Princeton Theological Seminary Writes Its Own Epitaph

Though the seminary has long departed from biblical orthodoxy, its revocation of Rev. Tim Keller's award reveals a new low.

By Michael Brown Published on March 23, 2017

Princeton Theological Seminary has just written its own epitaph. The venerable school departed from biblical orthodoxy many decades ago. But it has just crossed a shameful new line.

It may still have brilliant scholars on its faculty and some truly Christian students in its midst. It may still function for years to come. But by revoking its decision to honor Rev. Tim Keller with a special award, it has announced to the world that it worships at the altar of political correctness. It has shown more allegiance to the prevailing culture than to the timeless Word of God.

Departure From Faith

First, a short history of the school.

The seminary was founded in 1812 and was led by Dr. Archibald Alexander. He would hardly recognize the institution today, so far has it departed from its roots.

The seminary founded in 1812 has departed from its roots.

Through the rest of the 19th century and into the early 20th century, Princeton was graced with top biblical scholars and theologians. These included such as Charles Hodge, J. A. Alexander, B.B. Warfield, J. Gresham Machen and Geerhardus Vos. But in 1929, the seminary went in an anti-fundamentalist (anti-evangelical) direction and embraced modernism. Machen resigned, along with Oswald T. Allis, Robert Dick Wilson and Cornelius Van Til. These great luminaries in evangelical Christian scholarship then founded Westminster Theological Seminary.

Princeton seminary has not been a bastion of orthodoxy for nearly a century. But it has never before stooped this low in exalting the opinions of people over the truth of Scripture and historic Christian positions. 

Seminary Has “Concerns” About Keller

Rev. Timothy Keller is the longtime leader of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. He is one of the most respected and irenic pastors in America. He was scheduled to speak at the seminary and receive the Kuyper Prize, named after Dutch Christian leader Abraham Kuyper. (More on Kuyper at the end of the article).

However, the announcement that Keller would be receiving this award created an uproar at the school. This prompted the school’s president, Prof. Craig Barnes, to write a letter to the seminary community on March 10. “The focus of the concerns that have come to me is that Rev. Keller is a leader of the Presbyterian Church in America,” he explained, “which prevents women and LGBTQ+ persons from full participation in the ordained ministry to Word and Sacrament.” 

Barnes continued:

Our seminary embraces full inclusion for ordained leadership of the church. We clearly stand in prophetic opposition to the PCA and many other Christian denominations that do not extend the full exercise of Spirit filled gifts for women or those of various sexual orientations. We know that many have been hurt by being excluded from ministry, and we have worked hard to be an affirming place of preparation for service to the church.

So, the complaint is not just that the PCA does not ordain women. Conservative Christians have long disagreed on this issue. For instance, one can point to women who have served in some leadership roles in the Church from New Testament times until today. The complaint is that the PCA does not ordain practicing gays, lesbians, etc. On these issues orthodox Christians have always agreed. This reflects the clear teaching of Scripture and the unanimous verdict of Church history — until recently. And note that the seminary claims to stand in “prophetic opposition” to these positions. It insists that the battle is a “critical issue of justice.”

Nonetheless, Barnes wrote, it is “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.” For that reason, he hoped that Keller would be welcomed in “a spirit of grace and academic freedom.” 

Irony and Double Talk

Twelve days later, on March 22, Barnes wrote again. The outcry was too great. Keller would not receive the award.  Remarkably, however, Keller agreed to deliver his lecture as planned. 

Barnes explained, “In order to communicate that the invitation to speak at the upcoming conference does not imply an endorsement of the Presbyterian Church in America’s views about ordination, we have agreed not to award the Kuyper Prize this year.”

PTS touts generosity and respect while revoking Keller’s award and violating Scripture.

“We are a community that does not silence voices in the church,” Barnes stated. “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.”

Is this not double talk? We don’t silence other voices, he says. No, we welcome leaders with other views. We just dishonor them by revoking a promised award. And we muzzle them by having them speak on a non-controversial subject.

It’s hard to disagree with Rod Dreher. “If I were Tim Keller,” he said, I would let the dying Mainline bury the dying Mainline, and not bother with them. Mainline Protestantism in most places has become a suicide cult.”

In a final irony, Barnes closed his letter saying, “In the grace and love of Jesus Christ, we strive to be a community that can engage with generosity and respect those with whom we disagree about important issues.”

Generosity and respect indeed.

How Would the Award’s Namesake Respond?

