• Steven Marsh

Musings on April 2, 2017

I’m starting a new type of entry in The Personal Blog of Steven Marsh. In addition to my biblical “Reflections,” I will post periodic “Musings.” And today is the first “Musing.”

Princeton Theological Seminary made the choice to remove the Abraham Kuyper Award from Tim Keller, a minister in the Presbyterian Church of America, due to his views on women in ministry and the LGBTQ community in the church. Oh, Keller took the high road and will speak, but he will not receive the distinguished award.

Identity theology is a problem when it replaces one’s identity as a child of God in Jesus Christ with something else. For example, my identity is in Christ, and I am a cisgender heterosexual male. And that order is important, because a person’s identity in Christ is the common denominator that unites us in our different gender identities and sexual orientations, let alone our views on ordination of women and members of the LGBTQ community.

So, I am fully engaged in the identity theology discussion and how it is becoming politicized in God’s mission. That troubles me, because Jesus is not divided. According to Galatians 3:28, “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.”

Well, I’m wholeheartedly engaged with and in the gamut of thoughts, feelings, and emotions generated by Princeton Seminary President Craig Barnes’ decision to remove the Kuyper Award from Rev. Keller.

I get the polarizing tension. Yet, I lean toward:

Inclusion, not exclusion. Embrace, not avoid. Engage fully in the identity theology discussion and place first things first. Identity in Christ then the additional identities follow. Any identity first in the order than identity in Christ is divisive and problematic.

And by the way, reinstate the Kuyper Award to Rev. Keller.

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