It all sounded so high and mighty: the liberal Princeton Seminary was going to award its Kuyper Prize to a conservative pastor, despite his Calvinist theology. The Kuyper Prize for Excellence in Reformed Theology and Public Witness is awarded each year to someone whose contribution “reflects the ideas and values of the Calvinist vision of religious engagement in matters of social, political, and cultural significance” according to The Layman.
In its announcement, Princeton said that conservative Calvinist Reverend Tim Keller, pastor of the Redeemer Presbyterian Church in downtown Manhattan, was going to receive the award, saying that Keller “is widely known as an innovative theologian and church leader, well-published author, and catalyst for urban mission in major cities around the world.”
He’s also ordained by the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), a conservative offshoot of the liberal Presbyterian Church (USA). Craig Barnes, president of Princeton, thought he might get some pushback, as the PCA opposes the ordination of women and gays. So he followed up the announcement with this explanation:
While my office issues the official invitations to campus, I don’t practice censorship over the choices of these organizations, even when I or the seminary disagrees over some of the convictions of these speakers.
He celebrated diversity and inclusiveness over the selection: