A Vision for Erskine as Articulated by the Erskine Facebook Participants


Erskine Seminary was founded to be the seminary of the ARP Church, and, therefore, the expectation in the ARP Church was that the seminary of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church would represent and nurture and advance the theological focus of the ARP Church. It is safe to say that it would have been unthinkable at that time for anyone in the ARP Church to envision Erskine Seminary as a place where there would be attempts to undermine and even betray the theological tenets of the ARP Church. In the last 40 years, what once was unthinkable has been thought and has taken place and is continuing at Erskine Seminary.

Erskine College is the oldest private college in South Carolina. Erskine College was founded in the late 1830s partially in response to the deism, infidelity, and anti-Christian teaching and attacks of Thomas Cooper at the College of South Carolina (today, the University of South Carolina). The vision of the founders of Erskine College was for the school to be an evangelical Christian college that was a counterbalance and an alternative to the College of South Carolina for all evangelical Christians in South Carolina. The founders’ vision was for Erskine to be a place that honored Christ and the Bible, a place that was a safe haven for evangelical Christian students where both their evangelical Christian faith and intellects would be nurtured, and a place where evangelical Christian students could get an education apart from the demeaning and ridiculing harangues of a teacher like Thomas Copper, who was thoroughly committed to propagating infidelity.

Below is a description of Thomas Cooper that was written by an ARP historian, Dr. Robert Lathan, in his history of the first 100 years of the ARP Church, History of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church of the South: 1782-1882.

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. . . .

. . . 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. . . .

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. . . His fame rested solely on his wonderful powers as a lecturer. 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 honest, if such a thing is possible. . . Dr. Cooper exhumed errors long buried, paraded before the world their ghastly forms, and polluted society with their noisome stench. . . . (pp. 347-350).

The following is taken from “The Statement of Historical Significance” in the application to the National Register of Historical Places for the Long Cane ARP Church:

Growing sectional tensions between North and South, meanwhile, prompted an 1834 resolution by the Synod of the South stating in part, “it is prejudicial to the Southern church to send our young men to the North or West, either to college or to a theological seminary.” When the leaders of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church looked to Columbia and South Carolina College (now the University of South Carolina), they were appalled at the public pronouncements and policies of Thomas Cooper, who, as president of the college, was an outspoken critic of Christianity, the Bible, and the clergy, and particularly of church-affiliated education. In 1822 Cooper called “the systematic hostility of the clergy” to any institution they did not control the single most significant obstacle to the success of South Carolina College, and many clergymen and laymen alike reacted to such remarks with equal force, calling Cooper’s words an “illiberal, unrighteous, and sweeping charge” and appealing “to the candor and good sense of the Christian commonwealth” in South Carolina. Resolutions in the General Assembly calling for Cooper’s removal from the presidency accomplished nothing, though he did eventually resign first from the presidency and then from teaching altogether at the college by 1834.

Such dissatisfaction with the state of education, particularly theological education, in the Carolinas backcountry contributed to the establishment of Clark and Erskine Seminary, at Due West, in Abbeville County, in 1837. Two years later Clark and Erskine Seminary, with an expanded curriculum and additional faculty, became a college as well as a seminary, the first denominational college of any kind in South Carolina. It was renamed Erskine College in 1843.

Sad to say, the vision of the founders of Erskine College has been betrayed. Thomas Cooper’s voice now lives and prevails at Erskine College in the teaching of Dr. Bill Crenshaw, who is as much an infidel and anti-Christian as Cooper was. Now, in spite of the institutional advertising that promotes Erskine College as a “Christian College” and all the ecclesiastical pronouncements by the ARP Church directing the trustees of the Erskine board to restore the Christian heritage, Erskine College has become, in large measure, just another secular college.

The struggle for Erskine in the ARP Church has been long (over 40 years) and bitter. Time and time again, the efforts of the ARP Church to set an evangelical Christian vision and course for Erskine College have been either deflected or thwarted by administrations and/or boards that have attempted, on the one hand, to appease the evangelical Christian concerns of the ARP Church with promises of change that they had no intentions of fulfilling, while, on the other hand, they have attempted to mollify the infidelity of a secular-minded faculty by giving them free hand to do what they desired. The unspoken compromise that has been worked out is a compartmentalization that has resulted in a secular college with a Bible department that, at least presently, has evangelical Christian professors. The end result of this has been the domination of the institution by Dr. Bill Crenshaw, whose voice of unbelief and ridicule of Christianity has marked multiple generations of students with doubt rather than faith. Ironically, Erskine College has now become the very thing that it was founded to oppose!

What is the future for Erskine College? Who knows! One thing is for certain, the present divisions and tensions make it impossible for the status quo to continue in Due West. The General Synod of the ARP Church still clings to a vision for an Erskine College as an evangelical Christian college where evangelical Christian faith and learning are integrated. Dr. David Norman, the new President, also has a Christian vision for Erskine College that is similar to that of the ARP Church. Both of these visions of hope have little chance of success!

The majority of the faculty members, many on the Erskine board, and a large and very vocal segment of the Erskine alums have another vision for Erskine College. Their vision for Erskine College is very different from that of the ARP Church and President Norman. They do not want an evangelical Christian college. Their vision is being hammered out on the Alums’ Facebook Site (Alumni for Erskine). As to be expected, their way is being led by “the Due West Thomas Cooper,” Dr. Bill Crenshaw.

Below, taken from the Alums’ Facebook Site, is how they envision the mission of Erskine College. Of course, leading the way is “The Due West Pied Piper of Secularism,” Dr. Bill Crenshaw.

Dr. Bill Crenshaw’s career at Erskine College has covered 35 years, and in the last 35 years his voice has been the voice advocating secularism. Doubtlessly, he is the one who has set the agenda for the college’s philosophy of education – not the General Synod of the ARP Church. Below, Dr. Bill Crenshaw states his vision for the future of Erskine College. (This post and subsequent posts are as they appear on Facebook.)

David Danehower [Editor’s note: one of the moderators of the site] has asked for our visions of Erskine. Mine is that Erskine be a real college.

Erskine teaches real science.

Covenant, Patrick Henry, Liberty U., and all other so-called conservative evangelical colleges teach bogus science, false science, science that is not really science.

In other words, they teach lies. . . .

Science is the litmus test on the validity of the educational enterprise. If a school teaches real science, it’s a pretty safe bet that all other departments are sound. If it teaches bogus science, everything else is suspect. . . .

Modern science transcends the parochialisms of culture — language, history, religion, theology. Especially, in the matter at hand, by religion and theology. Both science and theology make truth-claims about world we live on and the universe that world inhabits. . . .

I want a real college, not one that rejects facts, knowledge, and understanding because they conflict with a narrow religious belief. Any college that lets theology trump fact is not a college; it is an institution of indoctrination. It teaches lies.

Colleges do not teach lies. Period.

In case the reader missed Dr. Crenshaw’s operative norm, here it is again: “Science is the litmus test on the validity of the educational enterprise.” By the way, this vision for Erskine College has been in place for the last 35 years. It does not matter what the ARP Church has voted for or how the school has been described in glowing terms by administrators and trustees at Synod meetings, Dr. Crenshaw’s agenda has been the operative vision.

When responding to Mrs. Janis Cunningham, an ARP in Charlotte, who took exception to Dr. Crenshaw’s view and cited Covenant College as a legitimate educational model for a Christian college, Dr. Crenshaw responded with the following post.

Well, I took Janus’s advice and spent a good bit of time today going through Covenant College’s web page. I don’t know what Janus is talking about. Covenant is a PCA school and is NOT what Erskine should or wants to be but it IS in the same indoctrination business as Patrick Henry. They share the same presuppositions and world views; anti-science; anti-intellectual, pro-indoctrination, pro-dinosaurs on the ark, YEC, theocratic, mind-numbing, authoritarian, patriarchal, bubble view. Not a real college. A real indoctrination factory. Factually challenged. Thinking within prescribed limits. Submit. Obey.

Send your children there, Janus. Leave us the heck alone.

Wow! Is this an English professor (who is not an ARP) at the college of the ARP Church telling an ARP not to send her children to Erskine College? Is there any wonder why Erskine College has lost credibility with the ARP Church?

As I have read Dr. Crenshaw words, I have come to this conclusion: he is a modern day Thomas Cooper. Like Cooper, he is functionally an atheist who, in his rabid, secular fundamentalism, preaches his views with as much vigor and determination as an old-time Methodist revivalist of 100 years ago. Indeed, he is an evangelist of infidelity!

And what are the results of his often repeated message of “I-hate-the-Bible-and-the-evangelical-Christian-faith-as-I-honor-myself-as-the-one-who-sets-science-as-the-litmus-test-for-Erskine-College-and-what-a-college-is-or-is not?” Well, one can begin with the many participants on the Alums’ Facebook Site who revere Dr. Crenshaw as “the Erskine Oracle” and repeat his secular brain-dribble as mantras that no one can doubt and still be educated. Below is a testimonial from Ms. Janie Bryan Simpson of how Dr. Crenshaw “made a difference in her life” and saved her from the corrupting idea of “integration of Christian faith and academic excellence”:

Dr. Crenshaw, it is a pleasure to be reacquainted with your wit, your intelligence and your innate ability to help others “think” I am glad to see there is still an Erskine professor left who has some common sense about him. As for the argument about “belief” and “acceptance,” I agree wholeheartedly in the importance of the distinction.

I was one of your students around 1990. I am telling my age, but I do not care. I will never forget the lesson i learned when you wrote “God damn you” [Editor’s emphasis] on the chalk board. You explained, saying there was no difference than saying “God bless you.”. Both were sentences in which we were “ordering” God to do our bidding. That was when I learned to start thinking as opposed to merely letting my brain settle.

I remember taking history of the Old Testament classes at Erskine. We were NOT taught fundamentalist doctrine. My professor explained the HISTORY surrounding the books of the Old Testament. Coming away from that class, I came to my own educated conclusion that stories such as a “the Great Flood,” “Adam and Eve,” “Jonah and the Whale,” “David in the Lions’ Den,” and of course, “the parting of the Red Sea” were stories used for specific purposes.

What a shame the Erskine of old no longer exists. It mattered not what faith or non-faith one practiced during my years there. It was a time to grow and bond with close friends I still have until this day – time of discovery – finding out who I was – who I wanted to be.

I would not be the confident woman I am today if it were not for Erskine and professors who made me learn to think – such as Dr. Crenshaw. (And yes, I would never deign to use his first name. He deserves more respect than that).

Thank you for the difference you have made in my life, Dr. Crenshaw. Keep writing on this board. Eventually someone will listen.

What a ghastly testimonial for Erskine College: the triumph of anti-Christ! The only thing left to say is: “Praise Crenshaw! He sets his students free! Amen!”

Over at Erskine Seminary one also finds that the vision of ETS as the seminary of the ARP Church that honors and nourishes the orthodox and evangelical and Reformed faith of the ARP Church has also been betrayed in the last 40 years. A case can be made that, during the administration of Dr. Randy Ruble, he lowered the academic entrance level of the seminary to the lowest common denominator in order to get students; he largely effaced the identity of Erskine Seminary as “the seminary of the ARP Church”; he gave a 20-plus-year voice to Barthianism by hiring Dr. Merwyn Johnson, and he turned Erskine Seminary into a quasi-Methodist institution in order to get students who would pay to finance “the Ruble Ramble.”

Then, under the disastrous administration of Dr. Neely Gaston, an effort was made to turn ETS into a quasi-PCUSA institution. He lost the approval of the seminary by the United Methodist Church by failing to comply with Methodist guidelines and he lost the approval of the AME Church because of an altercation with an AME Bishop. Gaston lost the trust of the ARP Church when he created an ecclesiastical and theological firestorm in the ARP Church by promoting and protecting neo-Barthian professor Dr. Richard Burnett and by hiring neo-Barthian professor Dr. Michael Bush. He intensified the strength of that storm when he then gave tenure to Dr. Burnett. He allowed non-Christian clergy into the DMin program and lost the trust of all evangelicals. He foolishly led ETS into financial deficits year after year by his proliferation of staff and by imprudent schemes of expansion. He emptied classrooms of students, and, because of his administrative malfeasance, he brought down academic troubles with ATS that are yet to be resolved.

Even now this story of woe continues at Erskine Seminary: for their courses in Systematic Theology students may choose either an orthodox track that is taught by Dr. RJ Gore or a neo-Barthian track that is taught by Dr. Richard Burnett. Indeed, that is a move that will not attract ARP and other theologically conservative students! Sadly, in the last three years, the most publicly vocal professor at ETS has been that of Dr. Burnett, who loves to sing “I-hate-the-inerrancy-position-of the-ARP-Church-come-let-me-teach-you-in-the-ways-of-Barth-who-is-the-answer-to-all-questions-of-Biblical-authority.”

What is the vision for Erskine Seminary’s future? Who knows! The Editor of ARPTalk is not hopeful! As Erskine Seminary is now constituted, it does not have much of a future! It does not have much of a constituency. At this time, Erskine Seminary is, in terms of its various theologies and constituencies, a schizophrenic disaster that has long been off its medication. A Search Committee has been organized by the BOT to find a new Executive Vice President. The Editor has seen the makeup of that committee. It is his opinion that the interests of the ARP Church are not well represented by that committee.

Erskine College is now the institution that it was founded to counter. Erskine Seminary is no longer “the seminary of the ARP Church.” Erskine College and Seminary is now Associate Reformed Presbyterian IN NAME ONLY – and what a scandalizing of the name! With the General Synod’s failure of nerve to support the actions of “the Snow Synod,” the prospects have been lost that the college and seminary can be regained by the ARP Church apart from a protracted struggle that will be so long and expensive and divisive that Erskine College and Seminary will be destroyed and the ARP Church exhausted by the struggle. It is time for the ARP Church to get on with the business of the Church and let Erskine College and Seminary go. It is also time to let them go without asking for any sort of financial reimbursement to the General Synod. Indeed, the God who owns “the cattle on a thousand hills” is able to provide for the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. The ARP Church does not need the proceeds of infidelity and heresy!

Give the institution to the State of South Carolina. If the State of South Carolina does not want Erskine College and Seminary, then give it to those who are clamoring for it. Give it to the Facebook Alums!

The Editor does not want anything from Erskine College and Seminary for the ARP Church. Once again, the Editor is opposed to the idea that the ARP Church should prosper from the proceeds of infidelity and betrayal – the thirty silver coins of Judas.

It is time to give Erskine College to the Facebook alums who have been characterized as “a bunch of idiots” (BOIs). It is time to give Erskine College to Dr. Bill Crenshaw and to his Crenshawites whom he has taught spelling, grammar, critical thinking, and infidelity. In truth, this inept group of BOIs could not successfully run an overstocked Food Bank in the middle of a concentration camp packed with starving people. Let them kill Erskine and weep their crocodile tears for the memory!

It is time to give Erskine Seminary to Dr. Richard Burnett and all the neo-Barthians he can salvage out of the apostate and shipwrecked PCUSA who have made the PCUSA the whore of the Antichrist. Free rein can then be given to theological strangeness and deviation and Erskine Seminary can go the way of nonexistence. At that point, thankfully, the ARP Church will be free of the cancer that is Erskine Seminary.

These are my thoughts,

Charles W. Wilson


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  1. To the readers of ARPTalk,

    Below is a post that I had placed on the “Alumni For Erskine” Facebooks site.


    This is Chuck the Biggest Fundy.

    If David Norman is a “liar,” then it’s time for you to put up or shut up. Make a transcript of the tapes and post it on this Facebook site. Then send me a copy of the transcript and copies of the tapes so that I can verify the faithfulness of the transcript. I will use the transcript as an article for ARPTalk and we all will be able to see what was said by both of you.

    Why haven’t you already done this? I would have!

    Let’s find out if you are Crenshaw the Mouth or Crenshaw the Noble. The whole world wants to know!

    BTW, I’m waiting for you to come over to ARPTalk and discuss with me my latest two articles. I want the ARP Church to give Erskine to you. I want to see you as the Prez! Prez Bill – what do you think? Take a little time and talk with me on ARPTalk!


    In response to one of the Facebookers’ inquiry as to my posting, Dr. Crenshaw wrote the following:

    Miz T. — Chuck is in this for the publicity. He and I exchange pleasantries — and that is not an exaggeration or euphemism — frequently. Sort of like the WWI soldiers trading songs, chocolate, and cigarettes in No Man’s Land at Christmas. Agrudging respect for a fellow warrior.

    He could have just written me. He wants to make a splash. Right, Chuck? I’ll have an answer for you later. Gotta watch KickAss now.

    Bill, now you know I’m not in this for the publicity. For what am I “publiciting” for? What are you in this for?

    Why are you refusing to address my proposals? I want to see the ARP Church give Erskine to you and the BOIs. I want to give you the opportunity to show up David Norman as a liar. You called him a liar. Put up or shut up!!

    Well, of course, I know how to be cordial. Mama raised me well! Yes. we talk – and I bet we will talk more. In spite of the fact that we are on different sides, grudgingly, amazingly, we like each other. We’re both nuts.

    Now, how was “KickAss?” Did you get enough “inspiration” to try this Fundy on?

    I’m waiting and watching for your visit. You mentioned “fireworks” and “atomic”; I will do my best to keep up.


    Chuck Wilson

  2. Dear Readers of ARPTalk,

    As you are aware, Dr. Bill Crenshaw of Erskine College has accused President David Norman of lying to him. I have challenged Dr. Crenshaw to produce the evidence that he claims he has. He has refused. Below is a copy of his reply to me that he posted on the “Alumni for Erskine” Facebook site:

    Chuck, as I’m sure you understand, I won’t release a transcript of my conversation with the president. The recording will see the light of day at the appropriate time and will be released in the appropriate venue — which I imagine will be to SACS, or in a court of law, or both. I hope neither is necessary. Clearly I can’t take my concerns to the BOT: they have proven themselves either incapable of dealing with or totally unable to deal with serious issues of this kind, as evinced by the Hering case. One cannot expect a fair hearing from the BOT.

    Also, as I’m sure you understand, I would not, nor am I the kind to, make such an accusation as this if I didn’t have stone-hard proof. To make a baseless accusation would open me to a libel suit and to being fired. I’m not an idiot.

    Third, this isn’t the only complaint I have. As I mentioned, false charges were brought against me by the president under the guise of a grievance process, and unprofessional tampering with that process by the president compounded the transgression. This issue still has not been resolved; the ad hoc committee collapsed under its failure to even understand the president’s charge or what was permissible ask. This collapse occurred in December. I have heard nothing official from the president’s office regarding this issue. The one and only committee meeting was recorded by me and by the committee. I have a upwards of 75 pages of documents that show the abuse of process . All of this too will be released at the proper time and appropriate place.

    While Janis and the other uninformed may rant about tenure, I believe the reason I still have my job, which I want and need, is because firing me would certainly trigger legal action on my part. This is not news. The president has had several conversations with my lawyer.

    I have no desire to be president. Thank you for your generous offer. I did not realize you had the power to bestow the office. Are you actively seeking a candidate? A decade ago I might have been flattered by such an offer, but now, well — it seems that no particular qualifications are necessary for the job. All I want to do is teach my classes and be left alone by administrators.

    With all due respect, I doubt that I’ll engage in discussion on your website. We have enough trouble with the handful of zealots on this site; why would I want to an entire herd? But thank you for asking.


    Below is my response to Dr. Crenshaw which has been posted on the “Alumni for Erskine” Facebook site.


    I am impressed! It takes skill to reach such a nadir of vapid disingenuousness and asininity! Bill, I could eat a bowl of alphabet soup and belch a better response than that! Oh, and did I say that it was so underwhelming?

    In a public forum, you have called a man a liar. I have now called your hand three times in this game of what you call “bloodsport.” I asked you to put up or shut up. And what did you do? Well, you weaseled and wilted like a violet, didn’t you? Before your Facebook supporters and a watching world, you croaked – not with a bang but with a whimper! You’re not “Crenshaw the noble”; rather, you’re “Crenshaw the Coward” (CC)!”

    Again, publicly you have accused a man of lying. When asked and given the opportunity to show your cards, you folded like a cheap suit and have taken refuge in “Trust me, because I have so much integrity.” Well, we’re waiting to see that integrity. What I see is crawfishing!

    Before the whole world, you have bellowed of how you were wronged. Who knows!? You have a 35 year history of being “the Due West Bellower.” CC, don’t you realize that the man who won’t reveal his hand is hiding something? That’s the tactic of the mountebank! BTW, how much does your snake oil cost?

    Publicly, you whine about your righteousness and entitlements and have called a man a liar. You’re a sad joke! Blithering is the word for it. Come on and show us what you got. If what you have is sterling, it can be used again and again with SACS and in court. You are much aware of that! The truth won’t change. But you’re not about truth, are you? You’re hiding, aren’t you? You are the one who has opened this door for the world to look in on your mouthy accusations and your discombobulated career that reads like an episode from “JackAss.” Indeed, ARPTalk or the “Alumni for Erskine” site is the venue. With your public accusations, you have set a public venue for here and now. This you have done!

    Now, CC, in the last 35 years, how many people have you threatened with a lawsuit? Three or four times to me – but I have lost count! This antic has become proverbial in Due West to the point that people are probably asking: “Has Bill threatened you with a lawsuit lately?” So, here we go again: Bill is calling someone a liar and threatening a lawsuit! Well, it seems to me that the man who calls a man a liar and won’t prove it is the LIAR!

    You speak of your “case.” Well, if you don’t know it, by engaging in these public word-antics, CC, you have weakened your standing before both SACS and the court. You say this isn’t the venue; however, this is the venue you have chosen to call a man a liar. Indeed, in this venue you dropped that your lawyer has written a letter. Well, that’s $200 gone. Why didn’t you build a fire and send a smoke signal? Neither one of those is really effective. I believe it’s called “tactics of intimidation.” Have you heard of that?

    CC, you say that all you want to do is teach your classes and be left alone. What a fiction! Are you asking for mercy?? You are fire-born! Can’t you stand the heat? You have a history of setting all kinds of fires in your classroom, in faculty meetings, with the administration, and in the ARP Church. Good grief, CC, you have turned off the water and set yourself on fire and now you complain of the fire and the lack of water. Aren’t you a daisy?

