An Inconvenient Truth!

 

The e-mail below was sent out for President David Norman by Mr. Cliff Smith, Chief Communications Officers, Erskine College and Seminary.

Dr. David Norman and the administration of Erskine College & Theological Seminary would like to make the members of the Board of Trustees and their advisors aware of the following:

A recent post on the blog ARPTalk, dated February 2, 2011 and titled “Erskine Theological Seminary Irrelevant to the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church” asserts that Erskine Seminary professor Dr. Richard Burnett denies Biblical inerrancy and that such denial is a matter of public record. We believe these comments regarding Dr. Burnett to be misleading and unnecessarily inflammatory.

In 2008, the Seminary Committee of the Board of Trustees investigated issues related to Dr. Burnett’s teaching on Scriptural authority. That committee agreed that Dr. Burnett affirmed the inspiration of Scripture and its infallible authority in keeping with the Westminster Standards. The committee also unanimously found that Dr. Burnett was in full accord with the terms under which he was called and affirmed his continued ministry at the Seminary.

Earlier that same year, the Erskine Board of Trustees enacted a policy regarding the hiring of new faculty and administrators that contains specific wording regarding Biblical inerrancy. It is this wording with which Dr. Burnett takes issue. However, since Dr. Burnett was hired and granted tenure before the adoption of this wording, he is under no obligation to concur with that wording as a condition of his continued employment at Erskine.

In discussions with this administration, Dr. Burnett has expressed that he fully supports Dr. David Norman’s leadership in continuing to clarify how a commitment to Biblical inerrancy is lived out in the Erskine context. For more on Dr. Norman’s statements regarding inerrancy, please see parts one and two of his current series of articles in ARP Magazine.

At this time, the Editor of ARPTalk is obliged to make a candid and succinct response to the above e-mail from the Erskine College and Seminary administration.

So that all readers may be informed, below is what was written by the Editor of ARPTalk.

Finally, looming large like the proverbial elephant-in-the-room is the problem of the “Barth Brothers,” Drs. Richard Burnett and Michael Bush. Thanks to Dr. Gaston, Dr. Burnett (a PC(USA) minister) is now a tenured professor of systematic theology and Dr. Bush (a PC(USA) minister) is the VP for Development at ETS. None of this bodes well for ETS. Their neo-Barthian views of the Bible and denial of the inerrancy of the Bible are a matter of public record. That is what ignited this conflagration that has spread from seminary to college and throughout the General Synod and that has made the ARP Church a byword for theological and ecclesiastical ineptness and lassitude among conservative Presbyterians and other evangelicals. Does the reader think that there is going to be any scenario of healing and reconciliation between ETS and the ARP Church that fails to address the bewildering and controversial and inflammatory decisions of Dr. Gaston in embracing and defending such heterodoxy? Are we in the ARP Church going to abandon our position on the Bible? Are we going to adopt a definition of Biblical authority that rejects inerrancy and accommodates the heterodoxy of neo-Barthianism and Protestant secularism that permeates the mainline Presbyterians? Indeed, for the past half-century, ETS has always been more liberal than the ARP Church. This must stop. This must stop now! If it does not, it may see the demise of both ETS and the ARP Church. Does the ARP Church need ETS if ETS is going to be as irrelevant to the ARP Church as ETS has been and is? Do ARP candidates for the ministry want to attend ETS for any reason other than the fact that they can attend virtually tuition free? Even under these circumstances, many of our brightest and best have chosen other seminaries. Rightly so!

What is “misleading and unnecessarily inflammatory” about the truth? In the last three years, both Dr. Richard Burnett and Dr. Michael Bush have publicly and often disagreed with the statement of inerrancy that is held by the ARP Church. The following are a few examples of what has been reported that one are both of these men have written or said:

It is not “misleading and unnecessarily inflammatory” to note the role of these men in the controversy that hounded the ARP Church in the last two years. They, and particularly Dr. Burnett and his denials and attacks on inerrancy, were the flashpoint for the controversy that has ensured.

What IS MISLEADING is to say that Dr. Burnett merely “takes issue” with the wording of the General Synod’s 2008 statement regarding inerrancy as it has become binding on new teaching and administrative staff at Erskine. The doctrine of inerrancy is well-known. It has been and is the consensus of orthodox evangelicalism in the United States. It has been expressed in the “Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy” (1978), in the membership vows of the Evangelical Theological Society, and in the 1979, 1980, and 2008 statements by the General Synod of the ARP Church. All of these statements refer to or clearly assume the doctrine of the inerrancy of Scripture in the original autographs. Dr. Burnett has not affirmed and says that he cannot affirm these statements.

The doctrine of inerrancy is not a theological mystery. It is a known quantity! Scripture itself claims to be without error and inspired by God down to the very words of the biblical text, and yet we also know that the manuscripts of the biblical books were not transmitted without scribal mistakes. Thus we speak of “inerrancy in the original autographs” and with the firm assurance that God has providentially preserved the text substantially intact. Because of this, our copies and translations are very reliable although they are, technically speaking, not inerrant. But Dr. Burnett refuses to speak of the original manuscripts and to tie the doctrine of Scriptural authority to the concrete biblical text in this way, and he is left only with the fallible copies and translations. But how can one coherently speak of such fallible copies as inerrant or infallible? IT CANNOT BE DONE! And so, instead of the well-established doctrine of inerrancy, Dr. Burnett wants to base the authority of the Bible solely on the internal testimony of the Holy Spirit and on how through the Spirit’s work the Bible “becomes” God’s word to us. This is none other than the subjectivism of Karl Barth, Dr. Burnett’s theological hero.

Check the articles above in ARPTalk. Dr. Burnett has not attempted to hide his denial of inerrancy under a bushel. In an Erskine Seminary faculty meeting in April of 2008 two faculty members (the “Barth Brothers,” Drs. Richard Burnett and Michael Bush) declined to affirm the General Synod statements of 1979 and 1980 that “the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God without error in all that it teaches.” The faculty then unanimously passed a substitute motion that these statements simply be added to the ETS catalog instead. Some ARPs will well recall how the former Executive Vice President of Erskine Seminary, Neely Gaston, then went around claiming that the faculty had “unanimously affirmed inerrancy,” only to be publicly corrected on this point by Dr. R. J. Gore at the 2008 meeting of the General Synod Moderator’s Committee on Erskine. It was this troubling situation, and others like it involving Drs. Burnett and Bush, that caused the General Synod to further strengthen our statement on the authority of Scripture at the General Synod of 2008 with the following: “’The Bible alone, being verbally God-breathed, is the Word of God written, infallible in all it teaches, and inerrant in the original manuscripts.” Dr. Burnett took great exception to this statement in his May 29, 2009 “Open Letter to ARP Pastors,” in his March 17, 2010 editorial in the Greenville News, and in his April 20, 2010 “A Teacher’s Theological Guide to Inerrancy in the Original Manuscripts: A Non-Barthian Approach.” That last document is a 22-page sarcastic mocking of the General Synod’s position on inerrancy and of those who support it at Erskine. Dr. Burnett uses 56 points to scream that he does not believe in inerrancy – 56 points of the same thing! In none of these documents does Dr. Burnett affirm the “inerrancy” of Scripture – HE DEINIES INERRANCY!

No doubt all of this is inconvenient for the administration of Erskine College and Seminary. Perhaps that is why they immediately shift attention to the administrative question of what Dr. Burnett was obliged to affirm when he was hired. They refer us to the Erskine Board Seminary Committee’s 2008 whitewash of Dr. Burnett’s views. In fact, this was hardly an even-handed process. It is reported that Dr. Burnett had Dr. Neely Gaston and Dr. Robbie Bell in the room running interference for him. (As readers of ARPTalk will recall, Dr. Bell is the author of the confusing and misleading paper circulated in First Presbytery that wrongly contended that John Leith was an opponent of Neo-Orthodoxy). The Editor of ARPTalk has spoken with a number of trustees who were present at that meeting and who are most uncomfortable with the conclusion that the Seminary Committee reached. At the least, the Committee acted under pressure and on the basis of incomplete information, and its decision was based largely, as the Erskine administration seems to concede, on the fact that the General Synod did not require an affirmation of inerrancy at the time that Burnett was hired.

The Editor is mystified as to how Dr. Burnett “fully supports Dr. David Norman’s leadership in continuing to clarify how a commitment to Biblical inerrancy is lived out in the Erskine context” when Dr. Burnett does not believe in inerrancy. How can he support what he does not believe and is not committed to?

Why does the Erskine administration now embrace and defend one who has publicly shown his contempt for the ARP Church, who has mocked the doctrine of Scripture affirmed by the ARP Church, and who has demonstrated his opposition to the policies and decisions of the ARP Church by filing a legal action in the civil court of South Carolina against the General Synod of the ARP Church? Is not the title of the offending ARPTalk article correct? Does not this mess demonstrate that ETS is indeed now “irrelevant to the ARP Church”?

What the Editor wrote is NOT “misleading and unnecessarily inflammatory”! IT IS AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH!

These are my thoughts,

Charles W. Wilson

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  1. Mary L. Grier Holmes says:

    Dear Rev. Wilson:

    There are a number of offensive statements in your comments. You have confused your own accusations, opinions and labels with facts and truth. First you label someone a neo-Barthian or a cult-idol-worshipper. Then you call them liberal. Then you equate Barth and liberal with the devil.

    Although Erskinites continue to treat you with kindness and politeness, you continue to respond by vilifying the character of those whose ideas you despise (even though your ideas are contrary to the Westminster Confession of 1643). Can’t you separate the men from their ideas?

    Why can’t you see that the ARP Synod can pass one thing one year and then reverse itself another year. So can the Board of Trustees. No one is “mocking” the church anymore than they were 100+ years ago when they protested moving Erskine to Rock Hill. When your ideas don’t prevail, Rev. Wilson, you work to change things. That is what my father does.

    He is named after Robert Calvin Grier, who became President of Erskine around 1848. (The following information is from the History of Erskine College 1839-1939. You guys missed the most obvious insult so I won’t tell you what it is.)

    Robert Calvin Grier (the first) is my dad’s great grandfather. R. C. Grier died at the age of 54 in 1871. The next Erskine president was William Moffatt Grier. He was less than thirty when he became Erskine’s president.

    William Moffatt Grier encountered an editor of a newspaper who was constantly spreading hate in the community. W. M. Grier solved his problem in 1872 by burying the tomahawk. He named the target of the newspaper attacks as the recipient of an honorary degree.

    How about it? Ready to bury the hatchet?

    Warmest regards,
    Mary Lou Holmes

     
  2. Dear Ms. Holmes,

    Thank you for sharing your family lineage with the readers of ARPTalk. Your response to one of my inquiries is helpful and appreciated.

    However, there are two things that you failed to share: (1) What is the name of the ARP Church in which you were raised? and (2) What is the name of the ARP Church in which you are a member and worship? I have asked these questions on more one occasion. Please, be so kind as to answers these question so that ou can continue as a participant on this site.

    Thank you for your offer of an honorary doctorate. I don’t have much use for honorary degrees. As I remember, I spent a considerable amount of time, money, and effort in earning the doctorate I have. I have no comments to make in response to your fascinating post.

    Regards,

    Chuck Wilson
    Editor, ARPTalk

     
  3. Mary:

    Just a few comments.

    First, methinks you are a bit confused in your first paragraph: “First you label someone a neo-Barthian or a cult-idol-worshipper. Then you call them liberal. Then you equate Barth and liberal with the devil.”

    None of those statements are in the content of the article. Please, if you are going to initiate a conversation, especially when making an accusation, stay on topic.

    Second, you said of the Editor: “you continue to respond by vilifying the character of those whose ideas you despise”

    I see none of that – I do, however, see the vilifying of toxic beliefs that have infiltrated the ARP church and its institutions, not their character. To put it another way, let’s look at President Obama. I will fight tooth and nail claiming his socialist, statist, collectiveist beliefs are bad for our nation (link) but as a person, I can only assume he is a good father, a good husband, though I probably won’t be inclined to share a beer with him in the rose garden.

    We indeed, must fight the battle of ideas without impugning character – in other words, be angry, yet do not sin.

    Third – what in the world does your genealogy have to do with the issue at hand? I’m reminded of how the liberals in politics yell “racist” when someone is standing against Obama’s policies – we’re dealing with issues not bloodlines.

    Fourth (and last) – are you suggesting that Erskine Seminary should consider granting Chuck Wilson an honorary degree? In what, pray tell? In the case of the newspaper editor you described, I don’t have enough information to know whether he was ‘spreading hate’ or telling a truth people did not want to hear. Our churches today are being accused of “spreading hate” simply by reading their bibles aloud and expounding its message to the congregation. May our mouths never be shut in the fear of man.

    I recently emailed my estranged brother, who is pursuing divorce in a most shameful way after cutting off all contact with his family, with the verse “Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?” -Galatians 4:16

    Truth hurts to the one who does not want to hear it. When the light turns on, the cockroaches scatter. Our challenge, which indeed can be difficult, is to confront it in a Godly way. Again, be angry yet do not sin, and our challenge is to have a righteous anger without it becoming a self-righteous anger. Jesus cleansed the temple… and oh, how it needed cleansing… May we cleanse our own temples with such power, vigor, and truth, that the wayward would be brought back to the fold.

    God be with you…

     
  4. Reformed Rebel says:

    Allow me to begin by stating that I am not a member of an ARP church, nor was I raised in the ARP church. I am, however, a student at a confessional, Reformed seminary in South Carolina, and have come to love the Reformed faith deeply.

    My wife was raised in the CRC (Christian Reformed Church), and my father-in-law is licensed to exhort by his classis in the CRC; the man is convinced that he is going to be able to effectively pray me into being ordained by the Christian Reformed Church because they have such an intense need for confessional, conservative ministers. My own heart is torn, however, between the CRC and the ARP. I think the need for confessional, conservative ministers in the ARP is just as great as it is in the CRC.

    At this point, my wife and I are both members of an Orthodox Presbyterian Church, since I couldn’t see my way clear to joining the nearest ARP congregation, as it is immersed in rank theological liberalism and skepticism. Little did I know that there was a faithful, Christ-honoring, gospel believing congregation just 10 miles further away.

    I say all of the above to say this:

    There are many at my seminary who are deeply considering licensure and ordination in the ARP. We believe that the inerrancy and infallibility of the Bible is a hill worth dying on. This issue is a fight we’re more than prepared to have. And it will only be by an influx of confessional, faithful, truly Reformed pastors who preach the infallible Word of God from the pulpit every Lord’s Day, morning and evening, that the ARP will be able to recover a once great heritage.

    I look at the ARP, and think with Jeremiah, “How is the gold become dim! how is the most pure gold changed! The stones of the sanctuary are poured out at the head of every street.” (Lamentations 4:1).

    By God’s grace, they may yet be a reformation in the ARP. I pray that it will be so!

    RR.

     
    • Dean Turbeville says:

      Dear RR, Brother in Grace,
      To paraphrase Acts 16:9, “Come over here and help us (in the ARP Synod.)”
      You will find a fire-tested band of Reformed Rebels, as well as everything else you describe in your post.

      Yours, For the Gospel,

      Dean Turbeville

       
  5. Seth Stark says:

    Reformed Rebel: you wrote, “By God’s grace, they may yet be a reformation in the ARP. I pray that it will be so!”

    I agree with your sentiments and pray for many, many confessional, reformed pastors to come into the ARP, but I want to add: the reformation has already begun in the ARP. It has been going on for about 40 years. It may appear that the ARP tolerates Barthians and liberals, but it is my opinion that these are the last few remaining holdovers from a 40 year fight by faithful forerunners in my denomination.

    Having said that: Come! Come into the ARP and help us be a faithful, Reformed witness to the U.S. and the world! Tell your classmates the same!

     
  6. Will Anderson says:

    To all my brothers who find themselves under the Reformed banner and who labor for the reformation of our Lord’s Church I only want to leave you with this from Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

     
  7. David A Danehower says:

    Mr. Wilson:

    To quote from the “About Comments” Section found on the masthead of your blog: “Think of a comment here as a Letter to the Editor, and on this blog, the editor is me. If a comment is devoid of information or ideas, or if it is anonymous they will not be posted. If you think someone is talking gibberish but you don’t have the guts to put your name on it — why should anyone care?”

    Once again I see that, in this thread and elsewhere, you have chosen to violate your own “rules” concerning anonymous comments on your blog. As you know, I have raised this issue before. I realize this is a relatively minor point – this is your blog and you can do what you will with it.

    Elsewhere however, you tell another commenter you will block further comments until they answer the question: “Who are you?” This person abides by your rules and uses their full name in their comments. I have to say that this seems, well, a bit incongruous to me.

    Furthermore, you have said that no further comments will be posted on your blog from this person until such time as she provides more personal information about herself. Again, to quote your rules: “If a comment is devoid of information or ideas, or if it is anonymous they will not be posted.”

    This person’s comments have not lacked information or ideas – quite the opposite! You yourself have said that they were interesting. They have certainly not been anonymous. Since you set the rules, might I suggest that you should also abide by them? Or at the least have the courtesy to revise your instructions to those who may want to comment so as to make it clear to all what the ground rules are.

    Regards,

    David A. Danehower

     
  8. Hey, David…:

    If the “anonymous posting” you are referring to is from the one who has the handle “Reformed Rebel”, if you click on his name you will find he is far from anonymous. Additional details under “About the Author”

    Regarding the potential blocking of comments, as a blogger myself, I am in the camp believing that a conversation needs to stick to the topic or be relevant. Some forums are a free for all… that’ why some sites have “editors” and others have “Administrators”… I do believe in the past some individuals have been given too much liberty in taking the conversation off topic, but in general the conversations have been pretty well focused, regardless of which side of the fence you are on.

    -Anthony

     
  9. David Danehower says:

    Mr. Navarro:

    Thanks for the tip about clicking on someone’s name (or should I say non de plume?). I didn’t realize that. Anxious to learn something more about Reformed Rebel’s identity, I clicked on his non de plume, went over to his blog and found out that he is anonymous over there as well! Someone who is anonymous is anonymous is anonymous, even when they have a blog. Based upon his comments, Reformed Rebel may well have good reasons for his anonymity. But I was raised to believe that rules are rules are rules. Or do the rules not matter here?

    I agree with you – the best thing is to stay focused on the conversation and the content of what is being said. This raises a question – elsewhere on this site one commenter has remained “pretty well focused” on the topic. This commenter has been asked to answer the questions: “Who are you? What denomination were you raised in? What denomination do you now belong to? And if they will not answer those questions, Mr. Wilson says he will not permit them to engage in discussion here. Note: this person is not posting anonymously! All I can say to that is, after hearing the “Reformed Rebel” describe his own spiritual journey to date (Southern Baptist – “King James Only” Baptist – Muslim – Lutheran/Crypto-Calvinist (??) – Reformed -), he may well be deserving of some similar questions! I do find it a bit perplexing that someone here who has quoted extensively and apparently with some knowledge from the Westminster Confession is blocked from posting here, while the Reformed Rebel is welcomed with open arms.

    Let us return to your suggestion that “the best thing is to stay focused on the conversation and the content of what is being said.” In that light, let’s examine this particular thread and see who has stayed “focused.” It surely hasn’t been me and I apologize for that! But neither has it been Reformed Rebel, nor Mr. Wilson, nor Seth Stark, nor Dean Turbeville, nor Will Anderson, not even yourself. I think you and Mr. Wilson need to give some credit to the only other person posting. At least she touches on neo-Barthianism, which does have some connection to the topic of this thread!

    I hope you will pardon me for speaking some “inconvenient truths” here, however off topic they might be. For my own part, in the future I promise to try and stay focused on the topic should I choose to engage in further discussion here.

    Regards,

    David

     
  10. Dear Mr. Danehower,

    You and Mr. Howard Wagler are the moderators of the Facebook site for the secular Erskine alums. You and Mr. Wagler set the boundaries as to who may and may not participate and the rules of etiquette. I don’t presume to instruct you in what you can and cannot do on your Facebook site. I am not the least bit disturbed that you allow postings by people who are anonymous to me. I assume that you know them. If you don’t, that’s your business. If I want to know who an anonymous poster is on your site, it’s up to me to do the search.

    Chuck Wilson is the moderator of ARPTalk and he sets the boundaries as to who may and may not participate and the rules of etiquette – and he is normally gracious. I ask you not to presume to instruct me!

    “Anonymous” on ARPTalk means that I and the Site Administrator are not able to obtain the identify of the one making comments. Almost daily, we refuse to post comments by individuals we can’t identify – both comments for and against.

    As I informed you in an e-mail on Wednesday, I know who “Reformed Rebel” is. If you wish, you may search out his identity. If you asked him politely, I’m sure he will tell you who he is. There is a “Comment” bar on his blog. If you like, you should post your questions there.

    Now, as to Mary Lou Grier Holmes, she has been given ample space on ARPTalk to make comments. She has been given numerous opportunities to answer the questions that I have asked her. For one who glories in her bloodline, it seems that she would be delighted to tell us the name of the ARP congregation in which she was raised and the name of the ARP congregation in which is now a member. Her reticence to respond to my questions seems to indicate that she does not have a living connection to the ARP Church. She has banned herself from ARPTalk. If she answers my questions, she may once again participate in the conversation.

    Mr. Danehower, your comments are not comments but WHINING! If you want to post again, we will post your comments – we know who you are. If you don’t want to post, I believe you have your own Facebook site on which to post whatever you want to write.

    Finally, your “inconvenient truths” are simply inconsequential and silly and immature WHINING! If you want to take your ball and go home, then take your ball and go home.

    Regards,

    Chuck Wilson
    Editor, ARPTalk

     
  11. Ralph Smith says:

    Dear Mr. Wilson,

    maybe if you let everyone post their ‘unsupervised’ opinions the world would see that the absurdity of Erskine College/Seminary leardership and the past wing nut alum spending your Synod’s/Lord’s $$$,$$$.00. Why not let all the wingnuts spin a time or two!!!???

     
  12. Mr. Smith,

    Thank you for your comments. I also want to thank you for identifying yourself. As a brother in a NAPARC denomination, we welcome your comments.

    Our policy is usually gracious. We are very patient. However, some comments are so altogether unseemly that we can’t allow them. Neither do we appreciate those who are unwilling to identify themselves.

    As for those you have identified as “wing nuts” – they have been given ample opportunity to displayed their wingedness to the whole world.

    Regards,

    Chuck Wilson
    Editor, ARPTalk

     
  13. Reformed Rebel says:

    Forgive me, as it appears I have become a bone of contention between some of the readers of this fair blog. That was certainly not my intention, although I suppose I could chalk it up to the law of unintended consequences.

    A couple of comments on my part appear to be the order of the day –

    First, Mr. Danehower, I do, in fact, have good reasons for my anonymity. If you did indeed watch the video on the “About the Author” page, then you know that I was once a practicing Muslim – one who in fact kept all Five Pillars and to this day keeps a bottle of water from the Zamzam well in Mecca in his freezer. (It’s a great gospel conversation starter!) You would also know that a close friend named Muladi Walad’Din was so upset over my conversion (not reversion, as he termed it )to Christianity that he contacted Mufti Ibrahim Desai in South Africa, who in turn issued a fatwa calling for all faithful Muslims too seek my death. Furthermore you should know that I only began blogging anonymously after a commenter on a blog I was the adminstrator for bragged that he knew where I lived (and then proved it by posting my address) and that he was going to follow my wife (she was my girlfriend then) home and rape her repeatedly to teach her not to associate with apostates from Islam.

    I blog anonymously, NOT to protect my identity, but to protect my wife. And as far as I’m concerned, that is unquestionably a good reason.

    Second, I was, point of fact, on topic. The question at hand was inerrancy, which was amply addressed in my original content, although it was addressed in a manner that was not exactly dry or impersonal.

    Third, if you think that I need to answer questions about my faith, what church I attend, or about my identity…well, ask me? I’m a big boy, and I’ll answer what I’m able to publicly without endangering my wife. Or if you prefer, I am perfectly willing, in a spirit of Christian unity, to allow Chuck to provide you with my email address and you are more than welcome, REALLY (no sarcasm, or condescension at all), to contact via that medium.

    Now it’s back to memorizing principal parts for me….

    Grace and peace, brothers.

     
    • David A Danehower says:

      Reformed Rebel,

      I did indeed watch the video over on your blog (http://reformedrebel.wordpress.com/about-the-author/ for those who may be interested) as well as reading a few of your writings. First, based on what you describe of your faith-journey on your video and your concerns for your wife, I absolutely understand your desire to remain anonymous. Secondly, let me assure you, I do not find you to be a “bone of contention!” Thirdly, I found “The Two Kingdoms and the Dar al-Islam (Part 2) and the Spiritual Nature of the Church” to be quite good. I especially enjoyed how you began your piece with Jesus’ admonition to His disciples (Mark 10:42-43):

      “You know that those who are rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. But it is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant…”

      Those are verses to spend time meditating on. Finally, you might be interested to know that J. H. Thornwell, whom you cite in “The Two Kingdoms”, was very nearly an early President of Erskine College. I think he would have done a great job had he been selected for that position – his stance on the two kingdoms that you outline makes me all the more positive of that.

      Shalom,

      David A. Danehower

       
  14. David Danehower says:

    Mr. Smith:

    Mr. Wilson’s “rules” on comments state that a person should be willing to post their actual name here. Mr. Wilson recently told me in a private email that only he needs to know the real identity of the person posting. Elsewhere in this blog he claims to now know you. Since I do not have such an advantage, pardon me if I ask you some questions. Since you do not have a link associated with your name, I cannot query you directly on this, as Mr. Wilson has suggested that I do when I am in doubt.

    But in keeping with my promise to post only substantive comments and lest I be accused once again of “whining,” let me move on. I will confess that I am not as learned as many when it comes to Reformed theology, certainly not as much as Mr. Wilson, but I am trying to learn a bit. That’s one reason I follow Mr. Wilson’s blog. In my readings in that realm, I recognize your name as being the same as a modern Reformed theologian. The theologian Ralph Smith has been accused by some Reformed folk of being a proponent of tri-theism and the Federal Vision (Eternal Covenant: How the Trinity Reshapes Covenant Theology by Ralph Smith). So please pardon me, but I feel the need to ask – could you be using “Ralph Smith” as a psuedonym which reflects your own theological views? The use f non de plumes seems to be a fairly common thing amongst the Reformed online. Given your name and the controversial theology associated with it, even amongst Reformed Christians, I think that we should all want to be cautious in our associations with anyone even remotely related to the notion of Tritheism. I could be mistaken, but I’d venture to guess that such a belief would constitute a heresy within the ARP Church.

    Now, to turn to more “on topic” comments: You urge Mr. Wilson to allow more “unsupervised” opinions so that “the world would see that the absurdity of Erskine College/Seminary leardership (sic) and the past wing nut alum (??) spending your Synod’s/Lord’s $$$,$$$.00.”

    Well, So much for the posted rules of this blog concerning “not hav[ing] the right to ….. common belittling, or “conduct unbecoming” of someone claiming Christ’s grace.” But lest I be accused of whining, let memove on to address your comments. Sir, it is true that the ARP Synod does provide approximately $500-600K per year to the operations of Erskine College and Seminary. As I understand it, the vast majority of these funds go to pay tuition for students from the ARP Church. It might surprise you to learn that we “wingnut alum(s)” and other supporters of the College have fairly recently finished a campaign that raised more than $40M for the College’s endowment. Furthermore, the Annual Campaign, which solicits Erskine Alumni for support of the College, raised $2.9M in a recent campaign. So you see, it is, and has been, a cooperative relationship between we “wingnut alums” and the generous members of the ARP Church that has helped to make Erskine College and Seminary one of the best Christian liberal arts colleges in the southern US.

    Furthermore, I want to assure you that many alumni are, in fact, ARPs. The vast majority of us who are not are nevertheless sincere Christians, although we do have a range of theological beliefs, some of which go beyond the confines of reformed theology. If you have the time, I would ask that you do a bit of reading concerning the long history of Erskine College and Seminary and the ARP church before making your comments. Erskine College was founded by ARPs and has had students, faculty, and administrators from many denominations during its long history. This is not recent history! In fact, it goes back to the founding of the College. Early on the College hired non ARP faculty. As for theological ‘purity” in 1840 the ARP Synod Minutes noted that the “the “besetting evil of sectarianism”” should be avoided in the teaching of Scriptures on the Sabbath. If you are basing your understanding of the History of Erskine and its sponsoring denomination, the ARP Church upon the “Brief History” written by Mr. Seth Stark elsewhere on this blog, I would caution you that Mr. Stark’s “History” is not nearly so much a history as it is an opinion.

    So Mr. Smith, I hope that you see that not all of the alumni are “wingnuts.” Some of us are trying hard to be good Christians, honor God, love our fellow man, and see a way forward for Erskine that would allow it to continue in the same manner it has for many, many years. – as an outstanding Christian liberal arts college!

    Regards,

    David A. Danehower

     
  15. Charles W. Wilson says:

    Dear Dr. Danehower,

    FYI: the French phrase in the singular is nom de plume and the plural is noms de plume. At first, I thought it was a typo; however, you have used the phrase again. A professor at NC State needs to know these things. Some of your colleagues may have taken French. The French take strong offense at our misuse of their language.

    FYI: in spite of the fact that you still whine, please don’t stop commenting. You help the readers of ARPTalk to see what is really amiss at Erskine.

    I’ll leave the rest to Mr. Smith and/or others.

    Regards,

    Chuck Wilson
    Editor, ARPTalk

     
  16. David A Danehower says:

    Mr. Wilson,

    Thanks for the correction. I am unfortunately not a student of French and neither apparently is my spell checker. As you are likely aware, I am a faculty member in the sciences, so you will have to forgive me for my failings in use of the French language. Fortunately, I still believe my meaning was clear.

    More substantively, I fail to see where I am “whining” in my last comments on this thread. I really did try to stick to substantive comments on the name (nom?) “Ralph Smith” and Mr. Smith’s relationship to Reformed theology. I then went on to point out in some detail the significant recent contributions of both the ARP Synod and Erskine alumni to our College, and concluded with a bit of early history of the ARP Synod and its advice to the College regarding denominational beliefs.

    Since I quite obviously don’t understand what you mean when you say I am “whining”, could you please point out where you think that occurred in my most recent comments? I’d like to understand where you are coming from and your meaning of the word a bit better. Perhaps I can correct myself in the future.

    With kind thoughts and prayers,

    David

     
  17. Ralph Smith says:

    Mr. D– I am PCA, not a theologian, and not, so far as I know, a heretic as you inquired/assumed. I am just interested in Christian education, evangelical/reformed church denominations. I read the Aquila Report and have loose connections (no pun intended) with Erskine College and seminary. However, who cares who who is? This blogs debate over identities is absurdly silly! Have a debate and be cordial. By wingnuts all I intended to mean, had to do with Alumn who spoke against the ARP Church. I am glad to know that you are not a wingnut…even if you seemed to have claimed it.
    Sorry for offense. Peace, please.

     
  18. David A Danehower says:

    Mr. Smith,

    Pardon me for mistaking your identity and believing that you might in some way be connected to the (apparently) controversial Theologian Ralph Smith. He is also (I believe) a member of the Presbyterian Church in America, so you might understand my question was not without foundation.

    I have not “debating” anyone’s identity here. I am, just as Mr. Wilson frequently does here, simply asking “who are you?” If you want to call that “absurdly silly” – feel free to do so! However, I would suggest that it might be prudent to at least acquaint yourself with the theologian you share a name and a denomination with. To quickly do that, you can go to the PuritanBoard ( http://www.puritanboard.com/forum/ ) and enter your name into Google search engine there.

    I think I have indeed been trying to “have a debate and be cordial.” If you will look through all of my comments here on this blog, you will not see that I have used a term such as “wingnut” to refer to anyone even a single time! By the way, how is it that have read into my earlier message that I “seemed” to have claimed to be a “wingnut”? For the life of me, I cannot find anywhere that I “seemed” to be claiming any such thing.

    It is interesting that you suggest we “have a debate.” I have tried several times on this blog to raise some substantive issues/points. You made an issue of the Church funds that are put into Erskine. I addressed that, and gave some recent figures on the funds that flow into Erskine from both alumni and the Synod. I am sure that Erskine’s administrators and students are quite grateful for both! My point in citing those figures was to indicate that perhaps we alumni are worthy of some consideration vis-a-vis the “Erskine debate.” Can I take your silence as an indication that perhaps you believe I have adequately supported my position?

    I then went on to point out that most Erskine alumni seek to be good Christians, but that we have a different understanding of and appreciation for Erskine. We are not the Baal cultists or secularists that Mr. Wilson seems so intent on mis-characterizing us as being! I then went on to offer historical evidence from the Synod minutes to validate my point. Do you care to offer a reaction? I believe that is precisely how one goes about debating. In fact, I have found very little healthy “debate” on this blog. I would actually welcome some debate here on these points!

    Sincerely,

    David A. Danehower

     
  19. charles w wilson says:

    Dear Mr. Danehower,

    I have been looking over your recent comments. You write about dollars. Where did you get your information? Would you like to share with us? You speak as though ALL alums agree with you. Are you aware that many, many don’t? And many of those who disagree with you are still contributing to Erskine.

    Since you have brought up the issue of money, would you like to tell us how much you contributed to Erskine last year or the last four or five years? If you will, I will!!!! My name is found in the “Annual Report.” Don’t be modest! I’m not!

    Since you don’t find much “healthy debate” on ARPTalk, why do you comment so much? Look at how much you have written!

    BTW: The target issue in this article is Dr. Richard Burnett’s neo-Barthian views on the Bible. I don’t think you have commented on the point of the article. Did I miss something?

    Regards,

    Chuck Wilson
    Editor, ARPTalk

     
  20. David A Danehower says:

    Mr. Wilson,

    Before I begin with “substantive” comments, could you point me to the place where I said or even implied that I speak for all alumni? I have been careful here and elsewhere to characterize the Erskine alumni as a diverse group. In fact, in an earlier comment that I sent you on another of your blogs I stated quite plainly:

    “Yes, we alumni differ in our opinions with you and others, and yes, even with each other.”

    Evidently, you have forgotten this, so allow me reiterate it: What I say here and elsewhere are my own thoughts and opinions. I absolutely realize that there is quite a divergence of opinion amongst alumni concerning Erskine. How could I not – you yourself are an alum!

    My information concerning Erskine’s finances is drawn from the publicly available Annual Reports sent out to donors and things that I have picked up via the Erskine website and elsewhere. I have a distaste for discussing personal financial matters in places as public as your blog. This is apparently a feeling you do not share. However, since it is a matter of public record (via the yearly EC Annual Fund reports), I will tell you that I have been a member of what they now call the “Century Club” for something like 29 years. This past year, in recognition of the financial plight that arose over the Moderator’s Commissions attempted actions, I increased my contributions quite a bit. You can look and see for yourself what level I’m now at. Oh, and by the way, no need to reveal your own level of funding. I already know that and would like to tell you that I appreciate your support – at least you are willing to put your money where your mouth is!

    Your question about my financial contributions made me recall an earlier comment that I made concerning some “facts” you stated about the ARP Church’s investment in Erskine over the past 40 years

    (see: http://www.arptalk.org/2010/05/05/what-to-do-while-waiting-on-the-erskine-appeal/ )

    My comment and attempt to engage in dialog went unanswered. Perhaps you would be willing to respond this time. To repeat my comments and questions:

    QUOTE “I would like to focus some time on Question #4, as you make a number of questionable assertions there. I apologize before hand for bringing up such a base subject as money. To start, could you explain to me where you arrive at the figure of $40M of investment by the ARP Church in the College over the last 40 years? I’ve been looking just a bit at the history of funding of the College and find that figure difficult to square with my own studies on this subject.

    While I await your reply, I’d offer the following repost: Would you not agree that there has been much “investment” in Erskine College by its Alumni? I will grant you that a number of these Alumni are ARPs. However, my best estimation would be that a significant majority of alumni who contribute to the College are non-ARPs. In 2009, Alumni giving totaled $2.9M, exceeding its giving goal by $900K. This occurred during the height of the recent recession! According to the minutes of the 2009 meeting of the ARP Synod, Erskine was provided with $586K, short of its budgeted amount of $617K. Furthermore, are you aware that the Erskine Gold Campaign, completed with considerable help from Erskine alumni raised over $40M in endowment funds for the College?

    Much has been made of the Synod’s “ownership” of Erskine. Would the many non-ARPs who have contributed to the College over the last 170+ years be appreciative of that claim? This includes a number of large gifts for building construction and endowed faculty positions that have been made by non-ARPs. …… Would you attitude about having Jews and Muslims in the Seminary have been different if you had been aware that a Jewish family, the Winstocks, had been amongst the earliest key benefactors of Due West Female College – the ARP women’s college that sat where “Women’s Campus” sits today prior its merger with Erskine?” END QUOTE

    Since I never received a reply to my comments earlier, I’d like to invite you to reply now.

    Finally, to address your last two questions to me.

    1.Indeed, I do not find much “healthy debate” here. That is precisely the reason that I have decided to start commenting more – in the hopes of generating some debate! As for the amount I’ve written, I have a long, long way to go before I can catch up with you!

    2. Your observation is correct – I have not commented directly on the issue of Dr. Burnett’s alleged neo-Barthian views. I might point out that neither has anyone else who has commented on this particular thread!

    I am not learned enough concerning Barth to make a knowledgeable comment. I believe this allegation, the import of which I am not capable of ascertaining for myself, was based upon a single complaint. I also believe I am correct in saying that a formal review was conducted by a Committee of the Seminary which found that Dr. Burnett was not guilty of the charge. I believe (but I might be mistaken here) that the Committee’s findings were then reported to and accepted by Synod.

    Well, you are right Mr. Wilson, sometimes I do write a lot! But as you said in a private email to me – like you, I’m having fun with it! But that is enough for tonight. Hope you have a good weekend!

    Sincerely,

    David A. Danehower

     
  21. charles w wilson says:

    Dear DOCTOR Danehouwer,

    Just a FEW comments. I don’t want to write a page and a half like you did. Yes, I still enjoy our discussions. I like you. You are fun.

