The August meeting of the Erskine board last Thursday, August 6, probably set the record for the fastest board meeting in Erskine’s long history. According to sources, the meeting was like a good paint job over rotten wood. The paint over the deck was glossy and looked nice-and-clean, but one knew that one should walk gingerly on the deck lest it gave way to a fall. In other words, the mediocrity that Erskine College and Seminary has become continues.
The news coming out of the courthouse in Abbeville, SC, is surprising. Former Erskine College professor Bill Crenshaw HASN’T won his lawsuit against Erskine College — or, at least, not yet. The judge has overturned the jury’s verdict and ordered a new trial.
The experience of reading the ruling of the Supreme Court on same-sex marriage is like being a character in a scene in a Ghostbusters movie. I’ve been Slimed! Justice Scalia put it best: “The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie.”
ARPTalk 114 – Analysis of the 2015 General Synod of the ARP Church: All’s Fine but a Hurricane’s Coming!
For the first time, the synods of the ARP Church and the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA) met concurrently at Bonclarken, and, in my opinion, it was a success. Later this year, the same-sex marriage issue will be brought before before the Supreme Court and we have made no plans for the cultural hurricane that will come upon us.
An Abbeville, SC, jury found for the plaintiff in the case of Dr. William Crenshaw v. Erskine College. Going forward, what does this mean?
Well, the Erskine board met on May 28 and 29, and the news coming out of Due West is that, like a family reunion, “a good time was had by all.” It was a well managed meeting by President Kooistra and his leadership team, and nothing controversial was engaged. According to President Kooistra, the problem at Erskine is a spiritual problem: “People do not love one another.” In my opinion, this is political mongering in order to obscure!
The long and hard-earned academic reputation of Erskine College as a top shelf liberal arts college has been lost, and Erskine is now a jock college where most students are athletes. The discouragement on the faculty is palpable. Recruitment continues to be problematic. The divide between the seminary and the MEDCOM program continues.
The backdrop of the new policy on human sexuality at Erskine College & Seminary and the resulting outrage across the United States sets the stage for this article. The word “Christian” has a historical context. The only way one can legitimately find the meaning of “Christian” is to ask what did “Christian” mean in the Bible and how did the early church leaders define “Christian” in the historic creeds.
ARPTalk 110 – Is There Hope for Erskine Becoming a Decidedly Evangelical Christian College & Seminary?
The title of this article, as it poses my question, laments Erskine’s past. I am 69 years old, and in spite of all the political spin from multiple administrations and boards to the contrary, I do not ever remember a time when Erskine has been functionally a decidedly evangelical Christian educational institution of the ARP Church.
Well, another Erskine board meeting has taken place, and the news coming out of Due West is like a “Bad News/Good News” joke. As one who is committed to reporting on things ARP, my desire is one day to write an article on Erskine that is 100% positive. But this is not that day.
Where has the time gone? Five years ago we were on the cusp of the “Snow” Synod. It was an unprecedented event. It was a “called” meeting of our synod to deal with nagging and longstanding problems at Erskine College & Seminary — problems which are still nagging and longstanding.
The article below, “Concerning Halloween,” by Rev. James B. Jordan, is interesting. Jim’s opinion is not politically correct evangelicalism. Jim and I were classmates at RTS/Jackson in the mid-70s. He was not politically correct then either. I re-publish the article with his permission. He warned: “be prepared for some fireworks.” Well, that is an exciting […]
The October, 2014 meeting of the Erskine board has come and gone. There was a 10,000 pound elephant in the room: SACS. Faculty members are complaining because of the poor academic quality of their students. There is still no policy on sexuality. The task before President Kooistra and Vice-President of the Seminary Chris Wisdom is formidable. These good men are courageous and worthy of our support.
Reification is an interesting word. I think it aptly describes the ARP Church today. In the ARP Church today, we intellectualize and think we have done something. We do reification in that we think a discussion at Synod is the same as doing something. Let’s take a walk through the minutes of Synod and see if we are actually doing anything…
In 2005, Jordanian journalist Fouad Hussein, in his book Al-Zarqawi: al-Qaida’s Second Generation, outlined the steps of a plan by Islamic leaders whereby they could achieve world conquest in 20 years. This 20 year plan for a global caliphate by al-Qaida,ISIS/ISIL and Islamic theocrats is ambitious. Dr. Barry Vann takes Islam seriously. He writes and speaks extensively on the geopolitical nature and danger of militant Islam. The essay here is from his book An Emerging Muslim World.
Recently, former Secretary of State and presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton described the foreign policy of President Barack Obama as “Don’t do stupid stuff.” Flat out, Erskine is like an old woman who is very, very obese and has spent her years consuming fat. In order to save her life, it will be necessary to put her on a severe diet — and it is possible the cure may kill her. However, if the cure is not applied, she will surely die. If we miss this blessed, God-given crisis we have done “stupid stuff” again!
This edition of ARPTalk is a miscellany of various news items: (1) A new Director at ONA; (2) A warning from the PRCC; and (3) Readings from a poet.
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.