Timothy Keller is the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, which he started in 1989. Screenshot from Vimeo

Princeton Theological Seminary reverses decision to honor Redeemer’s Tim Keller

(RNS) Faced with mounting criticism for its decision to give a major award to the Rev. Tim Keller, founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan and one of the country’s best-known conservative Christian thinkers, Princeton Theological Seminary has reversed course and said Keller will not receive the honor.

In an email to faculty and students on Wednesday morning (March 22), the president of the venerable mainline Protestant seminary, the Rev. Craig Barnes, said he remains committed to academic freedom and “the critical inquiry and theological diversity of our community.”

RELATED: Why Princeton’s snub of Tim Keller should outrage progressives

But he said that giving Keller the annual Kuyper Prize for Excellence in Reformed Theology and Public Witness – named after a famous Dutch neo-Calvinist theologian – might “imply an endorsement” of Keller’s views against the ordination of women and LGBTQ people.

Barnes said the seminary would not award the Kuyper Prize to anyone this year.

But he said that after he and Keller talked, and after discussions also with the chairs of the Kuyper Committee and the Board of Trustees, Keller had agreed to deliver the annual Kuyper Lecture on April 6 as planned.

“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.”

Newbigin was a British theologian renowned for his writings on mission, and Keller is known for his success at “church planting.”

Barnes acknowledged that the entire episode had been “a hard conversation” but one “that a theologically diverse community can handle.”

In its announcement earlier this month that Keller had been chosen to receive the Kuyper Prize, the seminary’s Kuyper Center for Public Theology had praised Keller as “an innovative theologian and church leader, well-published author, and catalyst for urban mission in major cities around the world.”

But critics quickly noted that Keller is also a leader in the Presbyterian Church in America, or PCA, which is the more conservative wing of U.S. Presbyterianism and does not permit the ordination of women or LGBTQ people.

READ: Princeton seminary taking heat for honoring Tim Keller

Princeton seminary, one of the oldest in the U.S., is associated with the more liberal Presbyterian Church (USA), or PCUSA.

While Keller is not known for pushing hot-button culture war issues, several critics said his positions against the ordination of women and against LGBTQ rights, as well as his endorsement of a traditional view that women should submit to their husbands — a view known as “complementarianism” — fostered domestic abuse and prejudice against gays and lesbians.

“In these difficult days, when our president says that women’s genitalia is up for grabs by any man with power and influence, I hoped that my denomination would stand up for women, loud and clear,” author Carol Howard Merritt wrote on her blog, which she publishes on the website of the Christian Century, the flagship magazine for mainline Protestantism. “Instead we are honoring and celebrating a man who has championed toxic theology for decades.”

READ: Tim Keller to step down from Redeemer Presbyterian

Barnes had initially defended the decision to give Keller a platform, saying that even though his own views and those of the seminary diverged from Keller on those contested issues, “censorship” was antithetical to the seminary’s mission and identity; it is, Barnes wrote in a March 10 note, “a core conviction of our seminary to be a serious academic institution that will sometimes bring controversial speakers to campus because we refuse to exclude voices within the church.”

“So my hope is that we will receive Rev. Keller in a spirit of grace and academic freedom, realizing we can listen to someone with whom many, including me, strongly disagree about this critical issue of justice,” Barnes concluded.

What sort of reception Keller will receive at the lecture next month is the next question.

But one critic, the Rev. Traci Smith, a seminary alum and currently a PCUSA pastor in San Antonio, Texas, called Barnes' decision "the right move."

"Yes to academic freedom. Yes to listening to others whose opinions are different from our own (no matter how distasteful they may be)," Smith wrote on her blog, where she had initially blasted the award to Keller as "offensive."

"No to giving large fancy prizes that can be confused with endorsement. Some may not be satisfied with this response. I think it’s a great compromise."

Conservative-minded Christians, on the other hand, rose to defend Keller and criticize Princeton.

"How deeply saddening and upsetting this is," wrote Owen Strachan, director of the Center for Public Theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

"Those who promote tolerance in our time show so little of it; those who call for charitable dialogue do so little to extend it. Biblical sexual ethics is where this take-no-prisoners battle is the fiercest."


  1. If assemblies who adhere to the truth of the word are attacked, they need to stand up against the heretics attacking them.

  2. Pretty sure Abraham Kuyper could no longer “qualify” for the Abraham Kuyper award. Strange times.

  3. So sad on the part of Princeton. But hey, when you have an ethics professor that supports infanticide like Peter Singer, why give it to someone like Keller who values the dignity of human life.

  4. Dubya Oh Dubya. I mean WOW. Like these liberals are doing Keller a huge favor by allowing him to speak. Like Keller should be coming to the door, hat in hand, thankful that the cool kids let him sit at their table in the cafeteria.

    The whole affair reeks of “tolerance” and “open-mindedness.” At an ostensibly Christian seminary (actually, it hasn’t been Christian since Warfield died, but I digress), the man who takes Scripture seriously is treated as a lower form of life by those who deserted Biblical norms a century ago.

    Alexander, the Hodges, Warfield, and Machen would be appalled to see their legacy spurned in this way.

  5. Fascist Princeton. Beliefs have consequences. This is what happens when a seminary denies the inerrancy and infallibility of the word of God. It begins with them saying they only want to be intellectually honest but it results in unbelief. That’s where Princeton is and that’s where a lot of “so-called” Evangelical seminaries are headed.

  6. When Calvin himself wouldn’t be eligible for a Presbyterian award, you’ve got problems.

  7. Hi. Liberal, godless, heretical current M.Div PTS student here.

    Our conversation the last few weeks has rarely mentioned censoring him or denying him access to campus; those views never constituted the majority of students who were concerned. We’re well aware he isn’t lecturing on LGBTQ issues, women in ministry, marriage issues, or even urban ministry – which is contributing to gentrification and increased marginalization of local ministries. Yes, the prize is an endorsement of his views and methods of ministry which are fundamentally opposed to those of the seminary and ethically questionable. No, we aren’t a perfect institution and we have plenty of other problems that we – the student body – are constantly fighting the administration over.

    Anyway, we aren’t “fascist.” We aren’t intellectually dishonest. We take the Bible and the entirety of Christendom seriously. We’re making our voices heard and if you disagree, seek us out and enter into meaningful conversation.

  8. Getting bullied again everywhere by the feminists and the “non right”. Sad. Very sad.

  9. Do you believe that the Bible is fully true in all it says?

  10. President Barnes has shown a lack of moral courage and a lack of commitment to academic discourse. The new rigid orthodoxy of belief and practice at Princeton makes the fundamentalists look like weak accomodationists. How many people who have received the Kuyper Award since its establishment woud qualify for the Kuyper Award today?

  11. You take the Bible seriously? Really?

  12. There will be many surprising reversals when the Lord returns. Some will hear these terrifying words from Jesus: “I never knew you; depart from me” (Mt 7:23).

  13. The whole idea of a “theologically diverse community” is meaningless if you consider the possibility of perceived endorsement of particular positions. Either Princeton can never give this award again, since that would imply endorsement of the positions of whoever received it, or this is unadulterated hypocrisy.

  14. Ymin the problem, you see, is that, if the prize is an endorsement as you say, and Princeton really strives to be a “theologically diverse community” as they claim, then you can never present the award to anyone ever again. To do so would be to endorse a particular view and to contradict the claimed value of theological diversity. Either the award can be given to anyone worthy, including those with views outside the mainstream of Princeton, or it can be given to no one.

  15. Thanks for your comment. The problem, you see, is that we’re now being criticized for being intolerant of a man who’s views are themselves intolerant and inescapably harmful to women and LGBTQ people. Yes, this is kind of paradoxical in that we’re simultaneously preaching tolerance while being intolerant of intolerance. It’s insanely complex, but we as an institution stand firm in the belief that anyone who is called by God to do ministry should be enabled to do it. Does this help at all?

  16. Yes, really. I have studied Greek and Hebrew. I also have a degree in Biblical Studies from Azusa Pacific University – and evangelical school. I take the Bible incredibly seriously.

    If you’re going to criticize me for something, please be specific.

  17. This is a damned if you do, damned if you don’t question. There’s literally no other way to answer than a flat yes to get to to think I’m a God-fearing Christian.

    So, here’s a question. Do you believe the Bible is fully true in all it says in the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek? Seven years of studying the Bible at Azusa Pacific University and PTS have shown me that no English translation perfectly captures the original meaning and, furthermore, we don’t have original manuscripts of a single book or fully complete copies that are anywhere close to the original dates. So, which translation do we base everything on? Language changes, views change, and these things happen within Scripture because the books it contains were written centuries apart.

  18. Too bad. I also don’t agree with Keller’s (or the PCA’s) position on women’s ordination either, but that doesn’t mean he disrespects women. The irony is that by reversing their decision, they are showing the same lack of tolerance they accuse him of.

  19. So stupid. Apparently, believing the Bible is now tantamount to bigotry. Why should anyone go to PCUSA churches, much less tithe, if the clergy themselves have forsaken their own Holy Book?

  20. “In these difficult days, when our president says that women’s genitalia
    is up for grabs by any man with power and influence, I hoped that my
    denomination would stand up for women, loud and clear,” author Carol
    Howard Merritt wrote in a post at the website of the Christian Century,
    the flagship magazine for mainline Protestantism. “Instead we are
    honoring and celebrating a man who has championed toxic theology for

    Apparently Merritt has little issues with distorting the comments of others. How very Christian and noble of her. Yeah. Trump is pro-rape. That’s what he was getting at.

  21. Languages change. Orthodox views don’t need to change.

  22. Nicodemus (as seen in John 3) and countless others throughout the ages have also learned an incredible amount of Bible information. Do you believe it is all true, and therefore live so that Jesus is honored as preeminent in all things?

  23. Whose orthodox views? At point in church history? If you’re a Protestant, your argument has no ground because Catholicism was orthodox for a thousand years before the Reformation.

  24. “We as an institution stand firm in the belief that anyone who is called by God to do ministry should be enabled to do it.” You should add… “unless someone is violating Scripture in their calling, such as sexual sin.” It’s not a paradox; it’s God standard for leadership. “Be above reproach” in 1 Timothy 3 and the rest of Scripture is the measurement – not Tim Keller and not PTS.

  25. Again, here’s a complicated question. You’re assuming a certain view about Scripture. So, again, answer me this: Do you believe the Bible is fully true in all it says in the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek? Seven years of studying the Bible at Azusa Pacific University and PTS have shown me that no English translation perfectly captures the original meaning and, furthermore, we don’t have original manuscripts of a single book or fully complete copies that are anywhere close to the original dates. So, which translation do we base everything on? Language changes, views change, and these things happen within Scripture because the books it contains were written centuries apart.

  26. If you truly believe sexual orientation regardless of sexual behavior is a sin, then I certainly hope you view heterosexuality as inherently sinful. Otherwise, your argument is hypocritical.

  27. That’s a great question. Who gets to decide what is orthodox? Princeton? America? I don’t think so. That’s why sound interpretation of Scripture is so valuable and necessary.

  28. Well, the problem is that, if you take the Bible seriously, seriously enough to be authoritative, then you have to confront the NT teach on homosexual practice (Rom. 1:18-32, 1 Cor. 6:9-11) and on the role of women in home and church (1 Tim. 2: 8-14. You have to grapple with such texts and come to the conclusion that (1) they say what they appear to say but you do not accept them as authoritative, (2) they do not say what they appear to say and here is what they really mean, or (3) they say what they appear to say, and, though these teaching are largely rejected at Princeton, you, nevertheless, believe them.

  29. I said sexual sin, which implies action. You assumed orientation.

  30. Fair enough. Please define sexual sin as it pertains to ministry for the sake of clarification.

  31. But again notice how you are characterizing classic Christian positions as “intolerant and inescapably harmful.” That’s the kind of verbiage evangelicals are reacting to. Have such positions in the past been abused and misunderstood by some? Of course. But that doesn’t mean at their core they are wrong. Remember newer doesn’t equate to better and more correct. To have a conversation like you are expressing a desire for you will need to remove such extreme language as “inescapably” from your intro to that conversation!

  32. Go take a look at what Dan Wallace says about your assumptions above. We can be fairly confident in what we have today. Any issues are minor and won’t have major effects on all the passages listed above.

  33. They should give the award to a liberal pastor who’s built a network of thriving churches in America’s most secular enclaves. Like…um….you know….the Reverend….

  34. Finally – a recognition of the complexity of Scripture and interpretation. I’ll add another variable – the fact that we 21st century U.S. Christians simply aren’t 1st century Jewish, Greek, Roman, etc. Christians, let alone 7th century B.C. Hebrews.

    I disagree with your interpretation of Rom. 1. Paul’s point is about idolatry, and the homosexuality he’s referencing is temple prostitution. The Greco-Roman and Jewish worlds didn’t have the same understanding of sexual orientation as we do.

    Also, most of the ideas about men having sex with men (take note, it never says anything about two women) stem from the views that women are inherently inferior and little more than property. Marriage had nothing to do with romantic love. A wife was the property of her husband, and was required to be submissive. The idea that a man would submit to sex with another man was feminizing and THAT’S why it’s likened to sin or unnaturalness – men were supposed to be dominant in all things. Does this make sense?

  35. I take it that those who considered Tim Keller for this award did not realize that he was PCA and unfamiliar with that denomination’s policies in general, or his writings and view in particular? It seems as though the award, once offered, should be given. I understand that his view is different than the PCUSA view (and perhaps is closer to Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and other protestant denominations and traditions). I hope in the future, PTS narrows its scope only to those who 100% share exactly the same view to the very same degree in order to salvage some integrity. Keller is following through because he is a gracious man. He has every reason to decline this ‘opportunity.’ (Princeton Theological Seminary, M. Div., 1985)

  36. Absolutely, but we’re still not in the clear. Who defines sound interpretation of Scripture? What constitutes sound interpretation. What measure is used?

    Ex. Sound interpretation of Scripture in the South in the early-mid 1800s meant the affirmation of the practice of slavery since neither Jesus nor Paul explicitly condemned it.

  37. I’ll try to restrain myself now. I may be mischaracterizing your comment as definitive of your own views, but, well, here it is. This angers me more than I can say.

    Your issue is over “extreme language” – my issue is over people’s very lives. If calling something “intolerant and inescapable harmful” is extreme, what about Christians who tell LGBTQ people to their face their God hates them and they’re going to burn in hell? What about the lives of women who are in abusive relationships and can’t leave because doing so would be going against their husbands’ will? I don’t care if evangelicals are reacting against my language – I used to BE an evangelical who would have agreed with your wholeheartedly. I came out of the closet three months ago, have amazing friends who have had far worse experiences than I have, and I refuse to protect the feelings of people who have been in positions of power. Condemn me if you want, but grow some thicker skin – this discussion is not about Kuyper’s money or Keller’s award. It’s life-or-death, both physical and spiritual.

  38. Well, here’s the thing Ymin. Textual criticism allows us to establish the text of Scripture with such certainty that we can say the text we have is what the original authors, carried along by the HS in such manner that their writings are the breathed out Word of God, wrote. So if you had the original manuscript of a NT Gospel or letter and you laid it beside the Metzger text, you might find a word here or there where there is variance, yet you would have no reason to say anything other than that the text you had in hand before the original manuscript was discovered, was the Word of God. Now, of course, in one sense you are right that no English translation perfectly captures what the text in the original says. (BTW. who judges that, say the ESV, is contrary to the original text – you or me or someone else?). But I could take any English text that is a real translation into the pulpit and introduce the reading of it with “Hear the Word of God as it is found in St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians, chapter 1, beginning to read at the first verse.” Would you do that? What do you mean when you say that language changes? Do you mean we might misunderstand words in the KJV because of the changes in language? OK, there is no doubt about that. Do you mean that a word may have a different usage in koine than classical Greek? OK. Fine. All that means is that we have to pay careful attention to words in exegesis. Do views change? Yes. Do we have the same view of the way the world works that Moses or Peter had? No. OK. Then was the Bible written over many centuries by many different writers? Of course. So far, we are on the same page. But now we are back to this question: Do we or do we not have the Word of God? Did the Holy Spirit so carry along the writers that what they produced is the breathed out (recorded speech) of God? If you say no, then you don’t take the Bible seriously. If you say, “Well, in some places God speaks and other places he doesn’t.” Who decides? You? Or do you want to say that the written text is the medium that the HS uses, so that a word from Scripture can become a Word of God? So does that happen in you the preacher? Or in your people who listen? And is God saying different things through different preachers who are heard in different ways by different hearers? Does the church today have what the church has always believed she possessed – the Word of God in written form?

  39. Roman Catholicism was not orthodox theology for a 1000 yrs before the Reformation. What you mean by Catholicism is what was finally codified at Trent in reaction against the Reformation.

