May 13, 2010 | Comments 11
The Erskine College faculty has voted Dr. Bill Crenshaw, English professor and anti-Christian controversialist, this year’s recipient of the Younts Excellence in Teaching Award. This is the Erskine version of outstanding teacher of the year. It’s the highest award that can be given to an Erskine faculty member by his/her peers.
The following are some Facebook quotes from Dr. Bill Crenshaw, the recipient of the Younts Excellence in Teaching Award:
Science is science. Science transcends the boundaries of politics and religion [Editor’s emphasis]. There is no USA science or Iraqi science or Indian science or Japanese science; there is not Christian science or Muslim science or Hindu science or Shinto science.
Fundamentalists want to think there is a Christian science and that it is found in the Bible (even Muslim and Jewish fundamentalists think their “science” is found in the Pentateuch). But the science of Genesis is 3000 year old science imported from Mesopotamia maybe back when Abraham left Ur and headed east.
Religious truths are limited by the borders of particular beliefs. What we Christians hold as true is not necessarily true for Hindus, for example. But the discoveries of science are unbounded by religious belief, doctrine, or dogma.
That’s why there is no such thing as theistic evolution, or by extension, theistic science. Science — evolution — can be practiced (done, as in I’m doing science) by theists of all stripes, by atheists, by agnostics, but it’s all the same science. The particular beliefs of the practitioners don’t enter into the science at all. They can enter into the scientist’s response to what she studies, or even her reason for studying. But there is simply no such thing as “theistic science.”
I don’t see how a young earth creationist could practice science. If fact, I’m quite sure he can’t — he has to reject everything he does, a level of cognitive dissonance which I’m not sure can be sanely maintained.
Affirming the historicity of Adam makes Christians look like, in Augustine’s word, idiots. No straw men there [Editor’s emphasis].
Please keep publishing these views — the more the better. Talk about women’s secondary role, for example. The age of the earth. Noah’s flood. Please. Talk about the giants that roamed the earth. Man coexisting with dinosaurs. The creation of languages at Babel. Tell us why the speed of light is variable. Dismiss radiometric dating. Please tell us why the theory of evolution is a myth.
Come on — stand up for your ideas. Broadcast them. Don’t be afraid or ashamed. If you don’t think the world is 4.5 billion years old, say so. If you don’t think that all life on earth is related to all life on earth, brag about it.
The more you reveal the implications of your theological claims, the more you marginalize yourself.
So please. Stop trying to distract with “straw men” — which doesn’t fit this argument by the way.
Talk to me about how you’d fix Erskine’s science department so it would teach your vision of science. Unless you really ARE embarrassed by your vision of science.
John Randolph Harrison
Actually there IS only one true world view: God’s. He is the only One that is omniscient. He provides us with that one world view in His Word, The Holy Bible. It’s our duty to interpret that world view by the discernment of the Holy Spirit and studying the Scriptures in its proper context and literary forms. I am speaking of the one true God, YHWH… Not Buddha [sic], islam [sic] etc. and there is a difference. The god of islam [sic] is not the God of Christianity. If you think they are the same a cursory reading of the koran [sic] will dispel that.
Randy — this is sad. You’re confusing God with humans’ conception of God. They’re not the same, buddy. Jews and Muslims do in fact worship the same God as Christians [Editor’s emphasis]. God doesn’t change to match the different ideas that people have about him. God is God — which is, by the way, what YHWH means: I am that I am. An assertion of existence beyond … understanding. Beyond Christian understanding, Jewish understanding, Muslim understanding. Beyond even your understanding, Randy my friend.
And dude, Buddhism isn’t even a religion. Nobody worships Buddha. He was just a guy.
Bryan — How do we know that those who labelled the Gnostic gospels (as well as many other flavors of early Christianity) as heresy weren’t just the Dick DeWitts of their day?
Let’s face it — even the Council of Nicea was as much an exercise in extending the power of the Roman Empire as it was a theological convocation. The emperor’s secular purposes were well served by theological uniformity. Power is power, and so is organized religion [Editor’s emphasis]
Bryan — whose to say that Paul’s teaching are error-free? Certainly the attitude towards women (if Timothy is really Pauline) seems more cultural than theological — and women have suffered for 2000 years because of it conveniently reenforced an existing misogyny. (Of course the misogyny in Christianity doesn’t start with Paul. It stars [sic] with Eve, the Hebrew Pandora. Misogyny was a prevailing Mediterranean and Middle Eastern attitude. Of course the religions reflected it. Orthodox it is; right it ain’t.)