    No, I don’t have the power to give Erskine to you. I wish I had that power. I would do it! It would be fun to give Erskine to one who is so intellectually vapid and feckless. The disaster would be so great that the earth would open up and swallow Due West for shame of the debacle. Yes, I’m sure you meet those “particular qualifications.” Alas! But why do you recoil from leadership? You are the one who has lead Erskine to the precipice of ruin, and now you say “No Thanks!” CC, that’s not nice!

    Well, Bill, I bet you do have a transcript of 75 pages. As you say, you record everything. I bet you even record your time in the bathroom. What does that transcript look like? I bet it’s probably as substantive as the other 75 pages? So, instead of substantiating you claims, you are going to let others bray: “Hail! All hail to Crenshaw the integritous!”

    BTW, who’s going to pay for the lawsuit? You’re too cheap to spend much of your own money. Have you got the backing of the EC Foundation? We’re all wondering what the EC Foundation is going to do with all the money you and the BOIs have contributed. It’s certainly not going to Erskine!

    Bill, and I’m being serious, I’m so disappointed that you won’t come over to ARPTalk and visit with me. Nonetheless, I’m courteous; you’re still welcome to visit with me. I want to be your Huckleberry. No, I would not allow a “herd” to jump on you. Just me!

    Well, CC, go watch “KickAss” again. Indeed, it inspired you to depths unfathomed!

    You know, I think it’s good that we have had this little talk. I know that you always appreciate my style. Do you want to put on another light show?

    Happy trials, ‘till we meet again,

    Chuck Wilson

    Thank you for keeping up with ARPTalk.


    Chuck Wilson

  3. Ralph Smith says:

    So Dr. Bill Crenshaw threatens leaders with lawsuits and intimidates christian students. Sounds like he’s a high quality hire by Erskine. Perhaps he should teach at the seminary too.

    • James Curtis says:

      Mr. Smith,

      Dr. Crenshaw doesn’t intimidate Christian students. He attempts, but he’s just annoying, to be honest. I don’t think Christian students are scared of his hypocrisy.

      He claims inerrancy is a circular argument, but fails to realize that science is proven by science, and therefore science is also circular.

      He also won’t answer my questions, which is equally as annoying, because I’ve answered all of his. I don’t think he wants to go to coffee with me anymore, unfortunately.

      James Curtis

  4. Mary L. Grier Holmes says:

    Dear Reverend Wilson:

    It is good to see that you have finally employed someone who can find the right scholarly historical references for you. Certainly Lathan is a good one. Your fine essay is, however, completely and utterly devoid of any shred of evidence to support your hypothetical statement that Barth would not be welcome to teach at Erskine Seminary today. Machen and Barth both felt maligned when asked to sign a statement of faith and refused to do so. Machen at Princeton and Barth in Hitler’s Germany. There is no historical evidence to support the hypothetical question regarding what would have taken place if inerrancy (not a creed, not necessary for salvation) had been in place in 1838. The ARPs of the 19th and 20th century did not have the Chicago Statement of Inerrancy (1978) as a focal point of their discussion. Surely the “intolerance” and “illiberal” thought that is being preached from the bully pulpit of ARPTalk is NOT the ARP church of the founders. It resembles Cooper more than the early ARP church, which preached the turn-the-other-cheek, long-suffering love and charity of Moses and Jesus. I have the sermons to prove it. The rejection of tolerance and liberalism you preach in 2011 is not found in the teachings of Jesus Christ and the God-inspired “theopneustos”— inerrant scripture. An abusive, human misinterpretation of inerrancy, such as the one espoused by deWitt is not, and can not in the future be, the “theological focus” of the Erskine Seminary, which was founded to be the non-sectarian seminary sponsored by the ARP Church. According to the Centennial History of the ARP Church, the school was opened in part because education is an end unto itself. It was founded to teach us to think. You can find it in Rev. J.C. Galloway’s History of the ARP Church, Dr. Getty’s book, Dr. Ware’s book, Dr. Lesesne’s book, the Centennial History of the ARP Church, Dr. Ray King’s book. Therefore, I agree with you Rev. Wilson, the expectation in the ARP Church back then was that the seminary sponsored, not owned, by the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, would represent and nurture and advance education. It is “safe to say” that it would have been “unthinkable” at that time for anyone in the ARP Church to look into the future of Erskine Seminary and predict it as a place where there would be attempts by its enemies to “sap its strengths” to undermine and even betray the Christian faith. It would have been unthinkable that a future outside group in its takeover attempts and man-made error would betray Erskine and the ARP Church. One of the beliefs of the ARP church and Christianity is tolerance and it has been betrayed. What once was unthinkable has been thought and has taken place and is continuing at Erskine by those who would fire 30 plus Erskine employees and Trustees without a second thought. By those who would assail other Christians and their Christian consciences without a second thought. By those who throw stones and think their own conduct is without error.
    In 1861 abolitionists sat next to slave-owners. Rev. Simpson and the passivists loved the soldiers. So I doubt that this debate would have caused them to divide. They were concerned with psalms.

    Yours very truly,
    Mary L. Grier Holmes

  5. Tim Phillips says:

    Ms. Holmes, are you familiar with the Barmen Declaration and its author?

  6. Dear Ms. Mary Lou Holmes,

    Where and how to start!?!

    Mary Lou, bless your heart, I know that you are a graduate of the Bill Crenshaw school of composition at Erskine; however, bless your heart, use paragraphs to divide your thoughts. It’s more than a little difficult to follow and respond to such a mishmash of thoughts. A college graduate and a Tulane law school graduate should try to do better! However, I will attempt to respond to a few of your points.

    1. I have read all the sources that you mentioned. Not knowing you age, I had probably read them before you were able to read. Also, not only do I know Ray King, I had Ray as a teacher.

    2. Have you even read what I wrote? You write: “Your fine essay is, however, completely and utterly devoid of any shred of evidence to support your hypothetical statement that Barth would not be welcome to teach at Erskine Seminary today.” Where did I write that in my article? Sorry! It ain’t there!

    3. You write that I deal with the inerrancy issue as though it were an issued in 1838. It wasn’t. I didn’t say that. That’s not me. That’s you!

    4. BTW, as far as the inerrancy debate in the ARP Church is concerned, I don’t have to turn to Gettys or Ware or anyone else to find out what happened. I was there. I AM ONE OF THE ORIGINAL SOURCES!

    5. You write that “30 plus employees” have been “fired.” Can you give the names of those who have been fired? Can you give the names of those who have been laid off because of financial constraints? Yes, there is a good number who have been laid off because of the financial crunch at Erskine. Perhaps if you and the BOIs would have given to Erskine rather than to the EC Foundation that is building a war chest to support those who will sue both Erskine and the ARP Church, those people – for whom you weep such insincere tears – would still have a job. Don’t set yourself on fire and then blame it on someone else!

    6. Why don’t you respond to my thesis? I propose that the ARP Church give Erskine to you and the BOIS! What say you?

    7. I am not going to respond to the rest of your nonsense, mind-dribble, and misquotes. Please, continue to post. You’re interesting!

    8. Now I have two questions for you. (1) How is it that one who is not an ARP has so much to say about the ARP Church? (2) I give you permission to post on ARPTalk; as the administrator, are you going to give me permission to join and post on the “Alumni for an Independent Erskine” Facebook site? This is the second time I have asked you.


    Chuck Wilson

  7. Mr. Ralph Smith,

    It is so good to see you commenting again, Ralph. As always, you are on task!

    Your observations are correct. Indeed, it does seem that Dr. Bill Crenshaw has made an art form of “threats” and “intimidation” during his long career (35 years) at Erskine.

    I have compared Bill Crenshaw to Thomas Cooper, and I think the comparison works very well. The 19th century concept of “infidel” certainly fits them. The careers of these men are marked by long running feuds with and hatred of the God of the Bible and heavily punctuated with assaults on the faith and intellectual competency of students who would dare acknowledge belief in Christian verities in their classes.

    Ralph, have you ever taken a look at the career of Crenshaw? In a Facebook post, Bill writes that he is pleased that I am interested in his career. Indeed, I am!

    May I give you an assignment, Ralph? Go online and Google “Dr. Bill Crenshaw and Erskine College” and see what you find. Take note of the many book reviews and articles that Crenshaw has written for academic and professional journals in English, history, philosophy, religion, science, and Near Eastern studies. Hasn’t Dr. Crenshaw presented himself as omni-competent in all these fields? Well, with a PhD in English, at least, one would expect to find a book review or two a year, a smattering of published short stories per decade, a novel or two in 35 years, and a textbook in the field of his chosen profession. Do you think you will find more than blog fulminations and Facebook bantering, Ralph? Indeed, you will find a play, and, if you know where to look, a short story that depicts God as a Muslim woman who wears a burka in a compendium of student poems and short stories. Do you think you will find something more than a lackluster level of published intellectual and creative accomplishments?

    Bill Crenshaw attempts to paint himself as an academic who is waging war against the forces of Christian Fundamentalism who are attempting to stifle his voice of advocacy for intellectual inquiry and freedom of speech and academic freedom. But that is not the case!

    The bottom line is an issue of integrity. Thirty-five years ago when Crenshaw was hired, he knew the Christian heritage of Erskine College, and he also knew that the ARP Church was a conservative, evangelical Presbyterian denomination. He was also aware of the direction that the ARP Church was drifting. Even a blind man would have been aware of these things.

    Why did he choose to stay at Erskine College? Was there no other position for such an intellectual and omni-competent giant? Erskine is such a little backwater school! Where were Davidson and Princeton and Yale and Harvard when you need them?

    Ralph, my Mama taught me not to go to another man’s house and be disruptive. Did your Mama teach you that lesson? Well, I don’t think Mrs. Crenshaw taught her son that lesson – or maybe he missed it!

    BTW, this whole mess is not about anything noble. It’s about a man who is at war with the God of the Bible and who is unwilling to comply with the mission of Erskine College, and a man who is also unwilling to find another job where his ideas will be welcomed. It is also about the unwillingness and couragelessness and ineptness of the Erskine BOTs and Erskine Presidents and the ARP Church to demand the integrity and faithfulness of Erskine faculty members to the mission of Erskine.

    Ralph, do you know what the Erskine flower is? It is the Due West blooming idiot. The horticulturist who invented the Due West blooming idiot is Bill Crenshaw.

    Well, I’m so fed up with the Erskine mess that I now want the ARP Church to give Erskine to Crenshaw and his Due West blooming idiots. They have successfully killed the college. Now, let them dispose of the corpse! I do not want a corpse!

    Ralph, you write: “Perhaps he should teach at the seminary too.” Well, why not? That makes about as much sense as everything else at Erskine! Why not!?!


    Chuck Wilson

  8. Mary L. Grier Holmes says:

    Dear Rev. Wilson:

    Thank you for asking God to bless me. You seem too often to confuse your own opinion of the Bible with God’s command. Especially in this instance.

    “Ralph, my Mama taught me not to go to another man’s house and be disruptive. Did your Mama teach you that lesson? Well, I don’t think Mrs. Crenshaw taught her son that lesson – or maybe he missed it!”

    I’ve read in your essays the frequent assertion, Rev. Wilson, that you have been complaining and being disruptive about the ARP Church since 1971.

    That puts you squarely in lock step with the takeover attempts by the leaders of the movement to take over the Baptist denomination. There is a long history of the Baptist denomination that must have pulled you in with the fundamentalists who tried to take over at Furman. Convincing you to become a true ARP is now and has always been hard for those of us who have loved you and welcomed you into our church.

    Unfortunately, you chose to return that love by annihilating the careers of those ministers who loved you. Even the professors who excused your merciless conduct. Not a very Christ-like example. Following the example of Christ is what ARPs do.

    Yours in Christ Jesus,
    Mary L. Grier Holmes

  9. Mary L. Grier Holmes says:

    Dear Rev. Wilson:

    Here is another problem with your chronology. The fire was started by Dick deWitt and the Moderator’s Commission.

    “5. You write that “30 plus employees” have been “fired.” Can you give the names of those who have been fired? Can you give the names of those who have been laid off because of financial constraints? Yes, there is a good number who have been laid off because of the financial crunch at Erskine. Perhaps if you and the BOIs would have given to Erskine rather than to the EC Foundation that is building a war chest to support those who will sue both Erskine and the ARP Church, those people – for whom you weep such insincere tears – would still have a job. Don’t set yourself on fire and then blame it on someone else!”

    The Snow Synod was started by the false witness of the Moderator’s Commission against 14 ousted Trustees. No one ever demonstrated why the remaining Trustees were not just as guilty (if there was, indeed, anything to it) of the same transgressions or why the riduculous charges had even been brought in the first place!

    A sin (false witness) that is listed in the Ten Commandments was committed by the Moderator’s Commission. Bringing a lawsuit to correct an injustice like fraud of this kind is not a sin. Yet the three plaintiffs were persecuted by Hathaway, Turbeville and Anderson.

    I can hardly see how the list of fired, terminated or ousted employees who have left Erskine during the time of Norman’s tenure can be blamed on Erskine’s alumni. Indeed, we’ve been led to believe money would rain down as soon as a Norman like leader was a the helm. Rev. Wilson, deWitt, Turbeville, Anderson, Marsh, Mulner, Wright, Maye, Hathaway and others were repeatedly warned that taking control over the Board of Trustees of Erskine and of its President and firing long-time trusted Erskine employees would not be a good thing for finances.

    Synod was warned of its mistakes at the Called Meeting and asked to apologize and reconsider. Reducing the pool of faculty and reducing the pool of students can’t improve academic standing. It is simple math.

    Instead of working together with the alumni, the one guilty rogue church leader from Columbia, which has only been affiliated with the ARP denomination since 1983, chose to arbitrarily and capriciously dictate to Dr. Norman who should stay and who should go. The Annual Fund of Alumni Giving exceeded its goal last year (2010)and then Norman fired or ousted its chief fundraiser/leader.

    AFTER the 30 plus employees were let go is when financial problems began with the annual fund. That was 2011. If the financial windfall exists out there as Turbeville predicted, where is it? Had the deWitt “reformers” used sound judgment and restrained their false accusations at the Snow Synod, Erskine would not have felt any financial strain or bad publicity at all. Let the metaphor rest at the feet of those who started the fire Rev. Wilson. Not those who woke up to the smell of smoke.

    Yours very truly,
    Mary L. Grier Holmes

  10. Dear Ms. Mary Lou G. Holmes,

    First of all, let me thank you for putting your comments in paragraph form. Stream of consciousness is so annoying!

    Bless your heart, Mary Lou, has it taken you this long to figure out that I am (as Bill Crenshaw says) a Fundy. It’s not a secret. Indeed, did you not know that I’m the titular head of the ARP Taliban? Yes, I have to acknowledge it: I am the Wizard of Fundamentalism – not Dick, not Steve, not Dean, Chuck Baby is your man!

    Mary Lou, you don’t answer questions. I have asked you direct questions and you don’t answer. Others have asked you direct questions and you don’t answer. Is there a reason for this sort of behavior? Are you taking medication for NOT answering.

    I will try again. I have faith in you. Take the answering pill this time.

    1. As the administrator of the “Alumni for an Independent Erskine” Facebook site, will you grant me permission to join so that I can visit with you guys? Please!!! And, if not, why not? I allow you and the BOIs to visit with me. Indeed, I extend to all of you a BIG WELCOME.

    2. Why are you so concerned about the ARP Church – a denomination in which you have never held membership? Your Mama must not have taught you well. You go into another person’s house and make a mess. My Mama didn’t allow me to do that!

    3. What do you think about the idea of the ARP Church deeding Erskine to you and your BOIs? Aren’t you excited over that prospect? I am stunned that you are silent!

    4. How are the plans going for the class action suit against the ARP Church that Jay West and you guys are planning? Is the EC Foundation going to laundry the attorneys’ fees for you?

    5. Whose careers have I annihilated? Whose love have I not returned?

    6. Bless your heart, Mary Lou, in your last post you said that I wrote things that I didn’t write. I asked you to show me where I wrote those things. Are you not going to respond to my inquiry? Either I need to apologize to you or you need to apologize to me.

    7. Who excused my “merciless conduct?” That has piqued my interest.

    Well, Mary Lou, I look forward to the time when we can visit again.


    Chuck Wilson

  11. Dear Ms. Mary Lou G. Holmes,

    Goodness me! Our posts passed on the electronic road of internet.

    Dear girl, you have it all wrong, wrong, wrong! I am the leader of the Taliban – not Marsh, Turbeville, Mays, Anderson, Mulner, Hathaway, or de Witt. They are my soldiers. I’m the Wizard of Fundyland! How may I help you?

    Now, bless your heart, here you go again making accusations that you pull out of the air. Who are these 30 people who were fired? What are their names? You don’t even know, do you?

    And here you go again calling people liars (“The Snow Synod was started by the false witness of the Moderator’s Commission. . .”). CC (Crenshaw the Coward) is bad about calling the President of Erskine a liar. Did CC teach you how to call people liars in a class he taught at Erskine? My goodness, you were not even at the Snow Synod!

    Dear child, take the blue remember pill. I’m not about the past. I’m for the ARP Church deeding Erskine to you and all your BOIs. I don’t want to see Erskine reformed! I don’t think it can be. I WANT TO GIVE ERSKINE TO YOU GUYS!

    Now, do you want to discuss this proposition, or do you simply want to whine and gripe?

    Mary Lou, as always, I’m looking forward to our next chat. You must be greatly in need of attention! Well, I’m here to help!


    Chuck Wilson

  12. Daniel Stephens says:

    “The Snow Synod was started by the false witness of the Moderator’s Commission against 14 ousted Trustees. No one ever demonstrated why the remaining Trustees were not just as guilty (if there was, indeed, anything to it) of the same transgressions or why the riduculous charges had even been brought in the first place!”

    I was under the impression that the sticking point and rationale for the lawsuit was that no charges were brought against the trustees.

    Also, don’t believe that Chuck is the head of the fundy taliban. It isn’t him, deWitt, Turbeville, Hathaway, or Anderson. The real culprit is far more sinister than you have yet imagined.

  13. Dear Mr. Daniel Stephens,

    I can’t believe that you wrote that I’m not the biggest Fundy of all in the ARP Church.. Everyone knows that there is no one more sinister than I am. I’m the leader of the ARP Taliban. I make everything happen. You’re going to confuse people. Some people are easily confused – especially by the facts. (-:


    Chuck Wilson

  14. Mary L. Grier Holmes says:

    Dear Rev. Wilson:

    Making my best effort to respond more directly and less generally here this time. I do not need a pill to follow the example of Jesus Christ. My words are in all caps. Don’t be offended.

    1. As the administrator of the “Alumni for an Independent Erskine” Facebook site, will you grant me permission to join so that I can visit with you guys? Please!!! And, if not, why not? I allow you and the BOIs to visit with me. Indeed, I extend to all of you a BIG WELCOME. I’VE LOOKED FOR YOU ON FACEBOOK REV. WILSON. YOU ARE NOT THERE!


    3. What do you think about the idea of the ARP Church deeding Erskine to you and your BOIs? Aren’t you excited over that prospect? I am stunned that you are silent! REV. WILSON YOU KNOW YOU DON’T HAVE THE POWER TO GIVE ANYONE ERSKINE OR THE ARP CHURCH. YOU DON’T OWN THEM.

    4. How are the plans going for the class action suit against the ARP Church that Jay West and you guys are planning? Is the EC Foundation going to laundry the attorneys’ fees for you? I DON’T PLAN ON SUING THE ARP CHURCH.



    7. Who excused my “merciless conduct?” That has piqued my interest.


    As for Mr. Daniel Stephens’ QUESTION. The lawsuit last year had many many paragraphs and a rationale that has nothing to do with me. I did not memorize it. I will tell you that the accusations against the 14 ousted Trustees included: not being faithful to integration of Christianity and learning, neglect of duty, not being engaged, malfeasance, misappropriation of funds, too many Trustees and other acts of mishandling of their duties.

    All of the accusations against the fourteen trustees were published both on Facebook and in the press. There were never any individual accusations against them to explain why the 14 were singled out and the rest of the Trustees were kept in place. No explanation was given for why the new interim Trustees were better than the ousted Trustees. If “not being engaged” was the problem, then why oust a brand new Trustee? Why oust a dedicated Trustee and keep one who had not devoted time and money to the institution? None of these concerns were EVER addressed.

    Misappropriation was false. If anyone on the Moderator’s Commission had looked at the books, they would have known it. Many of the other accusations were false. When falsehoods are made the subject of a public church proceeding, it is false witness, which is against God’s commandments. No one was ever brought to justice in the ARP church for making these accusations against the 14 Trustees and President Ruble. When three Trustees sued for reinstatement, they won, but were persecuted. Hathaway, Anderson and Turbeville followed this for months after the settlement.

    A suit to correct a fraud, like the one that occured against the 14, is allowed by Corinthians.

    Yours very truly,
    Mary L. Grier Holmes

  15. James Curtis says:

    Mrs. Holmes,

    Number 6 should require some clarification. Inerrancy was around during the foundation of Erskine. Perhaps, I’ll grant you, not the word. However, the idea of Biblical authority in the sense of our term inerrancy has been around since the Early Church (if not before).

    Also, your point to Daniel Stephens:

    “Misappropriation was false. If anyone on the Moderator’s Commission had looked at the books, they would have known it. Many of the other accusations were false. When falsehoods are made the subject of a public church proceeding, it is false witness, which is against God’s commandments. No one was ever brought to justice in the ARP church for making these accusations against the 14 Trustees and President Ruble. When three Trustees sued for reinstatement, they won, but were persecuted. Hathaway, Anderson and Turbeville followed this for months after the settlement.”

    You’re claiming a lot of falsities here. If you’d be so kind as to email me at jcurtis@erskine.edu and point me in the direction of your evidence for these being false, I would be very grateful.

    Thank you for your time, Mrs. Holmes.

    James Curtis

    • Daniel Stephens says:

      Interestingly, Dr. Ruble admitted on the floor of Synod that the misappropriation was true and that his administration was aware of it.

      Also, in the Moderator’s commission report that was voted on by Synod it reads:
      “2. Replacement Interim Board: The current trustees shall be removed and replaced by the following individuals: [lots of names] The interim board will also include the four ex-officio members per the current bylaws. The moderator of the ARP Church shall convene the interim board.”
      The synod amended the motion to include a clause at the end thanking the board for their work.

      In the above motion I read nothing about charges or any cause for removing the trustees. There are now “whereas” statements preceding the motion either.

      In the injunction filed against the ARP Synod it reads in its conclusion of ‘the facts:’
      “The General Synod improperly and without authority terminated and replaced fourteen (14) trustees without the required number of votes of trustees, with no notice of a hearing, no cause…”

      So I wonder, how were charges brought against these men and yet they were removed without cause?

  16. Reiggin says:

    “Convincing you to become a true ARP is now and has always been hard for those of us who have loved you and welcomed you into our church.” -MLGH

    Are you on drugs, woman? “Our church”?!? “True ARP”?!? As someone who is not a member of an ARP church and never has been from what’s been asserted on this site and never disputed by yourself… what in the world are you talking about? How would you have the slightest clue about “our church” and what a “true ARP” is? And don’t start spewing that same old tired crap about your family’s history… unless you’ve experienced the ARP church firsthand and have held membership in an ARP church, then you really can’t even begin to refer to it as “our church” and yourself or anyone else as a “true ARP.”

    Sometimes the stuff you post on here is so outlandishly ridiculous that I wonder if someone’s not posting under your name to just make you look even stupider than you yourself began.

  17. Dear Ms. Mary Lou G. Holmes,

    My goodness, dear child, you got your dander up, don’t you? Well, take one of the blue pills. It will help.

    Indeed, you are an Erskine flower, aren’t you? Do you know what an Erskine flower is?

    You know little, think little, and write much!

    1. You still haven’t answered my question about the “Alumni for an Independent Erskine.” As the administration, will you allow me membership? Don’t worry your little head that I’m not on Facebook at this time. I know how to get there. So, will you allow me to join? I certainly subscribe to the position – an independent Erskine.

    2. You are ignorant as to my career in the ARP Church. I have planted ARP Churches in 4 states. I don’t think there is a living minister who has sent as many students to ETS as I have. Ask Randy Ruble and RJ Gore. Yes, I have also directed students to Erskine College. Ask John Carson. Forgive me, but I don’t remember you preaching the Gospel to me. I remember a lot ranting. Well, enough said about that.

    3. Well, of course, I don’t have the power to give Erskine to you; however, there are many in the General Synod who listen to me. You’re the advocate of an independent Erskine. I am too! I want to join you in your work. Don’t you want my help? Wouldn’t it be great if the ARP Church were to deed Erskine to you and the BOIs? I can help! Don’t you realize that a very, very large and growing portion of the ARP Church is disgusted and embarrassed by you people? You write that I want to bury Erskine. Do you mean to say that if Erskine were given to you and the BOIs that would bury Erskine? Mary Lou, thank you!

    4. Thank you, it is good to know that you do not plan to sue the ARP Church? Are you planning to sue Erskine? What about your buddies on the “Alumni for an Independent Erskine” site? What are their plans? I’m willing to bet that before January there will be law suits by you guys against either the ARP Church or Erskine and probably both. I may be wrong! Want to bet?

    5. FYI, Erskine made me a minister about as much as Erskine made you a lawyer. I had Randy Ruble as a teacher in the DMin program. As far as the other people you mention (Gid Alston, Neely Gaston, Michael Bush, Jay Hering, and Richard Burnett) I know them not. Also, no one gave me a “passing grade.” As I remember, I worked for what I got! I also paid for what I got – thank you very much! As far as these men that you mentioned, have I really destroyed their careers? Wow! I didn’t know I had that kind of power! What positions do I hold at Erskine or in the ARP Church?

    6. Mary Lou, it’s not nice for you to write something and say that I wrote it. Give the quote. And, no, I don’t need to apologize to you for anything! You’ve got your little head so discombobulated and in such a fever that you are totally confusing what I wrote and what you write. Remember that the much repeating of something doesn’t make it real! There are categories in the DSM-5 for that sort of behavior. If you like, I can give you the page numbers.

    7. BTW, let me help you with a tidbit from the life of Machen. You are correct when you say that Machen IN HIS EARLY CAREER was against statements of faith; however, after his studies in German, it wasn’t a problem for him. He is the founder of Westminster Theological Seminary. You know how to use a computer, don’t you? Look it up!

    8. You state that Dr. Norman does not “share” the view that the Bible is inerrant. Well, you need to get out more! I heard him say that he did. I have seen statements that he has written where he says he does. Oh, and I nearly forgot, Bill Crenshaw mocks Dr. Norman as one who believe in inerrancy.

    9. Sweetie, don’t you worry about embarrassing me! Nevertheless, thank you for the thought.

    Well, I’ll let Mr. Daniel Stephens answer for himself. I assure you that this young man is able to do that.

    Mary Lou, I’m glad that we’re having these little talks. It is obvious that you need attention. I do hope that you get to feeling better. Do let me know how I can help. I can’t wait for our next chat.


    Chuck Wilson

  18. Daniel Stephens says:


    I’ve responded in a comment to Mr. Curtis’ comment. They go together well so I thought I’d consolidate.

    Now, to the issue about the leader of the ARP fundy taliban. I don’t know any of this for a fact because I’ve only been to see the high council of evil in the profane place; I’ve not been to the profane of profanes to see exactly who sits on the judgment seat. But I have heard from reliable sources that the nefarious person who leads the fundy taliban is the same evil genius who is behind the assassination of JFK, the NASA moon landing hoax, the 9-11 cover up and Bono’s sunglasses.

  19. Dear Mr. Daniel Stephens,

    How did you find me out? I’m so glad that you missed the part about Elvis.


    Chuck Wilson

  20. Mary L. Grier Holmes says:

    To James Curtis:

    This is a direct quote from what I typed. “THE NEWLY FOUND HUMAN INCORRECT INTERPRETATION OF INERRANCY” as espoused by Rev. Wilson is something with which I disagree. It is a “doctrine of man” we are not required to follow under the Westminster Confession. I do agree with Dr. Norman and his thoughtful interpretation as expressed in three published articles in the ARP magazine. I agree with the early ARPs, who did not use the word “inerrancy”.

    Dear Rev. Wilson:

    Why are you so ashamed to take credit for your own words? Do you not recognize what you have written when it is paraphrased? Do I need to put quotations marks around it? That is sad. You wrote “he gave a 20-plus-year voice to Barthianism ” among other things. You wrote about Dr. Johnson and Dr. Burnett and Dr. Bush being neoBarthians for more than a year, didn’t you?

    Dear Mr. Hildebrand:

    You are one and the same person who accused me of standing on the shoulders of my great grandfather’s brother’s statue. I hardly think you can take the stand you have taken: ANSWER THE QUESTION! NOW! JUST DON’T SAY ANYTHING!
    You can browbeat traditional ARPs and Erskinites all you like, you will just get this response. I will turn my other cheek to you my brother. I’m born, baptized and raised as an ARP. If you don’t think it matters to have ARP ministers as your guide when you are growing up, then just look at what happens to those who don’t.

    Yours in Christ,
    Mary Lou

  21. James Curtis says:

    Mrs. Holmes,

    I have not received an email, yet. Please don’t forget!

    Also, what you said did not address my post in the slightest.

    Could you also define “Man made doctrine”?

    Thank you very much!

    James Curtis

  22. Mary L. Grier Holmes says:

    Dear James:

    You asked about inerrancy and you asked about misappropriation which you desired be addressed in an email. Both your question and your email request were done.

    How about reading your mail and reading my answers to your questions? If you still don’t understand, ask another question.

    The term man-made doctrine comes from the Westminster Confession which directs us to use our Christian conscience to make moral decisions free from the Old Testament constraints and confines of “law.” Chapter XX and more particularly, “God alone is the Lord of the conscience . . .” is where you will find it.

  23. Dear Ms. Mary Lou G. Holmes,

    You’re back for another chat! That’s good! I was afraid that you would take off on your own. You need our time together to help you with your reality issues. BTW, I have heard that drinking 64 ounces of water a day helps to clear the mental processes. Do give that a try!

    You ask if I recognize my words. Well, of course, I do. They are just above these comments. However, what I don’t recognize is the manner in which you confabulate and misquote. We can work on that!

    Now, it is good to see that you have had a restful night and your thought patterns are clearer. Indeed, during his tenure as VP and Dean of ETS, Randy Ruble opened the door to Barthianism and that door is still open in the likes of Richard Burnett. OK, what’s the point you want to make?

    Now I have a question: Are you going to allow me to join the “Alumni for an Independent Erskine” Facebook site? Readers of ARPTalk in more than 50 countries want to know!!!!

    I look forward to our next chat. Perhaps, if you allow me membership in the AFIE site, we could have another venue for chats. Wouldn’t that be peachy? Oh, what is being served for supper?


    Chuck Wilson

  24. James Curtis says:

    Mrs. Holmes,

    I was not attempting to be disrespectful. If I was, I apologize. As of when I posted I still had no email. I have responded to you, and I hope to continue the conversation there.

    Thanks again!

    James Curtis

  25. James Curtis says:


    A question if I may:

    Mrs. Holmes keeps talking about the confession and how it’s against people signing oaths (though, in aspiring to minister as a Pastor does not one have to adhere to the Standards of the ARPC, which includes the WCF?). What are your thoughts (one last time) on this?

    James Curtis

    P.S. I understand that certain exceptions can be made, however did not the Summer meeting of Second Presbytery show that one should be willing and able to defend those exceptions from a scriptural standpoint?

  26. Charles W. Wilson says:

    Dear Mr. James Curtis,

    Well, as I count them, you have asked three questions, Jim. Below are my thoughts.

    1. Having never been an ARP, lacking a rich training in both theology and ecclesiology that comes from a good seminary education, and knowing nothing of the protocols of an ARP presbytery, she doesn’t know what she is talking about. Lou is simply blithering ignorance about “doctrines of men” and “statements of faith” (vows), the history of the ARP Church, and the personality of the ARP Church presently.

    Having been trained as a lawyer, Lou is practicing the reprehensible tactics of revisionism, disinformation, obfuscation, adumbration, confabulation, deconstructionism, and repeate-a-lie-as-long-as-necessary-in-order-to-get-people-to-believe-it. We who have been theologically trained read her words and think that she is crazy. That conclusion may or may not be correct. Whatever the case, my assessment is that she is a frustrated lawyer who now has the opportunity to play the role of Clarence Darrow as she advocates her cause of “Erskine-right-or-wrong-my-dear-beloved-Erskine!”

    We who know something about Presbyterian theology, polity, and history are stunned by her assertions. For example, her affirmations about vows and statements of faith. The history of Presbyterianism is a story of vows. Once upon a time, in a land that is far across the sea and cold, and is called Scotland, men signed their names in their own blood to statements called “covenants.” Lou’s contention that the signing of statement of faith is foreign to the history of the ARP Church is ludicrous.

    You ask if one has to affirm the Standards of the ARP Church in order to be ordained (or transferred into the ARP from another denomination), the answer is Yes.

    2. You ask about “exceptions.” Indeed, we allow men to take certain “exceptions.” Usually, these exceptions revolve around Sabbatarianism, eschatology, the role of the civil government, and the last two chapters of the Confession of Faith which were added about 100 years ago.

    3. Indeed, in a Presbytery exam for ordination, one should be ready to defend exceptions. I would also add that one should be ready to defend a statement of full subscription to the Standards. In the ARP Church, chapter 23 on the Civil Magistrate has been rewritten to the point of being unintelligible. A statement of subscription to that chapter will leave us wondering as to whether or not you have read it. I am told that Westminster Theological Seminary Prof. Clair Davis in his Church History classes told young men that if they said that they fully subscribed to the Confession of Faith and Catechisms without exceptions that they hadn’t read them! I agree!

    BTW, Jim, since you are an ARP, our vows involve “The Standards of the ARP Church.” That is a good deal more than the Confession of Faith and Catechisms. I believe you might want to take a long look at the FOG, the Book of Worship, and the Book of Discipline before you say, “I fully subscribe to the Standards of the ARP Church without exception.”

    Now, let me ask you a couple of questions, Jim.

    1. Do you think that Lou will allow me to join the “Alumni for an Independent Erskine” Facebook site? I hope she doesn’t disappoint me like David Danehower did. He would not even answer my request to join the “Alumni for Erskine” Facebook site.

    2. Now, this discussion with Lou is as entertaining as can be. I do enjoy the game. However, what does any of this have to do the unfaithfulness and corruption that has been Erskine College and Seminary for the last 40 years? Also, what does any of this have to do with the failure of the ARP Church to deal with the unfaithfulness and corruption of Erskine College and Seminary?

    Thanks for your comments and questions, Jim. I hope my thoughts help.


    Chuck Wilson

  27. James Curtis says:


    Apologies for the confusion.

    I did not mean to imply that I did not take exception to the WCF. I do have my own exceptions, one being the three additions (two chapters and one footnote) added much later than when the confession was written, another being the second commandment as outlined by the Confession. I do apologize if I did come off as adhering to the entirety of the confession.

    A second point, if I may, concerning the standards: I realize the standards are a great deal more than the confession, however to say that ARP minsters have to adhere to the “confession” would be lacking, as you pointed out, the rest of the standards. I chose to word it the way I did to show that one must adhere to the standards of the ARPC, but also to keep it relevant to Mrs. Holmes’ gripe with oaths and the confession.

    To answer your questions:

    1. I cannot tell. I do not know the Will of God for you and Mrs. Holmes on the “Alumni for an Independent Erskine” facebook site, nor do I intend to attempt to know.

    (I got yelled at trying to use a similar answer on the Alumni facebook site, I hope I won’t here.)

    2. I think her connection is, and please correct me if I’m wrong, Mrs. Holmes, is that you are advocating an Erskine no one likes. And therefore the “corruption”, if there is any, is in your hands. Or, more precisely, Yours, Rev. DeWitt’s and others. He seems to take hits a great deal more than others.

    James Curtis

    • James Curtis says:

      And when I said “…you [Chuck] are advocating an Erskine no one likes…”

      That should read: “…you are advocating an Erskine ‘no one likes’…”


  28. Charles W. Wilson says:

    Dear Mr. James Curtis,

    Welcome back to ARPTalk.

    No, I didn’t take offense at anything, and I don’t think I misunderstood. I think your questions and points were good.

    BTW, so that there is no misunderstanding about the vows ARP minister take, below are the two questions that pertain to the Standards of the ARP Church:

    • Do you accept the doctrines of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, contained in the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms, as founded on the Word of God and as the expression of your own faith, and do you resolve to adhere thereto?

    • Do you accept the government [that is, the FOG], discipline [that is, the Book of Discipline], and worship [that is, the Book of Worship] of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church as agreeable to and founded on the Word of God?

    Well, I’m lost about the Erskine that “no one likes.” My idea is to give Erskine to Lou and her BOIs. Jim, do you think they don’t like the idea of Erskine being given to them? I can’t imagine that they don’t want it. Their conversations on “Alumni for Erskine” seem to indicate that they want an Erskine with no ARP Church connections. The “Alumni for an Independent Erskine” was set up for an independent Erskine,” wasn’t it? Jim, I’m shocked – I am so very, very shocked!

    Finally, I don’t know what Lou wants. As my ancestors in south Georgia would have said: Bless her heart, the girls is a bit odd.

    Jim, you have written nothing for which you need to apologize that I can see. No, I’m not going to yell at you.

    Once again, thanks for your comments.


    Chuck Wilson

  29. Mary L. Grier Holmes says:

    Dear Rev. Wilson and James:

    There is enough that has been said in emails to establish that misappropriation did not occur. Rev. Wilson admitted it. He stated that money donated 8 or 9 years ago for one purpose was used for another. That is not “misappropriation.” No intent to deceive, no intent to possess to the detriment of the college and no intent to defraud. Rev. Wilson also admitted that rather than the 14 Trustees who were ousted in 2010 and Dr. Ruble, who served from 2005 to 2010, it was Dr. Carson as President and Rev. Wilson on the Board of Trustees at the helm when the supposed misconduct took place.

    As for oaths that ordained ARP ministers take, they are not appropriate for professors, students, staff and employees. It has never been an Erskine or ARP tradition. If you don’t understand why the Covenanters and Seceeders came to America, then read some history books. One does not need to be a theologian to understand history, to read sermons and to read the statements of the General Synod of 1848. Machen did not sign a statement of faith when he accepted a teaching position at Princeton. No one at Erskine was required to do so until recently.

  30. Charles W. Wilson says:

    Dear Ms. Mary Lou G. Holmes,

    Well, my hat is off to you. I was wondering if you would do this. You certainly are a daisy, Lou! I have to hand it to you; you are capable of magnificent confabulations and silliness. Most people can’t do that. It takes a confused and mean little mind to do what you do!!

    Lou, I haven’t revealed anything to you that isn’t public knowledge. It is public knowledge that money was given for a library during the Carson administration and used for repairs to a dorm. It is public knowledge that the Ruble administration did not deal with that issue which was passed on from the Carson administration. Monies were supposed to be returned to the library fund. When Randy Ruble stood before Synod and was pressed on this issue of $1,000,000, he attempted to ameliorate it by saying that it was not $1,000,000 but something like $960,000. Then he said that there was a plan to restore the borrowed money; however, after 8 or 9 year, no money had been returned. Now, after nearly 12 years, where is the money? It’s been long enought, don’t you think?

    Lou, did you forget that I also pointed out to you a least two other incidences where this sort of behavior occurred during the Ruble/Gaston administration? Forgot, did you?

    The use of money that is given for one thing and used for another is usually called misappropriation. Indeed, that was done while I was on the BOT. Now, the attempt to cover it up is usually called a cover up. Lou, your confabulations and misrepresentation are silly and false. You’re making yourself look stupid. You’re not coming off like Clarence Darrow!

    Why do you persist in your foolishness about vows and statements of faith and Presbyterian history and Machen? You’re not dealing with people who are ignorant of these things. Do you really enjoy making yourself look foolish? We are not the Facebook idiots with whom you chat. Dear child, some of us were reading church history before you were born. Do you really think that you impress us with your expansive knowledge? Most of us are laughing our heads off at your expense!

    BTW, thank you for making my point. The point that I have been making for the last three years or so is the corruption of the whole Erskine board and administrative system for the last 40 years. The corruption is not simply one President or Board, it’s the whole system abetted by the inaction and cowardice of the ARP Church to correct the evils.

    Now, Lou why are you foolishly blithering like a ninny over these things? I’m past them! You’re complaining over yesterday’s new. Nothing is going be done about these past actions. Where do we go from here with Erskine? What do you want? I want to see the ARP Church rid of the evil of Erskine. I want to give Erskine to you alums. Your Facebook buds are calling for a free Erskine. What do you want?

    Please, what do you want? You haven’t told us what you want. You simply bray! Stop braying!


    Chuck Wilson

  31. Mary L. Grier Holmes says:

    My Dear Dear Rev. Wilson:

    I believe our discussion was focused on this: FALSE ACCUSATIONS WERE MADE AGAINST THE 14 Trustees and now against Dr. Ruble by James Curtis. False witness was committed.

    I’ve shown Mr. Curtis to be incorrect about Dr. Ruble.
    I’ve shown that if any Trustee deserved to be dismissed, it would be you, Rev. Wilson. No other instance of moving funds around was ever mentioned at Synod or by the Moderator’s Commission in its report. What you are making up now was never a topic at Snow Synod.

    Yours in Jesus Christ,
    Mary Lou

  32. James Curtis says:

    Mrs. Holmes,

    I sincerely doubt what you’ve said in your emails will hold up in a court of law as “evidence” (or proof, if you will).

    I also have found nothing in any email you have sent me as evidence that misappropriation did not happen.

    James Curtis

  33. Charles W. Wilson says:

    Dear Ms. Mary Lou G. Holmes,

    Didn’t notice that the emails that you were exchanging with Mr. Curtis and me were also cced to each of us, did you? I don’t remember a discussion about the 14.

    Lou, you haven’t shown Mr. Curtis to be wrong about anything. Repeating over and over “You’re wrong!” doesn’t make someone incorrect.

    Lou, I never said that what I mentioned to you was discussed at the Snow Synod. There you go with your confabulations again. Try the orange and yellow pills this time.

    Lou, WHY DON’T YOU ANSWER MY QUESTION? What do you want? All of your blithering about the past doesn’t mean a thing now. That which happened in ’09 is gone. What do you want now? As the administrator of the “Alumni for an Independent Erskine,” what do you and your buds want? Do you want Erskine? If that is what you want, I will advocate for that cause. If you want what was, that ain’t goin’ to happen!

    Lou, I’m beginning to think that what you want is attention. Do you need attention? Is your world that benighted of friendship that you need these conversations with me?

    How may I help you? What do you want?


    Chuck Wilson

  34. Mary L. Grier Holmes says:

    Dear Rev. Wilson:

    “Now, Lou why are you foolishly blithering like a ninny over these things? I’m past them! You’re complaining over yesterday’s new. Nothing is going be done about these past actions. Where do we go from here with Erskine? What do you want? I want to see the ARP Church rid of the evil of Erskine. I want to give Erskine to you alums. Your Facebook buds are calling for a free Erskine. What do you want?”

    We both agree on what we want, Rev. Wilson. We want Erskine and the ARP Church to be free of bullying and evil false allegations, corruption and cover up. We’d like to see men of God acting in good faith and preventing injustice against Parker Young instead of engaging in a massive cover up to disguise the fact that the misuse of funds took place under your watch, Rev. Wilson. It took place before a single one of the fourteen Trustees was ever appointed to the Board of Trustees and before Ruble became President. For Rev. deWitt and his Moderator’s Commission to start the fire over it makes them the corrupt ones. The ones throwing stones and persecuting him are the same ones who committed false witness, namely Will Anderson.

  35. Charles W. Wilson says:

    Ms. Mary Lou G. Holmes,

    I asked you: “What do you want?” In fact, I asked what you and the people on the “Alumni for an Independent Erskine” site wanted to do with Erskine going forward.

    Instead of giving a coherent answer, you launched into another inane and conflated tirade of accusations. Obviously, you do not know what you want – except attention!

    You have had the opportunity to express yourself on ARPTalk. At least for now, your participation on ARPTalk is no longer desired.

    Since Mr. Will Anderson was the point of Ms. Holmes invective, if he chooses, he is welcome to respond.

    The responses and ideas of those who differ with the Editor are welcomed. Indeed, they are solicited. However, these conversations with Ms. Holmes have gone far enough.

    BTW, is there not someone on the “Alumni for Erskine” site or the “Alumni for an Independent Erskine” site who is willing to engage me in a conversation as to what the Erskine alums who loath the interference of the ARP Church want?


    Chuck Wilson

  36. William Anderson says:

    What an honor! To be named along side such men as Hathaway, Turbeville, Marsh, Mulner, Maye and Dewitt is too much. What a fraternity! Just don’t include Wilson-he really is sinister!

  37. Daniel Wells says:


    I’ve sat here and read your banter with MLH. Brother, you just need to quit while you are ahead.

    You are right that MLH makes no sense when she writes. I don’t know if that is purposeful or if there is something else going on. David Danehower told me that even he doesn’t understand her arguments. Danehower is a smart guy, so I am sure the opinion is nearly universal and she is being used for either amusement or some other purpose. I feel bad for her if she is being used and no one (not even those on “her side”) are being honest with her.

    Just a suggestion. :-)

  38. Charles W. Wilson says:

    Dear Mr. Daniel Well,

    Thank you for your comments. It is good to see you posting again, Daniel.

    I agree with you. I refer you to my last comments on this page. I informed Ms. Holmes that her comments were not desired at the present time. I think she has had the opportunity to express her views. I’m sure she will be back with her views on future articles – and she is welcome to do that.


    Chuck Wilson

  39. James Curtis says:


    There has been some discussion on a thread on Facebook regarding Bob Jones University, and their “sister campus” in Due West.

    Personally, I found this post humorous, and just out right crazy. But I’m not as familiar with both institutions as you are. Care to shed some light on how dissimilar (or similar) the two are?


    James Curtis

  40. Daniel Stephens says:


    Don’t worry the people who make the Bob Jones assertions do know about Bob Jones either. From my experience whenever I am told to go to Bob Jones, the person saying it doesn’t mean for me to physically go to Bob Jones, the meaning of this phrase in the mouths of certain people is quite different.

    It has an angry and almost abusive element, which can be compared to the phrase “I hate you.” but that isn’t all. The imperative is still present but in a more caustic and gutteral sense. The person giving the command wants to say “go to hell!” but they can’t for they don’t actually believe in hell. So they substitute the nearest place they can find, a place where it would be misery for them to be.

    Therefore, the full meaning of the phrase can be understood as the pejorative “I hate you; go to hell!”

    I have been to Bob Jones on numerous occasions and have friends who graduated from there. Bob Jones doesn’t deserve the abuse leveled at it by most people. That being said, I don’t recall anybody advocating Erskine be like Bob Jones. Erskine is not like Bob Jones and I don’t want it to be like Bob Jones. But I really do tire of Bob Jones being used pejoratively.

    Besides, usually the objectors are more fundamentalistic (in the historical, not contemporary) sense then the people I know from Bob Jones. I’ll flesh that out later when I have more time if you want.

  41. Charles W. Wilson says:

    Dear Messrs. Jim Curtis and Daniel Stephens,

    With the announcement that Dr. Bill Crenshaw has been “suspended” and that his Erskine email account has been closed, the “Alumni for Erskine” Facebook site has erupted in loud laments and noisy mourning for their secular champion of “critical thinking” (that is, Christian bashing and ridicule of the Bible). The champion of unbelief at Erskine has sold his disciples out for a mess of money. Since the BOIs (“bunch of idiots”) cannot acknowledge the obvious, they decry the necessary actions of President Norman and the Erskine administration as a nefarious strategy by the ARP Church to turn Erskine College into a Bob Jones University. However, THE TRUTH IS FAR DIFFERENT!

    1. Why was Dr. Crenshaw suspended?

    Was Dr. Crenshaw suspended for what he has taught? The answer is NO!

    Was Dr. Crenshaw suspended as a martyr for “academic freedom” or “intellectual inquiry” or “freedom of speech?” The answer is NO!

    THE REASON THAT DR. CRENSHAW WAS SUSPENDED WAS FOR FLAGRANT AND PUBLIC INSUBORDINATION. Crenshaw openly and loudly accused his “boss” of administrative duplicity, and he called him a “liar.” At his point, Dr. Norman was backed into a corner. President Norman had two choices: either he could resign or suspend/fire Crenshaw.

    Daniel and Jim, if you remember, in a post to Dr. Crenshaw, I asked him to prove what he was saying. I asked him to “put up or shut up.” Well, Crenshaw, it seems, has nothing to “put up” and Dr. Norman has put the “shut up” on him.

    2. Will there be a lawsuit?

    I really doubt there will be a lawsuit. A deal has been stuck. Crenshaw has been “bought out.” A number was found that was agreeable to both parties. However, don’t expect to know much about this settlement. “Non-disclosure clauses” and “indemnification clauses” have been signed. That means that both sides can neither talk about the settlement or sue the other in matters regarding the settlement. The side that breaks the stipulations of the settlement will be open to legal reparations that are draconian.

    I honestly believe that this was the game that Crenshaw was playing. I honestly believed that he had read the cards at Erskine and wanted out. The question was: how do I get out with as much money as I can? My hat is off to him. He has played the game well.

    The alums that are Crenshaw’s disciples and look on him as their champion for “freedom of speech” and “academic freedom” and “intellectual inquiry” and “emancipation from slavery to the strictures of Fundamentalist Christianity” are the sad part of this pitiful story. Crenshaw was their “Moses.” He was going to leader them to the “Promised Land where the rivers and streams flowed critical thinking and the land was filled with the fruits and honey of scientific inquiry that was free from the corrupting myths of the Bible.”

    In fact, these alums expected Crenshaw to be a martyr for the cause. And why should they have not expected this? In his posts on Facebook and on his blog, didn’t he give the impression that he was willing to be a martyr for the cause? That’s the impression I got? Well, in the end, it was all about money! What a FRAUD!

    At this point the alums are in a tizzy! They can’t admit that their champion has betrayed them! They need to cuss!

    Daniel, you’re right! When the betrayed alums refer to Erskine being turned into Bob Jones University or a Bible College, or when they refer to the ARP Church as the KKK, actually, what they are doing is venting their frustrations by cussing. It’s the equivalent of saying “Go to Hell!” or calling someone a SOB. They have no idea what Bob Jones University is about. It’s cussing! AND IT’S FUNNY!

    Jim and Daniel, I know a little about Bob Jones University. Let me assure you that Erskine College is not NEAR what Bob Jones University is. BJU is rich; EC isn’t! BJU turns students away; EC has empty beds. BJU has an international reputation for academic achievement in many fields; EC has a reputation that may reach as far as Laurens County, SC. BJU has a long history of excellence; EC has a long history of ineptness. BJU doesn’t buy students; EC buys students. No one doubts that the administrators at BJU are faithful to the school’s mission; over the last 40 years, I know many who have doubted the faithfulness of EC administrators to the school’s mission. Well, you know, there is no way on earth that EC is going to become a BJU.

    My advice to the participants on the “Alumni for Erskine” Facebook site is for them to keep on cussing. Cussing is cathartic! Cussing will help them to deal with the reality that their champion is a fraud! He has betrayed them! They have trusted in a fraud!


    Chuck Wilson

  42. Dear Readers of ARPTalk,

    Since the article that has produced this steam of comments deals with the vision that the Facebook alums are attempting to plot for Erskine, I thought it might be helpful to give an update:


    Ms. Stacy Hall wrote a very nasty and demeaning letter to President Norman. President Norman responded with a blunt but respectful letter to Hall. The interesting thing about President Norman’s response is that he didn’t say anything to her that he hasn’t said in public to General Synod, to the BOT, and, yes, to me. However, Ms. Hall is a delicate flower! The BOIs (‘bunch of idiots”) must also be delicate flowers! They seem to be able to give; however, THEY CAN’T TAKE!!

    As you read the comments below, it will be helpful to remember that Stacy Hall, Cecelia Hall Dunleavy, and Nancy Hall Gautier are sisters, and, I’m sure, there are others who are their cousins in this cauldron of sensitive feelings and brain dribble. Well, I suppose we now have both the three witches of Due West (TWODW) and the BOIs on the alums Facebook site.

    It’s beginning to look like a Due West family reunion! I wonder if Mary Lou Holmes will join in and introduce us to the family connections.

    Well, whatever the family relations, it now seems that the BOIs and TWODW want a vote of “No Confidence” in President Norman from the alums.


    Chuck Wilson


    [The letter below: from Stacy Hall to President Norman]

    My letter – sorry for the length:

    Dear Dr. Norman,

    I am an alumna of Erskine. As are many others, I have been alarmed at what has been going on the last several years. I wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt to see if you could act as a filter between the people who wish to bring sudden, radical and potentially damaging change to Erskine and the Institution and its heritage. Sadly, it has become apparent that you are not. That’s what the leader of an institution does – work to balance the long-lived heritage of the institution with the whims of short-lived individuals or parts of an institution whose goals and wants will pass on with them. If a leader works to protect the heritage while implementing such goals that help the institution to grow and prosper, his legacy becomes legend. If the leader allows undue small, narrow, divisive and short-lived influence to destroy that heritage and the institution, his legacy becomes nothing, or worse.

    I understand that there are clear leadership differences between your generation and mine. Adult boomers have been known for respecting their elders, listening to advice, thinking a decision through thoroughly before implementing it (not so much as adolescents, but as adults). 30-somethings do not do those things, according to research. They have grown up with video games, where if you make decisions that result in catastrophe, you just “do-over”. So for 30-somethings, I understand, the trend is make snap decisions without considering the consequences, and deal with the consequences when they come up. You have removed any number of loyal Erskine employees, whether through your direct action or through concurrence, employees who have nurtured both the institution and its legacy – the students and resulting alumni. The consequence is dire. Beloved professors with inspiring legacies, were they to apply to work at Erskine now, would be denied in the interest of, apparently, eliminating diversity of thought among staff. Elimination of diversity of thought of staff has a likely fallout of eliminating diversity of thought of students. What a shame.

    It is also a trait of your generation to surround yourself with those who will simply agree. It may be wise to seek the advice of those who disagree with you. Of course, you didn’t ask for my advice, but I am giving it to you, anyway. I disagree with you, so take or leave my advice as you will. I can’t be “fired” from being an alumna, fortunately.