  40. Okay. But what I am saying is that it is going to be very difficult for you to have conversations with evangelicals if you are like this. And again, the “what about…”s are not the heart of the evangelical argument. That is what you need to grapple with, not the misapplications within the evangelical camp (which they are seeking to address themselves already).

  41. Do you want to say there are difficulties in the interpretation of Scripture? OK. Everybody who wrestles with the text knows that. So we keep working, taking the text and its authority seriously. We say, Once we know what this text says, we will not stand it judgment over it; it will stand in judgment over us. Or do you want to temporize and relativize Scripture so as to avoid some of its hard or unpopular truths?

  42. I would of course agree with you on the abuse example. I’ve never encountered christians who hold the other position, though I’m sure they’re out there.

  43. Surprised to hear his support of “complentarianism” and of not ordaining women; his writings seem much more reasonable than that…but this is a no-win situation for Princeton, they would have taken heat either way, so I suppose the compromise is the best they can do…..

  44. The God “hating” thing is a different subject. Hate is such a negative term today, but if you’re talking language and bible, get to how God of course opposes sin and sinners. That’s undeniable biblically. Is that the end of the story? No! That’s where the gospel enters in! For sure we will then have the sexuality and what is sin discussion, but the above has to be conceded by both sides.

  45. Alright, now we’re rolling. Yes, we have the written Word of God (which is different from the Living Word of God, Jesus). I can’t say either way how much the Holy Spirit directly influenced the authors or how God worked through the process of canonization. There’s too much mystery there, but I do believe something profound happened. However, this doesn’t mean that believers who never had the full canon of Scripture were necessarily missing anything – the earliest Jews had no written Scripture, but they had God and God’a covenant.

    So, to your question, “If you say, ‘Well, in some places God speaks and other places he doesn’t.’ Who decides? You?” Well, yes, me and others in constant dialogue using the best of our God-given intellect and resources. Every church in every place at every time in history has wrestled with the question of what God’s Word is and how it applies to us. No, Scripture was not directly written to us. None of us is the 1st century Corinthian church Paul addressed his epistle to. We’re reading someone else’s mail with a vastly different set of eyes.

    Back to what constitutes the Word of God. Yes, we have the Bible as determined by several councils, but even that means differences between Christian traditions. More importantly, we have Jesus. I’m not calling you out specifically, so please don’t take it that way. I can’t help but think about the Pharisees’ clashes with Christ. They had the Torah and the entire Old Testament canon. They had the Law of Moses, given directly by God, and missed the point. Christ flipped it on its head and gave grace that was never given before. Case in point – the woman caught in adultery. By all biblical mandates, she should have been stoned, as should the man who was nowhere to be found. Christ spoke against her sin, yes, but he protected her from the mob who had Scripture on their side. I would respectfully suggest that the ordination of women and full inclusion of LGBTQ people is an extension of Christ’s grace even though it goes against millenia of tradition.

  46. This is unfortunately the kind of end run some try to make around a simple question. Based on well established textual criticism principles of extant mss, biblical scholars have an extremely high level of confidence that we know what the original autographs said. Faithful translations do convey that truth (I interact in three languages daily so am aware of what that entails). Do you believe the Bible, in the original autographs, is fully true in all it says?

  47. Princeton University where Singer teaches is a completely separate institution from Princeton Theological Seminary.

  48. Ymin, no it does not make sense. One factual error, Paul does speak about women having sex with women in Rom. 1. But take the text in Romans 1 as it stands. Do that first. What do these words say? Then after you do that you can try to find some way that Paul was really thinking about temple prostitution. You will have to work very hard because that’s not what he is talking about. And now you have had to make another reach to explain that Paul did not understand marriage and had no concept of romantic love. You think Paul the rabbi ever read SofS? Did you ever read what he says about a woman’s sexual rights in 1 Cor. 7? Ever read what he says about the husband’s love of his wife in Eph 5. And here’s one for you. Did Jesus also have the same view of women and marriage? Of could it be that the Bible really does teach us male leadership in home and church? I am afraid your professors at Princeton are helping you to find ways not to have to believe that the Bible says what it says, or if it does says what it says, to have to accept it as true and authoritative. Are you planning to be a preacher? At this rate, you will never have anything to preach – no, “Thus says the Lord.” You might dig out some of the works of some of Princeton’s first class scholars of another era. Try Charles and A.A. Hodge. Try B.B; Warfield. You might be surprised – and pleasantly so – to find, “Here are some people who really take God seriously.” When Francis Schaeffer was being treated for lymphoma at Mayo, he gave some lectures. And he said that some of the doctors who came said to him. “You are the first person we have ever heard who acted like he believed Christianity.” Unless people can say that about you, you will find yourself having spent your life preaching nothing.

  49. Same goes for the Pope and ALL of Princeton Seminary’s founding fathers.
    “Diversity”? The Emperor has no clothes.

  50. Ymin, have you ever noted how Christ argued the use and interpretation of Scripture with the Pharisees? With the devil himself in the wilderness? Have you ever noted how he handled the law in the Sermon on the Mount? Who is this Jesus you say you have access to?

  51. Let me jump in and answer this question you ask: “So, again, answer me this: Do you believe the Bible is fully true in all it says in the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek?” Yes.

  52. Hi Ymin.
    PCA alumnus of Princeton Seminary here.

    1) “fundamentally opposed to those of the seminary”? So you’d throw out all of the founding fathers of PTS? They all agreed with Keller here… as did Abraham Kuyper – who by PTS’ logic is now unqualified to receive an award for which he is named?

    2) Yes, this is “intellectually dishonest.” Just consider the outrage if the roles here were reversed – and a pro-LGBT ordination speaker lost the award because of the debate *within* the PCUSA.

    3) Enter into a meaningful conversation? Recognize that the VAST majority of Christians on the planet disagree with you on the issue of women’s ordination. Would you give the same treatment to Pope Francis? Again, the objection here is utterly disingenuous. Only certain kinds of “diversity” are celebrated at Princeton, and ironically the classically orthodox positions of the Church are not included in that “diversity”.

  53. “Do you believe the Bible is fully true in all it says in the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek?” Yes, definitely.

  54. Absolutely every single tiny detail? No, and I doubt anyone truly does. Here’s a question, did Jesus heal the bind man by Jericho when he was coming to (Mark 10) or going from the city (Luke 18)? Only one of those can be fully true, but they’re both Gospel truth. The piece I believe in is that Jesus healed someone.

    Your question isn’t simple, it’s a trick. It oversimplifies the Bible. If you want to write me off now because I won’t agree to this oversimplification, then that’s your prerogative.

  55. Ymin, this discussion is a red herring.

    Robert Gagnon, a professor at “the other PTS” (Pittsburg, also a PCUSA sem) has written volumes here AGAINST LGBT ordination. Is he, a PCUSA seminary professor, thus also unqualified to receive the award? Of course not.

    No. The logic espoused here is indefensible for rescinding this award. This is an embarrassment to PTS.

  56. Let’s say you have got the woman caught in adultery story right which includes (1) that pericope was originally part of the text of John, (2) that the law had no option for dealing with adulterers save stoning, and (3) that people were being stoned for adultery in Jesus day. But you are left with this: Jesus said to the woman, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.” Not, “Go and sin some more,” but, “Go and sin no more.” So let’s extend Christ’s grace to those who engage in homosexual acts. What does Jesus then say to those who would be about to be stoned? “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.” He does not say, “Your sexual desires and temptations define you.Go and act on them.” No, “Go and sin no more.” Easy? No. But Jesus taught a lot of stuff that is not easy.

  57. I think you’re now guilty of adding to Scripture. Jesus never addressed anyone who was caught in a homosexual act. Don’t presume to understand Christ’s grace if you’re not willing to give it yourself.

  58. Why yes, I have noticed this. The Jesus I believe in came to set the captives free, or so the Bible says. I’m free now from the tradition that said I had no option but go to hell for my views.

  59. In some ways I used to think like you, Ymin. No, it’s not a trick at all. What the question does is bring into focus the question of the character of Scripture’s ultimate Author: Is the Lord himself, revealed in Scripture, fully truthful or not? Since we know with a very high level of certainty what the autographa said, the issue becomes whether or not the Lord who breathed them out is fully truthful himself.

  60. This is why the PCUSA is dying. Exhibit A, Ymin. This sort of logic – which was already pervasive at PTS when I was there – is killing the PCUSA.

    “Orthodoxy? What orthodoxy?” What Gospel? What hope for a dying world? What resurrection?

    When you actually get out the seminary, you’ll find that line of thinking utterly useless for leading people to the God you claim to worship.

  61. Remember, “mainline” doesn’t mean “mainline” anymore.

  62. Why not every single tiny detail? By whose authority do you decide which parts are true and which are not? Do you demand that you understand something fully before you affirm it as true?

  63. I guess the pastor of Redeemer Pres is on Princeton’s list of “irredeemables”.
    If these are the criteria (LGBT ordination and unbiblical egalitarianism) for their oh-so-coveted Kuyper award, then they couldn’t even give it to Abraham Kuyper himself!
    Blind leaders of the blind.

  64. Your institution should stand firmly behind anyone called by God to do Godly ministry. As ambassadors we must represent our Kingdom and promote the values of the King who called people to do his work. Whose flag is your “embassy” flying? The Rev. should get the award.

  65. I find this fascinating. Such a statement can be made and yet, there seems to be no conflict in the thinking on this.

    ” the Rev. Craig Barnes, said he remains committed to academic freedom and “the critical inquiry and theological diversity of our community.” But he said that giving Keller the annual Kuyper Prize for Excellence in Reformed Theology and Public Witness – named after a famous Dutch neo-Calvinist theologian – might “imply an endorsement” of Keller’s views against the ordination of women and LGBTQ people.”

    This is an ‘Escape From Reason’ 🙂 Critical Inquiry as long as you agree with us? Why don’t you just say “here is the conclusion” ahead of time and save time doing inquiry? I saw the same thing when I lived in Russia. The conclusion was developed ahead of time. Any inquiry was a waste of time.
    Of course it appears we no longer speak the same language. Diversity really means conformity. Intellectual, hardly. J Gresham is probably rolling his eyes on this saying ” I told you so…”

  66. When Tim Keller speaks about church planting at Princeton I’m thinking he will be aware of the types of churches that will be planted and the seminary that will produce the people who lead them. Hopefully new church plants, any and all new church plants, will use their beliefs to meet spiritual needs in the communities they are planted in. If a prize or an endorsement is going to stand in the way of the growth of the body, remove the obstacle. Thank you Princeton, thank you Keller.

  67. “It’s life-or-death, both physical and spiritual.” From your questions, it’s clear that either you don’t know much about Keller and his ministry (and are simply assuming and characterizing his position) or you do know and are lying so as to justify and promote your own position. Either way, the irony of your concern for the spiritual dead is saddening. I’m not sure you understand the tragedy of your own self-deception; you seem to think God is just like you, that because you feel a certain way about one thing or another, God must, likewise, feel that way (see Psalm 50, esp. 50:21-23). I do not mean to say emotions are unimportant; emotions were included in God’s very good creation (if you still believe in such “myths” (see C.S. Lewis on myth)). However, from the way you express your story, there are hints of one who’s experience didn’t match his perceptions of the world; thus, he threw away the world rather than question his perceptions.

    Here, let me show you what I mean: In what way is Keller in a position of power? He’s part of the PCA; the PCUSA is, depending on how you count membership, 4-7 times a larger body of people. He’s a conservative Christian who holds a complementarian viewpoint: this is by far the minority view, especially if you make traditionalism it’s own category. (Tim and his wife Kathy have plenty of talks about their views on marriage on numerous websites; you’ll see how unjust your words really are if you actually take the time to listen to Keller rather than assume his position.) He’s a professing evangelical. As a percentage of the population, he’s part of a group that is slowly sliding towards minority. Your assessment doesn’t jive with reality, which ought give you pause to consider the other assessments you have made in your comments and life and see how in line those are with reality, if at all.

  68. Actually, you’re textbook intellectually dishonest and yes, “fascist”. Your post reveals you to also be both self-absorbed and strangely non-self-aware at the same time. As for taking the Bible seriously – lets not even go there.

  69. The need for salvation at all is “intolerant”. Why even have Christianity if everything is allowed and nothing is taboo? And that yucky “sin” concept, lets do away with that. And Hell needs to go. God must be incredibly intolerant, lets just do away with Him. Ooops, Her, It, whatever you call God today.

  70. Oh grow up for goodness sake! Everything is not about your feelings. You’re obviously a social justice warrior, not a Christian. Do you students even ever actually talk about the Bible or salvation or anything?

  71. Are you even trying to make sense? I fear for the future when “intellects” like yours are in our institutions of higher learning.

  72. I guess my main question is, why are these seminaries and students even still playing at being Christian? You don’t believe hardly any of the actual doctrines of Christianity. Just go do something else or make up your own religion. Why do you have to pervert ours?

  73. Yeah, because as good Christians it is our duty to judge others, given our moral lock on right and wrong (even though our belief upon which we base these pronouncements has never been proven). Tolerance be damned. How Christ-like of you.

  74. Think through the why of God denouncing homosexuality for a moment. Guess what that community is full of? Men who are tragically overwhelmed by many STDs and unfortunately will more than likely die from AIDS. A young man entering that world will be fighting for his life. But no one wants to point out the obvious realities of living that kind of lifestyle.

    Interestingly enough, the church has always condemned homosexual behavior. Over 2000 years of it but for some inexplicable reason, God has suddenly changed his mind on this issue? That makes sense. ?‍♂️ And the vast majority of Christians today still condemn it and call it sin. But go ahead, be enlightened and fight for something the church never has. Deplorable.

  75. The problem with your particular text is that Jesus actually followed the law in this scenario and extended grace at the same time. The adulterous women’s accusers left after Jesus scribbled in the ground. So by law she did not have to be stoned because there was no one there to accuse her.

  76. I don’t care if someone wants to call kellers theology toxic. His theology is correct, Therefore adherent to the Word of God. This, by definition makes it NOT toxic. Those who oppose him, are false teachers of a flawed liberal idealogy, that twists the Word of God to fit their paradigm, rather then changing their heart to God’s paradigm.

  77. It is our duty to challenge the words spoken by preachers using the Word of God, and denounce the teachings of those that do not adhere to it. The expectancy of the lgbtq lifestyle is not in accordance with God’s teachings.

  78. You have another problem here. Historical and contextually. American Slavery was way different from slavery mentioned in the bible in terms of how masters were supposed to treat their slaves. Usually the rules for sound interpretation of the Bible are the same for any other document. The Bible still follows basic rules of language, grammar, and historical context. A lesson in hermeneutics defines whether or not an interpretation is sound

  79. It is like people claim that when Jesus addressed the issue of divorce, he was actually addressing the issue of gay marriage, and that gay marriage was really THE most important aspect of this. And also, it must be stated that a woman was only committing adultery IF she was betrothed to a man. If she had sex with a man, but she was not betrothed or married to any other man, there would not have been any penalty on her. If you read Deuteronomy 22, you can see the difference in the penalty between the betrothed and non betrothed woman. A man was committing adultery if he had sex with a woman who was betrothed or married to another man. It wouldn’t be adultery if the woman was not betrothed or married.

  80. Romans 1 does not necessarily speak about women with women. It just states that the women had unnatural relations. It doesn’t explicitly say they had unnatural relations with other women. I think it could very well mean that the women didn’t live in submission to men and tried to live independently from men. The men had unnatural relations with men, which was unnatural because they were submitting to another man. “Unnatural” does not necessarily mean it is condemned. A man having long hair was considered to be unnatural as well in 1 Corinthians 11:14, but it doesn’t necessarily condemn this as much as in Romans 1:27 which also uses the Greek word for nature or φυσις (physis). What makes it more condemned in Romans 1 is that it was connected with temple prostitution or idol worship in general. Even heterosexual marriages were highly condemned in that idolatrous context. (1 Kings 16:31- Ahab’s heterosexual marriage to the idolatrous Jezebel).

  81. I am against Keller giving the lecture. A respectable, successful, irenic pastor such as himself should not by his appearance lend legitimacy to an outpost of a shrinking, dying, radical, fringe religious group.