    1. You sure did take a long time to get to your substantive comments. Basically, you said “I don’t have any substantive comments to make; I don’t know what I’m talking about.” It’s always a joy to see a PhD and a NC State professor admit that in print that there is something in the history of the universe that he doesn’t know. I don’t know why you made your “substantive comments.”

    2. I admire your ability with obfuscations and disinformation. You’re good! You’re real good! Did they teach you that in grad school?

    3. You’re also good at whining and patronizing. Most people don’t do these well. You do! It’s a thing of wonderment. I wish I could do it as well as you. A tip of the hat to you.

    4. How much did you have to give to be a member of the “Century Club”? $100.00? $1,000.00? More? How much did you give last year? One of your buds was making a big deal about $18.39 in honor of the founding of Erskine College. When I look at the “Annual Report” the thing that hits me is how cheap the alums are. Ouch, I’m an alum! So, how much did you give?

    5. You state that you know how much I gave. How did you find that out? I looked and I didn’t see an indication of the amount of my gift. Do you mind telling how you know? Who told you? With whom are you speaking? For you information, I’m not concerned about the invasion of my privacy. Anyone who gets on the Internet loses all expectations of privacy. If you had asked, I would have told you!

    6. If you want to know how I got my dollar numbers for the ARP Church, go to the same places I went. It’s not hard to find – just a lot of work.

    7. Well, I see that you want to talk about the “Gold Campaign.” Good! I was on the BOT when that disaster took place. Do you remember that the original goal was $50 million? The $40 million is also a diaphanous gossamer, that is, someting like gas in the wind. As I remember, less than $15 million was actually collected and the rest is “hope to monies if they hurry up and die before they change their wills”. After languishing for some time, the campaign was stopped and victory was declared. I called it “Due West accounting.”

    8. Please, don’t play the race card. That’s not nice! Your Mama would not like it. And you know good and well that I don’t care if a non-Christian (for example, your words, “Jewish” student) attends Erskine College. I don’t care if a Methodist like you attends Erskine College. That’s not the point. The point is the faculty. And you are also aware that the issue at the seminary involves matters of purpose, accreditation, and ecclesiology.

    David, you know that a debate like this is entertaining both to us and those who are watching us; however, it’s like qualifying for an event in the Special Olympics. I wonder, do two men with earned doctorates qualify? Does anyone know?

    Well, I win this one. I have been shorter than you! And most said: AMEN!

    Regards and a good weekend to you too,

    DOCTOR Chuck Wilson
    Editor, ARPTalk

     
  22. David Danehower says:

    Dr. Wilson,

    First, my last name is spelled “Danehower.” As the Editor of ARPTalk and someone who has seen and used my name many times here, I would hope you might be a bit more careful! By the way, I’d appreciate it if you would drop the “DOCTOR” stuff as far as my name is concerned. You are free to call me David or Mr. Danehower. I rarely use my title and try to be a humble man. Secondly, while my reply was rather lengthy, it included a substantial quote from a prior comment I made on your site that had gone and still goes unanswered. I just thought that I’d toss that one back out and see if I could get a reply. You own reply was none too short itself, but I don’t mind that.

    You are correct – as I said, I really don’t know enough about Barth and the situation concerning Dr. Burnett to comment knowledgeably other than on the points I made above. If I am in error in what I said, I welcome a correction! Instead, I choose to try and respond “substantively” not to that subject, but to the commentary that had begun in this particular thread. I also noted that no one who had previously posted, including you, had anything to say concerning Dr. Burnett’s alleged neo-Barthian position. Why then do you direct your criticism only to me?

    Once again you accuse me of “whining.” Sir, you would appear to want to raise my ire with that repeated and tired accusation! As I think I said elsewhere on this blog, such perceptions are in the eye and ear of the beholder. But to paraphrase Proverbs 15:1, I will try and use a gentle answer to turn away your apparent misperception. I do not perceive that I am “whining.” I choose not to judge your own remarks as such. I will leave it to others to read back over what has been said here and elsewhere on your blog and decide for themselves who is whining and who is not.

    As I said, I find a public discussion of charitable giving to be distasteful, so I’m not going to “bite” on your odd insistence that I provide you with a dollar figure as to what I have contributed to Erskine over the years. Do you not find such public discussions to be in poor taste? Should we not all try and be modest about such things? As for how I know you contribute to Erskine, my answer is that I do not know the exact figure, which is unimportant. Let me say again that I appreciate that you give what you can to Erskine. Would that some EC Board members were as generous as you! I know you give to the College ad Seminary because I know you make a contribution because your name is listed in the Annual Fund contributor list. Your comment that the alums are “cheap” would seem to fall under the heading that I discussed in my previous paragraph and is therefore not worthy of further comment.

    I’d like to ask you to kindly point out to me where you believe my comments contain “obfuscations and disinformation?” I’ve tried hard here to support what I am saying with verifiable citations – s!omething that good teachers did indeed teach me in grad school as well as at Erskine

    You claim to you found the information you provide in ARP documents. I’d appreciate it if you could share with us some citations as to where we might find that information in order to verify it. What information I do have regarding that subject, namely the generous (and I mean that very, very seriously) annual contribution to Erskine from the Synod, local ARP Churches, and groups such as the women’s groups within some churches would nevertheless seem to fall short of the figures you state. I would be more than pleased to concede your point if you can back up your figure of $40M over the past 40 years by citing your source(s).

    I will acknowledge that there is one difficulty in both our figures. My alumni figures include giving by alumni who are also members of the ARP Church. While I am citing ALUMNI figures, I could see where you might want to include ARP alumni contributions in your figures for ARP Church giving. But then one might also ask the question of how much ARP contributions are from Erskine alumni within the various congregations? In all honesty, I don’t think either you or I can tease those numbers out.

    Moving on to your comments about the “Gold Campaign”. As I understand it, you were on the Board of Trustees from 1998 – 2004. The Gold campaign was completed in December of 2006. So apparently you were on the Board for a portion of the Gold campaign, but not its conclusion. You say that “The $40 million is also a diaphanous gossamer, taht (sic) is someting (sic) like gass (sic) in the wind.” What I know about the campaign is that the publicly stated goal was $36.8 million, and that the campaign claimed to have raised more than $40 million (see: http://www.erskine.edu/about-erskine/quick-facts.shtml ). I’m not familiar at all with the figure of $50M you claim was a goal. Perhaps you can cite documents to support that claim? I do believe it is quite common to include planned giving in such campaign figures and find it SHOCKING that a former EC Board member would choose to characterize those generous future donors and their contributions as you did above.

