Quick Note on Open Dialogue, Tim Keller, and the Kuyper Prize

I’m traveling, and will only comment briefly. I would link to the Princeton Seminary president’s comments and to the basic information about the Kuyper Prize.

I’m not going to get into the details of this issue. It appears that Keller will speak, but will not be awarded the Kuyper prize. I’m definitely not in the Reformed camp, so who gets honored is very much not my affair.

I’m very interested in religious dialogue, and for there to be real dialogue, there must be substantial differences of opinion. As a moderate, that means I must dialogue with people at what appear to me to be the extremes. For a conservative that means listening and responding to views of liberals or progressives. For both progressives and conservatives, I think it means more openness to dialogue with those in the charismatic movement.

While I do support the right of any private organization to determine what ideas it will support, at the same time I mourn when dialogue with substantial movements within the Christian community is diminished. I’m pleased that Rev. Keller will still speak. I am less concerned about giving prizes, and it appears he is too! Having been through the experience of having a speaker uninvited, one who responded with grace, I appreciate the grace shown here.

I would say to my more progressive friends that Tim Keller represents a very substantial movement within American Christianity. The size of the movement means those who disagree must engage it. Engaging is not agreeing. Dialogue is not support. Rather, dialogue is the best way to challenge bad ideas.

It may feel good to declare someone else’s view “outside the bounds,” but I don’t believe it’s the best way to change minds. Thus I publish views on both the conservative and the liberal side of the spectrum, not to mention occasionally charismatic, that others think I should not. No, I don’t have to provide “those people” with a platform, but I think it’s valuable to have a common platform, and to use it to encourage growth.

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