In 1898 B.B. Warfield invited the Dutch Reformed theologian Abraham Kuyper to deliver six lectures at Princeton Seminary for the inaugural Stone Lectures. These lectures were eventually bound and printed as Kuyper’s Lectures on Calvinism. In these lectures, Kuyper discussed what he believed to be the manner by which a Calvinist and Reformed worldview ought to be applied to quite a number of spheres of life. The inaugural Stone Lectures forever linked the theology of Dr. Kuyper with Princeton Seminary. This connection was further solidified in the creation of the Kuyper Prize, awarded by the Kuyper Center for Public Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary. The Abraham Kuyper Prize for Excellence in Reformed Theology and Public Life “is awarded each year to a scholar or community leader whose outstanding contribution to their chosen sphere reflects the ideas and values characteristic of the Neo-Calvinist vision of religion engagement in matters of social, political and cultural significance in one or more of the ‘sphere’ of society.”1
The recent controversy surrounding the reversal of the decision to award the 2017 Kuyper Prize to Dr. Timothy Keller, while disappointing, is not surprising. The history of Princeton Seminary, as a microcosm of the mainline Presbyterian denomination, would seem to lead to no other conclusion than one where a man would be deemed unworthy of an award because he too closely holds to the views of the award’s namesake.
The reorganization of Princeton Seminary in 1929 put it on a course where the supposed form of Kuyper, Reformed Theology, and the even the Scriptures is upheld, but the actual material of them is rejected. Old Princeton (prior to 1929) was marked by an unrelenting commitment to the Westminster Standards, the Reformed Faith, and historic orthodox Christianity. With the appointment of Dr. J. Ross Stevenson in 1914 and the passing of Warfield in 1921, Old Princeton had effectively died. In its place was a Princeton that emerg…
reformation21 is the online magazine of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting reformation21 and the mission of the Alliance. Please donate here.