    The alumni have been “dismissed” by some of the folks that want to see Erskine’s legacy go by the way. I believe that’s a mistake. Look at alumni contributions, last year to this year, your first. Look at the names, look at the amounts, be aware of the trend that is shaping up. Alumni dearly love Erskine, and that has been obvious in the past. However, they will not love an Erskine that has been allowed to be destroyed, because that will no longer be Erskine.

    Erskine is a wonderful legacy. I hope that you have read or heard of it, and not as a history, but as a living legacy. I can hope that Erskine is a strong enough legacy to recover from the damage of a small number of people who really don’t care about that legacy, but if there is no-one in leadership to filter those narrow goals, to temper them to preserve the legacy, heaven help her. I still have hope that you could be that leader, but it is a diminishing hope. And it may be wise to remember that if one is the pawn of others, it is not the same as being the king. Pawns are dispensable, once they’ve set the strategy in motion.

    I do not expect to hear back from you, as that is also, in my experience, a trait of 30-something leaders. And I understand you may have too much correspondence to deal with in a timely manner, at any rate.


    Stacy Hall

    Mary Elizabeth Todd: Very well said.

    Jim Moore: An excellent letter!

    Carrie Ann Shriver: Way to go!

    Cecelia Hall Dunleavy: Wonderfully stated!

    John Randolph Harrison: Beautifully written Stacy.

    Becky Lauderdale: Thanks again, Stacy, for taking the time to write this excellent letter and sharing with us, too!

    Stacy Hall: I got a reply:

    Stacy Hall: Wow. How kind of you to write.

    I was never much of a video game fan, but it seems you have decided that you have seen enough on the Internet to know the real me, so anything I could say now [to] correct you would just sound dishonest.

    I hope, in time, your opinion may change, but please know that I will do what I believe is right whether you or anyone else agree.
    I love Erskine, and believe I can help move her beyond the fits of Blog-induced psychosis with which she has suffered these past few years. But if not, I know God will provide for my family another way. Until you are able to run me off, however, please know that I will be doing all I can for the good of your alma mater.

    Hope you are having a restful Sunday afternoon.

    David Norman

    Mary Elizabeth Todd: Boy the tone in that one was way different from the tone in mine. He has got p&^%ed.

    P. Mark Wilson: Dear David, WE did not start this fire.

    John Randolph Harrison: WOW!!!!!!! Thats harsh.

    Becky Lauderdale: Obviously intends to keep doing what he’s been doing – ridding the college of good quality people and curricula, and he has no use for us..

    Gary Bordogna: WOW-A letter like that to an alum!

    Nancy Hall Gautier: Good to know that he and his family will be fine once Erskine goes under.

    Rick Beard: UNTIL YOU CAN RUN ME OFF!!!

    Nancy Hall Gautier: Anyone else get a similar response?

    Ann Clarke Judd: Unusual tone from a chief executive particularly when it might be shared with a wider audience.

    John Randolph Harrison: He would have been better off keeping those comments to himself. Guess we are getting the other side of the coin now.

    Ann Clarke Judd: Probably not quite enough experience at the executive level to understand the ramifications of this type of response.

    Becky Lauderdale: What an opening: “Wow. How kind of you to write.”

    Rick Beard: this is not good. I don’t understand why the EC Foundation is tip toeing around this situation. They are afraid they are going to make someone upset? Come on!

    Ann Clarke Judd: This is an example of the flippant and churlish behavior that the staff deal with on a daily basis.

    Gary Bordogna: Rick: It’s usually best to respond after 24 hours or so. That way emotions have died down and you address the issues.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd: I have been debating showing my response- I took a religious direction with him- in that pointed out that just because a person does not sign said statement it does not mean that they do not believe in inerrancy- in fact they may have a problem stating the Bible as being inerrant simply because only God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are that. I also pointed out matt 7:1-2-which has the Judge not lest you Judged and goes on to say in the second verse that how you judge you will be judged measure for measure- and that by signing that statement they are passing judgement on their fellow Christians who believe differently and therefore can not do it for ethical reasons. I spoke to him about there are two things that drive us- Power and love- If Power rules you become ruthless- and if love rules- you no longer need power- I asked him was he motivated by power or by love. I told him that I did not need answers to this but he needed to examine his heart to determine which kind of man he was- this is a rough summary of what I sent.

    Gary Bordogna: Somewhere Dr. Bill Crenshaw is laughing.

    Jim Moore: The only two Erskine presidents I ever had a conversation with were Dr. Stan Bell and Dr. Randy Ruble. I thought a lot of Dr. Bell, and hold Dr. Ruble in equal esteem. In my opinion, they would never even consider communicating like this to anyone, let alone an alumni.

    I did notice that Dr. Norman disputed absolutely nothing that Stacy stated.

    Ann Clarke Judd: That response does not exactly make alumni want to write a big check to the Annual Fund.

    Stacy Hall: Or even a miniscule one.

    Ann Clarke Judd: And doesn’t help validate the message we received from Nan, the BOT chair, and the Moderator today.

    John Randolph Harrison: You took the words out of my mouth Ann. Glad I gave my last check to help save Philo Hall.

    P. Mark Wilson: Instead of assuring us that things would settle down and that he saw a great future for Erskine, he fanned the flames and actually said “until you are able to run me off”. Does he mean like he ran off Woody, Cory and others? If you have any connection to the school, you are no longer welcome. If you love Erskine then you are an impediment to the changes they want. He cleaned out the entire admissions department and hired an outside firm to recruit the students they desire. Hmmm let’s see, why on earth would we be suspicious of him?

    Nancy Hall Gautier: I am always telling my kids to not put things in writing that they would not like to be posted for everyone to read. Seems like some thirty somethings have not learned that lesson.

    Jim Moore: I suggested this before the last alumni association meeting, and will suggest it again. I think it’s time to consider a vote of no confidence in Dr. Norman.[Ed. emphasis] Hopefully, a measure such as this will help communicate to those alumni not aware of what is going on in Due West to start paying attention. Loyalty is a two-way street. If Dr. Norman chooses to talk to alums the way he spoke to (not with) Stacy, I don’t see how we can honestly place any confidence in him.

    Whitney Tillman Marcengill: I think I am going to be sick after reading Norman’s response. Are they drinking the koolaid over there?!!

    Stacy Hall: I totally agree, Jim. Who can tell us how to go about lodging such a vote of no confidence? It’s a bit tricky, from my understanding.

    Jim Moore: If Robert’s Rules or Order are followed, I would think that any alum can be asked to be placed on the agenda. I imagine that Nan Campbell could give you the details. It is, after all, OUR association!

    Stacy Hall: I agree, Whitney. What adult responds to a serious letter from their mobile device, where you cannot see and reflect on the entire text?

    Stacy Hall: Jim, am corresponding with ACJ, we’ll see what happens.

    Jim Moore: Stacy, I really believe that all it takes is a motion, and a vote. Anything over 50% carries.

    Whitney Tillman: Marcengill I hear you, Stacy!

    Jim Moore: Stacy, I think you should be the one to make the motion, and Whitney second it.

    Cecelia Hall Dunleavy: His response is just bizarre. If he thought Stacy’s assessment of him was wrong, that is his prerogative. However, as a president of a college, you have to show diplomacy at all times, ESPECIALLY, when you are putting things in writing. And to make statements like “I will do what I think is right no matter whether you or anyone else agrees” indicates that he has a huge ego with a “my way or the highway” mentality. This letter alone demonstrates poor leadership qualities. Stacy, your letter was very good and obviously touched a nerve. His letter makes him sound a bit paranoid too, with “blog-induced psychosis ” and “until you run me off”. Well, I must say that my opinion of him has changed in time, but not for the better. I actually initially wanted to give him time to prove himself. Silly me.

    John Randolph Harrison: He made a couple of strange comments a few months ago on the other site from his IPAD while out of town. It was late and only a few people saw them. He deleted them almost instantly and changed the whole content. Makes you wonder.

    Jim Moore: Cecelia, I actually was pulling for the guy too, until he started letting so many employees go. People don’t treat people like that.

    Gary Bordogna: Stacy, Jim, and others. IMHO, if you are going to follow the “no confidence” route, you first need to meet with Dr. Norman. If he doesn’t answer your questions, or refuses to meet with you, then proceed. Otherwise, it looks the same to me as when Dr. Norman got rid of Dr. Gid as Dean without even an interview.
    Folks who know me know that I’m usually not one to proceed with caution, but IMHO this is the best way to do it to be taken seriously.
    Don’t beat me up too bad over this!

    Rick Beard: do you have a fever or something tonight Gary?

    Jim Moore: If Dr. Norman is to meet with any alumni, it should be those duly elected to represent the association, in my opinion.

    John Randolph: Harrison ‎Gary, David Dangerfield and others have had a number of meetings and conversations with him. I think Dr. D has also.

    Stacy Hall: Yes, I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt, myself. No more. Jim,Gary, f I could make such a motion from such a distance, I would. I think it’s an “in-person” action, isn’t it?

    Gary Bordogna: No Rick I’m fine. Believe me, I’m not in Dr. Norman’s corner, but I taught for 30 years and it is best to follow certain procedures if you want to remove an administrator and avoid a law suit.

    Jim Moore: Stacy, Robert’s Rules of Order have been amended many times in order to utilize technology. I believe that as long as any alum is offered the opportunity to monitor via skype, cellular telephone, or what have you, there is no problem. Still, I would run this by Nan.

    Gary Bordogna: Why don’t a group of us ask to meet with Dr. Norman. It doesn’t have to be the Alumni board as frankly, I think a better cross section of alums are here. If he refuses to meet, or if the group doesn’t like his answers, then proceed.

    Gary Bordogna: Gee, no likes about my comments?

    Nancy Hall Gautier: So ,Gary are you going to do it and hook those of us to far away up with a Skype feed? I would do that. I just can’t necessarily be there in person. Of course, if he finds out I am Stacy’s sister, he might not let me participate. :)

    Gary Bordogna: Nancy: I type with two fingers and my son has to fix any computer problems I have. We need a younger (and smarter) alum to handle IT.

    Jim Moore: I think that the college should provide the skype for any meeting with Dr. Norman, and at the alumni association meeting

    Nancy Hall Gautier: Gary no one in my family fits that description. I am the youngest and I am well past young.

    Nancy Hall Gautier: I have it on computer and I do know how to use it…..more or less.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd: Gary- David Tabor courted Doreen using Skype when he was in Germany.

    Rick Beard: Skype is very cool

    Mary Elizabeth Todd: Can you image David Tabor going into the president’s office and setting all of this up. Somehow that is funny to me

    Gary Bordogna: I doubt seriously if Dr. Norman will agree to Skype. I think that well respected people in the Erskine community, like Rick, whose family ties to EC go several back generations, and well respected people (mostly) outside the Erskine community like Jim, who held elected office, and is on several community boards would be great folks to ask questions of Dr. Norman.

    Rick Beard: We are checking out the billboard option. The politically correct route seems to be going way to slow.

    Nancy Hall Gautier: I agree Rick. We have been way too nice. Where has that left Erskine? The most telling thing to me in his comment is that however it turns out he will be fine.

    Rick Beard: we have tried for over 30 years to get help with Philo Hall.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd: Yeah- I like the old embarrass them route of the billboards because they cannot hide it anymore.


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