And who is this Abraham Kuyper after whom the award is named? He was a Dutch theologian, journalist, and political leader. He served as Holland’s Prime Minister from 1901–1905. And he was a staunch opponent of theological liberalism who believed in the absolute lordship of Christ. He famously wrote, “Oh, no single piece of our mental world is to be hermetically sealed off from the rest, and there is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!’”

“When principles that run against your deepest convictions begin to win the day, then battle is your calling.” — Abraham Chipper

That applies to Princeton Theological Seminary as well. If this school does not fully reverse its course, repent, and go back to its foundations, it will become ever more irrelevant and impotent. This is true, even though some brilliant scholars teach there and some fine Christians attend there.

And what would Kuyper say to each of us today?

I leave you with his resounding words. May we take them to heart and put them into practice:

When principles that run against your deepest convictions begin to win the day, then battle is your calling, and peace has become sin; you must, at the price of dearest peace, lay your convictions bare before friend and enemy, with all the fire of your faith.

The time is now.

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  • Gary

    I don’t know anything about Tim Keller, but I know a little about all of the Ivy League schools. All of those schools are OVERRATED! They have done a great snow job on the American people by convincing many of them that an “education” from an Ivy League school is vastly superior to what can be had from ANY other school in the USA. Of course that is an outright lie, and has been for MANY years. Wise up people. Stop believing the lies. Ivy League schools are unfit for human consumption. DO NOT allow your children to buy the lie.

    • Kathy Verbiest Baldock

      Paraphrase: “I don’t know anything about Tim Keller or Ivy League schools, but here are my definitive statements about them.” How odd.

      • Gary

        You did not paraphrase my comment. You lied about it.

        • Timothy Horton

          You blither about human sexual orientation all the time and yet have demonstrated zero understanding of the subject.

          • Gary

            I know quite a bit about the subject. And, you don’t know half as much about anything as you think you do.

        • Kathy Verbiest Baldock

          Still, and again, how odd.

      • Ken Abbott

        You did misrepresent Gary’s remarks. He started out saying he doesn’t know anything about Tim Keller and makes no further mention of him–certainly nothing that could be called “definitive statements.” He then goes on to voice an opinion about the quality of the education provided by Ivy League schools, having stated that he knows a little bit about all of them. You may rightly dispute his conclusions, but he made them based on some information, not nothing as you claim.

    • m-nj

      I attended an Ivy. it was no more or no more less anti-christian (secular) than other private or public schools.

      as to education (at least in the sciences) … i have also taught at a large public university while in graduate school. i can definitely say, based on my interactions with those students, that my Ivy education taught me to think and reason, while their public uni education seemed to only teach them to regurgitate facts…. they had a very hard time taking concepts and applying them to new situations or problems. and this was not just a then vs. now comparison, as i was only 5 years older than most of the students.

      • Gary

        If an Ivy education teaches you to think and reason, why is it that there is so much anti-Christian and anti-Biblical belief among Ivy Leaguers?

      • ThomasD

        I am a close friend of a woman who graduated in the very first class at Yale that included women (1971). She transferred there when Yale first admitted females in 1969. She said it was overrated — her words, not mine. I was still impressed, and told her that she should be proud of it in any case. In graduate school at a large public university, I had a graduate faculty advisor with a PhD from MIT who told me that what you did with your opportunities — no matter where you were — mattered far more than “where you were.” Many academics and the educated elite would never be able to grasp that concept.

    • Timothy Horton

      You don’t have any college education at all, do you?

      • Gary

        If you have any, it certainly was a waste of time and money.

        • Timothy Horton

          That’s what I though. Your blind jealousy for people with an education shines like a million candlepower flare.

          • Triple T

            For what it’s worth, you’ve never answered the question about why you visit this site for seemingly no other reason than to pick fights with people.

          • Timothy Horton

            LOL! Gee the Fundy bigots sure get angry when someone stands up to their willful ignorance and intolerance. .

          • Gary

            We are intolerant, but not ignorant. And your attempts to “stand up” to us are achieving the exact opposite of what you want.

          • Timothy Horton

            Actually you’re both, in spades.

          • Timothy Horton

            Actually you’re both, in spades.

          • Triple T

            Who is angry? It was a legitimate question. One, for which, it seems you have no answer

          • Timothy Horton

            You’re angry. As for your loaded and dishonest question:

            Have you stopped stealing from the collection plate yet?

          • Timothy Horton

            That’s because it’s a quite dishonest and loaded question. Have you stopped stealing from the collection plate yet?