  82. Seems like a reasonable compromise after having made a God Awful mistake!! Anyone who promotes exclusion of women or LGBT is a pathetic, outdated fool who is missing out on some very insightful views of the world and religion. When my wife and I were to get married, we specifically sought out a female pastor and a small church, preferably Presbyterian USA. This was 1984. we found one. We loved the church and the pastor so much that we joined it. She gave the best sermons that I have ever heard. They were relevant to the real world and they hit the spot. Similarly, when we began attending a non-denominational church in WV, one of the rotating pastors was a woman retired from the military. It was never discussed, but it was pretty apparent that she was of a different “orientation” than most in the church. She, too, gave wonderful, to the point sermons. I do not know Keller, I do not want to know Keller. I was “shared” this article by a someone who had been close to Keller many years ago. She and her husband were/are? friends of his and spoke well of him — except for his beliefs regarding ordination. So, fine, recognize him for his good thoughts, do not reward him or set him on high because of his hurtful and harmful thoughts.

  83. “anyone who is called by God to do ministry should be enabled to do it”

    So you agree with Tim Keller then. He’d say the same, remember. It may be self-comforting to think that this is where the disagreement lies, but you ought to realise that’s not the case. The difference is over what you and Dr Keller think Scripture says about sex, and about ministry.

    Making it sound like the bad guy on the other side would say that a person who is called to ministry should be barred from ministry is not reasonable.

  84. So a theologian who shares Kuyper’s view on ordination and LGBT ordination may not receive the Kuyper award? Interesting. The PCUSA’s “Big Tent” is collapsing. Princeton may be next.

  85. I’m glad you feel your Christianity can be separated from social justice. The cross you bear must be made out of cotton and empty words. The Jesus I know came to set the captives free – maybe you’ll meet him some day.

  86. I will be difficult to have conversations with Evangelicals anyway because I’m openly bisexual and entering ministry. I’m automatically suspect and worthy of derision. I’ve been called a snowflake for, what, a year since that phrase got started? I’ve never seen people so upset by Starbucks cups or “keep the Christ in Christmas” crap than Evangelicals who, again, I used to be one of. I firmly believe in being civil in conversation, but I don’t shy away from difficult topics just because people’s feelings are fragile. There are certainly tactful ways of discussing these things.

  87. I am familiar with Keller’s theology and how it plays out on the ground. I worked with a bunch of PCA folks for a few years, and they’re wonderful people. However, from comments that made about LGBTQ people who came to our ministry, it’s clear that they would never be fully accepted or allowed to do ministry. Keller would tell me I couldn’t do ministry if I told him I’m openly bisexual. Still firmly committed to monogamy and celibacy until marriage, by the way, but I would never be allowed to marry or exist as a complete person if I followed him.

  88. Wait, “men were supposed to be dominant”? So, you AGREE with Keller?

  89. I never said anything about getting rid of sin, hell, or salvation. Those are all incredibly important things. All I’m saying is that some ways of thinking about them do far more damage than good i.e. If you tell someone who’s gay that you “love the sinner but hate the sin,” you’re construing that their identity is inherently worse than someone who’s straight.

  90. Our institution is taking care of the poor, the refugee, the prisoner, the widow, and the orphan. I have friends who are involved of all these things, as am I. These things were all commanded directly by Christ. Soooooo… Yeah, I guess we really are ungodly.

  91. Ymin…l think you need to read your Bible with it open…God hates sin but loves the sinner and as his people we are to think and do the same. It’s really pretty clear. How can any society or institution improve God’s perfect word? Living it…yes…always striving to do better. Supporting ideas totally contrary to God’s unchanging word is not the way.

  92. It seems to me if we are going to hold to the notion that the only way to be theologically pure is to live EXACTLY as the bible describes holy living, then we need to be living as ancient Palestinians. Those who are condemning PTS and YMIN as heretical might want to look at every way in which they decide something or live it out as adhering to “what the bible says.” This is an old conversation. Perhaps there are things that Keller says which are faithful and life enhancing.and good theology. And perhaps there are some things which are not. Speaking against women and lgbtq people being ordained excludes an awful lot of people from following a call that many others recognize as bring vslid.

  93. You should be afraid. You and your churches will be gone because they think they can rule faith like an empire.

  94. Nooooooo. I’m saying this was true of the cultures/people groups in biblical times, and this is the problem. There’s nothing that says we have to do things just like them.

  95. Susan – I think you need to learn to listen to other people and not be condescending. Thanks.

  96. This business about Paul being fine with homosexual practice as long as it was not involved with temple prostitution is nothing but an attempt to come up with a way to say you honor the Bible’s authority and to find a way to give cover to homosexual practice. And to say that natural has to do with dominance and not what sexual practice is according to nature and what is not is an argument that both says the Bible is wrong (for teaching male headship) but would be fine with a man having sex with a man so long as he assumes the dominant role. All this is noel, strained, contrary to any fair reading of the words themselves, and contrary to the all but universal teaching of Christianity not only historically but presently around the globe. It would be so much more honest to say, I believe male headship of home and church is in the Bible but the Bible is wrong, and I believe the Bible condemns homosexual practice, but the Bible is wrong. That’s what you are really saying. You are not looking to determine what the Bible says so you can submit to it. You are looking for a plausible way to argue that there is some way to understand the Bible that does not involve its condemnation of homosexual practice. And that is implausible.

  97. Ymin it impossible to keep saying you take the Bible seriously when you keep saying that the cultures of Biblical times thought this or that way about truth and morality, but we know better than that now.

  98. You introduced the case of the woman caught in adultery as in some way analogous to persons who engage in homosexual practice. I followed you on the nature of your argument. Yes, Jesus thought homosexual practice evil. Yes he would extend grace to those caught in homosexual acts. And, yes, he would tell them not to continue in the sin.

  99. Well, shoot. I forgot that U.S. Christianity is the epitome of perfection in the Kingdom of God. Wait…. U.S. Christianity has affirmed slavery and every war we’ve ever been in.

  100. You’re free because you now know Jesus was mistaken in the way he handled Scripture.

  101. You need to re-read Dt. 22:25-29. Adultery is not the only kind of sexual sin. There is also rape. There is also fornication. Re the woman who is not betrothed, she is no longer marriageable to anyone but the man who had sex with her. She is humbled by the act. The man therefore can can divorce her. There’s guilt and consequences.

  102. I’m sorry. Where exactly did Jesus directly address homosexuality? Orientations are not sinful.

  103. Hahahahahaha!!!! I’ve been dying for some humor in this all day. I’m not saying Jesus was mistaken in his handling of Scripture – I’m saying U.S. Evangelicalism is mistaken.

  104. Name anyone who says such things? First hand knowledge Ymin. No heresay.

  105. I’ve witnessed it in real life, both in private conversations with people and in churches. This is first-hand knowledge. Also, look up anything taught on the subject by the Moral Majority people like Franklin Graham and Jerry Falwell.

  106. How are his views intolerant unless you condemn the author of Scripture as intolerant? Oh, I’m sorry. You do.

  107. Sorry, Ymin, but a strawman won’t do. Name the Christians who tell LGBTQ people to their face that God hates them as though they are everywhere. Go ahead. Name them. Please, we’ll wait.

  108. Alright. Preaching from a platform like Falwell and Graham isn’t face-to-face. I;ll concede that, but they’re still part of the problem. How about groups like Westboro Baptist?

  109. So the Great commission is not an imperative?

  110. So homosexuality causes disease, and not promiscuity. I wonder if it causes all of the illegitimate babies, as well.

  111. No, meaning he is as he was made, and will live his life authentically.

  112. The context is clearly idolatry, and just clearly, god punishing people for it by making their sexual natures contrary to what they clearly were. Any gay person can tell you exactly how unpleasant it is to have to pretend to be interested in the opposite sex.
    I can assure you of this. I could in theory have sex with same woman or a different woman every day for the rest of my life, and that would not make me any more heterosexual than I am right now, which is, not at all.

  113. No. Be a true scholar, respect a difference of opinion and challenge in respectful debate.

  114. Bless me gary0033, for I have sinned. My last confession was never and these are my sins. I high-fived a straight friend of mine about loving a song from Rent, the broadway show about AIDS, finding love, and resisting screwed-up patriarchal American values. I affirmed others in their gender and sexual identity, do ministry with them, and own rainbow flags. I accepted that years of denial, fervent prayer, and seeking advice from my pastors, friends, and professors did nothing to make me straight.

    What’s my penance?

  115. Thank you for your kind words. They’re literally the first I’ve received all day.

  116. This “difference of opinion” has gotten LGBTQ people killed in the U.S., and anti-LGBTQ hate crimes have increased since Trump got elected. I don’t trust his supporters with my life, so basically half of the country is suspect.

  117. You do know Westboro Baptist is not a functioning church, is simply a tool to make the ‘ pastor ‘ and his family wealthy through lawsuits, and is in no way representative of any religious organization, right? Or do you just assume they represent a church?

  118. The PCA is very anti-gay, and calls for gay people to be denied their legal rights, and treated as second-class citizens and church members. Would Princeton invite a segregationist minister, and ask their black students to listen to what they have to say on grounds that even segregationists have something good to say? So why are they asking their LGBT students to listen to someone who doesn’t even recognize their fundamental rights or equality?

  119. So here’s the problem you have. When we talk about what Jesus said he affirmed human relationships (marriage as the blueprint if you like) as God ordained it in Genesis 1 & 2. God has set it up for men & women to complement one another and to be joined as one flesh. The rest of the Scriptures show how the marriage relationship between one man and one woman is a beautiful image of the relationship between Jesus and His bride the church. Anything else is clutching at straws. We either submit to God’s teaching or we try to play god ourselves and say he got it wrong in order to suit our selfish sinful desires, which is essentially what you’re doing.

  120. I will stand against anyone who uses their theology to oppress any group of people. I can assure you, anyone coming here espousing this kind of hatred would be opposed.

  121. Good for you. So, in Mark 10 and Luke 18, was Jesus going TO Jericho, or FROM Jericho?

  122. So, the endless stories in the OT about polygamy (culturally acceptable), buying women as unwilling brides or stealing them after battle, married men having concubines and mistresses, and godly men killing other godly men for their wives are all a “beautiful image of the relationship between Jesus and His bride the church?” Really?

  123. Thanks for your question. They’re all byproducts of the broken sinful world we live in and examples of what happens when people who were themselves sinful tried to do things outside of the good and perfect boundaries God set down. Indeed many of those things didn’t go unpunished and certainly ended up badly for those involved. It doesn’t make the standard or the model any less beautiful.
    Look for what its worth, can I say that the church has acted pretty poorly over the years towards the gay community and there needs to be forgiveness sought for that. But I don’t think we do ourselves any favours by tying ourselves in knots trying to explain away God’s clear, good and true blueprint for human relationships

  124. Ymin, can you point to a passage of scripture where homosexuality in any form is presented in a positive light (i.e. acceptable to God)?

  125. You’re literally the only person here who has offered any sort of admission that churches have been terrible to the LGBTQ community, so I commend you for that. Please keep that up. I understand your point – truly. I defended it for so much of my life. But when I started to meet a bunch of LGBTQ Christians and saw how amazing their faith is, I was forced to reconsider my view. I’m not trying to tear down marriage as an institution and I’m not saying the model isn’t beautiful. I’m just trying to get people to understand that if the most important piece of if is a lovingkindness covenant built on mutual love, respect, and consent, then it simply shouldn’t matter who the two people are.

  126. How do you know that women are called to “do ministry”?

  127. But there is a huge difference in the penalty whether or not she is betrothed. If she is betrothed, she could be subject to the death penalty even if she was raped, but could have called out for help. If she is not betrothed, then, but seized, no penalty for her at all, and the man is also not subject to the death penalty, but required to marry her, but she could refuse him. In Exodus 22:15-16, a non betrothed woman is not punished at all for merely being seduced, but the man is required to marry her, but again, she could refuse.

  128. A Christian is by definition a social justice warrior

  129. If you believe God hates sin, then you need to be looking in the mirror at it, not out the window,

  130. Welp, I’ve sat down and listened to my female colleagues stories for one. I’ve worked with as many if not more women in formal church and parachurch settings. Arguably my best ministry professors in undergrad and grad school are women. I served under a female pastor last summer (her wife is also an incredible ministry worker).

    Also, the first preachers of the Resurrected Christ were the women who went to the tomb expecting death but found life. They’re the ones who told the Apostles, and they were rejected. I don’t think it was an accident or just cultural norms that had the women there that morning.

    I guess I could keep going but, as you can see, I’ve been at this literally all day in between working at my church (which is co-pastored equally by a wife and husband) and getting actual school stuff done.

  131. You have no idea what the authors of the scripture believed. Hell, they believed the sun revolved around the earth.

  132. “homosexuality causes disease, and not promiscuity”

    This is, actually, mostly correct. In terms of HIV transmission risk, for example, you’re much safer being a highly promiscuous straight person than a fairly monogamous gay male (assuming no condom use in either case).

    Ymin: I’m not an orthodox Christian, and I don’t quite know what I think about the morality of homosexuality, but it’s worth pointing out that while you can certainly be a Christian and be pro-gay, you can’t be an *orthodox* Christian. Orthodoxy is defined by the church of the first seven councils, and the church fathers within that broad tradition generally held that what Paul was condemning in his epistles was *certain specific sex acts*, not ‘temple prostitution’ or anything like it.

  133. If you take it seriously you can’t take it literally.

  134. Homosexuality is not a “practice” and the labeling of it as such is revelation of the writer’s ignorance.

  135. 3] And there came to him the Pharisees tempting him, and saying: Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? [4] Who answering, said to them: Have ye not read, that he who made man from the beginning, Made them male and female? And he said: [5] For THIS cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh.

    [6] Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. [7]

    THIS (Singular Proximal Demonstrative)

    Could someone from the Princeton Theological Seminary please provide evidence from Sacred Tradition and/or Sacred Scripture to support your claim that God created us male and female and ordered us to live in Loving relationship according to sexual desire/inclination/orientation, which sexually objectifies the human person, and denies our inherent Dignity as beloved sons and daughters, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, fathers, mothers…as well as evidence from Sacred Tradition and/or Sacred Scripture to support your claim that we are called to celebrate sex outside of marriage?

  136. “I disagree with your interpretation of Rom. 1. Paul’s point is about idolatry, and the homosexuality he’s referencing is temple prostitution”

    Where is the evidence for this?

    I don’t think Paul was condemning homosexual orientation, per se. I think he was condemning anal sex which happens in heterosexual contexts too. My cite is St. John the Faster, who was at one point Patriarch of Constantinople.

    In any event, I’m a heterodox Christian and I think Paul was wrong about more than a few things, including possibly homosexuality. I think being honest about the fact that you reject much of orthodox Christianity is a much better way to argue in favour of homosexuality than arguments about “what Paul really meant”.

  137. To be mistaken implies a lack of malice. The right-wing’s hatred against LGBT folks is informed by malice.

  138. Orthodoxy is just a word meaning “we demand political correctness waah waah waah!”

  139. Hey! Quick question, how familiar are you with Abraham Kuyper? The guy that the award is named after. (Btw, if that’s not an endorsement, Idk what is.) Also how familiar are you with the founder of your seminary? I’m legitimately curious.

  140. Ymin speaks the truth to power and he is a prime example of a plucky, sensitive soul who is needed in the PCUSA. Your personal attacks on this brother are vicious and for them you should be sorely ashamed.

  141. What a load of bull that is. All forms of slavery are evil, all times.

  142. So was King David, and he still got called a man after God’s own heart…something I’d personally definitely prefer to an award like this.

  143. Give it a rest. Princeton made a mistake and then fixed it.

  144. He’s not wrong. You don’t have to be perfect to say what the Bible says.

  145. The difference between the Amish and Evangelicals of the 21st Century is that the Amish actually deserve some respect for their very visible efforts to remain frozen in time. However, even the Amish accept as “biblical” some advances in culture and technology that are not archaeologically supportable in the Bible. Evangelicals far much less so than the Amish. The same people who denounce Equal Marriage as “unbiblical” and an assault on “traditional marriage” fail to acknowledge that our modern sense of heterosexual marriage is only as old as the colonization of the New World by European powers. Before widespread colonization of the Americas by Europeans, “traditional” marriage meant “pre-arranged” marriage, family to family, never just between the couple to be married. But leaving extended family behind meant starting newer, more personal unions in the new world, a new “tradition” of marriage. Personal choice became a fundamental right of getting married in the Americas, a new tradition that was to spread backwards across the oceans to the Old World. Any Christian who chooses his or her own spouse anywhere on Earth is entering into an “unbiblical” marriage, because personal choice was not the tradition. Arranged marriage and bartered marriage were the traditions. It is only fitting to listen to Christian “dinosaurs” extol their selective sense of tradition when we see them as fading relics of the past clinging to scraps from the past by their own myopic glimpses backwards, and we should be mindful that looking backwards as they do got Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt.

  146. If you feel something is “yours” and it can be “perverted” by others, that just shows the weakness of your convictions.

  147. That is our duty as Christians. It’s explicitly spelled out in 1st Corinthians. It’s an excellent letter. I strongly recommend reading it in its entirety.

