I think that the tragic character Gollum in J. R. R. Tolkien’s epic trilogy The Lord of the Rings is specifically analogous to the relationship between the ARP Church and Erskine College and Seminary. Like Gollum and the ring, the ARP Church for the past 50 years has been both spiritually seduced and gelded by the power of a deadly ring. Our dream of an evangelical and confessionally Reformed college and seminary that are second to none has gripped us in blind and stubborn devotion to the point that we have thrown ourselves and our resources into a fruitless and, I sincerely believe, sinful endeavor.
The only way this article by Ms. Nancy S. Campbell and Rev. Andrew K. Putnam can correspond to any reality is if we have entered the realm of the Superman comic books where there is a faithful, evangelical Erskine College in our universe.
Matthew 18 seems to be the refuge of those who are unwilling to confront serious theological and administrative issues at ETS and correct them. The issues regarding the inerrancy of the Bible are as public and open and noisy and sharp and seminal to the future of ETS as they can possibly get. For the last three years, as the ETS ship was burning at sea from stem to stern, where were these advocates of Matthew 18? Were they going to the administration, the President, and to the Board? Or were they busy defending an indefensible status quo?
In the shadow of a stunning failure of ecclesiastical nerve on the part of the General Synod last June at Bonclarken, continuing theological unfaithfulness on the part of Erskine College and Theological Seminary that goes uncorrected at this time, a long history of unfaithfulness to and subversion of the theological standards of the ARP Church, now is not the time to speak of unity as thought these disruptive issues are not divisive and matters of public record.