          • Triple T

            What is loaded or dishonest about it? If there is an answer, everybody here is waiting to hear it.

    • llew jones

      Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City along with perhaps the outstanding New Testament scholar today, D A Carson ( a Baptist) formed The Gospel Coalition which posts on the net. On the homosexual issue there are a few Q and A posts on complementarianism, which term should give the certain letters of the alphabet obsessed,TH, a seizure.

      John MacArthur, is mates with the above two as an Evangelical and a Calvinist but is also a premillennialist and should be more on your wavelength. You also, I’m sure, would like his approach to homosexuality. Here is one of his more gentle assaults on the limited alphabet disciples.- John Macarthur How to deal with Transgendered people -.
      If you use youtube you will also be able to pick up his rather “forceful” biblical views on homosexuality. (YT has the equivalent of “adds” of his talks or sermons on the RHS)

  • DCM7

    There is just too much ignorance in the world about homosexuality, and too much of it comes from people who really should know better.

    There is no such thing, first of all, as “sexual orientation.” That’s just a term invented to make same-sex attraction sound like some kind of inherent, natural variation, like left-handedness. As for this guy talking about “those of various sexual orientations,” how many “sexual orientations” does he think there are? If people started telling him that pedophilia was a “sexual orientation,” would he believe it?

    “The complaint is that the PCA does not ordain practicing gays, lesbians, etc.”
    Should it also ordain unrepentant adulterers? Drug addicts? Pornography addicts?
    Just because a behavior is deep-seated, to the point of looking like part of someone’s very identity, that doesn’t mean it’s acceptable. That also doesn’t mean it’s innate and can’t be changed (however difficult that may be in some cases). I know from personal experience how tough it can be to have a major change in thinking and behavior; I also know how utterly necessary it can be.

    • Timothy Horton

      There is just too much ignorance in the world about homosexuality, and too much of it comes from people who really should know better.

      LOL! You just melted every Irony Meter within a mile by demonstrating your own amazing ignorance on the topic of human sexuality by posting that angry science-free screed.

      • Aliquantillus

        I think you are the real science-free one here. First, because on the basis of modern science it is impossible to decide moral questions. Second, because what this question is really about is human nature, which is the object of philosophy and theology, not science. You shallow rejection the biblical viewpoint is both unscientific and unphilosophical.

        • Timothy Horton

          I think you are the real science-free one here.

          Not at all. There are many hundreds if not thousands of published scientific papers on all aspects of sexual orientation. They are easy enough to find with PubMed or Google Scholar for anyone honest enough to look. What causes a person’s sexual orientation is a complex mix of genetic, hormonal, and environmental factors – the exact blend for everyone is probably somewhat different. What all those papers do conclude is that one’s sexual orientation is not a conscious choice.

          Having someone claims there is no such thing as sexual orientation is as stupid as claiming there’s no such thing as eye color. It’s so far off base it’s laughable. But that’s what passes for “science” among the Stream’s illiterate.

          • Gary

            God places on all of us the obligation to be moral in our thoughts and actions. You don’t get an exemption because you are attracted to your same sex. The penalty is more severe.

          • Timothy Horton

            You don’t get an exemption because you are attracted to your same sex.

            You don’t get an exemption from anti-discrimination laws just because your religion teaches you to be intolerant.

          • Gary

            If you live where there are no laws that try to force you to accept homosexuals, as I do, you don’t need an exemption to be intolerant of homosexuals.

          • Aliquantillus

            What you mean by “sexual orientation” is simply the dominant inclination of a person. This is a subjective empirical reality. But this subjective inclination doesn’t in any imply that that this inclination is morally justified. Nor does it imply that a person cannot act against it. In fact, the inclination is on the level of the sensory powers, not free will or reason, and reason is not bound to follow it. There are many inclinations in man which he should suppress and avoid to act upon, because they go against right reason.

            Whether the homosexual inclination is a conscious choice or not is completely irrelevant to the question of the morality or immorality of homosexual acts. The inclinations of a pyromaniac are not based on conscious choice either, but this does not make his acting upon them morally justifiable.

            Why, for instance, should subjective inclination overrule the objective structure of the human body, which is clearly heterosexual and ordered toward procreation? Why is subjective reality of greater importance here than objective reality?

            It is impossible to deduce the moral acceptability of inclinations from their empirical reality. That’s why the question of the morality of homosexual acts can never be decided by natural science. This requires a viewpoint which considers human nature in its totalily and in relation to its ultimate goal.