  148. The Mainline churches attract folks who are not going to be told what to think. Granted, more people who get into religion want it spoonfed to them, but, your fundamentalists are in freefall as well.

  149. Besides, we’re explicitly told to judge other Christians in Scripture, even those that call themselves Christians.

  150. Actually the term “Mainline Churches” referred to the “Mainline Suburbs” or Philadelphia where upper- and upper-middle class families who were primarily Episcopal, Methodist, UCC, Presbyterian, etc. lived, like Katherine Hepburn’s family.

  151. Christ said “If thine eye causes thee to sin, pluck it out!” Well, have you? If not it is you denying the infallibility of the word of God.

  152. Past and present homophobia is not an effective shield. God does not excuse ignorance once we know better. Humans know so much more about sexual orientation, just like we know more about lots of other things. Our ethics and morals have to move forward with the new knowledge. Pretending to be frozen in time because “God is unchanging” is nonsense and self-delusional. The whole claim of Protestantism to legitimacy is the notion that the Body of Christ can also be the Presbytery of Christ, the Holy See, to receive the new word and will of Christ en masse. Such a notion came about precisely because of papal efforts to stay frozen in time when modern science and technology were in their infancy. So, either the Body of Christ can move forward to embrace LGBT Christians, marriage and clergy, or they should all repent and be rebaptized Catholic. One or the other. This is not one of those a la carte decisions. It goes to the very essence of modern Protestantism.

  153. Um, you do realize that broadly speaking, “liberal” churches are losing people a lot faster than “conservative” ones, right?

    Among people raised in the Episcopal and Congregational churches about 20% no longer identify as Christians as adults, which is the worst broad-sense retention rate of any churches. (For Christian churches as a whole it’s 14%).

  154. “I’m just trying to get people to understand that if the most important piece of if is a lovingkindness covenant built on mutual love, respect, and consent, then it simply shouldn’t matter who the two people are.”

    This is correct, but *since when* is the essence of marriage a “lovingkindness covenant built on mutual love, respect and consent”? This is a really unusual and distinctly *modern* perspective on marriage.

  155. That’s what I was referring to. They’ve all gone apostate.

  156. If any man say, I love God, and hateth his brother; he is a liar. For he that loveth not his brother, whom he seeth, how can he love God, whom he seeth not?


    Weren’t there any previous winners of The Abraham Kuyper Prize for Excellence in Reformed Theology and Public Life – whose “denomination”, like Timothy Keller’s own, the Presbyterian Church in America, “prevents women and LGBTQ+ persons from full participation in the ordained Ministry of Word and Sacrament” (as Princeton Theological Seminary’s President M. Craig Barnes’ letter of March 2017 states)? If so, shouldn’t the Abraham Kuyper Center for Public Theology of Princeton Theological Seminary now also take the Prize back from them? What about:

    (2016) Dr. Elaine Storkey?

    (2015) Congressman John R. Lewis?

    (2014) Dr Nicholas Wolterstorff?

    (2013) Dr. Russel Botman?

    (2012) Dr. Ian Buruma?

    (2011) Marilynn Robinson?

    (2010) Lord Jonathan Sacks?

    (2009) Alvin Plantinga?

    (2008) Oliver O’Donovan?

    (2007) Richard J. Mouw?

    (2006) Robert A. Seiple?

    (2005) Charles Villa-Vincencio?

    (2004) Jan Peter Balkenende?

    (2003) Andrew Young?

    (2001) James Skillen?

    (2000) Eka Darmaputera?

    (1999) John Witte?

    (1998) George Puchinger?

    Oh, and what about Abraham Kuyper himself up to the time he died on November 8, 1920? Wasn’t his “denomination prevent(ing) women and LGBTQ+ persons from full participation in the ordained Ministry of Word and Sacrament”? If so, shouldn’t his name be taken out of these names from now on – (1) Abraham Kuyper Center for Public Theology and (2) The Abraham Kuyper Prize for Excellence in Reformed Theology and Public Life?


  158. Moral cowardice…Period. Nothing more need be said, except this; if the outcry had not occurred and things had moved swimmingly, would those who initially determined that Rev. Keller deserved the award, suddenly on their own initiative, slap their foreheads and declare, “Now I get it. Why didn’t I see it before?” Not a chance. Cowards…Cowards…Cowards.

  159. I’ve often wondered, “Master of Divinity, what does that mean?” I’ve found it to be a politically correct catchall term for people who desire to be thought of as theologically expert while essentially remaining uncommitted to the essential truth that the bible is unique, not subject to modern revisionism, and the only clear path to discovering the way of salvation.

  160. It is rather amazing to watch Christians consume their own like this. Most gay folks don’t care about religion and don’t seek acceptance from religious fanatics so this meaningless gesture will have no positive effect on church membership.

  161. It is quite strange that certain people believe that certain groups are so mistreated. The truth is, the most mistreated people’s group in the world (for two years in a row) are Christians. 90,000 Christians were murdered last year because they stood with Christ.

  162. Jesus changed his mind about healing the Canaanite woman’s daughter.

  163. Who cares about the praise of men at a liberal seminary.

  164. The active role could be considered to be degrading or feminizing another man. Perhaps we can look at something as “unnatural” or Para physis as being a venial sin and being combined with idol worship as being a mortal sin. And clearly heterosexual marriages in the Bible can become idolatrous.

  165. “Most gay folks don’t care about religion and don’t seek acceptance from religious fanatics” You could have fooled me. Most religion forums, including this one, are full of them arguing about why they should be accepted.

  166. If Paul could give a sermon on the steps of a pagan temple, which he did, I think a lecture at a liberal seminary would be quite in order.

  167. Princeton is shocked – SHOCKED! – that a Christian pastor believes the Bible.

  168. It is important to note that in looking backwards, Lot’s wife denied Salvational Love, God’s Gift of Grace and Mercy.

    To deny the Sanctity of the marital act, is to deny that God, The Ordered Communion of Perfect Love Is The Author of Love, of Life, and of Marriage, and thus deny Salvational Love, God’s Gift of Grace and Mercy.

    It is not Loving or Merciful to desire that we or our beloved remain in our sin. If it were true that it was Loving and Merciful that we remain in our sin, we would not need Our Savior, Jesus The Christ.

    Do not let your heart be hardened like a pillar of salt; orient yourself to The Word of God and believe in the essence of Salvational Love.

  169. Love Tim Keller!!! His reward is in Heaven not Princeton. ?

  170. Princeton has BECOME a mistake. Not sure if fixing it is still possible.

  171. He who “loveth his brother”, is he who desires that from the moment of conception, when we are created and brought into being, existing in both Time and Space, in The Image and Likeness of God, equal in Dignity, while being complementary as a beloved son or daughter, that our beloved be treated with Dignity and respect in private and in public.Those who are not called to be ordained, are still able to participate in the ministry of The Word and The Sacraments if they do not deny The Christ, by denying The Deposit of Faith. He who “loveth his brother”, desires Salvation for his brother.

    Christ Has Revealed through His Life, through His Passion, through His Death On The Cross, that no Greater Love is there than this, to desire Salvation for one’s beloved.

  172. Even the word “seminary” is highly questionable in this case.

  173. Ben is unrepentant too. Probably just an ordinary guy, for the most part, other than that. Him and I have our little debates.

    But if Ben can be ordained at Princeton as a gay activist, there’s simply no rational reason why Keller can’t receive an award that he was ALREADY INVITED to come and receive, knowing full well in advance what Keller’s theological positions happened to be.

    I have no unkind words for you (well, Ben might disagree). But Princeton is trash on steroids. Bisexual or not, please get outta there and find yourself a school with some minimal integrity.

  174. Thanks for the hallelujah homophobe homily. It’s truly well word-crafted art but also nonsense that uses pretty language and cleverly interposed phrasing to convey garbage. Thanks but no thanks. The way in which you conflate Old and New Testament ideas to make your theological salad of horse manure is amazing. I will simply pass on it without fear of losing God’s love, mercy or sanctification. Take your horse-and-buggy ethics and go in peace.

  175. Calvinism is not Christianity. Modernism is not Christianity. Curses on both.

  176. Best decision made in a long time … Keller’s entitled to think as he will, but his views are contrary to the life and work of the PCUSA, which is why he’s PCA. And that’s a good place for him.

  177. Not strange, but good … clearing out the closets, getting rid of the no-longer-used jacket and boots … I wouldn’t want to live in Kuyper’s world today. Maybe you would, and that’s okay. That’s why we have the PCA and EPC and ECO.

  178. I wouldn’t want to live in the world of any of these “men.” They were what they were then, and that’s ok. We can honor them as our ancestors (honor thy father and thy mother – well, not too many mothers in this list), but no sense in trying to revive their world, or honor their misogyny, racism or even “Providence Over Passion” … erudite theology, for sure, but a theology without a heart, and not too mindful either – more ideology than faith. So it was. Bye bye to all of them … good to read, but not to live their world view. Princeton’s decision to not honor Keller is a good one.

  179. Couldn’t be happier to see Princeton “spurn the legacy of Hodges, Warfield and Machen” – misogynists, racists, arrogant, judgmental, and worse. We can read them profitably for insights into what went wrong in the faith, and what needs to be challenged and changed. Others will take us to task as well; that’s the way it is. But these “men” you list are not to be lionized, nor should Keller be honored. Just fine for the PCA, but not the PCUSA.

  180. I’m sure you would’ve been one of the first to tell John the Baptist to be kinder, and tell Jesus to hush his disciples … and you’d likely erase at least half of Paul’s letters where he takes to judging others, even suggesting that a slip of the knife might be a good idea for some of those scurrying around after Paul “correcting” him. This is a matter of discernment – and also a recognition of why we have the PCA – they can honor Keller, but not in the PCUSA where we hold up as heroes women and men of faith, depth and courage, who affirm and celebrate the ordination of women and the full inclusion of LGBTQ persons in our ranks and stand tall and clear on matters of justice.

  181. It’s still a big tent, and anyone who wants to be a part of the story can come on in. But Keller doesn’t want to be a part of the story – that’s why he’s PCA. He doesn’t like ordination for women and has no room for LGBTQ rights, which are not peripheral matters, but center to the idea and work of being the church of Jesus Christ. And who knows the mind of Kuyper and what he might say today? It’s up to us think anew and make decisions. The decision to not honor Keller is a good one. Hats off to Princeton on this one.

  182. Hats off to Princeton for making a good decision on Keller. He’s PCA, and that’s just fine, but his views are contrary, seriously contrary, to the life and work of the PCUSA.

  183. If you’ve been touched by a same sex member, it will be a part of your brain wiring to do the same. Grace says that’s wrong and horrible that that happened to you and law says please don’t cave into your anger and pretend it is love. The problem is that most don’t remember that they were hurt in the first place and transfer their anger onto anyone who denies them the right to ‘love’. If I could help Barnes understand his full life story (hypnosis is often required) and show him the error of his ways he might feel differently about the primacy of our basic biology: Adam and Eve have complementary reproductive organs and that is the ONLY right way to live.

  184. Nope. Princeton made the right decision. And, btw, you sound like Machen. For him, everything was beyond redemption, except what he created.

  185. Not irredeemable, just contrary. And who knows what Kuyper might think these days? But the point is this: we know our own mind on matters of ordination and inclusion, and we know Keller’s mind, too … and it’s contrary to what we have long labored to clarify and make know – that women’s ordination and inclusion of LGBTQ persons is a matter central to the faith. Princeton made the right decision.

  186. Really? and your basis for this canard is…

  187. I’ll suggest your “penance”: Acknowledge that you have deep inclinations and desires that are contrary to God’s purpose in creating two sexes and that are contrary to express teachings in his revelation, the Bible. Since apparently you have not acted on your homosexual desires, do not act on them. Similarly do not act on your heterosexual desires outside the bonds of marriage. Continually pour out your heart in honest prayer to God the Father, confessing how strong your urges are, how weak you are in struggling with them, and how nothing would be a greater blessing than to be free of sinful urges and sinful acts, sexual or otherwise. Ask the Father to free you of sinful inclinations and urges, but know that in his wisdom he may not do that for you in his life, but that he will work his sanctifying purposes in your life in the context of these inclinations and urges. Above all put your faith in Christ who died for all your sins that you might be forgiven and who lived a life of perfect conformity to God’s will that in him you might have a perfect righteousness before God. If your faith is in Christ, then your true identify is that you are a man in Christ who is dead to sin and alive to God. Reckon yourself such and ask God for strength to be and do as you are in Christ. Keep confessing your sin to God, keep trusting in Christ for forgiveness and righteousness. Don’t despair. God does not reject those who come to him repenting of sin and believing in Christ, but forgives 70×7. Look forward to the day when you will finally be what your are in Christ, fully and completely dead to sin and fully and completely alive to God. At death we will be free from the fever of sin and at the resurrection we will be free from the curse of death, at last soul and body in perfect harmony with one another, with God, and with all who are raised in Christ. To summarize, you hope is not in explaining away Scripture, or in accepting yourself as you are (none of us should), or in denying you have the urges and desires you have. Your hope is in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

  188. Oh boy, the evangelical comments here are running red in the blood of their hatred … wow … what a strange and crazy bunch of remarks here … which is why I’m glad we have the PCA, the EPC and ECO where these weird and contrary views are held up as the gospel. More power to ya’. In this case, Princeton made the right decision, and affirmed what it means to be a PCUSA Seminary, and a Christian seminary to boot.

  189. Princeton’s decision is one of weasel worded cowardice. It reeks of cognitive dissonance. If Princeton Seminary was relevant to orthodox Christianity this would matter.

  190. I wonder where Abraham Kuyper would stand on the ordination of women and impenitent perverts?

  191. Zero tolerance to LGBT rights. Burn it to the ground like God did with Sodoma and Gomora.

  192. The PC USA is reflective of this: Rev. 3: 15 “I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot. 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, ‘I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing.’ You do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked…”

  193. “It’s still a big tent, and anyone who wants to be a part of the story can come on in.” – but only if you toe the LGBTQQi litmus test line – otherwise you and your voice are not welcome.

  194. Refusing to condone acts that do not respect the inherent Dignity of the human person is an act of Love; Be not afraid of authentic Love, but rather Rejoice and believe in The Way, The Truth, and The Light (Life) of Love. There Is only One Word of God, thus there can only Be One Spirit of Perfect Love Between The Father and The Son, Who Proceeds from both The Father and The Son, In The Ordered Communion of Perfect Love, The Most Holy And Undivided Blessed Trinity.

    “Let Us Create man in Our Image.”

    God Is Love. Love Exists in relationship. Love Is Trinitarian. Love Is Ordered to the inherent personal and relational Dignity of the persons existing in a relationship of Love, which is why a man does not Love his wife, in the same manner as he Loves his daughter, or his son, or his mother, or his father, or a friend.

    What separates marriage from every other form of Loving relationship, is the ability and desire to exist in relationship as husband and wife. Marriage cannot in essence be, existing in relationship as husband and wife, and not existing in relationship as husband and wife, simultaneously.

    We can know through both Faith and reason that p cannot in essence be, not p.

  195. Heterosexual desire in itself is according to God’s creation intention in making two sexes. Homosexual desire in itself is contrary to God’s creation intention. Both “orientations” are corrupted at their root by sin. So, for instance, in the case of heterosexual desire, Jesus says that to look at a woman not your wife with lust is itself sin, a violation of the 7th commandments. Heterosexual desire may be expressed and experienced with joy in monogamous marriage. Homosexual desire cannot be so expressed and experienced because it is contrary to God’s intention. To say this is simply to say that sin affects us all and distorts who God created us to be. Not one of us is righteous, not not one. All of us are sinful at the root our our beings. We struggle at different points of our humanity, but we all struggle. The solution is not to deny that we are disordered in whatever ways we are but to confess our sins to God and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As Luther said, God intends the whole Christian life to be a life or repentance.

  196. Wow, what a load of hate exploding here from the evangelical wing of the church … hey, this is why we have the PCA, the EPC and ECO – have at it and more power to you. You’ve never liked the PCUSA, and never will. For as long as I’ve been ordained (1970), I’ve watched with fascination and fear how the Lay Committee and other such groups have tried to squash the Presbyterian Church into an evangelical mold. After all of these years, I’ve finally seen the Church say No to these ill-founded machinations. For us, women’s ordination and the full inclusion of LGBTQ persons is NOT peripheral to the faith, but central to the faith. Hats off to Princeton for one more firm step in the right direction. And if we’re looking for Kuyper Prize recipients, we have plenty within our own ranks who more than qualify.

