On July 19, 2014 the Erskine board voted unanimously to confirm Dr. Paul Kooistra as the sixteenth President of Erskine College and Seminary. His proven track record as a turnaround specialist is an answer to prayer for resetting the course of a Christian institution that has lost its way. A tip of the hat is due to both Mr. Bobby McDonald, the chairman of the search committee, and Rev. Bill Cain, the chairman of the board of trustees, for their outstanding leadership.
On April 10, I posted “A Biblical Response to Homosexuality”. A few day later, April 16, David Kyle Foster posted a gracious comment. In an e-mail to David, I asked him if I could assist him in advertising the work of his ministry in ARPTalk. He has responded with his ministry information for you which is included in this post.
ARPTalk 100 – Analysis of the 2014 General Synod: We Do Not Know What We Are Doing, and We Are Doing It Well!
The ARP Synod held its annual meeting last week. This year’s theme should have been: We do not know what we are doing, and we are doing it well! As a former minister in the ARP Church described the church: “Onward Christian soldiers like a mighty herd of turtles.” Below are some highlights of the meeting of General Synod.
The Erskine board meeting on May 28, 29, and 30 began with drama. It was a time in which little was done and much was accomplished. Chairman David Conner resigned from both chairmanship and the board leaving new Chairman Bill Cain with the task of reconstituting the Presidential Search Committee. At long last, I think this chapter of the battle for Erskine is closed.
On May 14, 2014, the Erskine Presidential Search Committee sent an e-mail indicating the candidate for president of Erskine College and Seminary has withdrawn his name from consideration. What were the the members of the PSC thinking? They put a good and honorable Baptist brother through an unnecessary ordeal and in an untenable position!
Since the first edition of ARPTalk in May of 2008, ARPTalk e-mail notifications have been sent to Erskine addresses. That’s six years. We are shocked that the last issue of ARPTalk, We Have A Candidate!!!, was blocked by the Erskine e-mail server. The folks at Erskine have prided themselves on their openness. Nevertheless, the bigotry of thought control has been raised high over the Erskine Towers.
With the pomp and majesty of a papal conclave, the chairmen of the Erskine Presidential Search Committee sacredly intoned, “We have a candidate!” One can only speculate as to why a candidate is being pushed forward at this time. A new president, without the input of six incoming board members may jeopardize the relationship between a new president and the board. As history has shown, this is emblematic of doing business the “ol’ Erskine” way.
An honest student of the Bible acknowledges homosexuality as sin. Sin is disobedience. Disobedience is always a choice not to obey what God says. Homosexuality is a choice to disobey God in one’s sexuality. Even Timothy Johnson, a pro-homosexual advocate, acknowledges the teaching of the Bible is homosexuality is forbidden as sin.
With the “outing” of two gay student-athletes on the internet, the gay and lesbian issue is now front-and-center at Erskine College. Does Erskine have the Biblical convictions, understanding, and rectitude to address the campus’ gay and lesbian issue? Are the administrators and faculty members attempting to minister in Jesus’ name to Erskine’s gay-lesbian students? Are they even capable of ministering?
The Editor welcomes all comments and critiques to ARPTalk articles. However, comments will not be posted when submitted anonymously, under a pseudonym, or an unverifiable email address or name. You are encouraged to join in the conversation, but only if you do so openly.
Is it time for a new seal and motto for Erskine Theological Seminary? Once again, Erskine Seminary has matriculated non-Christian clerics in the DMin program. Never mind that Erskine is self-described as “a gospel enterprise.” This does not embrace the exclusive claims of Jesus in John 14:6 or the apostolic witness of Acts 4:12, nor the stated witness of the ARP Church which declares Jesus as the only Savior of sinners.
Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting different results.” Einstein’s definition is a perfect opening for a report on the February 20 and 21 meeting of the Erskine board.
Throughout the Bible, the contrasts between the darkness of night and the light of day are significant. Both the darkness of night and the light of day are God’s good gifts.The most attractive thing about the new heaven and the new earth is Jesus’ acknowledgment of His people – In the brilliance of eternal light, Jesus shall acknowledge as His own those who have acknowledged Him.
To say Erskine College & Seminary is lukewarm is incontrovertible. Nevertheless, is that not what we in the ARP Church deserve? Does not the lukewarm condition of Erskine reflect the condition of the ARP Church? Are we not lukewarm? Has Erskine learned to be lukewarm from us?!?
On Thursday and Friday (October 17 and 18, 2013) the Erskine College & Seminary board met on the Erskine campus in Due West, South Carolina, making it clear for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) there is NO RELATIONSHIP between Erskine College & Seminary and the EC Foundation. SACS has ruled the EC Foundation is an “outside influence” and a clear and present danger to Erskine’s accreditation by SACS – the most dangerous threat to Erskine’s accreditation in the last 50 years.
As I opened the first chapter of Romans, I was met once again with how shockingly counter-cultural and politically incorrect the message of the Christian “gospel of God” is. Take away our modern contraptions and our post-modern, twenty-first century world and the ancient, Greco-Roman world are not so different. As a member of my study group put it: “Sin doesn’t change much!”
As a result of Biblical ignorance and unbelief, evangelical congregations are suffering division. And nowadays it is astounding some of the things put forward for reclaiming unity in evangelical congregations. Don’t you think it is time to return to the things which are foundational and fundamental? Apart from a clear understanding of the person and work of Jesus Christ and experiential and transformational faith in Him, there is no basis for unity in the church, for the church is the church of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Finally, there is something good to write about Erskine. At the August 15th and 16th meeting of the Erskine board, the Erskine board embraced Erskine’s historic evangelical and reformed Christian heritage. It demonstrated faithfulness to its evangelically Christian documents of governance, and faithfulness to the ARP Church.
Despite our Presbyterianism, most are unaware the ARP Church has an ecclesiastic who sits de facto as a bishop over a board and agency of General Synod. The chairman of the Erskine board sits without ecclesiastical parallel in the history of the ARP Church. And he, as was his two predecessors, is unparalleled in the use of his office to resist the will and directives of General Synod.
Featured here are two letters. The first letter is an “Open Letter” by Mr. Scott Cook to Rev. Matt Miller, the Pastor of the Greenville ARP Church. The second letter is Rev. Bill Marsh’s response to Rev. Clint Davis’ reflections on the 2013 meeting of the ARP Synod. Both Marsh and Davis’ letters were originally posted on the Aquila Report.