          • Steve Santorino

            Nothing a Christian says or does really matters anyway, because it’s all “God’s plan”, right?

            If you believe your god is omniscient and knows everything past, present, and future, then he already knows what decisions you’re going to make, and all decisions that will ever be made. That alone means we don’t have free will.

            If you believe a gay person chooses to be gay, then your Christian god created that person, knowing full well that he will choose to be gay. And if god didn’t know that, or if we actually did have free will to choose how to live, then that cancels out the most basic tenet of Christianity, which is that your god is all-knowing and all-powerful, which ultimately disproves Christianity, regardless of the other mountains of logical and scientific evidence that does as well.

            The difference between Christianity (and probably all religions) and science is that Christians believe they are right and can never be challenged and science believes it is the closest to truth that we can be right now but should always be challenged and tested.

          • Aliquantillus

            Your err philosophically. Science has nothing to do with the questions you raise. Science can neither ask nor answer these universal questions, because it is limited to specialized subsections of the empirical domain. The knowledge of God doesn’t take away free will, for God is the Creator of free will. Nor does God’s knowledge of a person’s choices take away this person’s responsibility for his choices, for this responsibility is also a created reality. For instance, when Judas betrayed Christ, it wasn’t because God knew what Judas would do, that he betrayed Christ. He betrayed Christ by his own choice. God didn’t create a world which would it make necessary for Judas to betray Christ; He created a world in which Judas betrayed Christ by his own free will.

            It is also good to remember that our language cannot adequately describe divine knowledge, since God is Actus Purus. This is a consequence of the proof of divine existence by means of the First and Second Way of Aquinas (the Unmoved Mover, and the First Efficient Cause). Actus Purus implies that God is unchangeable and outside time. This again implies that the term ‘foreknowlede’ is inadequate to describe God’s knowledge of our future acts, because this term suggests a knowledge of things before the time they happen. The knowledge of a Being outside time is thus never ‘before’ (or ‘after’) and event in time. Strictly speaking there is thus no divine ‘foreknowledge’ of events.

          • Steve Santorino

            Exactly. I wasn’t trying to speak scientifically, I was using the Christian belief system to show how it logically collapses on itself. Choice, and specifically free will, implies an aspect of the unknown. If god gives me true free will, that implies god doesn’t know what I’m going to choose, which again, negates his omniscience, and thus collapsing the whole Christian idea of god.

            I am a non-believer. I believe I will die a non-believer. By Christian logic, that means God created me, knew everything I was going to do in my life, all the questions I was going to ask, all the discussions I was going to have, religious or otherwise, and yet when I die, I will not have accepted Jesus as god, so I will be damned to hell for eternity. Correct? So staying with that scenario, there are only 2 ways to logically accept that situation:

            1) There is an omniscient god. He created me, I lived and died as a non-believer, which he knew was going to happen, so why did he create me in the first place?
            2) There is no god.

            And I’ve heard it plenty of times…”we can’t begin to try to understand god’s will and plan for us…” But then why do try to interpret his book?

            If the bible is the actual word of god, written through the hands of men, then shouldn’t every single word be followed to the letter? Shouldn’t it be so important that we follow the bible to the strictest definition of every passage from the original text? Any sort of translation or interpretation away from the original source material should be considered blasphemous and potentially dangerous because we’re all just imperfect humans and trying to translate the original gospel from the original language (Arimaic?) to English could cause some problems with words and phrases that could lead someone to misinterpret the literal word of god!

          • Aliquantillus

            You confuse things. God didn’t create you as an unbeliever. He created (or better: creates) you as a human being with the potential of knowing the truth. God is outside time. His knowledge isn’t ‘foreknowledge’ but simply knowledge. God’s omniscience doesn’t have deterministic implications since it not bound by time at all.

          • Gary

            If your will is not under your control, as you seem to believe, then God chose to reject you before you were born. God did not want you to be a believer, or to know Him, or to spend eternity with him. If you are angry or resentful, or sad about that, or happy about it, God would also be responsible for your reaction to it all.

          • Steve Santorino

            That’s why the idea of a Christian god is so confusing to me and hard to take seriously. Why would your god create me, only for me to be a nonbeliever my whole life and end up in hell? That doesn’t sound like a loving god.

            But I do believe my will is under my control. Sometimes it’s easier than than other times, as well as depending on the circumstances, but yes, I’m choosing to write this post right now.