  197. More and more, I can’t wait to see Jesus come back.

  198. You speak the words and deny their value in the same words. Thus the failure to judge wisely is also hours.

  199. Homosexual “orientation” is a disorder contrary to God’s creation purpose. Homosexual practice is acting on sinful sexual inclinations and desires. To struggle with one’s “orientation” is one thing; to act on it is another. I could say, for instance, I have a strong orientation toward resentment and anger. That is one thing. To “act out” on resentment and anger is another. I can confess my struggle before God. But it is not “authentic” for me to act on whom I believe myself to be. No, my resentment and anger would be disordered. That disorder does not give me permission to act.

  200. The Apostle Paul doesn’t like the ordination of women either. Bad Paul.

  201. There is no correlation between discriminating against someone due to their Race/Ancestry which is unjust discrimination, and discriminating against any form of act, including sexual act, that does not respect the inherent Dignity of the human person as a beloved son or daughter, which is necessary in order to Love.

  202. It takes a lot of effort to fall “beyond redemption.” Don’t know if Princeton is actually there yet, but they better stop openly reeking of sulfur and brimstone, while they still got half a chance!!

  203. Well, considering how many have turned a blind eye to abuse of women and children, I can’t help but wonder whether some of Keller’s buddies in The Gospel™ Coalition will be hearing those words.

  204. How was Ymin disrespectful? I didn’t see it.

  205. Some of the evangelicals around here are trying to meet you liberals halfway and do some sincere, nuanced dialogue on this matter. I salute them.

    Me, I’m just making sure the evangelicals really DO have your attention. A little hot-foot usually does the trick, and trust me, I have plenty of matches !!!

  206. No problem really. Calvin was a theologian writing for his time. His writing is not something that Moses brought down off Mt. Sinai. We are free to disagree with Calvin. There have been other theologians since Calvin. We can hear their sermons every Sunday. Whether or not those sermons are the Word of God for that time and place is up to the Church.
    I’m not an alumni of Princeton, but I think that Keller is being honored enough by presenting his view on the Mission of the Church in an Urban Area.
    BTW, Calvin was not a “mass murderer.” He ordered one man’s execution, Michael Servetus, for his continued denial of the Trinity. That’s also something we don’t do today.

  207. Actually, no. The Grimke sisters published explicit Biblical violations directly associated with the US slavery horror show.

  208. You make no sense. Reply when you have something intelligent to say.

  209. For the record, Princeton Seminary is separate from Princeton University. It was founded by Archibald Alexander in 1812. Charles Hodge & BB Warfield stood *against* slavery while their counterparts in the South did not.

    You are just as mistaken about Dr Keller as you are about the seminary’s history.

  210. “clearing out the closets”? “no-longer-used jacket & boots”?
    Note well: it’s the PCUSA that is in rapid decline – and has been for decades.
    The EPC & ECO have experienced growth due to PCUSA departures.
    Keller’s PCA has had decades-long sustained growth.

    You might want to rethink your metaphor. You have the roles reversed.

  211. “…you’d likely erase at least half of Paul’s letters where he takes to judging others… but not in the PCUSA where we… affirm and celebrate the ordination of women and the full inclusion of LGBTQ persons…”

    Again, role reversal. Who is erasing half of Paul’s letters? This is an openly self-contradictory statement. It’s the same logic that has you “celebrating” Princeton while jettisoning her founders.

  212. Moral of the story: don’t publicly announce awards, or invitations to speak unless you are prepared to take the heat. Its the being dis-awarded after being publicly awarded that makes this so controversial, insulting and divisive. Nothing new about Mr. Keller came to light after the award was announced. They knew what he believed. Princeton simply couldn’t take the criticism they were getting and so decided to humiliate Keller instead.

  213. You clearly haven’t read any Abraham Kuyper.

    “…women’s ordination and inclusion of LGBTQ persons is a matter central to the faith…” The resurrection? The Gospel? The Word of God? Not so much. That’s why the PCUSA is dying.

  214. Your efforts to be vague only make you objectionably incoherent. In essence, you are simply using lofty language to go straight to the gutter with the notion that physical expressions of love that do not result in impregnation must be “evil” and “unnatural.” The simple reality is that every way in which LGBT persons express physical love is also done by heterosexual persons and in far greater numbers than there are LGBT to do the same. Thus, your lofty language visit to the gutter is for naught. You can keep the filthy water you scooped up all to yourself.

  215. Doesn’t sound like you’ve read Machen either. I’d recommend “Christianity & Liberalism” to start. It’s a rather prophetic work considering this discussion.

  216. “truth to power”? While I was there, PTS was sitting on an $800 million endowment. Ymin is merely repeating the party line. That’s the opposite of speaking “truth to power.”

    It’s not “vicious” to point out that this approach to ministry is killing people spiritually. Jesus had much harder things to say to “churchmen” who didn’t believe in the resurrection (Mk.12:24-27) or merely saw religion as a foil for their politics. This is precisely why the PCUSA is dying. And to say anything less is to be “sorely ashamed” of the Gospel.

  217. Judging by (oops – there’s that nasty “J” word) some of these comments….that ol’ wide road sure is getting crowded.

  218. If you believe in sin, hell, and salvation:

    What is sin? What does God count as sin?

    Who is going to hell? Whom will God consign to it?

    What is salvation? Salvation from what?

    In what way are these incredibly important things?

    And a comment on identity. It’s a wrong turn to start saying, “My identity is that I am a homosexual” Or. “My identity is that I am attracted to children.” Or, “My identity is that I am a promiscuous heterosexual. God never intended us to be monogamous.” There is a sexual component to identity, but identity is more. We are all persons who are created by God, fallen with Adam, and redeemable in Christ. The image of God is terribly broken by our inherent sinfulness. This affects our sexuality in various ways. It does not normalize anything about our sexuality that is contrary to God’s purpose for us in creation. In the end we are all either under sin, with sin controlling our whole persons in various ways. Or, we are redeemed by Christ, forgiven and counted righteous by faith, but also being renewed in the image of Christ, the first man of God’s new creation.

  219. At least try to make an intelligent reply.

  220. More accurately: the mainline churches attract folks who don’t know what to think or how to think – so they believe anything they are told by the faithless pastors and teachers who have rejected the word of God.

  221. The desire to treat all persons with Dignity and respect in private as well as in public and thus not condone any act, including any sexual act that is demeaning, is not responsible for getting anyone killed.

    Being respectful of oneself and others is not an act of hate.

  222. It’s not even partly correct. Disease is caused mostly by germs. It’s one of the reasons that gay women, also homosexuals, have far lower rates of venereal diseases than do heterosexuals. Gay men who are not promiscuous have no problems with diseases. I certianly don’t. None of my friends do, either,

    There is no one that can be an orthodox Christian, because there is no such thing. There are merely a number of people who claim to be. But they also claim to be holier than thou. So, it’s a wash.

  223. You are more than welcome. I haven’t stepped in because I have been pretty busy the past few days, and because you seem quite capable of defending yourself.

    I’m pretty adept at recognizing subtexts. It’s part of the fun of posting here. I wouldn’t take it too seriously. There are antigay, so called Christians who post here regularly. There are also a lot of anti-Christian, so called Christians who post here regularly.

    It’s funny, but it’s usually we atheists who are pleading with the religionists for religious tolerance. They are too busy being righteous BFFF’s of the Lord.

  224. Perhaps not you, personally. But Princeton is. Once you give up the authority of Gods word you have nothing but opinions to offer.

  225. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged – Jesus

  226. This is of course nonsense: germs aren’t moral agents and don’t care about promiscuity. The key point here is that *anal sex* is a much more efficient means of HIV transmission than vaginal or oral sex, therefore your chance of getting the virus from receptive anal sex is much higher than from vaginal sex.

    All gay men *monogamous or not* have a high STD risk, unless they use condoms at all times. This is why most gay men of my acquaintance are fanatical about using them. This is less of an issue for straight sex because again, the risk of transmission for different sexual acts is very different. It’s much more dangerous to be a monogamous gay male than it is to be a highly promiscuous straight guy though, *if you have unprotected sex*.

    I am not sure what you think ‘orthodox Christian’ has to do with ‘holiness’, they’re entirely unrelated. “Orthodox” in this context doesn’t mean “good” or “bad”, it’s a neutral descriptor.

  227. Guess God has to apologize for Is. 59:2 now that he’s been enlightened by the progressives.

  228. Evangelicals and Catholics do far more social work than any progressive.

  229. How does any sexual act between committed, consenting adults fail to “respect the inherent Dignity of the human person”?

  230. The addict always calls those who come between him & his addiction “haters” – even when those are the people most loving him.

    When “anyone who disagrees with me” comes to mean “haters”, one no longer has ears to hear.

  231. I swear the Book of Jude is all about people perverting the faith…….

  232. If the Bible teaches homosexuality is something good, you have a great point.
    If the Bible teaches it is sin (as *most* Christian denominations believe), your objection is not to the PCA but to God’s Word – in which case, sin is the opposite of a “fundamental right.”

    Either way, your problem is not uniquely with the PCA.
    Would you make the same argument if Pope Francis were offered the opportunity to speak?

  233. So you think Jesus had weak convictions? And all the apostles, too?

  234. I assume by “taking care of them” you mean you are making every effort to introduce them to the concept that they are sinners and can only be saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. Because if by “taking care of them” you mean making them feel better, then you are just making them more comfortable sinners with absolutely no hope or future.

  235. But the risk is far lower for oral sex than for vaginal sex. Vaginal sex may be less risky than anal sex, but it clearly transmits diseases far more efficiently than does oral, esp. from man to woman. For years that I got the CDC HIV surveillance reports, the heterosexual transmission category was consistently the fastest growing category of new infections.

  236. There they go again, citing the Deity to justify their outrageous and barbaric sins. “All I did was what God told me to do. It was His Divine Will.” A repeating theme.

  237. Sorry, didn’t mean to imply Ymin was disrespectful; only that silencing opinions different than one’s own through pressure tactics opposed to listening and respectful debating, shows the same intolerance the liberal voice is calling intolerant.

    Giving and then denying an award because of a personal opinion that doesn’t line up with the loudest protest, is the disrespect of which I speak. I have no problem with challenging this person’s well-reasoned scholarly position, but do so with one’s own ‘well-reasoned scholarly position’, instead of forced silence.

  238. Correct. Gay males who restrict themselves to oral sex are very safe.

  239. I wonder whose theology is really more toxic – Tim Keller or Carol Howard Merritt. While Keller’s ministry in New York, which is not exactly a conservative city, continues to grow and impact multitudes for Christ, the mainline denominations continue to shrink as they move further and further left theologically. And what a crass comment regarding President Barnes and his view toward women. Carol has clearly demonstrated in her comments whose theology is more toxic.

  240. “The PCA is very anti-gay, and calls for gay people to be denied their legal rights” Am I to take from this sentence that you put man’s laws above God’s? If so, would you also say bestiality or prostitution is okay if it were made legal a couple of years ago, like gay marriage?

  241. “hatred”? So you can judge people’s hearts? What emotion am I feeling right now?

  242. Women ordination and full inclusion of LGBTQ persons is central to the faith….for the past 61 years??? Out of the past 2,000? I bet you have an interesting explanation to account for all of those centuries of those topics not only NOT being central to the faith but rejected by it.

  243. “…it’s clear that they would never be fully accepted or allowed to do ministry…”

    Not true. Here’s Sam Allberry. Self-described “same-sex attracted… yet joyfully affirms the traditional understanding of marriage…” He’s a Gospel Coalition regular. And notice how he doesn’t compromise what Scripture says. And notice how it has gotten him bullied by supposedly LGBTQ advocates.

    “I was bullied at school for being gay. I feel I am now being bullied at synod for being same-sex attracted AND faithful to the teachings of Jesus on marriage.”

  244. Kuyper certainly would not be eligible for such an award. What often goes unnoticed is how rooted Kuyper’s public theology was in his confessional theology—Princeton severs that connection.

  245. No, I do not think that. Your weak response here shows my point. There is nothing like the whine, “Why do they have to ‘pervert’ ours?” from any of them. They were men of conviction unlike the Religious Right of today whose only conviction is a sense of entitlement of their right to oppress people.

  246. Through the centuries since Christianity became a religion, Jude has been a weaponized text used to justify murder, torture, and conquest. John Spong commented,”It seems to assume that Christianity dropped from heaven in a set of propositional beliefs…” and as such is used to harm others.

  247. Not at all: the converse would be that if it did not, then it would mean to be a warrior for injustice is consistent with following Christ, which is certainly not so. Those who war for injustice are not followers of Christ. Hence, to be a Christian is to work for the establishment of justice, i.e., to become social justice warriors. You’re welcome.

  248. If you can look yourself in the mirror and believe that is true, then I can’t help you. But what you’ve posted here is just ridiculous talk radio namecalling. We tend to note many who are attracted to our brand are “seekers,” who reject the illegitimate false authoriteh of slick preachers selling fundamentalism for their own benefit. We’re quite satisfied with the quality of those we attract, thank you. Your last sentence there merely reveals your desperation; fundamentalism stops a thinking mind. The Mainline Pastors who stand against fundamentalism are heroes who reject as Jefferson did “any form of tyranny over the mind of man.”

  249. Precisely my point: a good number want to believe simplistic shibboleths rather than exercise their noggins. Thank you.

  250. I’m not sure what the significance of the amount of the endowment is to you. In this discussion it’s a non sequitur.

    When people say, “That’s the party line,” it’s just a rather pathetic whine. In some sense it is, but so is your parroting the Liberty University party line in the exact same sense.

    On the contrary, Ymin reveals himself to be quite spiritually alive and mature, in contrast to the babyish fundamentalism you advocate.

    Look at the two of you: one advocates for the oppressed, the other for oppression. I don’t think the gospel favors the injustice you (and this poor excuse for a theologian) advocate.

  251. Desperation? You have to be kidding me. You, the LGBQTXYZ, and Princeton’s “values” don’t stand a chance against God’s word.

    “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,” -Paul the Apostle –

    TK rejects homosexual behavior (read sex) and calls it sin. That’s because he takes the Bible seriously. Well, Princeton Seminary and you don’t think homosexual behavior (read sex) is sin and so reject God’s word. That is clear.

    For your education: Gen. 2 teaches us that heterosexual relationships are normative and Jesus reiterated it in Matt: 19: 4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh.”

    Now you want to argue: well, argue with God. He’s the one who invented heterosexual relationships as being normative. You want to call Christians intolerant – you have to call Jesus intolerant too. He clearly reiterated what God had already said in Gen. You want to call traditional Christians names – fundamentalist is one. Well, you have to call Jesus a fundamentalist too. He went back to the fundamentals of belief in God and His word. You want to say what Jesus said wasn’t what He meant: you have to prove it with evidence and reason and a hermeneutic that is reasonable and rational.

    But all you do is call traditional/conservative Christians intolerant, homophobic: haters. You better call Jesus a hater too. And you better call Him intolerant because He said those who don’t believe in Him will suffer an eternity separated from Him. But He didn’t really mean that, did He? Consult the text before you try to make a case against orthodox Christian belief.

    Jeremiah 23: 29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?

  252. And as I said, Keller would agree with you that those who are called to ministry should be free to do it. He would simply differ with you as to whether or not a lifestyle of sexual relationship outside of marriage is compatible with that calling.

    It is never, ever helpful to inject rhetoric about whether or not people want you to exist “as a complete person.” If that is a sincere remark then it’s a reflection of the woeful state of the conversation. What do you suppose Dr Keller would say? “True, true, I do not want you to exist as a complete person”? Of course not.

    The problem with this very shortsighted perspective – both in that remark and in your earlier remark to which I responded, is that it’s not a position of listening. If you cannot repeat back to Dr Keller and others their position in terms that they recognise as their own, so that they would say “Yes, that is my view, I would be happy to express it that way,” then you aren’t yet prepared for the conversation.

  253. See, that’s your mistake. They don’t want to be harassed by religious fanatics. Otherwise, no one wants to go to your churches. You’ve been hoodwinked by a handful of self-loathing gay catholic priests and lesbian protestant ministers.

  254. Comparing another’s capacity to love to your vice of choice is not helpful. You are, of course, incapable of knowing “God’s creation purpose,” whatever that is. Your argument is merely insensitive, baseless assertions devoid of anything to support it but your own prejudices.

  255. If given a choice between lining up on the side of Jude, the brother of Christ, or John Spong, who denies the deity of Christ, I will gladly stand with Jude!!!

  256. I believe history is clear that in Calvin’s Geneva mass executions were de riegieur. You can check out the Wikipedia article on him if you want.

  257. His illegitimate regime killed anybody who got in their way, not just his rival.

  258. David conquered to subdue neighboring tribes but he suffered for his sins as well. I’m sure David’s Wars (which led to The Lord not permitting him to build the Temple but instead that honor was deferred to Solomon) were more justified than Calvin’s atrocities.

