Crenshaw Is GONE!

A tip of the hat is due President David Norman of Erskine College and Seminary. The story coming out of Due West. SC, is scant and cryptic; however, the news is that Dr. Norman has done what four other Erskine Presidents were unable or unwilling to do: he has disciplined Dr. Bill Crenshaw and suspended him from his teaching position.

A senior English professor, Crenshaw has made a career of using his classroom to ridicule both the mission of Erskine as a Christian college and the faith of Christian students. For years, Bill Crenshaw has been the bane of multiple Erskine administrations that were unwilling and seemingly unable to deal with his antics.

The following has been made public: (1) Crenshaw has been suspended for the Fall semester; and (2) his institutional email account has been closed. At this time, in Due West and on Facebook, there is a great deal of speculation as to what this means and where it is going.

First Question

One of the questions that are circulating asks why Crenshaw was suspended at this time. Did President Norman suspend Professor Crenshaw for his frequent attacks on Christianity and Christian students? In point of fact, we do not know and may never know the answer to this question. Perhaps Dr. Crenshaw’s lengthy history of personal conflict with others in the Due West community finally caught up with him.

Second Question

A second question that is circulating asks the meaning of “suspended for the Fall semester” and the canceling of the institutional email. Well, these developments are code for “gone,” and do not expect to see Dr. Crenshaw back in an Erskine classroom again! “Suspension” is used for “face-saving.” “Canceling of the institutional email” is what takes place when an employee is removed.

The Deal

On the basis of what the Editor knows from his time on the Erskine BOT, it looks as though a deal has been cut. From the Editor’s BOT experience, the law firm that represents Erskine prefers to negotiate rather than litigate in these matters. That deal probably looks something like this: (1) Dr. Crenshaw will get his salary and benefits this year; (2) he will also get some “going away money”; (3) there is a non-disclosure clause that prevents both parties from speaking about the stipulations of the agreement; (4) there is an indemnification clause that relinquishes the rights of the parties to sue each other in these matters; and (5) there are stiff penalties that secure the silence and cooperation of both parties.

Pragmatically, this is a good deal for both sides. Dr. Crenshaw settles for a bag of money that will carry him through until he is 65 and he does not have to work. Dr. Norman has essentially silenced Dr. Crenshaw by pulling out his tongue and cutting off his fingers. Dr. Norman has removed a significant distraction and liability to the institution’s mission.

The Editor is not rock-sure of his speculations; however, he is willing to bet his hat. There are a number of reasons for the Editor’s confidence: (1) the silence of Dr. Crenshaw that began about six weeks ago; (2) the unwillingness of President Norman to discuss this manner when he announced it to the BOT on August 18; and (3) Dr. Crenshaw’s continued silence. It ain’t natural for Crenshaw to be silent about anything! The boy loves to talk . . . and talk . . . and talk!

Editor’s Question

The Editor has a question. Did Bill Crenshaw engineer this? The Editor’s answer is Yes! Dr. Crenshaw is shrewd – very shrewd. He is well aware of the direction of the ARP Church. He knows the direction that Erskine is now drifting. He wanted a way out. What was the best way out with maximum effect for him?

The Editor thinks that he found the way out. Well done, Bill! You played your cards well!

The Loser

Well, is there a loser in this affair? That answer is Yes! The losers are the nearly 2,000 secular Erskine alums who belong to and may participate on the “Alumni for Erskine” and the “Alumni for an Independent Erskine” Facebook sites. They have held Crenshaw in high esteem. They venerate him as their guru and their voice. He has been their champion for a secular Erskine since their college days. From his vitriolic writing on Facebook and elsewhere, the secular alums expected him to lead them in their “righteous war” against the forces of Fundamentalism and anti-intellectualism. “Crenshaw the Champion” would stand against the benighted and evil forces of evangelical Christian ignorance in the ARP Church and on the BOT and the Erskine administration and community. Instead, it appears that when given the choice of leading a crusade for secularism or “thirty pieces of silver” for his pocket, “Crenshaw the Champion” became “Crenshaw the Coward” and took the bag of money and ran to his North Carolina home on the lake.

Now, the Editor’s assessment of the situation may be wrong. How will we know? The Editor’s calculus has failed if the following happens: (1) Crenshaw again cranks up the rhetoric on Facebook, on his blog, and elsewhere and goes after Erskine and President Norman; (2) a lawsuit is filed by Crenshaw against Erskine; and (3) Crenshaw files a complaint with SACS. Indeed, time will tell whether the Editor has ciphered correctly.

Has the Editor Changed His Mind?

A number of you have asked the Editor the following question: “Now that Crenshaw is gone, have you changed your mind on the relationship between Erskine and the ARP Church?”

The answer to that question is NO! As a matter of fact, the Editor is more convinced than ever that the ARP Church should sever the relationship with Erskine. The business of Erskine College and Seminary is not something that the ARP Church should be involved in! We lack both the resolve and the resources that are needed to sustain and oversee the business of a college and seminary.