            I don’t, however, have control of the will of other people, which is another great case for the fact that humans created the idea of a Christian god. The unknown is scary. I could be sitting here right now and a crazy person could burst in and start lighting the place up. I had no control over that. The situations and examples of that sort of randomness are practically countless through history. And mankind innately wants to have control, or at least the illusion of control, so to stave off the fears and realizations that we don’t have control, we’ve created religions to compensate.

            The great Christian excuse that can be used whenever they want and can’t understand or explain something is, “I guess it’s just god’s will that that happened…we’ll never be able to understand god, we just have to have faith…”

            I actually envy that sort of thinking. Knowing that my plan has already been mapped out and that whatever happens is supposed to happen, that sounds pretty comforting! I just don’t know where Christians draw the line. If I sit at home and just wait, and just sit there for days and weeks and eventually die of starvation, would that have been god’s plan? That’s what a Christian would believe, right?

          • Gary

            If you believe that your will is under your control, then aren’t you responsible for what you do? You can’t blame God, or anyone else, for the decisions that you make, can you? If you choose to dismiss the God of the Bible as fiction, isn’t that a choice YOU made?

            If you think the God of the Bible is fiction, then do you have an explanation for your existence, or the existence of anything?

          • Steve Santorino

            Yes, I am responsible for what I do. Society wouldn’t function if people are not held responsible for what they do, which is why we’ve formed communities and laws. The human race would cease to exist if people were not held accountable for what hey do through an agreed upon set of laws and social contracts.

            And yes, I do choose to believe that the god from the bible is fiction. And I base that choice on my life and the faith in what I’ve read, seen, heard, felt, and experienced, which is how I assume most Christians have come to believe that the gospel is truth.

            No, I don’t have an explanation for my existence, as no one does. Christians have a belief in their existence and purpose, which is the same as the belief I have in science. And as of right now, the truth from science is that the universe is almost 15 billion years old and we aren’t 100% certain how we got here, but we’ll keep looking. And that’s the difference between science and religion. Religion purports to know the truth, and science keeps trying to find the truth.

          • Gary

            What do you think will happen to you when you die? And what will happen if you are wrong about what you believe?

          • Steve Santorino

            I have no Earthly idea what will happen when I die, nor does any other person with 100% certainty. I would assume that the maid at the motel that finds me will call the police, who will in turn call my wife and kids and hopefully they’ll have a little funeral for me…

            Obviously I’m kidding, but I do that when asked that question because we don’t know what will happen, nor should it matter. Shouldn’t it matter what we do when we’re alive? The old saying, “it’s the journey, not the destination.” I think Christians believe it’s the destination, not the journey. As long as you admit, and correct me if I’m wrong, that Jesus is god and the only way to get to heaven is by believing in him, then what else matters? Christians can proclaim Jesus is their savior and no matter what they do, they’ll go to heaven. The only requirement to reach heaven in Christianity is to believe Jesus is lord and savior.

            And then the next bullet point in any discussion I have about Christian apologetics is exactly your last questions, “well, what happens if you’re wrong?”

            You already know the answer to what happens if I’m wrong…I’m screwed!

            But, that’s called playing the odds. And the faith I have in the evidence I’ve gathered in my time here on Earth has proven to me, just as strongly as the most devout Christian, that the god of the bible is fiction.

            The problem with the “well what if you’re wrong” argument is that there’s no clear spot to draw that line with the rest of your life.

            “What if you get hit by a car on the way to work?”
            “What if you slip in the shower and smash your head on the toilet?”
            “What if you get cancer?”

            There are too many what-if’s to throw around, especially ones as heavy as “what if you’re wrong about god”, so you can’t ask that question with any sort of sincerity.

            But that takes me back to why I believe people made up religion in the first place. Some men were sitting around, trying to make sense of some weird stuff that just happened by coincidence, some strange events they can’t explain, and they started asking all those questions about what if, what if, what if…and when they were sufficiently scared, someone threw out the idea that maybe there was someone else in control…some sort of god-like figure that had everything mapped out. And that gave them some sort of relief. And thus, Christianity was born.

          • DCM7

            “the evidence I’ve gathered in my time here on Earth has proven to me… that the god of the bible is fiction.”

            I hear claims like that all the time, but none have ever been able to show me the evidence that had led them to that conclusion — or, rather, what they’ve shown me is inevitably weak, fallacious, unconvincing, and apparently driven by a predetermined “conclusion.” I’m never sure whether they just haven’t been exposed to the infinitely stronger evidence that shows the Creator to be unavoidably real, or they’ve convinced themselves to simply disregard it. Most of the time it appears to be the latter.