  259. It’s actually an honor that they’re withholding the award. Timothy Keller’s morals line up with Jesus’s; he will receive a greater reward–one that neither moth nor rust can destroy.

    Jesus said: “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:10-12)

  260. Good one. I have an idea, although it was stolen from Robert A. Heinlein’s short story “Coventry:” take the whole state of Idaho and build a wall around it, in some form or another, and deposit the fundamentalists therein – the protestant Religious Right, Catholic fascists, Al Queda, Ultra-Orthodox Jews, etc. They’ll find they have much more in common than they do differences.

  261. We don’t use that word among reasonable people because it implies your truth makes you better than others. In short, you have no basis for saying so other than to advance your own power and control over others.

  262. Survey says: “unadulterated hypocrisy”!

  263. OK cool. The authorship of the letter is uncertain, although some assert this was who wrote it [I guess the siblinghood of Jesus, James, and Jude by some accounts is where we part from our Romish brethren who say Mary always was a virgin, but I digress…]. I don’t think that’s a good summary of Spong’s theology but there are elements of skepticism at myths, I’ll give you that. So, make yourself happy. But none of that counters the point this is a great example of scripture weaponized for evil. When you get to the point where your way is the only thing right and everything else is “perverted” (to use that awful term) your hatred has exceeded your piety many times over.

  264. I have no argument with deity. My argument is only with those who think they know the mind of deity. Genesis was written by men after an oral telling for centuries. To claim what is “normative” and what is not is just a form of oppression not worthy of any serious consideration. Try again when you’re done playing buzzword bingo.

  265. Baloney: You misuse the term “by definition”. Jesus never defined His followers like that. Go to the text of Scripture to find out what a Christian is. You are welcome to your own opinions but not your own facts.

  266. If you just read Romans 1, the MAIN theme is those who exchanged the worship of the Creator for the creature. It is clearly the context. Also, read Number 25:1-4 which talks about the utter condemnation of HETEROSEXUAL behavior that was combined with the worship of other Gods.

  267. And your evidence is….
    “My argument is only with those who think they know the mind of deity.” So you must know what the mind of deity is so as to argue with those who think they do. Who made you privy to the mind of deity?
    Jesus said Genesis was normative. So you disagree with Jesus?
    Was Jesus oppressive too? He was a man and He supported the Law and prophets.
    Buzzword bingo? How cliche. You clearly won’t engage in any discussion in which you have to actually consult the text of Scripture. That tells the who story right there.

  268. Tim is such a Godly man he would not want an award but for all the Glory to go to God anyway. So gracious of him still to be speaking amidst such apostasy and liberalism. Our prayer is that God softens hearts, that those who have ears let them hear and that people respond to the Gospel in love and obedience listening to God and His perfect word rather than the culture. Here’s a helpful website providing thorough biblical responses to all sorts of questions. We must try not to just assert or demonstrate chronological snobbery but let God’s word be a lamp to our feet.

  269. No no no, I’m referring more specifically to his sins of adultery and murder to cover up his adultery. Besides, no, gross, sin is never justified. I’m not trying to justify (anyone’s) sin at all. I’m just saying the award will only ever go to a sinner…even if it went to David, or literally any other human that isn’t Jesus.

  270. Lol what are you even talking about? Or more specifically, what are you referring to – aka whose comment?

  271. Now do you have some factual info that shows crimes against LBGT persons have increased since Trump was elected?

  272. Yes, you take it literally – that is you take it as intended by its authors.

  273. This is just sad. He stands with 2000 years of Christian tradition on these matters. So much for “in all things charity.”

  274. No the context is what happens when people suppress the knowledge of the one true and living God. It leads to mental darkness, moral depravity, and worshiping of gods of one’s own imagination.

  275. No, God’s creation purposes are discernible from nature and Scripture. The problem is that you do not like those knowable purposes.

  276. That says nothing. Deal with the Bible.

  277. So if God regulated slavery, God was guilty of evil?

  278. Really? I recently preached on that event, and it never occurred to me that he changed his mind.

  279. Here is what works to prevent spread of STDs. Heterosexual sex between two people who were chase before marriage and are faithful in marriage.

  280. Sounds like a good deal of what passes for religion to me.

  281. What about when Jesus said he was only sent to the lost sheep of Israel? But later on, he stated to witness to all the ends of the earth.

  282. One problem with that is that YOU might be chaste before marriage and faithful within marriage, but your partner isn’t. Your marriage partner might even lie and say they do these things, but they don’t. I recently saw a movie about Florence Jenkins, who was a poor opera singer but who got Syphilis from her first husband. This was in a day and age when there was no treatment for this disease- that was in the late 19th century. She was forced to have a chaste marriage with her second husband. And because vaginal sex is not safe sex- much riskier than oral sex, esp. for women, any lie by the partner can be deadly.

  283. Known for his keen theological mind, Keller is also much like the Jew hater, Martin Luther, as evidenced in his clumsy dismissal of the nation of Israel in God’s future plan for its redemption and worship of King Jesus. Makes one wonder if he really does know anything about the Scriptures!

  284. Bravo to Tim Keller for standing in his integrity esp on the LGBTQ issue. God has awards for you.

    This quote really makes me laugh because once again we see the irresponsible hyper active liberals esp those that one speaker said are hormonally crazed twist to their own purpose issues that don’t mean what they imply they mean. And that from an award winning renowned author. Well at least now we know why she was awarded. Lol!

    “In these difficult days, when our president says that women’s genitalia is up for grabs by any man with power and influence, I hoped that my denomination would stand up for women, loud and clear,” author Carol Howard Merritt wrote on her blog”

  285. I’m guessing you do not walk in faith or belief. Those men of faith still are followed and listened to as well as the book they taught from (The Bible). More people follow the ones you redicule than the corrupt views you have on society.

  286. So you compare the Bible to clearing out your closet?

  287. That’s the sort of hypothetical known as a “gotcha” question, I think. Since I do not believe that God did any such thing – I believe things such as Old Testament verses which state god commanded Israelites to enslave enemies, for instance, are metaphorical, not factual – I am not concerned with it. However, in a larger sense, if a god did or does very much at all of what fundamentalists say there can be no doubt such an entity is pure evil. Since I do not believe such things, I have no doubt the real God is good.

  288. Not to any reasonable person. Even so, such pithy constructions as imply sex only exists for procreation are at best laughable. The person who states such nonsense is either a manipulator or a simpleton.

  289. No, that’s merely fundamentalist ideology, the source of terrorism and oppression. While there is some history the bulk of the Bible is metaphorical and was always intended as such. The assertion otherwise only gained wide acceptance in the 19th Century when mass communication provided an opportunity for those who pushed it to make money.

  290. I can basically agree with that since no person is not also a sinner.

  291. well, duh. I ain’t a fundamentalist. Of course I don’t argue that way because I’m not a fundamentalist. Anyone could have told you that.

  292. John 21:15-17 indicates otherwise. Contrary to what you get told at your local two minutes of hate, Jesus was not a Republican NRA Life member.

  293. All the Evangelicals on here venting their rage at Princeton for taking back the award would see hell freeze over before they would give an award to a female or LGBT minister, or allow them to speak in their institutions. And you won’t see a female or LGBT minister speaking at Tim Keller’s church either. Rank hypocrisy is what it is, and something Evangelicals are very good at.

  294. All talk, no evidence, no rational discussion. Just talk. You got nothing. Empty suit as usual.

  295. But then why would excluding women and LGBT be central to the faith? If you read the book of Acts, groups, such Eunuchs, which were excluded from the Assembly of the Lord in Deuteronomy 23:1 are now fully included. Gentiles are also fully included, even though they weren’t fully included before.

  296. You might want to reread that text. Jesus doesn’t say anything about being a social justice power ranger – er…warrior.

  297. I am shocked by Carol Howard Merritt’s opinion. Has she ever read or listened to Keller? Absolutely dumbfounded.

  298. Thank you for demonstrating ethnocentrism. How does that help advance the Gospel or the Great Commission? Again, this is precisely why the PCUSA is dying… rapidly.

  299. Are you seriously claiming that Jesus never talked about wolves or corrupt leadership or warned of false teachers, and the apostles never rejected corrupt theologies? It’s not as if that’s a cursory subject in the NT (or the OT for that matter).

  300. To be clear: exclusion is the EVIDENT reality of *both* sides here. The question is: on what grounds? The PCA is attempting to follow a biblical view of sexuality.

    Yes, Eunuchs were welcomed in the NT because of Christ’s forgiveness & healing… but self-emasculation was not an activity to be encouraged (still a broken understanding of God’s design for sexuality)! The PCUSA here wants to celebrate brokenness, not celebrate *redemption from* brokenness. I’d point you to Sam Allenberry as an example directly to the contrary, as I posted elsewhere on this page. He has “full inclusion” as an ordained man who is serving and celebrated within Gospel Coalition circles. Note how differently he talks about these issues as self-described “same-sex attracted… but joyfully affirming the traditional view of marriage.”

    Note well the point of divide: we believe one’s sexuality is NOT one’s primary identity – directly to the contrary of what is being asserted in the PCUSA.

  301. Seriously, Wikipedia? LOL. Furthermore, perhaps you should work on understanding the concept of a false equivalency. Calvin was indeed magistrate. So? That makes him a mass murderer? You are a bit silly here.

  302. 1) One day someone will speak that way about your current scientific understanding.
    2) Are you self-described Christian? Do you believe in the resurrection of the dead or is that more of a “Hell, they believed…”?
    To be clear, the bible does not teach a geocentric universe but a theocentric one (not spatially, but spiritually centered). And when you begin by precluding the possibility that God can use human instruments, you’ve already settled the debate before it’s begun.

  303. Most people find (at least) a corollary relationship between wealth and power. Do you deny that is relevant? $800 million represents a lot of power. Agreeing with those in power is not normally regarded as “speaking truth to power.”

    Forget the idiom if “the party line” terminology bothers you. It’s a red herring discussion. Do you deny Ymin is agreeing with those in power at the seminary or not?

    Your definition of maturity is not the one found in Scripture. And I’m not advocating fundamentalism – unless you merely mean it in the etymological sense of the word.

    The minor prophets are rife with siding with the oppressed and marginalized. I agree. Jesus moves toward the outsider: moral, racial, gender, etc. But notice how he still calls them to “go & sin no more” – the woman at the well in Jn.4, the lame man in Jn.5, the adulterous woman in Jn.8. It’s not an either/or with the Gospel. The cross BOTH says our sins are that bad (he had to die) & that Jesus is that good (he still was willing to take our place. “Shall we sin that grace may abound? By no means.” (Rom.6:1)

    It is not injustice to love someone enough to try to stop them from spiritually hurting themselves – especially when they are blind to it. To claim that is “injustice” requires forgetting the One who defines justice. (And since Tim Keller wrote his doctoral thesis on ‘Generous Justice’, you might want to reconsider your preconceived notions.)

  304. I am so f’ing (Sorry!) sick of the pro-LGBTQ insanity, especially the pro-transgender movement! I am so outraged at it that I am tempted to turn into a Westboro Baptist “God hates fags” Christian. The only thing stopping me is Jesus’ call to love our enemies and do good to them. So I will continue to “speak the truth in love”, calling people to come back to their senses, reject foolishness and turn to their Maker so that they will be saved.

  305. Fortunately, Princeton moved past the confines of orthodoxy long ago.

  306. This is the most informed and spiritual thing I’ve read on this thread. Thanks for the perspective. He is risen indeed, and He is coming again on the clouds of Heaven. All of us, mainline and conservative, even those who don’t even pretend to believe – we will be shaken to our core. Our knees will bow, our tongues will confess. And then, he will judge. Princeton, Westminster, RTS, Fuller, Dallas, Gordon Conwell, TEDS. Keller, or Rick Warren, or TD Jakes. Pastor in Rome, Georgia or Pope in Rome, Italy. Gay or straight; murderer or extortionist or just plain old self-righteously angry and selfish human being. It won’t matter except for one thing: did you grab hold of Him when you had the chance, before He returned in glory to end sinful human history. Did you acknowledge His Lordship, before He comes in a judgement He died on a cross to spare you from?

    Good for you, Violettablooms. I like your answer. You have moxie.

    Christian scholars and Christian wannabe scholars, don’t outsmart yourselves. None of you can study, or argue, or compromise, philosophize or social engineer your way out of Gospel truth. I’m not your judge. It is He, who is coming back to judge the living and the dead.

  307. You can choose to interpret it in a way to include women and LGBT, or not. The men in history have overwhelmingly chosen to NOT include anyone but themselves. How surprising. Remember, There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free , nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus

  308. Jesus was the biggest social justice warrior there ever was.

  309. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free , nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. We are all accepted. Thank goodness it isn’t up to men who are afraid of losing their power.

  310. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free , nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

  311. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free , nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. You are not God, you are not Jesus. Please acknowledge that.

  312. Probably feeding them and clothing them. Bible talk doesn’t do much for starving people. Helping the poor is mentioned 300 times in the bible. Stuff about LGBT people, what maybe 7 times? Not mentioned by Christ but by fallible, sexist men from a different time.

  313. You’re using the disguise of God’s word to give your own opinions authority.

  314. We all worship the God of our own imagination, as we all have different experiences that promote our viewpoint.

  315. U.S. Christianity currently seems to forget Jesus came to help the poor and downtrodden, not fixate on the very seldom mentioned verses that are said to be about homosexuality. Hypocrisy. Probably all wearing shirts made with more than one fabric and eating shrimp as well.

  316. I am glad, and I am confident that Jesus would be with you. Privilege is blinding sometimes, maybe they do not realize there are people whose lives are made hell on earth because of these beliefs of complementarianism and the shunning of LGBT people.

  317. So true. The fixation against LGBT people when so much of the bible is about loving other and caring for the unfortunate demonstrates tremendous hypocrisy.

  318. Including the subordination of women with complementarianism.

  319. Except for the dignity of women and LGBT. They have lesser value according to Keller.

  320. If the award was withdrawn on the basis of his Biblical values, then Keller should be very happy. In fact he is blessed and this incident removes a significant amount of prestige associated with the award. I don’t think there is much value in a platitude from lukewarm, left leaning, liberals whom are permanently offended and are extremely intolerant.

  321. Because misandry, arrogance, and safe spaces are better!

  322. I do not know about the axes of power at Princeton Seminary, nor am I particularly interested in it. I would imagine his position has majority support among faculty and staff. So what? Like the saying goes, “fights between university professors are often so bitter because the stakes are so small.” The power of academics is dwarfed indeed in comparison to that of The Religious Right.

    It’s always interesting how wowsers love the subordinate clauses of the text for the ‘woman at the well” and other anecdotes which reveals their sense of superiority over those they disdain.

    “Generous Justice”? That is not possible without relief to the oppressed. A backer of male-only priesthood cannot reasonably claim to support it.

  323. 1. No doubt. As Voltaire wisely remarked, “History is the sound of wooden shoes going upstairs and silk stockings going downstairs.”

    2. My specific beliefs are not the topic here. This is not an interrogation.

  324. The Court at Nuremberg in 1946-7 would dispute your absolving of the guilty.

  325. Still trying that “gotcha” thing, mm-hmm? Indeed he and they did. We differ on what those are. As Jesus had no soft spots for the Pharisees and Scribes, it is doubtful he would be favorably impressed with The Religious Right.

  326. Our African Brothers tend to excuse polygamy and bride-selling while engaging in witch-hunting that would make Cotton Mather look like a doofus on a Sunday Stroll. The death of the Mainline is greatly exaggerated by those engaging in wishful thinking. The Southern Baptists are in freefall as well, if it’s all a numbers game to you.

  327. The Beatitudes as well contradict the use of tradition to justify oppression.

  328. We don’t play by your self-serving rules. Ethical principles are universal.

  329. Who gets up at zero dark thirty to do this?

  330. Ethical principles – as in moral values and duties? True. They are universal and they are eternal. But what is the source of ethical principles?

  331. Our Church really grew by leaps and bounds when it began to welcome LGBT in the 90’s. We DO, however, have a lot of Bible study in our Church. We just take a less literal and more scholarly approach to it than many Evangelicals do. Liberal Churches CAN grow. It is just a matter of marketing. Progressive religious types are usually far more accepting of differences in beliefs than most Conservative religious people are. This would tend to stifle the marketing of one’s religion. However, I do think one can market one’s religion while remaining respectful of persons of different faiths.

  332. More eisegesis. (Gag!) Sno-cone lib theology. Don’t waste my time with such silliness. Grow up and learn how to discuss issues using the text.

