny not only the parish success but the great influence of Tim Keller -- an influence well beyond his own smaller denomination!  He is someone Lutherans listen to as well as evangelicals across the board.  It is a no brainer to acknowledge the long shadow Keller has cast over Christianity in the past two decades.  He is not only well known but well published as well.  So when Princeton Theological Seminary decided to honor him with the annual Kuyper Prize for Excellence in Reformed Theology and Public Witness (named after a famous Dutch neo-Calvinist theologian), it was also a no brainer.

Then Princeton Theological Seminary reversed course and said Keller will not receive the honor after all.  In an email to faculty and students on March 22, the president of the once conservative and now liberal mainline Protestant seminary, the Rev. Craig Barnes, was backtracking all the while insisting that Princeton and he remain committed to academic freedom and “the critical inquiry and theological diversity of our community.”  Well, to a point, it seems.  Barnes wanted to distance Princeton from Keller lest the award “imply an endorsement” of Keller’s views against the ordination of women and LGBTQ people.  Lord knows, we can offend conservative Christians all we want but no one dare challenge the sacred cows of women's ordination and the LGBTQ agenda.

“We are a community that does not silence voices in the church,” Barnes wrote. “In this spirit we are a school that can welcome a church leader to address one of its centers about his subject, even if we strongly disagree with his theology on ordination to ministry. Reverend Keller will be lecturing on Lesslie Newbigin and the mission of the church – not on ordination.”  No, Princeton may not silence voices but they do everything in their power to discredit them and to deny them -- even one as significant as Tim Keller.  Keller was gracious enough to agree to offer the lecture even without the award but this is about much more than that.  Can a Christian theological seminary, much less a university of any stripe, accept the viewpoints of those who were once mainstream only a decade or so ago but have now quickly been sidestepped by the new intolerance of feminism and gay rights?  That is the issue.  Increasingly the answer is "no."  The views that were once mainstream Christian doctrine and practice a decade or so ago have now become a pariah on secular university campuses and even those of so-called liberal Christian universities and seminaries.  So quickly and deeply have these become the litmus tests of new orthodoxy that no one may be allowed to offend.  That is the intolerance of the tolerant.

Just in case you do not know who Tim Keller is, look at his book credits below. . .




4 comments:

Anonymous said...

When they come a wull staun ma groon
Staun ma groon al nae be afraid

John J. Flanagan said...

To be honest, I do not think a conservative Christian is welcome in any liberal and progressive universities, including liberal Christian ones. Liberals and progressives are deeply entrenched in radicalism, leftist politics, and LGBT activism, I would say it is best to just avoid speaking at these institutions, they are really not interested in your views or the Bible's teachings.

Anonymous said...

Would it be safe to assume that Presbyterianism in general (not just PCUSA) is also deteriorating into irrelevance, with leaders such as Tim Keller being few the exceptions....

David Gray said...

>>Would it be safe to assume that Presbyterianism in general (not just PCUSA) is also deteriorating into irrelevance

No.