            Generally, you can show me an argument against the God of the Bible, and I’ll show you an argument that keeps being used long after it has been refuted over and over.

          • Steve Santorino

            If you ask me the question to show proof, you should be prepared to show me proof of your god.

            When I first started questioning my faith over 20 years ago and ultimately decided that the Christian god of the bible is fiction, I realized that in order for the bible to be real, then every last word of the bible needs to be real, since Christians believe that their god is infallible and perfect. So with that in mind, all it would take is for one piece of the story to not hold up, just one, like a house of cards. And one of the first bits of evidence that the house of cards called Christianity is not true is from science.

            How do we know that the scriptures are real? I’m not referring to the stories and letters and Psalms and such, but the actual, hard-copy scriptures that were originally written by the followers of Jesus. Where are/were these actual physical pieces of paper? I don’t really care if they’re still around, I’m talking about how do we know the first time that they were discovered, and hopefully passed down for generations, how do we know they weren’t fake or just works of fiction? How do we know that the Dead Sea scrolls and/or the original Hebrew texts of the bible are really from when they say they are? Is it because they say what year it is? Possibly. But that’s not a very strong argument. If that’s the case, I can write 1902 on my novel and say that I was the original creator of Harry Potter, right?

            No. We need some sort of scientific verification for any ancient text to validate when they were written. Whether it’s in the ink that was used or the paper it is printed on. And these scientific methods are generally accepted by scholars and scientists, both religious and not, as fact.

            So why the heck when we use the same scientific methods of dating fossils and plants and the earth to prove that the earth is, in fact, well over the 7,000 years (or whatever the number is) that the bible claims, that that doesn’t automatically discredit the Christian bible, thus crumbling that house of cards?!? Because that’s how old the bible says the Earth is, and any other Christian that believes something else proves my point that people will interpret the bible however best fits their needs and beliefs.

          • DCM7

            You seem not to have spent any actual time investigating the historical claims of the Bible. That’s a huge topic in and of itself, so I’ll just toss out a couple of quick points:
            (1) The authenticity of the Bible, as far as when it was written and how accurately it has been passed down, is many times better supported than any other documents from ancient history — including ones from several centuries *after* the last parts of the Bible were written.
            (2) There’s much, much more to the historical accuracy of the Bible than when the manuscripts were written. As has been said by someone in the archaeology business, “the Bible has a strong tendency to be right.”

            “So why the heck when we use the same scientific methods of dating fossils and plants and the earth to prove that the earth is, in fact, well over the 7,000 years (or whatever the number is) that the bible claims, that that doesn’t automatically discredit the Christian bible, thus crumbling that house of cards?”
            First of all, little if any of the support for when the Bible is written would come from the dating methods you cite. Secondly, those methods, when examined critically, can be seen not to prove anything about the earth being well over a certain age. Those that would take us into “millions of years” territory, especially, depend on so many unverifiable assumptions as to ultimately prove nothing. This is borne out by the fact that they invariably date objects of known, recent origin as being “millions of years” old.
            You have not shown a house of cards crumbling. You have merely set up, and knocked down, a straw man.

          • Steve Santorino

            Using your own words, the claims of the Christian bible “depend on so many unverifiable assumptions as to ultimately prove nothing.” Why can’t I say the same thing about the story of the bible?

            So what would, scientifically speaking, prove the age of the original scriptures? Is there nothing in today’s technology or any scientific method that you would use as proof to confirm the age and legitimacy of the physical original scriptures? If not, and you believe there are so many ‘unverifiable variables’ when it comes to using technology and science, whey how are you using a computer right now?

            I don’t doubt the historical accuracy of the bible. I doubt the mystical elements and the ghosts and the claimed miracles, all of which make up the basis of Christianity. This is where Christian apologists use smoke screen to try to prove their religion. I believe there was an actual man named Jesus of Nazareth, but as the pastor at the church I attend (yes, I attend a non-denominational Christian church every Sunday and have had several wonderful conversations with the leaders of that church) teaches his congregation, “there are only 2 schools of thought…Jesus was telling the truth and he was the living embodiment of god, or, he was insane.” Well, given the choices, I believe it was the latter. But that’s not to say he didn’t believe he was the son of god and savior to the world. Which shouldn’t go unmentioned.