We may like to think that someone in the early church had the right answers. Why we like to think that they’re the ones who prevailed, I just don’t know.
I’m all for the radical reading of the Reformation — every person a priest. Why trade in one pope for a lot of mini-popes? And the more conservative the denomination, the more rigidly autocratic and authoritarian it becomes. Take a look at the current state of the ARPC [Editor’s emphasis].
An ancient person’s observation of the sun and the moon is not the same thing as Jesus speaking directly to demons. Jesus’ knowledge was not limited.
If there are no demons and no Satan and no hell, then why did Jesus go to the cross? What exactly did He save people from???
Not hell, not in my religious upbringing. That’s when you become a Christian based on fear, for crying out loud [Editor’s emphasis].
But you’re right, I left off angels [re a listing of things in which Dr. Crenshaw does not believe] — all 10 catergories [sic]. Can you name them Janis?
Randy — Nah, not deflecting. I’ve just realized how to get your goat.
Janis, once again you’re making the mistake of thinking your own narrow little denomination is the standard by which Christianity is measured. It’s not. I’d advise you to visit in a good sized Methodist church for a decade to get a different perspective [Editor’s emphasis].
You too, Randy.
I don’t think I’ve ever heard a hellfire and brimstone sermon ever preached in a Methodist church. Not terribly important, I guess . . .
Ah, Bill, guess what? I was raised Methodist and my family still is Methodist. I know who your father was, incidentally. I certainly acknowledge that I wasn’t taught enough of scripture in the Methodist church to really understand the gospel. Sin wasn’t even a word that was mentioned. It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s that I figured out that either The Book was the word of God and I’d better take it very seriously, or else a trip to the country club on Sunday morning would be just as spiritual as the visit to the mainline church.
When you don’t believe The Book, then you have moral relativism..whatever seems right to YOU. That’s why we have millions of babies aborted, the meaning of marriage being challenged, and a myriad of other sins against a Holy God. Yet there is little acknowledgement of any sin among the more liberal churches. Which again begs the question, why did Jesus die on the cross???
Below is a letter by Mr. Daniel Stephens that was sent to ARPTalk for the ARP Church. The letter involves the goings on at Erskine, and, particularly, the letter involves the Teacher of the Year, Dr. Bill Crenshaw.
To Whom It May Concern:
I would like to convey to you and the ARP Church my eyewitness testimony of what happened to Erskine student and ARP member Zack Keuthan on Wednesday, March 10, 2010, when members of the moderator’s commission visited Erskine. Members of the commission came to Erskine for the purpose of explaining their position and what happened at the March meeting of Synod. Many students and some coaches, faculty, and administrators attended this session. During the lengthy question and answer session, one of the criticisms of the commission was that they were seeking to indoctrinate the students of Erskine into a narrow evangelical view. Mr. Keuthan raised his hand and asked whether that was the commission’s intention and if they could articulate their position on the matter. While Mr. Wingate was answering Mr. Keuthan’s question, Dr. William Crenshaw, who had earlier in the session accused the commission of violating college bylaws, lying, and prevarication, leaned over to Mr. Keuthan and whispered to him.
I was sitting in the row in front of the men and two chairs to their right. I could at the time only hear pieces of the conversation. Mr. Keuthan wrote down what Dr. Crenshaw had told him and raised his hand. When called on Mr. Keuthan relayed the following regarding the encounter.
Dr. Crenshaw told Mr. Keuthan, “You are a liar for Jesus, aren’t you? Enjoy hell. When are you graduating?” After Mr. Keuthan said, “Next year,” Dr. Crenshaw replied, “Not soon enough.” This corresponded exactly with my own incomplete eyewitness of the account. Also, the reporter for the Greenville news, who was sitting directly behind the two, has written the same thing in the Greenville News. Furthermore, Dr. Crenshaw never denied his remarks and justified his comments to those present by saying that Mr. Keuthan was asking “a politically motivated question.”
This is not the first time Mr. Keuthan has been ridiculed or demeaned by Dr. Crenshaw for his faith. During the January term of 2009, Mr. Keuthan was enrolled in a class exploring atheism, taught by the college’s philosophy professor. One morning the students and professor entered their classroom to find taped to the desks cartoons demeaning those who don’t believe in evolution (NOTE: Dr. Crenshaw admitted this to both Dr. Reiter and Dr. Weatherman). The cartoons compared intelligent design and Christian belief to magic and astrology and insinuated that only a fool could believe such things.