The Bible has something to say about knowing a tree by its fruit (Matthew 7:16-20; 12:33; Luke 6:43-44). Currently, the “fruit” (the secular alums) of Erskine College and Seminary represent a flat contradiction of the theological standards and philosophical understanding of the ARP Church in higher education and theological training. Is the purpose of the ARP Church in her endeavors in higher education and theological training through Erskine College and Seminary to produce a large number of graduates who hate and reject the evangelical Christian faith of the ARP Church and who unwaveringly oppose the philosophy and oversight of the ARP Church as her educational agency? If that has been the purpose of the ARP Church for the last 40 years, we have succeeded splendidly. However, if our goal was to do liberal arts education from an evangelical perspective and theological training that affirmed the ARP Church and have graduates who reflected the educational philosophy of the ARP Church and the theological verities of the ARP Church, we ARPs have failed miserably.

Luke 13:6-9 reads in this manner:

A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why encumbers it the ground?

And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that you shall cut it down.

After 40 years of attempts, it is time that we acknowledge the truth. We in the ARP Church do not have the financial and personnel resources to turn Erskine College into a Christian liberal arts college that exists to the glory of God, nor do we have the ability to run Erskine Seminary so that it functions to reflect and promote the ministry of the ARP Church. We have struck out! It’s time for a batter other than the ARP Church!

The Editor wishes that what he has written were not true; however, wishing does not change reality.

These are my thoughts,

Charles W. Wilson

 

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  1. Tony Locke says:

    New initiative. We are collecting stories from people who had to stand up to people like Dr. Crenshaw.

    Have you ever spoke faith or truth to the liberal powers in your life? Then tell that story here http://www.speakingfaithtopower.com/

    Some day the website will be full of resources for others to find their voice and speak out.

    Thanks Chuck for your work, blessings to you

    Sincerely, Tony Locke

  2. Daniel Prohaska says:

    The Editor is wrong in his analysis of “The Losers” in this situation. In addition to the 2000 faithful alumni, there are thousands of other untold losers in the future and current students of Erskine College who never had the opportunity to be in a classroom where you were challenged to think for yourself and produce sound evidence to justify your thoughts instead of relying on inaccurate, unfounded, or simply unexamined assumptions found in unreliable, inaccurate, or misled information.

    • Tim Phillips says:

      Mr. Prohaska, something bothers me about the latter portion of this post and I am hoping that you might elaborate a bit. Do you have anything specific in mind when you refer to “relying on inaccurate, unfounded, or simply unexamined assumptions found in unreliable, inaccurate, or misled information”? In other words, what exactly is this information of which you speak, or are you merely speaking in generalities?

      • Daniel Prohaska says:

        Mr. Phillips,

        Fair question. The information I am referring to is the information that we have based our judgments, conclusions, and personal beliefs on. Everything we know comes from a source somewhere. If those sources are not examined and questioned we are simply mirrors of the thoughts and conclusions of others. If we have examined the evidence behind our political, religious, and social ideals and happen to come to the same conclusion as someone else, that is perfectly acceptable; but if we blindly accept what others have told us, we will have no mind of our own.

        I was implying that Dr. Crenshaw was an expert at challenging the beliefs of his students, including myself, to show others how to grow and develop themselves in a way that makes our judgments better and our beliefs stronger. By losing Dr. Crenshaw as a professor at Erskine, even if for just a semester, it remains a loss to the students who did not get the opportunity to go through this process under Dr. Crenshaw’s guidance. Granted, I am not implying that Dr. Crenshaw is the only professor at Erskine who challenges students to think critically, he is not. However, I have seen through personal experience that Dr. Crenshaw is an expert in this field and the experience gained in his classroom has proven invaluable to myself and others.

        • Tim Phillips says:

          Mr. Prohaska, thank you for your response. I am all for examining one’s presuppositions in light of authoritative sources — especially in considering whether one’s approach to doing so is man-centered or God-centered. Avoid the Cartesian shift; follow Proverbs 1:7. With this in mind, I wish you much success in your academic endeavors.

  3. It would seem to me, that with the battle, over Erskine College and Seminary, the church itself would be better off starting up an online seminary for the training of its ministers. A seminary that would be in line with its doctrine standards. Outside of the language issues, and online seminary would be very good for the church. Perhaps, an agreement could be made with Whitefield college and seminary, or Reformed seminary. Anyone who places himself under Care of Presbytery, would be looked after by all of ministers of the Presbytery.

  4. Dear Mr. Daniel Prohaska,

    Thank you for taking the time and effort to write your comments.

    Deaniel, I see that this is your first time to make comments on ARPTalk. I don’t know who you are. Do you mind telling us a little about you’re yourself?

    You write with considerable passion. Tell us a little more. Why is my analysis off?

    Regards,

    Chuck Wilson
    ARPTalk

    • Daniel Prohaska says:

      In order to put my comments into context Mr. Wilson, I am a sophmore political science major at Erskine College.

      Your analysis is off because you did not take into account the long term consequences of the action you wrote about (having Dr. Crenshaw suspended.) If you discuss the “losers” as you call them, you should not limit yourself to the members of a single group as you did. You forget, the current and future students at Erskine ARE what makes Erskine what she is today. Those students, such as myself, are the ones who suffer most when professors like Dr. Crenshaw are forced from their position at the school.

      • James Curtis says:

        Daniel, see my response to you below.

        Respectfully,
        James Curtis

        • Daniel Prohaska says:

          Jim,

          I saw your response, and I chose not to respond to it. I find it rather hypocritical for someone who has been at Erskine not a day longer than I have to take such an omnipotent tone in discussing anyone’s exposure to various classroom settings on campus. How many of Dr. Crenshaw’s classes have you actually taken anyway?

