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.
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?