    Finally, I have to say I strongly resent your claim that I am playing “the race card.” I simply stated a fact that backed up by documentation. My point, which I thought was abundantly clear, was to ask you a question about the contributions of non-ARP alimni and friends to Erskine and to cite at least one example from many years ago that spoke to that issue. At the risk of losing to you once again in the length department, allow me to once again quote:

    “Much has been made of the Synod’s “ownership” of Erskine. Would the many non-ARPs who have contributed to the College over the last 170+ years be appreciative of that claim? This includes a number of large gifts for building construction and endowed faculty positions that have been made by non-ARPs.”

    Perhaps I have not been specific enough in my comments here. So let me ask you some very direct questions:

    1. Do you acknowledge and value the many contributions made by non-ARP alumni to the growth and success of Erskine College?

    2. If you do care to acknowledge those contributions, do you then think that may be reason that alumni feel that they deserve some consideration in the affairs of Erskine College?

    3. Re you willing to acknowledge that Erskine faculty and administration have, almost from the inception of the College, come from a number of denominations?

    4. Do you think it fair for the ARP Synod, which only recently changed its own doctrine to include inerrancy, to turn around and ask tenured faculty to revise their statement of faith in order to address the demands of some within the Church?

    I’d appreciate some very direct answers!

    Finally, and this may come as a surprise to you and some of your readers, I will say that I believe that the question of subscription (hope that is the proper use of the word) to Reformed doctrine at Erskine Seminary does indeed involve “matters of purpose …. and ecclesiology.” [I’m not actually sure it involves matters of accreditation, as you suggested. ] Clearly, Erskine Seminary should have a close ecclesiastical relationship with the ARP Church. I would not argue that point at all! Having said that, I do think there are secular issues of tenure (a legal issue) and funding (a financial issue) that are in play there.

    Once again, I have been long winded. I do hope that our conversation is both entertaining as well as informative to your readership and yourself. I’m personally hoping that it is more informative than entertaining!

    Peace,

    David A. Danehower

     
  23. Charles W. Wilson says:

    Dear David,

    Thanks for coming back to play.

    I used the “DOCTOR” thing to poke fun at us. As you prefer to be addressed as David, I prefer being addressed as Chuck.

    Please forgive me for misspelling your name. MY BAD! I really hate people who are educated (that is, attended school a long time) and who don’t spell well. Alas, I’m a member of that tribe!

    Well, we continue to make a spectacle of ourselves, don’t we? C’est la vie!

    Let me make a few comments. I will be as brief as possible.

    1. The point of the article on which we are commenting (or not) is Dr. Richard Burnett’s view on inerrancy. I wonder why he hasn’t responded. Are you as perplexed as I am? I have asked him to respond. As you know, I even gave him space in my last ARPTalk. Why don’t you ask him to respond? A response from him would certainly be germane to our discussions, don’t you think? Just saying!

    2. David, raise your “ire”!? Nonsense! We’re having too much fund to have ire! You know better than to jump into the briar patch with short pants on and you haven’t. You also know better than to open a door that a truck is going to be driven through.

    3. Of course you whine and obfuscate. Reread what you have written. It’s so tedious! Not everyone can tedious me. You’re good at it! Be proud! I admire your skill! I read your comments and have to wait two or three minutes to calm down.

    4. As far as the Gold Campaign is concerned, I’m right! I was there! I was a member of the Finance Committee. Stop it! You have taken math courses. Do the math. In 1998 the Endowment was about $42M, and today the Endowment is about $42M. “Where’s the beef?” Indeed, the original goal that was talked about was $50M.

    5. My sight is poor and I’ve just noticed that you write that I said that the ARP Church has give $40M in the last 40 year. As I recall, I said $20M in the last 40 years. As I have said, I hate misspelling and typos. If I have written $40M, thanks for correcting me. MY BAD! By the way, what is $20M? What is $40M. Little people like us don’t know. I apologize if you’re rich. If you’re rich, you didn’t get it teaching at NC State!

    6. You say that you’re too humble a man to talk about how much money you give. PhDs are not humble people! Well, . . . we can talk about this on another day.

    7. Of course non-ARPs who have attended ERskine have contributed over the years. They should! I don’t know anyone who has paid the full-load at Erskine. The discount rate has been considerable for as long as I can remember. The thing that aggravates me is the sense of entitlement to ownership that so many of the parsimonious alums have because they have given a dollar or two to something of which they have no ownership. I have four degrees from three different institutions. I have given to all three institutions. I don’t feel a sense of ownership to any of them. Pardon my bluntness, but you guys need meds for your visions of grandeur! Now talk about fair. I honestly think that what you guys are attempting is a form of theft! Yes, I mean exactly what I wrote!

    8. David, if you are so concerned and loyal to Erskine, why is it that you are not teaching at Erskine? Your credentials are more than enough to qualify you. There have been openings.

    9. Do I acknowledge the contributions of non-ARPs? I have never said I didn’t – I have publicly affirmed some of them. You wanted an example of obfuscation and disinformation. There it is.

    10. You ask: “Do you think it fair for the ARP Synod, which only recently changed its own doctrine to include inerrancy, to turn around and ask tenured faculty to revise their statement of faith in order to address the demands of some within the Church?” Well, once again you’re good at obfuscation and disinformation. My hat is off to you. That’s not the real issue. I think a goodly number of these people were disingenuous about who they were from the beginning. Does that mean that I don’t trust them? Yep!

    11. No, I’m not surprised that you agree with me on the subscription issue at the seminary. What you fail to see is that it also involves the college too. Now, don’t ask what I’m talking about. You know. It’s the issue of a definition involving an evangelical Christian. If you have missed it, that is also a subscription issue.

    12. Now, let me ask you a question. Your background is a state university. What is the difference between a Christian/Church college/university and a state college/university?

    Finally, once again, we haven’t talked about the article. We have discussed everything else. As I said, you are good at obfuscation and disinformation and, may I add, changing the direction of the conversation. Now, I will once again try to draw your attention to Dr. Burnett. Give him a call. Ask him to respond. His view on inerrancy is what sparked this debate in 2008. Don’t you think he should join the conversation? Fair is fair, isn’t it?

    Well, I have not been brief. I don’t think I won this one. I think it’s a tie. You wrote two pages, and it looks like I have written two pages. Actually, you may have won! Shall we continue to make a spectacle of ourselves?

    I hope I haven’t offended you too much. I like you. You have spoken well of my non-controversial articles.

    Regards,

    Chuck

     
  24. Dear David,

    Are you not going to respond?

    Regards,

    Chuck
    Editor, ARPTalk