          As your brother in Christ I tell you that your arrogance is very unbecoming of yourself. Part of having an open debate is having mutual respect for all parties. I would humbly request that you challenge yourself to wrestle with that temptation to sin in the future.

          The one comment I will make on your response is that if you believe for even a moment that one’s religious, political, or social beliefs cannot be challenged openly in ANY classroom you will be met with a stark contrast in the real world. At this stage in our lives our job is to challenge ourselves to learn as much as we can and build a foundation of support for our beliefs which means those beliefs can and must be challenged on a regular basis. Any professor who does that, whether in the context of their class or not, is helping you grow. Embrace this challenge!

          Finally, I would remind you (and judging from some of the remarks I’ve read Mr. Wilson as well) that we are to love all of our brothers and sisters in Christ and do everything in our power to make them better disciples of our Lord. This cannot be accomplished through bickering and cheap cuts at one another. Open debate is fine and beneficial, when conducted respectfully. If you would like to discuss this matter further, I would (as I told you on Facebook) be happy to talk with you some time on campus.

          Best Regards,
          Daniel

          • James Curtis says:

            Daniel,

            Let’s not get into a pissing contest, but yelling at me because of my tone of arrogance and then lecturing me about it (under the guise of calling me your “Brother in Christ”), with the finishing move of a sarcastic rhetorical question doesn’t exactly exclaim your point with purity.

            Another point to address is the fact that you are correct, Dr. Crenshaw and I never did sit in the same classroom together. So I’m claiming something without seeing one side, while you’re doing the same on the other. We’re on opposite ends of a spectrum with the information the other needs, yet you aren’t contributing to me (your silence is arrogant) while I am arrogantly contributing to you. We both struggle with pride, Daniel. Don’t think it’s exclusively my problem.

            Something else to consider is the fact that I wasn’t attempting to look down upon you, but simply enlighten you to what I have experienced at Erskine. Instead of you sharing the same back to me (which would have been a stark contrast to your arrogance in your first post to Chuck), you call me out for the sin of arrogance (which I take, and thank you for the rebuke) while being arrogant yourself. You also make a false claim, though. I have been at Erskine longer than you. I may not have taken classes, Daniel, but I was here quite extensively during the spring of the Snow Synod.

            Addressing your comment, “The one comment I will make on your response is that if you believe for even a moment that one’s religious, political, or social beliefs cannot be challenged openly in ANY classroom you will be met with a stark contrast in the real world. ”

            I would say that you have completely misread everything I have written anywhere. No where have I suggested that we not be challenged. I have suggested that we be respectfully challenged (refer to your post above), not belittled. There is a distinction in that, and Dr. Crenshaw doesn’t understand the distinction. Or perhaps he does, he just doesn’t care.

            You make claims to brotherly love and Christ-like love, yet I don’t see that in your posts. I see facades, Daniel. I don’t see respect from you. But I don’t immediately cry disrespect. Simply because I don’t see it, Daniel, doesn’t mean it’s not there. I suggest, as a brother in Christ, that you acknowledge what is there not upon what you feel I am saying, but what I am actually saying.

            To conclude, Daniel, I think you have a lot of wisdom to give to alumni, Chuck, and others within the ARPC. I think your perspective is to be prized, and held above with the rest of Erskine’s students’ perspective on the situation, and not cast out as the Alumni on Facebook have done. However, I challenge you to see things from the other end. I challenge you to think (critically, if I may) about your statement. You cannot truly claim what you did in your first post. You have overstated, Daniel. I sincerely hope you can see that.

            I look forward to any discussion you wish to have with me on campus, upon the agreement that we both (yes, both) leave our pride at the door and embrace mutual respect for one another, submitting to one another as God’s Word commands us in Ephesians 5.

            With all respect a sinful man can muster,
            Jim

          • Daniel Prohaska says:

            Jim,

            You misinterpret the response I gave you. I mean to speak frankly and respectfully, not in a belittling manner (hence my comment “How many of Dr. Crenshaw’s classes have you taken anyway?” though, granted, I probably could have left off the “anyway.”) I am trying to point out the flaws I see in yourself and in your arguments (as I would expect and welcome from you.) If we as Christians cannot be open with one another and help hold one another accountable, we are doing a disservice to ourselves and our faith. I am not interested in getting into a “pissing contest” as that would serve only my own selfish interests and not the best interests of the college.

            I would STRONGLY caution you against ridiculing Dr. Crenshaw so openly without having had time in the classroom with him. I am not claiming that I have had the experience of being in a classroom with every professor at Erskine, I haven’t and likely won’t. However, I know that having Dr. Crenshaw suspended is an outward sign of an inward problem at Erskine: a growing lack of critical thinking in the classroom and a lack of exposure to beliefs that conflict with the status quo. Erskine classrooms should not be subjected to the whims of a minority faction in the ARP denomination. That is my primary concern. You have limited your examples of other critical thinking at Erskine to a single classroom (though an excellent example nonetheless) and we both know that a single instance does not accurately portray the whole picture.

            Your general tone and snide comments are domineering, not frank expressions of fact, there is a considerable difference. It shows that you are passionate about what you are saying, but it also is a likely indicator (in my experience) that you are not open to changing your opinion and are less likely to sincerely listen to what others have to say.

            I would also warn you that your belief that you will not be challenged with hostility in the real world is very utopian, not realistic. We live in a secular driven society where religion is seen as an abstract thought and not a basis for living your life. You will be met with extreme hostility from all fronts when you leave Due West. Part of the benefit of college should be equipping you with the intellectual and spiritual resources you will need to stand up for those beliefs when you enter the real world.

            Finally, if you truly only see facades of Christ-like love in my posts, I am genuinely regretful. Like you I speak with passion but also with purpose and if Christ is not glorified in my actions then I have indeed failed in that regard. However, IF you only see facades because you do not see the perspective from which I am writing I would challenge you to be more reciprocal of ideas that conflict with your own.

            I stand by what I said in my original post to Mr. Wilson; that is my stance, period. I am open to hearing any and all information, but the facts speak for themselves. The Church is called to make disciples for Christ, but that is not best served through involvement in college affairs. The Church needs to get out of the education business and focus their time and money on disciplining those in their own community where they can make a much greater difference in peoples’ lives. That should be the focus of any denomination.

            I will work diligently to abandon my pride, but never my passion or my values. When you lose that, you have also lost your purpose. Feel free to talk to me anytime.

            Regards,
            Daniel

      • Dear Mr. Daniel Prohaska,

        Thank you for your response. I apologize for being tardy in getting back to you. I have been playing tag with physicians lately. I have problems with my eyes – I’m “legally blind” now.

        Now, regarding my analysis! You may have missed what I was saying about “losers.” The comments were directed to alums that look to Bill Crenshaw as their champion and guru and “living god.”

        I do not consider the students at Erskine losers in this affair!

        Indeed, many of the present students and hopefully all future students will miss Crenshaw. Thank God!

        Bill Crenshaw’s agenda has nothing to do with “critical thinking.” Sorry, he ain’t that smart. He ain’t worked that hard. I see him as a hack. Like Thomas Cooper at the College of South Carolina in the 1830s, Bill’s focus is his continuing and unrelenting war with the God of the Bible and anyone who trusts in the God of the Bible.

        How is it that the MISSION of Erskine as a “Christian” college gets lost in this discussion? How is it that the integrity of professors to uphold and be faithful to the MISSION gets missed? How is it that a professor who viciously attacks the MISSION and the faith that the college was founded to defend and propagate is lionized as HERO? He’s no hero; he’s a fraud!

        Now, before you call me “narrow” or “closed,” let me assure you that I’m not. I expect students to be challenged. I simply cannot justify that challenging takes place at the hands of an admitted infidel at a Christian college. Doesn’t that seem a bit schizophrenic to you – paying someone who hates your mission to attack your mission?

        Well, I too speak with passion. None of it is aimed at you. As a matter of fact, I would like to meet you. If you would be willing to drive over to Seneca, I would be happy to buy lunch and, if you like, give you a very fine cigar. I’ll even give you gas money. All I ask is conversation. You just might enjoy getting to know me in the flesh. It would be a good exercise in “critical thinking.”

        Regards,

        Chuck Wilson
        ARPTalk

  5. Dear Mr. Fredrick Edward Fleming,

    Thank you for your comments.

    Actually, Erskine Seminary does little in training the future ministers in the ARP Church at this time. That’s one of the problems. Our seminary is not trusted by a great many of us in the ARP Church at this time. Currently, RTS-Charlotte and Covenant are the places where you find ARP students who are in training for the ministry.

    I really don’t think an online method for training ministerial candidates is the directions that we want to go. Theological development and ministerial training is as much “caught” and it is “taught.” Young men who are being trained for the ministry need the mentoring of faithful teachers. An online method is weak in personal interaction. The idea of a Presbytery overseeing this looks good on paper; however, in my experience, it doesn’t work.

    The ARP Church needs a faithful seminary. More and more, it seems that Erskine Seminary is not that seminary.

    Regards,

    Chuck Wilson
    ARPTalk

  6. Reiggin says:

    This number of 2000 or so… how accurate is that really? A lot of the members of those Facebook groups are just “rubberneckers,” there to witness the train wrecks, bellyaching, hubris, and self-righteous indignation that make up the dozen or so windbags that are left in their fight. It seems to me that the moderates amongst them have fled or are silent. I’d like to see an actual count of just how many of these so called “2000 faithful alumni” really exist.

  7. Dear Reiggin.

    As I remember, the “2000” is the number that AFE and AFIE claim. I accept what they say.

    However, your assessment is correct. If I remember correctly, you are one of the “2000.” The “2000” probably means little. There are not that many who comment.

    Interestingly, the only one who really interacts with me is Mary Lou Grier Holmes; however, she can’t be taken too seriously. I wonder why they won’t engage me on ARPTalk. I’m their worst nightmare and here I am. Where are they? I’m amazed that they ignore an igornat Fundy such as I am!

    Regards,

    Chuck Wilson
    ARPTalk

  8. James Curtis says:

    Daniel Prohaska,

    Please. Thinking Dr. Crenshaw was the only professor who made you think in a class is not only laughable, it’s downright ignorant of the facts. You haven’t even had a class with every professor at Erskine!

    It also depends on what class it is. If I’m taking, say, an English class on composition, I don’t expect to be creating an apology for Christian thought. I don’t want to defend my faith in a Christian college in an English classroom. In BR378 (Christian Apologetics), of course I would expect that. But an English class on composition? Come on.

    Erskine has plenty of professors who require you to “put your money where your mouth is”, so to speak. Just take BR325 (Christian Theology) this semester with me. Add/drop ends Tuesday, there’s still time to get in. Not only will Dr. Evans show you that he’s tolerant (Alumni, perhaps you could take a lesson from that), fair, and open to other views, but he also requires critical thought. Not Crenshaw’s, “You either agree with me and are a critical thinker, or disagree with me and an idiot!” critical thinking, but true critical thinking.

    The only thing “thousands of other untold losers in the future and current students of Erskine College” will be missing is a professor who belittled Christianity, wrote nothing of scholarly importance in years, and championed a very large head. Oh, and who has a pretty rad mustache on the website (http://www.erskine.edu/faculty-staff/staff-bio.shtml).

  9. Reiggin says:

    Having looked at Bill Crenshaw’s Facebook wall posts (they’re public, no need to befriend him), it’s pretty obvious just how much hate and vitriol he has for conservatives and Christians. Yet so-called Christians hail him as a champion of free speech and applaud how he challenged them to “strengthen their faith by challenging it.” How can you uphold him as a hero of your faith when he seeks to destroy it? Some folks need to take the blinders off and realize that he was never their savior, instead he was the enemy seeking to tear them down. He refers to Christians as “chumps” and “fruitcakes,” Republicans as “idiots,” and posts articles from the biggest atheist champion of them all, Richard Dawkins. Yet some refuse to read the writing on the wall.

  10. Tim Phillips says:

    Chuck, I appreciate that you qualify your statement above about Erskine Seminary with the use of the phrase “at this time.” However, I fear that you are casting a great number of our ARP ministers under the proverbial bus with such a statement. As you know, I was trained at Erskine Seminary (graduated in 2004). In Matt Miller’s excellent Pre-Synod talk (found here: http://gairneybridge.wordpress.com/2011/08/09/reformation-through-the-biblical-preaching-of-the-word/), he lists several of my classmates at Erskine who are fine ARP ministers and preachers: Brian Howard, Clint Davis, Bryan Bult, Chad Reynolds, and Will Anderson. Surely these men were trained well by the seminary.

    Of course, Erskine Seminary is not exactly the same as when I graduated. Some of my favorite professors are no longer there (e.g., Drs. Agan and Fairbairn). But there are still many fine faculty members left. The recent statement from concerned faculty members (published here in ARPTalk), fully supported by the 2011 General Synod, is evidence of that. All of those professors serve at Erskine “at this time.”

    Many seminaries go through struggles. Covenant and Westminster have had their issues over the last few years. Erskine will have hers as well. But that doesn’t mean we give up the fight. Nor should we malign the entire institution (and risk offending the ministers which have been trained there); some will take that personally, and you risk alienating allies when you do so. Don’t become another Nathanael: “Can anything good come out of Due West?”! Well, much good has come out of Due West in the past; it can certainly happen again. But not if we wash our hands of the problem.

  11. Dear Tim Phillips,

    Thanks for your comments.

    Of course, you’re right! I stand corrected!

    Be aware, my comments do not reflect the ETS from which you graduated. In those days, if I remember correctly, I was a supporter of ETS. As you are aware, a great change has taken place, and it’s not positive for ETS. If only it were! I don’t know if ETS can survive the disaster that was Neely Gaston.

    My comments reflect what has taken place in the last few years.

    Once again, thank you for your comments – and the correction. Of the men you named, I consider ALL of them to be “FRIEND.” I meant no offense to you or them. We are all aware and sadden by what has taken place to “OUR” seminary. I too am an ETS alum.

    Regards,

    Chuck Wilson
    ARPTalk

  12. Tim Phillips says:

    Thanks, Chuck, for the clarification. I still have high hopes for my alma mater.

  13. Daniel F. Wells says:

    I would side more with Tim in seeing a more positive role and future for ETS. The Lord has provided some good leadership at the institution. My own vision for ETS to give it a different niche from RTS and other schools is to see it become a ‘missional’ school that emphasizes training ministers for church planting and revitalization. Other Reformed seminaries do an excellent job training pastor-scholars to lead and shepherd established, healthy churches, but there is little training and emphasis on church planting and revitalization even though these are some of the greatest needs for the American church.

    I also think there is a core group of faculty currently at ETS that are interested in these matters and could provide the education that ARP students and other students need. Probably a move to Columbia or Greenville is needed, along with a reduction in the faculty size (though I hate to suggest such a move), and maybe even a rebranding of the institution (change the name) to part ways with bad PR over the last few years.

    An institution with this kind of mission could grab many of the ‘young, restless, Reformed’ students and have good relations with church planting networks such as MNA, Acts 29, ONA, Sovereign Grace, etc. Church planting is not only popular, but it is necessary for the church’s mission today.

    These are my thoughts. I know such a transition for ETS would b difficult, but it may be necessary not only for the survival of the institution but for the ARP Church as well.

  14. Dear Daniel Wells,

    It’s difficult to argue with the points that you make. As a matter of fact, at different places, I think I have make the same arguments. The problem is the willingness of those who are left to buy into the ideas. Of course, some will; however, the majority and those who count won’t. ETS is now at such a low ebb that its very survival is in question. Apart from the Army chaplains’ DMin program and the online program, students they ain’t got!

    The disaster that was Neely Gaston and Richard Burnett lives on and on and on and on and Richard Burnett is still there!

    Regards,

    Chuck Wilson
    ARPTalk

  15. Dear Mr. James Curtis,

    In your response to Daniel Prohaska, you wrote that Dr. William Evans was “tolerant . . . fair, and open to other views.” You also chided the alums, writing, “Alumni, perhaps you could take a lesson from that.”

    Jim, I’m shocked that you would infer that your treatment at the hands of the alums would be anything less than tolerance and equanimity and fairness and longsuffering. These are the good folks who were educated, trained, and mentored by Bill Crenshaw, the paragon and champion of openness, tolerance, and intellectual expansiveness. How is it that you have forgotten how open and kind and fair Crenshaw was in his English classes to those who held to orthodox Christianity?

    Mr. Curtis, you need to explain yourself! We can’t have you giving the impressing that a Bible thumper like Bill Evans is is kinder and more tolerant than Bill Crenshaw and his disciples – the BOIs. Besides, everyone knows that Bill Evans is a Fundy who is so ignorant that he can’t even read or write.

    Mr. Curtis, can you really mean what you have written?

    Regards,

    Chuck Wilson
    ARPTalk

  16. Dear Readers of ARPTalk,

    See below. A friend sent this too me. He writes that it’s an email he intercepted. This email was being sent out by the AFE and AFIE leaders to help the alums with their comments on FB. It’s a list of definitions.

    Enjoy! There are things that are true, and there are things that should be true!

    Regards,

    Chuck Wilson
    ARPTalk

    Alumni – People who agree with us and hate the ARP church
    Example: “Matt Diaz is an alumni and Daniel Stephens is not.”

    Anachronism – historical accuracy especially in regard to historical context
    Example: “The founders of Erskine were interacting with the issues and events of early-mid 19th century South Carolina” is an anachronism.”

    Argument – A series of strong emotive statements combined with ad hominem statements
    Example: “I hate the conservatives. The conservatives punt puppies off bridges. Therefore they should be stripped of all influence over Erskine.”

    Christian – who knows! but it doesn’t involve anything in the Bible

    Critical Thinking – the capacity to unquestionably accept what I say and to unquestionably and ruthlessly reject what I do not like
    Example: “He was critically thinking when he instantly accepted my assertions that the Bible is unreliable, that science, as I define it, is the only legitimate method of inquiry, and that all conservatives are inane morons. He was not critically thinking when he accepted what the conservative believed or when he asked me to provide evidence for my assertions.”

    Extreme – scriptural
    Example: “The idea that Christ is Lord over all of creation is extreme.”

    Fundamentalist – Stupid @#&$% whose theological opinions are considerably to the right of me and our enlightened friends

    Grey area – a clear teaching of scripture that is unacceptable
    Example: “Believers bringing civil lawsuits against each other is a grey area.”

    Lawyer – the proper authority on all theological and ecclesiological matters
    Example: “Bill Patrick is the person to ask concerning what the Bible says about lawsuits; Paul Patrick is not.”

    SAFE – “Students and Alumni to be Flogged and Executed”

    Think – emote
    Example: “She was thinking when she mentioned how much she adored her memories of Erskine and how distressed she is at Erskine’s condition today.”

  17. Tim Phillips says:

    Chuck, I am shocked that you allowed the first example in the above post to be printed in ARPTalk. “Alumni” is plural and should not be used when referring to a single person. The proper term for a single male graduate of a college is “alumnus.” If neither of these young men are graduates, then neither word should be used.

  18. James Curtis says:

    Rev. Wilson,

    I will gladly exclaim to the world that my words are true.

    I will say again, Dr. William B. Evans is one of the most fair and tolerant professors I have at Erskine College. Students might think I’m brown nosing, so I’ll crush that thought real quick:

    Dr. Evans is also one of the hardest, infuriating, professors at Erskine College. On more than one occasion I’ve walked away from his class and/or office pissed beyond belief at the man. Why? Several times I’ve been in his office asking him why things work a certain way, or how Sanctification can be “already but not yet”. Every time his answer is the same: “Go and read on it”, or “You can find the answer, I’m not just going to hand it to you.” Dr. Evans wants his students to think, research, and come to conclusions. But, once you reach those conclusions, he’ll be the first one to tell you why he disagrees (and typically, with me anyway, he does). Dr. Evans embodies what Erskine professors should be like. He treats his students with respect, and like they’re adults. He doesn’t call us “fruitcakes” or “morons”, but gently reminds students that we don’t, in fact, know everything like we sometimes (most times) think we do.

    Concerning the alumni on the Alumni for Erskine Facebook site- they’re almost not worth mentioning. David Dangerfield is the biggest joke of a “moderator” I’ve ever encountered.

    The Alumni, namely David, all engage in discussion concerning the freedom of Erskine students, comparing EC to Bob Jones, saying our free speech is threatened, saying they want open-mindedness on campus, they want critical thinking. Yet, as soon as someone disagrees with them or posts contrary to what they think, the idea of free speech is nauseating to them. It’s almost as if David Dangerfield is TRYING to be inconsistent.

    Don’t even get me started on their idea of respect, either. Mr. Dangerfield has publicly called me out for disrespect, but as soon as Matt Diaz or Mark Wilson make an almost identical post to mine you can better believe Dangerfield has nothing to say. If anyone is disrespectful, it’s David Dangerfield.

    But, I’ll cut good ol’ David some slack, because he’s surely NOT alone. Rick Beard, Mark Wilson, and MET- not only do most of their posts make no sense (MET, especially), but they refuse to engage what you have to say. It’s as if they think to themselves, “An Erkskine student? Telling me how Erskine is today? PREPOSTEROUS! I’m an Alumni! I donate money! I know everything about Erskine College!”

    Gary Bordogna deserves an honorable mention, as well. He publicly said to correspond with me in private. I received one message from him, and it said not to reply to him. The hypocrisy of this group of people, Rev. Wilson, is astounding.

    The thing Alumni need most is perspective, Rev. Wilson. Perspective on what is TRULY going on at Erskine College. But they reject first hand accounts. They’re bitter about something, angry about something, and they’re taking it out on Erskine, her students, and, perhaps most distressing, her president.

    Their so-called “love” for Erskine is nothing more than them taking out their frustrations and insecurities on a poor situation. They’re capitalizing on this because they’re drawn to controversy, they want their voice to matter for something. They need publicity, and they’re getting it. They abhor “change”, but they don’t even know what the current Erskine’s differences from their own are (other than we actually have internet now, and Aramark is sucking the life out of the place).

    The alumni are, with all due respect, not only the most inconsistent hypocrites I’ve ever met, but the most ignorant, arrogant, and disrespectful group of people Erskine has ever had the misfortune of educating.

    • James Curtis says:

      It has come to my attention, rather respectfully, that the beliefs I attribute to all of the alumni on the AFE facebook site is inaccurate. For this, and to all the people I have offended, upset, or spoken against in error, I apologize.

      To clarify, and perhaps dig myself out of a hole:

      THE VIEWS ABOVE DO NOT REPRESENT ALL OF THE ALUMNI’S BELIEFS CONCERNING THE MATTERS PRESENTED ON THE “Alumni for Erskine” FACEBOOK SITE.

      Once again, I apologize for any generalization, stereotyping, or offense I have committed. I sincerely hope those whom I have wronged will forgive my error, and approach me in private that way I may make a more personal apology and attempt to fix any further miscommunication or error on my part.

      Thank you,
      James Curtis

    • Matt says:

      Jim,

      You’re not the only person that is asked to tone it down a bit on the AFE group.

      Mr. Dangerfield messaged me, too, when I was discussing with Janis. He told me to tone it down a bit. I did. He is being consistent. He has told me to tone it down, he has told you, as I understand it, to stop insulting people. He has removed posts from these “liberals” that this site talks about, posts about getting Dr. Norman fired, and he has deleted posts by seemingly bogus users who “troll.”

      Your assertion that “as soon as someone disagrees with them or posts contrary to what they think, the idea of free speech is nauseating to them,” is not true. Unlike some who are afraid, or at least unwilling, to share their faith and ideas outside of Christian Apologetics (surely the only place Jesus wanted us to share our faith!), discussion is welcome to those who share. Some just want to interrogate and have no interest in discussion.

      While surely ALL Christians are hypocrites, even ones like St. Peter, and surely while all people are ignorant of something (you, for example, of elementary post 18th century science), and surely all people are arrogant to some degree or another (that is if you believe in the fall and depravity of man), but I would say the AFE group is less hypocritical and arrogant than this group, your group.

      Jim, it is hard to “engage what you have to say” when you DON’T say anything other than questions. You don’t say anything, you don’t share your thoughts and beliefs publicly. If you did, we could discuss.

      And even when one does message you in private, the only place you are willing to share your pompous faith, you are extremely insulting. You don’t mind questioning others, but when others question you, you still don’t discuss. And your own argument, your only argument, is “LOL.” Dr. Evans has taught you well, you can spell “LOL.” You can’t explain your beliefs, or possibly you are afraid, but all you can do is direct the questioner to Dr. Evans. Is that how you get by in Dr. Evans’ classes? On his tests, do you say “I don’t know LOL. And say Dr. Evans does LOL.” and receive a 100?

      Why are you so afraid to say the world is billions of years old? And if Dr. Evans really “gently reminds students that we don’t, in fact, know everything like we sometimes (most times) think we do,” has he been failing with you? You seem to not think it’s possible that anything you believe is incorrect.

      • Dear Matt,

        Well, it seems that you and Jim Curtis know eachother. That’s good, but the rest of us don’t know who you are. What I have requested of others, I must also request of you: USE YOUR WHOLE NAME.

        I’m sure you understand why we have this rule. We expect people to own their words. Use your name and we will put the welcome mat out for you.

        Regards,

        Chuck Wilson
        ARPTalk

      • James Curtis says:

        Matt Diaz! Share your last name for us, Matt, so Chuck won’t get upset that someone is posting without fully exclaiming who they are. It saves you a whoopin’ later, I assure you.

        Matt, you didn’t read everything I had to say. You, unlike Daniel Prohaska here, haven’t offered to speak with me in person. You’ve attacked, disrespected, and degraded me at every turn. Why? Because I disagree with you.

        You say I have no grasp on “elementary post-18th century Science”, but then claim I don’t do anything but ask questions! What? Inconsistencies abound in your writing, Mr. Diaz!

        If we make the assertion that I am, indeed, ignorant of “elementary post-18th century science” (which, I’m not. But you wouldn’t know that, according to your own submission), I must make the claim that you are ignorant of elementary post-Apostolic theology! You ridicule the trinity, without fully understanding the doctrines behind it (though, I’m sure you will research now and rebuke me that way, I assure you my friends have given me quite the description of how you work, you sly, sly dog).