Mr. Keuthan has not been the only recipient of Dr. Crenshaw’s persecution. On a discussion online, Dr. Crenshaw was discussing the definition of science with others. Thomas Baird, a pre-med biology major, asked Dr. Crenshaw to elaborate on his view. Dr. Crenshaw refused and proceeded to call Mr. Baird a liar and a witch hunter. Dr. Crenshaw continued by telling Mr. Baird that he couldn’t even begin to understand his field of study and that he did not understand the very nature of science because he thought it could be interpreted different ways. Dr. Crenshaw concluded this thrashing by stating that he will never have a discussion with Mr. Baird because it would be a waste of his time.
Dr. Crenshaw has engaged other students and alumni online, attacking anyone who believes in inerrancy, entertains another idea than evolution by natural selection, or who doesn’t criticize the ARP Church. He has faulted the recent SACS and ATS visit on the moderator’s commission and calls the students who support the church “the cabal.”
The school has received formal complaints about Dr. Crenshaw’s actions this year. However, no disciplinary action has been taken and I fear it will be yet another thing to be swept under the rug. But far from disciplining, or even being neutral about Dr. Crenshaw’s actions, the faculty and college have given Dr. Crenshaw the excellence in teaching award. Drs. Alston and Ruble gave Dr. Crenshaw the award “with pleasure” and with thunderous applause in front of the college gathered at awards day on Thursday, May 6, 2010.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. If asked, I can supply saved copies of the online correspondences and pictures of the correspondence to corroborate my testimony. I can also provide the names and contacts of more witnesses of the events concerning Mr. Keuthan.
Erskine College class of 2010
Don’t know much about history…
Some of the pundits on Facebook write of “the glorious history” of Erskine College. Truthfully, as most of them know little of grammar and spelling, they also know little of the history of their college. For the history and reasons for the founding of Erskine College, the Editor commends to their reading History of the Associate Reformed Synod of the South by Robert Latham. The very ideas and teachings that many of the Facebookers are espousing led to the founding of Erskine College. In 1839 there was an equivalent to Dr. Bill Crenshaw at South Carolina College whose teachings led ARPs to found Erskine College. Below is some of the story taken from Robert Latham, History of the Associate Reformed Synod of the South, pages 347-351:
At the time that the Synod of the South began its separate existence, Dr. Thomas Cooper was President of South Carolina College. . . . Dr. Cooper’s learning was certainly very extensive, but it may be doubted whether he was either profound or accurate. He had read much and thought little.
This, however, would have caused no disturbance in the college and produced no want of confidence in his by the people of the State. In addition to the fact that Dr. Cooper had the reputation of being a learned man, it was certainly known that he had no sympathy with the religion of the Lord Jesus Christ. His much learning, if such was really the case, had made him mad. He began insidiously to poison the minds of the youth of the country. . . .
The people of the State, and especially of the up-country, were struck with astonishment. Among the first, if not the very first, to sound the alarm was the Associate Reformed Synod. . . .
The part which the Associate Reformed Synod took in the matter of removing Dr. Cooper is highly creditable to them as Christian ministers and citizens of the State of South Carolina. . . .
The influence of Dr. Cooper for evil was certainly very great. His life had been spent in a continuous storm. He seems to have taken a peculiar pleasure in disturbing the peace of every community in which he was thrown, either by accident or business. All his literary and scientific works perished with him. . . . He hated all his life the Christian religion, and, perhaps, without designing it, transferred his hatred to those who professed it. In this opposition to Christianity, Dr. Cooper was . . . an infidel, [who] led many a thoughtless young man to weigh anchor and set sail on the ocean of infidel vagaries. Dr. Cooper exhumed errors long buried, paraded before the world their ghastly forms and polluted society with their noisome stench. Some young men by him were ruined, and the usefulness of others was for years greatly hindered.
Editor: Well, Dr. Crenshaw, an award is an award!
The problem with this award is the manipulative nature of it. Even a blind person can see that this is not the honoring of a peer but a pathetic political ploy aimed at the ARP Church. This is an imposture, a sham! Indeed, in the ARP Church, this is going to be seen as emblematic of all that is wrong with Erskine.