            I honestly think the bible has some validity, only if you don’t take it literally. I can get behind the loaves and fish story feeding 20,000 people if it was really only taken as an analogy for what really happened. When the people gathered to hear Jesus speak and they were all hungry and the little boy came up and offered his bread and fish, it makes way more sense that Jesus used that experience and self-less offer by a poor kid as to the kind of love you’ll feel when you believe in god, and not that he actually, literally multiplied the fish and bread. Jesus was a great speaker and what he actually multiplied was the sentiment of the poor little boy offering all that he had to see if it would help…and just about every other story of miracles in the bible can be explained in a similar way.

          • DCM7

            “If… you believe there are so many ‘unverifiable variables’ when it comes to using technology and science, [why] are you using a computer right now?”

            This says it all. I bring up doubts about one particular “scientific” claim, and you interpret it as doubting *all* science and technology. Anyone willing to use such a transparent fallacy can’t be taken seriously.

            The bulk of what you’ve written here is mere rationalization, giving no indication that you’ve investigated Biblical claims with any aim other than dismissing them in your own mind. Something in your life made you not want to acknowledge your Creator. You would like others (and yourself) to believe that it was logic and evidence that did that; I’ve been around enough to tell that logic and evidence probably had nothing to do with it.

          • stan schmunk

            Steve, what draws you to a non-denominational Christian church?

          • Steve Santorino

            Honestly, my wife.

            I think I got lucky. Actually, I got luck with a LOT of things. I got lucky with my wife and how accepting (for the most part) she is of me. I know she would like me to accept JC as my lord and savior, but she also understands that as much as I’ve discussed the bible and faith with my friends and family that now isn’t my time. And that’s the same feeling I get from the church that I attend with my wife, and is also why I don’t mind having my 3 children go with us and attend Sunday school.

            We’ve had our children ‘dedicated’ at the church we attend, which isn’t the same as being baptized. And before my first child was to be dedicated, I contacted the head pastor and said that I don’t want to stand in front of his congregation and pretend that I’m something that I’m not, which lead to several pretty awesome conversations with him and the assistant pastor about faith and religion and what their church believes.

            I ultimately didn’t feel that the questions being asked in front of the congregation would have been me misleading anyone, or would it have been untrue to myself, so I stood up there and presented all 3 of my children as the pastor asked the congregation to pray for my kids and to try to help raise them with Christian morals and ideals. Even though I don’t believe their stories, for the most part, Christians (and all religions, really) have the best of intentions for everyone. Unfortunately, some religions and denominations of religions aren’t viewed as being socially progressive enough in today’s day and age.

            So again, I think I’m just lucky. My wife has gone to a non-denominational Christian church her whole life, and I’m actually glad I’ve been exposed to the experience.

          • RWS

            What a clear, forthright explanation of the truth of the matter! Thank you, “Aliquantillus”, for your wisdom.

    • DCM7

      I can’t reply directly to Timothy at the moment (comment awaiting moderation) so I’ll add my reply to my original post.

      It’s always interesting to see how people will base their opinions on whatever is currently popular or convenient to believe, and then try to slap the label of “ignorant” on those who have actually bothered to learn things for themselves.

      There is nothing angry or science-free about my post, and once again I find that you don’t bother trying to answer any of it with anything beyond a big, broad “appeal to authority” fallacy.

      I’m well aware of what the current “scientific” position is on the subject, thank you very much. I’m also aware of something that you seem to have missed: how that position was arrived at. It’s very well documented that it came about entirely as a result of political pressure, starting in the early 1970s, and that actual evidence had nothing to do with it.

      People have some idealistic picture of the scientific community as being almost superhuman, with no bias and no potential for being bought or misdirected. It’s precisely because of this that there is currently so much abuse of the great power of that word “science.”

      If you were to read an article in a secular publication about, say, scientists being bought off by rich corporations so that cheap but unsafe food additives would be officially declared “safe,” you likely wouldn’t see any reason to question it. What would make you think such abuse wouldn’t come up in other areas? It would, and it does.

      • Timothy Horton

        I’m well aware of what the current “scientific” position is on the subject, thank you very much. I’m also aware of something that you seem to have missed: how that position was arrived at. It’s very well documented that it came about entirely as a result of political pressure, starting in the early 1970s, and that actual evidence had nothing to do with it.

        LOL! It’s the same ridiculous excuse used by the Flat Earthers and the Young Earth Creationists and the AGW deniers and the anti-vaccine nutters. “Sure the science supports your position but that’s only because all the scientists are in a paid conspiracy to hide DA TRUTH!!”.

