I am one of those women who have worked under Tim Keller’s leadership at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City.
Thanks to Tim’s understanding of Kuyper’s “Every Square Inch,” he hired me to envision and develop an entire ministry to equip and mobilize men and women in Redeemer’s congregation to work with gospel-centered vision and integrity out in the world.
We partnered in the establishment of the Center for Faith & Work, which may have done as much as any church in decades to honor Abraham Kuyper’s vision of humble, respectful engagement in a world of many faith perspectives. His teaching combines a deep confidence that the gospel can change everything from our hearts, making us more humble and generous, to the institutions and society around us. While he would never have sought a “Kuyper award,” I can’t imagine anyone more worthy of it.
Like some of the women who have objected and instigated the withdrawal of this award by Princeton Theological Seminary, I do not share Tim’s complementarian views. However, I am deeply saddened by the tone of these objections, more so by the final effect.
Tim and many others have come to their position about the roles of women in the church (and marriage) based on Biblical study and deep reflection. I chose to submit to that view during my many years at Redeemer because of the way God was at work in the lives and work of the congregation. I use the term “submit” intentionally. There are many things I have and will “submit” to in order to live out the life to which God has called me.
I have worked at a PCUSA church in which women, even when ordained, were marginalized more than those at Redeemer. I have worked in aerospace and tech (notoriously challenging environments for women), because the work I was called to do was worth it. We ask our fellow Christ-followers to go out into every sphere of this world, regardless of how hard it might be, to do the work that Christ has equipped us to do so that He may be glorified. Tim has lived out for me, and many others, how to live with Biblical integrity, humility, and generosity, even on—especially on—issues where we disagree.
Oh, and that generosity should be one of the gifts that we, as Christ-followers, offer the world today.
Katherine Leary Alsdorf is founder and director emeritus, Redeemer's Center for Faith & Work.
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