  333. I are a college gradyut. 😉 (ummm…I know how to do research.)

  334. Princeton has shown their backside in full colors. Sad to see such an institution going down the drain of political correctness. Keller is right, they are wrong. He doesn’t need any sort of accolades from such an institution, nor should he accept them if offered.

  335. Yes. Standing for biblical truth is a hallmark of a Christian.

  336. Pretty sure Jesus wouldn’t refer to his followers as social justice powder puff rangers – er…sorry social justice power rang…dang…whatever.

  337. Well, now … certainly glad to hear the truth from you … goodness, how it warms the cockles of my heart and stirs my convictions. You are one remarkable disciple, so thanks for enlightening me, and showing me the errors of my way. Immediately, I will repent and become just like you.

  338. Ahhh, mistaken about the seminary’s history … thank you for your enlightening commentary straightening me out. Certainly glad that some of the folks here, in this thread, like you, are guardians of the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The world is far, far, better for your diligence in defending the faith, the very faith articulated by Keller, no doubt … enough of women, no more LGBTQ persons allowed. Oh, how much better a world it would be if only we could have the world of Keller.

  339. Oh for crying out loud, let’s quit talking about the past … haven’t we moved on? Haven’t we learned from the giants, only to find that God gives more giants all along the way, women and men of great faith, great service, living today, not even yet born? Yes, Calvin is great, and so is Kuyper, but they’re not the last word on God and life and all things of faith. And Keller, God love him, he’s just stuck in the past, and there’s no honor in that. That was the problem Lot’s wife had, and we all know what happened to her.

  340. Oh my, how dramatic, how full of righteousness, so full of truth and understanding. So glad to know that the writer of Revelation was really talking about the PCUSA, a church I have wantonly supported all of my life, and now, by your words, my conscience is stricken, and I will disavow my church, and fall on knees in repentance, that even for a moment, I dared to think that the PCUSA was a reflection of the kingdom of God. How wrong could I be. Thank you for setting me on the straight and narrow road of truth, and cleansing my soul of Satan’s wiles.

  341. 1946-7? relevance? Running to the “compare it to Nazi Germany” tactic is both facile and disingenuous.

  342. Not at all. While most of the world may agree Hitler was just about the most evil man in the entire corpus of human history, Calvin would certainly be in the top ten.

  343. That’s OK. We’re more secure in our masculinity than you ever will be.

  344. That’s what fundamentalists do. Since I don’t mistake the latest version of scripture for the 4th part of the Trinity I won’t be doing that.

  345. Ethics come from a desire to not harm others.

  346. For lack of a substantive argument, caricature those with whom you disagree?

    Instead of conceding that *even by your own definitions* of justice, you were significantly mistaken about the reality of the founders’ beliefs, you seem to want to continue to paint with a singularly broad brush.

    a) no one here is saying “enough of women, no more LGBTQ persons allowed.” What does the Bible say? Is that not a legitimate basis for debate?

    b) The grounds of your objection here are much broader than the PCA. Please recognize that *most* Christian denominations directly disagree with your views here. Majority does not make them right, but i) it should give pause in a Church that believes in the pervasive work of the Holy Spirit, & ii) it should rule out any such shallow dismissal as you are giving.

    c) Rather than engage the genuine convictions of those with whom you disagree, you choose to assign pejorative labels & dismiss. You may not agree with the rest of the Church’s reading here, but it is disingenuous (at best) to purposefully think the least of those with whom you debate. It prevents any genuine dialogue.

    d) the basis of the divide is biblical here. you don’t have to agree with “them” to recognize there is substantive backing – especially from *within* “their” hermeneutic.

  347. This is ridiculously myopic.

    You are objecting to Keller on the grounds that he does not believe the Bible teaches women’s ordination or LGBTQ ordination. I understand you don’t like that – but MOST of the Church agrees with him. This is not a singularly PCA issue. It includes:

    The Pope (current & all past) & the Roman Catholic Church
    All Eastern Orthodox Churches
    Most Protestant denominations (mainlines being the *exception*)
    PTS’ founders (Archibald Alexander, Charles Hodge, BB Warfield, etc.)
    Abraham Kuyper himself (for whom the award was named)

    Tom, if you are PTS alum or student – MOST of the buildings you enter on campus are *named* after people you are mocking. Ironies abound.

    *Most* Christians disagree with you here. MOST. Why do you feel the need to re-narrate that? You don’t have to agree with them to recognize your mockery is *anything but* celebrating “diversity.”

    As one snarky group put it (painfully but directly):
    “PCUSA reaffirms inclusive stance toward everyone with the exact same beliefs as the PCUSA”

  348. Liberal churches can grow. Honestly, I shun those labels when they are applied as if politics & theology are the same thing. I think Keller has pointed out very well that Jesus was *both* a theological conservative & a social progressive. Simultaneously. That combination is rarely found these days.

    However, while your individual church may have grown when you changed your stance on LGBT matters (a sign of your theology/hermeneutic, not your politics), I’d point out that is anecdotal in comparison with what has happened nationally & globally. The stats are pronounced.

    In that regard, it is *not* just a matter of marketing. That is not how the apostles understood the Gospel (2 Cor.2:17 comes to mind).

    And to be clear, I have yet to encounter the church that teaches “literalism” the way it was mocked by many of my PTS professors. Most conservatives care immensely about authorial intent & genre. Frankly, I cannot always say the same for those celebrating redaction & form criticism rather than merely engaging the so-called “final form” of the text. No, being biblically conservative does not mean being “less scholarly.” If anything, Christ’s incessant quoting of Scripture leaves even the ‘moral exemplar’ atonement advocates with little room to wiggle on his views of the text. He had an extremely high view of the OT’s authority.

    I’m glad to hear your Church is studying God’s Word. No other book has such promises associated with it (Isa.55:11). As for being “far more accepting of differences in beliefs…” I see even the maligned Paul using all sorts of contextual measures in Acts & 1 Cor.9:19-23, but at NO point is the Gospel treated like adiaphora (Gal.1:6-9).

    To be clear, my primary concern is not LGBTQ or women’s ordination, but rather is the hermeneutic necessary to affirm those positions. Once one begins to embrace such a hermeneutic – if consistently applied – central tenets of the faith are equally undermined. That’s not a hypothetical. Look at the PCUSA. Many of my formerly “moderate” friends left for the EPC or ECO because things such as the very divinity of Christ were being called into question at General Assembly. That’s not a “maybe one day”, that’s a “go check the records.”

    To be blunt, if Christ is not God or the resurrection didn’t really happen, we are no longer talking about the same faith. These aren’t peripheral matters. It’s the heart of Christianity even by the most cursory or secular understanding. That’s not about marketing, it’s about what constitutes the very “Good News” Christians are sharing.

  349. Again, your comments smell strongly like ethnocentrism – if not outright racism.

    Secondly, are you looking at the stats? I don’t know what gauge you are using, but the PCUSA has been in rapid decline for over 40 years. RAPID. And they are not alone. Most Protestant mainlines share that problem. However, even the latest Pew polls show that if one Christian group in America has not experienced as much loss due to the so-called “rise of the nones” it is the theological conservatives.

    Here’s the Atlantic (note: not exactly a bastion of theological conservatism) pointing out the difference between the steep decline in mainlines vs evangelical churches:

    And here’s an article noting that after a brief stagnant period, the PCA is growing again… mainly due to urban church plants:

    To be clear, it’s not “all a numbers game”, but the stark contrast should give mainline churches a cause to stop & think. Why are they dying so precipitously? Could it be associated with their theology? What are they missing?
    Here’s another article that explicitly makes that connection:

  350. I think Jesus was hardest on the theological Right. That’s a place where we can agree. If anyone should have “gotten it”, it should have been the people who were so focused on knowing the Word… because (as he repeatedly said) the whole OT points to him (Lk.24:27,44; Jn.5:39-40; etc).

    At the same time, he wasn’t exactly gentle with the Left (check his dialogues with the “no resurrection” Sadducees) or the secular (Herodians).

    It’s not about “gotcha.” I get no browning points with Jesus for “gotcha.” It’s about saying “look out! your running toward a cliff! turn around! don’t go that way!” If that’s gotcha… then yeah, I want to love & be loved enough to do that & have others do it for me. And Jesus often was not so meek & mild when he did that – especially if his audience were supposedly religious leaders.

  351. Interesting. So Tim Keller, the PCA & my beliefs are up for interrogation & rejection… but the reciprocal is not a fair expectation?

  352. a) you have a very low view of the influence of the academy – and yet I can’t help but wonder how much money you spent on getting an education. again, that’s not a shot about money, it’s a demonstration of its value and influence… directly contrary to your point.

    b) i don’t know what you mean by “wowsers”, but it’s hard to have a sustained superiority over anyone when my faith begins by telling me that I – like anyone else – needed someone to die in my place. the cross does not leave me any moral high ground upon which to mock another’s sins.

    c) your metaphysical underpinnings are showing, whether you intend them or not. you dodged my above questions about your faith, but it is central to any discussion here. if you are a Christian, who defines justice but the One who is Justice himself? Jesus himself had a “male-only” priesthood. Certainly he broke social norms with how he treated women, respected them, honored them as equally image-bearers of God – and yet authority was given solely to men. Your objection here is with Jesus. If you are not a Christian, I understand you are bringing an external grid to bear. If you are a Christian, it begs the question: who can contradict you if not God? How could he ever speak hope from outside you into your world if he can’t disagree with you? How could such a god be anything other than a self-projection?

  353. Glad to hear it. Would you be kind enough to cite your sources, then?

  354. I do hold to Christian beliefs, such as the Resurrection and the belief in Christ as the Divine Logos or Word. It could be a bit unclear how physical and how spiritual this Resurrection is- read 1 Corinthians 15. Where I do differ from many conservatives is that I don’t think that anyone who doesn’t agree with my religion is automatically going to hell and that I have to make a great effort to keep them from going to hell. HENCE, this belief is one reason conservative Churches grow- they obsess over how other people who disagree with them are going to hell and therefore these conservatives go to great lengths to coerce and persuade persons or their point of view in order for them to be “saved.” More theologically liberal folks don’t usually consign other religions or certainly much less persons who aren’t Christian in the way they are to hell. This respect for different beliefs certainly does dampen more theological liberal enthusiasm for winning people to their religion. I was just thinking that μαρτυρια (martyria) or bearing witness, evidence, testimony, reputation could be a bit akin to Marketing. One definition of marketing I found on the WEB is “developing a demand for that product and fulfilling the customer’s needs.”

    Wouldn’t bearing witness to our religion involve developing demand for Christianity and fulfilling the customer’s spiritual needs? Acts 1:8 Jesus said that we should be his witnesses from Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and unto the end (εσχατου, eschatou) of the Earth.” BUT, it doesn’t mean necessarily that everyone who disagrees with Christianity is going to hell. For instance, the book of Acts speaks about how the Jews didn’t accept the Gospel, but the Gentiles did and that is one reason they started to focus on the Gentiles, such as in Acts 28:28. This does not necessarily mean the Jews were going to hell. Romans 11:29 states that the gifts and call of God (to the Jews) are irrevocable or αμεταμελητα (ametameteta) or not repented of, not regretted, despite the Jewish refusal of the gospel. Acts 18:6 seems to indicate they decided to stop hounding the Jews who weren’t interested in Christianity and to go on to the gentiles who WOULD listen and be receptive to their message. Marketing sort of involves letting people freely choose the product one is selling, without coercion. It doesn’t look like the early Christians really used that much coercion to get the Jews to believe. Besides, there were MANY people in the ancient world that were seeking exactly what Christianity had to offer and therefore they didn’t need to harass or harangue the Jews to gain converts. AND, this could have been a godsend to the Church, since there comparatively really aren’t that many Jews, but there are millions of Gentiles who would really be receptive to Christianity. If the Jews didn’t say no, they might never have gone to the Gentiles and become a world religion. As Paul stated in Romans 11:12, the Jewish rejection of the Gospel meant riches for the world. Many theological liberals do confuse witnessing or marketing with coercion and disrespect for other people’s beliefs. The trick or clue is to find those people who think like us already and are seeking exactly what we have to offer. Publicity and bearing witness are means of attracting these people to our fold.

  355. Hee hee … and seriously, I appreciate where you are, though I cannot join you there. But a jolly picture you have … and I suppose you have grandchildren who are recipients of that kindly smile.

    Enough of our bickering for the day … wishing you well in the goodness and glory of Christ.

  356. Good night Irene. No doubt, you’ll lay down your sweet head with a sense of work well done, having met the Enemy head-on, defeating it with your counter-thrust and parry. Anyway, enough of this nonsense. You’re about as wrong on all these counts as can be, but if you’re happy in your cyclone world, so be it. You’re not the first, nor the last, to rest content in religious sanctimony and the accompanying lies of orthodoxy. Perhaps over coffee, we might speak a bit more reasonably to one another, though I suspect not, since I doubt if I could ever shake the sobriquet of “enemy.” Yet I wish you well in Christ … and a good night. I’ve said my piece/peace here, and I hope you have, too. There are yet other dragons, maybe even real ones, to meet.

  357. Do you consider moral values and duties to be the same as ethical principles?

  358. Come on. Don’t be chicken. Let’s debate the text. Unless, that is, you can’t.

  359. I’m shocked! I didn’t think someone as enlightened as you would use such politically incorrect language: “masculinity!” Where’s my safe place?

  360. Which one? Hardly seems worthwhile since it means different things to each of us.

  361. Kind of. It was once explained to me that morals involves doing what we are told by some authority, like a religion, whereas ethics involve doing what is right.

  362. “Wowsers” is an Australian term for pecksniffs, comstocks, censors, muggles, Mrs. Grundys and the like – advocates of censorship especially related to S-E-X. No one’s sins were “mocked,” including theirs.

    I do not believe God is concerned with disagreement. Jesus obviously had a closer bond with Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, as well as Mary Magdalene, than the 12 Disciples, who tended to be more gofers than soul mates. There is even historical speculation that the real “holy grail” was Mary Magdalene.

    Your third paragraph is a mismash of sputtering and cross-examination, and is not appropriate for dialogue. If you seek dialogue you need to treat those with whom you seek it with respect. Respect does not involve cross-examination.

  363. Keller is or was up for an award, so of course scrutiny of his beliefs are relevant. You are free to believe whatever you want. I have no interrogatories for you. Reveal whatever you want but your disrespectful interrogation will not achieve the results you desire.

  364. I wouldn’t consider the Sadducees “the left” by any reasonable measure. I assume the Herodians are Herod’s posse, who were primarily libertines and monetizers, not unlike the Trump apparatus.

    When people play “Gotcha” it’s not primarily motivated by anticipation of a religious reward of sorts. The pop psychologist examined a version of it in his “Games People Play” in the section headlined “Now I’ve Got You, You S- of a B-.” I don’t recall religion at all be discussed there, it’s primarily about interpersonal dynamics in marriages, families, workplaces and the like and played out perhaps several times a day in your muggle workplace..

  365. The primary reason for the decline of Mainline churches is the fact affiliation with a church is no longer an informal requirement for social respectability as it was roughly 300 to 100 years ago among white Americans. Thus leading businessmen in local communities joined leading churches where they were not out of conviction but out of obligation. Local “freethinkers” were shunned.

    These days, I’d say more than 95% of Americans don’t care what religion their neighbors are and certainly wouldn’t fault them for having a different one unless they’re yahoos and their neighbors as Muslims.

    I remember an advertising letter for Richard John Neuhaus’ “First Things” journal. Neuhaus was a Mainline Pastor who converted to Catholicism and was particularly moved toward the RCC’s position on the hot button social issues. The struggle to start a magazine, as I’m sure you know, is an iffy business proposition – most fail, but I believe even after Neuhaus’ death I think it’s still going, but I’m not sure how much of its revenue is actual subscribers and advertisers and how much is donations from big money correligionists. But in the ad, he told an anecdote of a couple, I’m guessing in their 50s or 60s, who had four adult children, all of which attended Catholic schools as kids, and exactly none of them were practicing Catholics per se. They despaired of this and noted, if I remember right, all were unchurched but one son who married a Jew attended Temple with her family on high holy days, and the one that caused them the most embarrassment – the daughter who lived with a boyfriend and didn’t want kids – was the only one, with her boyfriend, who would go to Catholic services with them. Neuhaus seemed to indicate he was looking for subscribers like that couple and seemed to imply they could reverse that trend. Well, if anybody thought they would, they were sure wrong, especially after the revelations of abuse by priests. With few exceptions Gen-Xers and Millenials are not interested in church.

    Most of the Mainlines have adjusted accordingly. By and large we do not expect to fill 500 seat sanctuaries on Sunday mornings. But I submit that in certain Episcopal churches and the like there is more spiritual growth among the few participants than in the 500 at the megachurch who feel validated like the Pharisee in the scripture who prayed thanks he was not like a publican who prayed “God have mercy on me, a sinner.”

  366. So you say ethical principles are universal, but does that also mean ethical principles would be the same for people in the 15th century BCE as they are for people today?

  367. That’s true, on those hot button issues (progressives v. conservatives) there is never agreement and never will be.

  368. From her I’d expect it, but not you K52. Such misogynistic language will surely get you in trouble with the PC nazis of your social justice powder puff ranger club. Quick drink your kool aid – the purple stuff. Hurrrrrryyyyyy! Whew! That was a close call. ;-P

  369. As usual you’re confused about my position. Your incessant whining about “social justice” as if that’s a bad thing is certainly pathetic.

  370. I have always considered the concepts of splitting certain polities like countries and churches just like India and Pakistan were in 1947, with a sympathy for the desire of my faction to be free from yours; however, I continue to oppose such out of concern for future generations.

  371. Good question. Our collective understandings of them have certainly evolved. Going back that far, lives of persons not born in a privileged status were certainly devalued. The concept lives of persons previously considered not as worthy as others developed full throttle with The Enlightenment (late 17th Century and 18th Century), and is certainly still not accepted universally, as present controversies readily demonstrate.

  372. Sad. But some relationships cannot be maintained peacefully and separation, though sad, does allow each party to follow their own vision, rather than continual fighting.

  373. Conservatives were doing “social justice” long before progressives were even a twinkle in their mother’s eye. And if I am confused about your position it’s only because you are confusing.

  374. But do ethical principles – moral values and duties – exist independent of people? Kind of like the old “if a tree falls in the woods and no is around to hear it does it make a noise?”

  375. Hmmm. In the U.S. today – and probably just about everywhere else – what is called conservatism is opposition to justice. One could say, for example, that Edmund Burke was in favor of what he perceived as justice. One could not say the same thing about any prominent conservative since the mid-1960s with a few possible exceptions like David Brooks and David Frum, and even then there are critics of theirs who say they are no longer conservative.

    I’m no complete ideologue. I regard the quest for social justice as noble, but recognize no ideology fully solves all problems. Religion is best when it is voluntary.

  376. This is certainly true. However the quest for human improvement knows no boundaries.

  377. Universal ethical principles (principles that determine what is good or evil, right or wrong) by their very nature (universal and therefore applicable in all times and in all places) would be determined by an authoritative someone (supreme being as in God) and would therefore be absolute in their application. But how do we ascertain these ethical principles?

  378. That’s not what I believe, certainly not the “absolute” part. The subject matter is of little interest to me. Humans determine what is right for humans. When conflict arises ethical principles are employed toward solving same.
    Put it this way: fundamentalism lies when it says to converts fundamentalism will solve all their problems because it won’t. Postmodernist nonfundamentalists recognize when one determines to live one’s life ethically that multiplies problems because each and every action one takes must be evaluated ethically.

  379. Who gets to determine what the ethical principles are, then? And to say there are no absolute moral values and duties, no absolute right and wrong is itself a moral absolute.
    And this fundamentalist you keep talking about: you got a frog in your pocket or something?

  380. Or more aptly: you got a strawman in your pocket…

  381. Obviously everyone determines which ethical principles they hold and which they follow, as well as which they do not follow at times, and, when two or more principles conflict, which of the two they will follow and why, or, if they would in a particular case follow a thi.rd or fourth principle and so on, and why.

    I do not believe necessarily there are no absolutes, but there will always be times when two or more principles conflict. This of course renders inert the notion of fundamentalism that certain absolutes exist, because in every case where someone will articulate one, I can guarantee you that there will be another principle in conflict with it. In governing, for instance, the existence of conflicts in law are always a factor in jurisprudence. Take for example the case of City of Boerne (Texas) versus Flores (Archbishop of the Catholic diocese of the area). The Catholic Church had determined they would demolish an historical church in Boerne, a suburb of San Antonio, which was a nationally designated historical building – incidentally, nuns assigned there opposed the diocese’s decision, but the city opposed it due to their participation in historical preservation and it was covered under a federal law on that topic. If the city lost they could lose funding. The case reached the Supreme Court where Justice Scalia wrote the decision finding for the city, and in so doing struck down an ill-conceived Religious Freedom Restoration Act which was passed in the 1980s or 1990s, with strong support from both parties in Congress. Thus the church was forced to follow the historical preservation act, which conflicted with the RFRA. In doing this – IIRC the decision was unanimous – the SC held one federal act superseded another. Such decisions are common. Much as there were parts of RFRA which were admirable – Jewish Congress members are particularly concerned about their ability to practice their religion unmolested – the act was overreaching and thus unconstitutional.

    It is no secret I write in opposition to fundamentalism. I am not about to change that. Your whining about it does not impress me.

  382. So according to the higher-ups at this institution, anyone who receives the Kuyper award is also by default being “endorsed” by the seminary — women’s ordination, LBGTQ, etc. Where’s the “sensitivity” and “safe place” for the traditionalists who think the Scriptures say something different? You want “fairness?” NO ONE receives the award for fear of offending ANYONE. But that won’t happen. Just follow the money and the fear — and you’ll find Princeton’s “convictions.”

  383. LOL! First you say you believe in universal ethical principles; then you say you don’t believe in moral absolutes (which kind of contradicts the definition of “universal”); then you say maybe there are absolutes; then you go off on a rant about something totally unrelated to the issue. Face it: you painted yourself into a postmodern corner with “there are no moral absolutes” which is itself a moral absolute and then you go off on a rant explaining your paint job and then you accuse me of whining. Really? You sophomoric post mod prog lib social justice powder puff rangers are all alike: you make these stupid assertions that you can’t back up with facts and reason and then when you are called on your lame reasoning, you rant off topic and end by calling names. Let me end this with a suggestion for your edification: check into the nearest community college and take a class in critical thinking. Hey, bruh – thanks for the entertainment.

  384. Obviously you never intended to have a serious conversation. You just offered typical right-wing bait-and-switch zingers for an opportunity to spout talk radio memes as if it makes you look smart. It doesn’t. I never said there are no universal ethical principles. But if there are, fundamentalists wouldn’t know them if they bit ’em on their pockmarked hindquarters. Your whole raison d’etre is to use religion as a weapon to spout hatred. Your morality is utter bull feathers. Of course that’s obvious since you chose a fictional character who is the avatar of fascism as a screen name.

  385. It is what it is. The school is a shadow of its former self.

  386. Sitting on the horns of a dilemma, k? Don’t get your panties all twisted up in a knot. Understanding each other’s point of view can sometimes get messy. That doesn’t mean I think any less of you. Of course you never said there were no universal ethical principles, but in fact you are the one who posited them (I called them moral values and duties). I agreed with you that there are universal ethical principles which by definition are “done by all people or things in the world or in a particular group; applicable to all cases.” Then when I suggested that would make them absolute you said you wouldn’t go that far. So I called into question your use of the word “universal” and you said maybe there might be absolutes after all. I wanted you to explain how a universal ethical principle (moral values and duties) could be universal and yet not absolute. Your reply was typical of all prog libs post mods at this point unable to resolve the logical dilemma – you stomp your little feet, call names, and hold your breath until your face turns blue. I contend you cannot have universal ethical principles without God/law giver (a universal ethical principle generator for you). Without God there are no absolute universal ethical principles (and therefore no sin) agreed upon by everyone – just opinions. And the moral absolutes (universal ethical principles/moral values and duties) one generation agreed upon the next generation disagrees upon. I happen to see the universal ethical principles found in the Bible as revealed by God as a reflection of His moral nature and therefore normative for us – for time and eternity. How people have implemented and applied those moral norms is another story. So take a deep breath, take a potty break, get a drink (your choice of adult beverage). Life will go on. By the way, could you please give me the call letters of that radio station you referred to. Sounds like a good station. See I don’t listen to sports radio or talk radio and that’s about all there is, so I don’t listen to radio much. I do read, however. A lot.

  387. Seems to me series of pejorative labels (e.g., like your above list) is more disrespectful than asking substantive & logical questions.

    Your assessment of the disciples relationship to Jesus does not match the earliest & most well-attested accounts (i.e., the NT Gospels), Dan Brown’s “Da Vinci Code” notwithstanding.

    “Respect does not involve cross-examination.” This is disingenuous at best. Hard to imagine a substantive relationship of any sort without *real* dialogue – especially in marriage and friendship. The etymological meaning of hypocrisy is “less critical (of yourself)” than others… what better way to avoid it than to invite reciprocal critique?

    Again, if you’re a Christian, the cross is an admission that we are that broken. If you are not a Christian, I understand your objection on the basis of the paradigm itself. Consider the difference: “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside.” (1 Cor.5:12-13)

  388. Your beliefs are inherent in the discussion. How else would one scrutinize someone else’s beliefs?

  389. Don’t confuse political left with theological left. The Sadducees didn’t believe in the resurrection, they didn’t think God was involved in everyday life, they were wealthy aristocrats more concerned with politics than religion, & they denied any afterlife or the existence of a spiritual world. As Jesus pointed out to them, they didn’t take the Scriptures as seriously as their Pharisaical counterparts (Mk.12:24). That’s a relevant parallel for much of modern theological liberalism.

    You seem to want to talk more about labels than content. “Gotcha” or not, it matters what Jesus actually said – especially to Christians. It matters ultimately, not like a winning jab in a social interaction at work… but rather as ultimate concerns about the very meaning of life.

  390. I gave you a litany of articles citing sociological stats from peer-reviewed studies. You responded with anecdotal remarks.

    As I said before, numbers do not equate with spiritual health, but staggering decline (as the mainline has been seeing for decades) should give one pause.

  391. That doesn’t sound at all like theological liberals of today.

  392. No. This is about what happened regarding Keller. I’m not responding to inappropriate interrogatories.

  393. I am not the topic of this conversation. Your personal attacks will not be met with the responses you want.

  394. I couldn’t find a mention of a radio station.

    Re: “I contend you cannot have universal ethical principles without God/law giver…” – There are plenty of non-theistic ethical principles. That’s like saying a hamburger is not a hamburger if it doesn’t have mayonaise on it.

  395. Jesus had a lot to say about heaven & hell (including an explicitly exclusive stand on the matter). Is it possible your objection is not so much with conservatives as with Christ?

    As such, “no one comes to the Father except through me” (Jn.14:6) stands in opposition to such universalism. Do we take Jesus seriously? The logic of the Gospel (God saves humanity) is fundamentally at odds with religion (humanity follows God’s rules to get in/favor/etc.; self-salvation) or secularism (save yourself; if saving is necessary at all). The biblical view of the human condition doesn’t leave any room either (“Apart from me you can do nothing” Jn.15:5; spiritual deadness, Eph.2; etc.).

    As one reads Scripture, pressing for universalism & the like begins to be about a much more foundational question: can God contradict you? Can your God disagree with you? If not, how do you know your God is not merely a self-projection? And more practically, how can you have a personal relationship with someone who never contradicts you on anything major?

    No, it’s not about marketing & product. As Paul wrote, “we don’t peddle God’s Word for profit.” Jesus gave up his life to save us. Martyrdom (as you rightly noted the root word of witnessing) is us reciprocating that forward to others… which includes the probable death of one’s reputation due to holding biblical but socially unpopular views. What other opinion matters than His?

  396. Sure there is. You said I was spouting talk radio memes. So you had to have listened talk radio to know the memes you are referring to. And, if I’m going to be spouting talk radio memes I should at least know what talk radio show I’m spouting from.

    Oh, sure, there are plenty of non-theistic ethical principles. No question there. Man, according to the Bible, is made in the image of God so you’d expect people everywhere throughout history to have a sense of right and wrong. C. S. Lewis once observed that if you went to the deepest Amazonian tribe untouched by western civilization and you walked up to a native who was sitting on a log and pushed him off so you could sit down, he would probably say, “Hey, that wasn’t right. I was sitting there first.” We all know that. But that’s not the question. The question is this: are these universal ethical principles you speak of absolute. And if so are they absolutely applicable throughout time and eternity. And then how do we know them? Who gets to say authoritatively, “Hey, you over there, you just violated a universal ethical principle. You need to knock it off! I say the biblical God is the authoritative source for right and wrong. For if there is no God, all things are permissible.

  397. “personal attacks”? how is asking someone their theological and metaphysical point of departure a “personal attack”?

    the word ‘conversation’ itself implies more than one party is involved. it is illogical to think criticism involves only one point of view. it necessarily involves two. if one is unwilling for one’s own point of view to be equally scrutinized, one’s criticism likely should not be offered in the first place.

    case in point, because of PTS’ stand here against Keller’s views, PTS is equally coming under scrutiny – because criticism involves TWO points of view… or do you believe *only* Tim Keller’s views are relevant there as well?

  398. As I said in the other thread, that’s an illogical response. Criticism necessarily involves *two* parties. This is as much about PTS as it is about Keller. If one offers criticism (as you & I both have here), one brings one’s views to bear, opening *oneself* to critique. That’s what “conversation” means. Otherwise it’s just a monologue.

  399. On the contrary, as one educated at the seminary in question, that sounds *a lot* like the theological liberals of today. It’s not an “all of the above”, but I’ve certainly seen each of these at PTS and broader academia (not believing in the resurrection, more about politics than faith, denial of the metaphysical, etc.). And it certainly contributes to the demise of the mainline denominations in question, if not the cause.

  400. Yes, we could talk about today rather than the past. How about the 150 scholars or so, who have stated flatly that sexual orientation of parents is not related to sexual orientation of children. In fact, one argued that there had never been any article by anyone in any country at any time that disagreed with her way of thinking about this (I exaggerate for effect only slightly). Then you have to explain how one scholar has found dozens of reports that show otherwise, with as many as 57.5% of the children of LGBTQ parents being non-heterosexual themselves, compared to less than 2-5% of the children of heterosexual parents? We could talk about the instability of lesbian parents as couples (e.g., 30% breakups over 5 years of parenting) or the gender roles differences of their children, etc. And how controlling for previous divorce or stigma doesn’t totally explain many of these types of differences. And what about the idea that legalization of same-sex marriage actually created far more inequality than it solved? Most of this has been published in peer reviewed articles but I bet you haven’t heard about it, as it doesn’t fit the “consensus” narrative. I am not waiting for a call from Princeton Seminary to speak because I could support everything I’ve said, with lots of data from many sources, so it could not be dismissed as merely by espousing my own opinion. That’s far more threatening than having someone speak “from the past”. Yet even Senator Schumer of New York said that we have to get to the bottom of what the truth is (March 2, 2017). I tend to be concerned when the truth has to be hidden or twisted in order to make some folks feel better about themselves. And besides, why not let Keller speak without giving him an award?

  401. I’m merely what I would call an average Christian with no formal theological education, who’s just struggling to develop a lasting relationship with God through prayer, Bible studies etc. and thereby become a better husband, son, and neighbor to those I come across in my life.

    I don’t have the knowledge and the intelligence to speak for or against these issues that seem to be dividing our community further apart. But I feel that it’s very unfortunate (and personally saddening) to see Pastor Keller being portrayed in ways that I personally would never have thought to.

    I’ve never seen Pastor Keller in person, but I’ve listened to many many of his sermons and public talks/debates. And I’ve always walked away being inspired to be humble and loving to others. His sermons that I listened to about Marriage also helped me to be a better husband. His book Prodigal God also helped me realize I had been that big brother all alone in my life, being quietly critical of those who wandered away from church without realizing that I was just as away from God despite my practices. One of his most consistent messages is that we’re saved through Grace, and if one were to understand and reflect on that, it should take away our self righteousness that we’re all so wont to have. And I’ve always had an impression that he takes his own message to heart, and conducts himself accordingly. So it’s saddening for me to see him being portrayed as some sort of a bigot (whether it’s just or not, I don’t know, I’m just sad about it).

    From my limited perspective, I think it was a good compromise to withdraw the award to Pastor Keller, but to still have him speak. And I’m glad he’s agreed to speak despite the circumstances knowing that he may be confronted. But I’ve seen him speak at non-Christian academic institutions before, and be able to articulate his views with clarity and humility with people of opposing views. Hopefully he’ll be treated cordially with love at PTS.

  402. Keller not receiving prize from an apostate institution is as it should be. The attitude of Christian leaders toward receiving prizes from these kind of institutions should be thus: “And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the Lord, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich…”

  403. …and I always wondered how pre WWII Germany with all it’s Christians, academia, scholarship and theologians succumbed to hating their fellow man instead of loving them? When the church became subordinate to the seminary’s and they became spiritually unaccountable, proud, self appointed “elders,” “bishops”and “apostles.” America and the West are sadly recreating the Germany experience. God help us all, forgive them and protect us from them.

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