        Still you wonder why people laugh at you and hold your narrow-minded views in contempt.

        • DCM7

          In other words, your only response is a straw-man. In this case, it actually proves part of my point — i.e., why the word “science” gets abused: people don’t question it, and anyone who dares to is silenced by mockery.

          And, as usual, you speak from what you’re supposed to believe, rather than what an honest and diligent inquirer would discover for themselves.

          • Timothy Horton

            Conspiracy! Conspiracy! Break out the tin foil hats!

            Watch out for the black helicopters too, they’re closer than you think. 🙂

  • m-nj

    i know both a pastor (as well as several students) who attended Princeton Theological Seminary… they were solid conservative christians going in, and coming out. they saw their attendance as a mission field experience.

  • Howard Rosenbaum

    So, should this come as a surprise ? For this venerable institution to affirm the views of any notable who hasn’t bowed the knee at the alter of “inclusion” so called is for them tantamount to voting republican. Leave these institutions to their own devices & eventually they’ll reap the ripened fruit of their labors. Irrelevance . At least where the kingdom of God is concerned. Something has to die before it can be born anew, spiritually speaking.

  • Eli Warren McLaughlin

    In the book of Acts 4:13 the Jewish leaders started that the apostles were ignorant and unlearned, but had been with Jesus. I’m not extolling ignorance as a virtue, but no amount of scholarly learning can substitute for spending time with the Son of God.

  • Andrew

    It’s problems are inherent to Protestantism; there is no authority outside of the individual to define what is or is not of the faith, and therefor as social mores change the individual’s faith is influenced by the culture and entire deliberative bodies of Christians (like the periodic gatherings of the Presbyterian Church’s doctrinal deciders) decide that the “plain meaning of scripture” can mean something radically different in this generation vs. previous generations. For all of its problems with bad priests, bishops and even Popes, the Catholic Church’s doctrine remains faithful to the teachings it (or rather, She – the bride of Christ) received from the Apostles. Ultimately, the faith is not to be adapted to the world, but rather the Church is to adapt (or really, enlighten, enliven, and restore) the world to the Faith of Christ. PTS is racing to the bottom and appears to be like the salt that has lost its savor: “But if the salt lose its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and to be trodden on by men.”

    • Gary

      The authority for Christians is the Bible. Most Protestant denominations and the Catholics have failed to follow what is written in the Bible.

  • Gary

    Steve Santorino, I don’t know why, but I could not reply to your last post below. A flaw in the software, no doubt.

    I want to agree with something you said. You said, if you are wrong… you’re screwed. I completely agree with that, and I believe that is exactly what is going to happen.

    But you also said it does not matter what happens to you when you die. That I don’t agree with, and one day, you won’t agree with yourself on that either.

    If the Bible is a lie, then nobody has a clue as to why the universe exists, how it came to exist, why people exist, what happens to us when we die, what is morally right and wrong, and why we should care about anything. That is where you are. You have no answers to any of those questions, and no idea where to look for answers.

  • John

    Princeton Theological Seminary appears to be embracing the same demonic deception that is sweeping not only our country but the entire world. This specific lie, (LGBTQ+), is clearly exposed in the Bible in Romans 1:26-27. I don’t have a PhD in theology; but I do know how to read. Princeton has thrown out the Bible. The Bible also reads in Romans 1:21-22 that they have devolved to “nonsense” and have senseless, darkened minds. In addition, the Bible also says God is not all about grace alone. He is also about judgement. They will give account for their lives. We all will. Even I can read that without a PhD.

  • Robert Oscar Lopez

    What’s with all this offensive misuse of ‘prophetic’?

  • James

    “Prophetic opposition” probably won’t come from Princeton. It probably won’t come from anyone who uses the phrase “prophetic opposition”.

  • James

    Not a Presbyterian, but I have noticed that the PCUSA is full of gray heads while the PCA is full of children.

  • bbb

    Ivy League colleges /universities began to blend and mix theologies long ago. About the time the wealthy elites decided Globalism was their God it became chic to cherry-pick the Bible and keep the nicey-nice parts and anything hard, or confusing or disagreeable to those paying tuition was trashed.
    With God it’s all or nothing. First commandment and all.
    Let’s be honest. When the Holy Spirit was put on the back burner very few “got” true Christianity.
    But Ivy Leagues are all about money, power and pleasing everyone but God.

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