As far as the Editor is concerned, the posting, “Jews and Muslims do in fact worship the same God as Christians,” is the most disturbing and notorious thing that Dr. Crenshaw writes. Indeed, in another posting, he minimizes Nicea (and misunderstands and misrepresents what took place) and, in other postings, he questions the historicity of people, beings, events, and documents of the Bible; however, in saying that Christians, Jews, and Muslims worship the same God, he insulted faithful Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Jews and Muslims are never going to define God in the manner that Christians do. The Christian concept is Trinitarian. Dr. Crenshaw’s statement is a denial of the Trinity. He is a unitarian. Not only that, his statement is a denial of the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity. Dr. Crenshaw’s statement is also a denial of the imperial claims of Jesus in salvation (John 14:6: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” and Acts 4:12: “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved”). Not only is Dr. Crenshaw not an evangelical Christian, if he understand the implications of his statement, he is not a Christian in any historic sense of Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant. He may call himself a Christian, but people call themselves all sorts of things, and one must remember that he is using a dictionary of his own devising – the idiosyncratic musings of Protestant liberalism that debunks, bankrupts, and prostitutes the verities of Christian faith. Indeed, Dr. Crenshaw is a modern day Thomas Cooper, the man who occasioned the founding of Erskine by faithful ARPs who believed and cherished what Dr. Crenshaw gleefully debunks. And, like Cooper, it may be said of Dr. Crenshaw that “he had read much and thought little.”
This award is outrageous! Dr. Crenshaw is the poster-child for Erskine disfunctionality. This year alone, two students have filed complaints against him for his antics: Kari Sell and Zack Keuthan.
It seems that Dr. Crenshaw is a serial bully of students who has been enabled over the years by inept and faithless administrations.
Dr. Crenshaw delights in painting himself a martyr for the cause of academic freedom. What a joke! THAT IS NOT THE CASE! Imagine, what must it be like to be in the classroom of an academic bully? The average student that Dr. Crenshaw faces is from 18 to 20 years old. Maybe that student has read two or three books. The student goes to class expecting to be nurtured and, one would think, taught English, and finds an anti-Christian apologist in what he thought and was advertised to be a “Christian college.” Indeed, is there time to teach English when “the silly Christian faith” of the uninitiated student is fair game? The student finds a sixty-year-old PhD who is well-versed in anti-Christian rhetoric. Woe to the student who speaks out for Christian verities! The student will find an avalanche of hate speech about Christianity, harassment, ridicule, intolerance, persecution, and hostility. This is abuse of power – the abuse of the power of the teacher over the student. As a matter of public record, the Editor’s opinion is that Dr. Crenshaw’s behavior is a violation of the student’s religious liberties and academic freedom. Yes, the issue of academic freedom cuts both ways – for the professor and for the student also. Sadly, the only unprotected minority at Erskine is the evangelical Christian who represents the faith and principles for which Erskine was founded.
Truly, Thomas Cooper’s ghost lives in Dr. Bill Crenshaw and haunts Erskine with the demons of unbelief and infidelity. The ARPs who founded Erskine as a Christian college to represent what they believed and what they rejected in Thomas Cooper have been betrayed! BETRAYED!
The contempt and hatred and anti-Christian prejudice and discrimination exhibited by the Erskine faculty are palpable. Their shameless disdain is demonstrated in both their resolution of no confidence and in their choice of Dr. Crenshaw as outstanding teacher. Do not be so naïve as to think that they are unaware of what they have done. Unless these people have PhDs from the University of Stupid, they are aware that they are acting in arrogant defiance of and opposition to the Biblical faith of the ARP Church that has made it possible for these cads to have employment.
Finally, if you are an ARP, feel your face. Is it wet? Well, not only have you been told “Go to hell!” but you have also been spit on. Yes, that is right! We ARPs have been spit on!
Is it time to do something? Yes! Demand that General Synod withhold every penny from Erskine! Until the Court settles the matter, NOT A PENNY! Demand that Erskine return to her founding principles! And, using a popular political motto, “Kick the bums out!”
This article complied and written by,
Charles W. Wilson
- http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/greenvilleonline/access/1981399821.html?FMT=ABS&date=Mar+11%2C+2010 Unfortunately, seeing the article now requires payment. I have a copy of the paper on that day and can photocopy if needed.
- http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=107341962638414&topic=29#topic_top The relevant portion is on pages 3 and 4.
- http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=107341962638414&topic=55 , http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=107341962638414&topic=54 , http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=107341962638414&topic=41#topic_top , http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=114898180624&v=wall (May 3rd is the date of the “cabal” comment)
- Some of the comments have been deleted at the time of this letter’s writing. I would not be surprised if more were deleted after this letter is sent. I have saved the webpages and taken pictures of all the discussions in their original form. I also have screenshots of these in their original form.
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