Princeton Theological Seminary Appalled Kuyper Prize Named After Kuyper

Princeton Theological Seminary – Princeton, NJ

After revoking the 2017 Kuyper Prize from Presbyterian church planter and author, Tim Keller, Princeton Theological Seminary president, Craig Barnes and faculty were alarmed to discover that the Kuyper award was also named after Abraham Kuyper, whose own views called into question the rich, theological distinctiveness of the seminary.

Barnes cordially noted, “I was as shocked as anyone else to find out that Kuyper held to similar, historic, orthodox Christian views on the ordination of women and LGTBQ+ persons. Who would have thunk Kuyper himself agreed with the position of the church since its culmination?!”

Due to this unfortunate oversight, the seminary has released another update to their original, which disqualified Keller as the recipient of the 2017 Kuyper prize:


Dear members of the Seminary Community,

On March 22 I sent an update to faculty and staff addressing the unfortunate predicament regarding Timothy Keller being the recipient of the 2017 Kuyper prize. While it is true that we do not wish to stifle academic freedom, critical inquiry, and theological diversity, it has been further brought to our attention that the name of the Kuyper award might also suggest sanction of views found within the biblical corpus.

We strive to be a community that can engage with generosity and respect those with whom we disagree about important issues, yet it is quite clear the name of the award must be changed to better reflect the stance of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Princeton has hardly been a bastion of orthodox Christian belief and practice for many years now. It is our earnest desire to continue in good faith toward that aim.

Furthermore, we shall commission another design of the here-to-be-named award, which shall depict waves tossing to and fro, as it strongly reflects our understanding of the Christian faith.


Craig Barnes


UPDATE: It has also been discovered that the founders of Princeton Theological Seminary held to similar views on the ordination of women and LGTBQ+ persons. When reached for comment on this altogether surprising information, Craig Barnes was not available.

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  • That’s brilliant! I do hope those reactionaries won’t lash out at Princeton for its sincere and inclusive desire to be consistently inconsistent.

    And Gaia help them if they complain about PTS taking back the “Kuyper” (for now) Prize from Pastor Tim Keller and accuse PTS of “indian giving.”

    It is “Indigenous People giving.”

    • CruisingTroll

      Nay, we should get on board with the Canucks in this regard:

      “First People’s Redistribution”

    • ahermit

      Well the important thing is that you get to cling to your racist stereotype…

      • Ken


      • Actually, my sense of humor. Ya see, “indian giver” is old, mostly discarded slang for someone who gives you something, then demands you give it back. I was making a joke based on that.

        • ahermit

          Yes. I’m familiar with the term, It ranks up there with “Jewing someone down” on a deal and other racist expressions that I grew up hearing all the time. If your sense of humour relies on such tired old props you shouldn’t be surprised when people don’t laugh…

          • Charlene

            If you get any more self-righteous, you’ll explode.

          • ahermit

            Touched a nerve, did I?

  • Tianzhu

    They should rename it the Demas Post-Christian Seminary, after the Demas in the New Testament, whom Paul described as “in love with this world.”

    I look forward to meeting both Tim Keller and Abraham Kuyper in heaven. Given the antipathy of the current Princeton crew for those two men, it would be appropriate if they end up in a different place.

  • The word Princeton is offensive to women.

  • Statistics Palin

    PTS should have been torched after Van Til. Presuppositionalism is pseudo intellectual bullshit that a decent undergraduate
    with a semester of logic could tear to pieces.

    Please, don’t refer to PTS as “Princeton.”. The relationship between PTS and Princeton University was severed long ago.

  • Hi,

    What’s so bad about Princeton theological Seminary? There are some centrist theologians like Bruce McCormack. Dan Migliore taught there. There appears to be a strong Barthian contingent. Are these too far left for Calvinists?

    John Arthur

  • HpO

    Honestly, Grayson Gilbert? That’s more like it, that PTS, becoming of the progressive left persuasion more and more, is going to delete Abraham Kuyper by name. That’s being consistent in principle, at least. 3 problems still remain, however:

    (1) The one you mentioned: So what are they going to do about “the founders of Princeton Theological Seminary” and their “similar views on the ordination of women and LGTBQ+ persons.”

    (2) The gag order placed on Timothy Keller’s lecture of April 6, 2017: Because “we strongly disagree with his theology on ordination … Reverend Keller will be lecturing … not on ordination” (Princeton Theological Seminary President M. Craig Barnes, “Update on the 2017 Kuyper Lecture and Prize”, March 22, 2017). The board of PTS’s Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Supporters refuses to acknowledge this, but instead claims, “At no point has this been about policing free speech” (Zachary Calvo, Religion Dispatches, March 24, 2017)

    (3) Why hypocritically rob only Timothy Keller of The Abraham Kuyper Prize for Excellence in Reformed Theology and Public Life? In all fairness, why not the previous winners, too, if it can be proven that their denomination, like Keller’s, also “prevents women and LGBTQ+ persons from full participation in the ordained Ministry of Word and Sacrament”? Like:

    (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

  • Jack Houston

    Grayson: where did you get the Barnes statement that suggests PTS may rename the Kuyper Prize? I can’t find it on the seminary’ website.

    • Gilsongraybert

      Hi John, thanks for the question; the article is a satire piece just designed to highlight the silliness of the overall situation and it didn’t happen. Unfortunately, it seems the tags don’t carry through on the mobile platform. While most of our posts are serious, we do like to throw out the occasional satire piece for giggles, or for an appropriate time to mock something like this.

      Though it will be interesting to see if they do change the name of the award, as many are legitimately calling for that.

      • Jack Houston

        Sorry Grayson but I didn’t get your drift in print. This is why we have so much fake news out there. I wonder how many others will miss your point.