When Dis-Honor is Honorable - Tim Keller and the Kuyper Award

At the outset, let me state that I love Tim Keller and how he represents the Kingdom of God. I have never met the man. I have never spoken to the man. I don’t even agree with him on everything regarding the church or theology. But, he is a fellow servant of Christ with whom I feel a kinship when it comes to the reasons why they are denying him the Kuyper Award.

Quoting Christianity Today: 

“The most popular Reformed preacher and author in America today is not eligible to receive Princeton Theological Seminary’s annual award in Reformed theology and public witness.

The mainline seminary reversed its decision to honor Tim Keller with a prize named for neo-Calvinist theologian Abraham Kuyper following outcry over the Presbyterian Church of America (PCA) pastor’s conservative positions.

Princeton president Craig Barnes announced the news in a letter released Wednesday morning.

Because the PCA conflicts with the seminary’s denomination, the Presbyterian Church (USA), on women and LGBT clergy, leaders agreed not to award Keller the prize and thus affirm his differing stance. However, the school has still scheduled the Redeemer Presbyterian pastor to speak on mission at an annual conference hosted by its Kuyper Center for Public Theology in April.”

Original Source

In other words, Princeton Theological Seminary decided to Dis-Honor Tim Keller because of his positions on women and LGBT clergy. Both of Keller’s positions on these two controversial issues are based on the Word of God. It is ironic that a huge segment of Christendom opposes Keller’s stance in favor of conforming to the world of which the Apostle Paul warns us to be wary (Romans 12:2).

It seems to me that God’s favor and honor would rest with Tim Keller rather than those who would renege on awarding him their human honor. It is one of those times when it is more honorable to be dis-honored considering the position of those who are doing the dis-honoring.

I am reminded of what Peter and the apostles said when they were commanded to conform to man’s way. They said, “We must obey God rather than men.” 

We are confronted with the same choices today. When the situation warrants, we must always choose to obey God’s Word over the dictates of culture or worldly institutions.

As for Tim Keller, he has made it a habit to obey God rather than men. Even after the rescinding of the award, Keller acted in a Christ-like manner. He agreed to be the lead-off speaker at this year’s Kuyper Conference even though there will be no award ceremony.

As for me, I would rather be like Tim Keller because he is more like Jesus (he, meaning Keller, would probably shudder at this last sentence).

Some of our Branch Ministries are studying Keller’s book, Jesus The King, which we highly recommend.

Something to think about...