        Matt, you have nothing to bring to the table except ignorance and blind faith in science. You are a hypocrite of the highest degree.

        I’m not scared to make any comment on the age of the earth. I HAVE made a comment on it! I said “I don’t know.” I don’t have a stance because it’s irrelevant. The age of the earth is not given to us through scriptural means, and science attempts to “prove” something it cannot with 100% accuracy. It’s meaningless, Matt. But you’re the master of the meaningless.

        Go talk to Dr. Evans in private. I would encourage you to tape record it, if he allows, so I can listen to the “intellectual gutting of [you] like a catfish.”

        Enjoy your day, Matt!
        James Curtis

      • Dear Matt Diaz,

        I did not know that “Matt” was Matt Diaz.

        I will let your comments stand; however, Matt, I must ask you to refrain from commenting on ARPTalk. I do not wish to receive another threatening phone call from your Dad and Mom. I will also ask others to refrain from comments to Matt.

        Matt, I will welcome you back to ARPTalk when you can assure me that you have attended to the above situation. Until then, NO!

        Regards,

        Chuck Wilson
        ARPTalk

  19. Dear Mr. Tim Phillips,

    You got me again! Twice in one day! Ugh!

    I stand corrected!

    Regards,

    Chuck Wilson
    ARPTalk

  20. Dear Mr. James Curtis,

    Well, dog gone!

    Jim, you need to get over your shyness and learn how to be direct in you writing!

    Regards,

    Chuck Wilson
    ARPTalk

  21. James Curtis says:

    Rev. Chuck Wilson,

    It’s something I’ve heard before. I’m working on it.

    Respectfully,
    James Curtis

  22. djfav says:

    Burn the witch! Kill it with fire!

    • Dear Mr. Jon Faviell,

      Welcome to ARPTalk, Jon. Since this is your first visit, would you mind telling us a little about yourself? I don’t know you.

      BTW, your “difav” site is impressing. You do good work. I have limited vision and was unable to tell what it is that you do. Well, what is that you do on your site?

      You rather cryptic comment is confusing. What “witches”?

      Regards,

      Chuck Wilson
      ARPTalk

      • djfav says:

        I’m sorry if my comment was too cryptic. This story has come to my attention so I stopped by to mockingly voice my disapproval. By “witch” I meant the man described here as “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.” The “evangelist of infidelity.” The one who like Socrates stands accused of corrupting the minds of the youth with “his secular brain-dribble.” You know, that guy.

        • Dear Mr. Jon Faviell,

          Once upon a time I read a little Socrates. In fact, a bunch of the old Greeks.

          BTW, what do you know about Erskine or the ARP Church?

          You have stong opinions. Do you have a basis for them?

          Regards,

          Chuck Wilson
          ARPTalk

          • I AM COWARD WHO REFUSE TO USE MY REAL NAME YO. I ENJOY DANCINGS AND CHOPPING FIREWOODS AND TROLLING says:

            Relayed via: TOM.HOBBES@YAHOO.COM

            WHAT HAVE YOU READ BY SOCRATES? I DIDN’T KNOW THAT HE WROTE ANYTHING.

          • Daniel Stephens says:

            I’m partial to your name because my parents almost named me that.

            We have a number of writings thanks to the discovery of the Academy scrolls a few years ago in Grecian Urns. I’m so glad we finally deciphered Keats so we could find them.

          • Mr. “I AM COWARD,”

            Thank you for the correction.

            Thank you for telling us who you are. It is good that you know what you are.

            Chuck Wilson
            ARPTalk

  23. Primewonk says:

    Relayed via: khurlburt1@comcast.net

    I guess I have a hard time understanding why people who purposefully choose to be ignorant about science or claim aspects of it are false, turn around and avail themselves of the benefits of science.

    If you believe evolution is false, then for god’s sake, stop taking antibiotics. Stop getting vaccines. Stop eating grains and fruits and vegetables. Stop eating meat.

    It’s one thing to be ignorant about a subject because you have not had the opportunity to learn about it. But it is a terrible thing to wear your ignorance as a badge of honor.

    • Dear Primewonk,

      The cardinal rule of ARPTalk is that we introduce ourselves. We don’t hide behind a pseudonym. That’s a cowardly thing to do. So, if you want to discuss with me or someone else on ARPTalk, you need to introduce yourself and tell us a little about who you are. I will allow you this one act of foolishness; however, unless you introduce yourself, you will not be allowed to post on ARPTalk again.

      BTW, I didn’t know that we were discussing matters of science or evolution. Where has this been done?

      FYI, I have four earned degrees. I have attended two colleges, three graduate schools, and five seminaries. I’m willing to bet that I was reading science before you were born. I’m old.

      Looking forward to meeting you,

      Chuck Wilson
      ARPTalk

    • James Curtis says:

      Are you really trying to compare the belief in evolution to anti-biotics, vaccines, and (most absurdly) eating foods?

      Not only is the consumption of food something humanity has done before their examining of the natural world (you have to believe that, if you believe in evolution!), but the medical breakthroughs in that world are not directly tied to evolution. Simply because I dislike the Koran doesn’t mean I’m going to discredit the Bible because they fall under “religion”.

      Simply because I dislike David Hume’s philosophy does not mean I dislike Alvin Plantinga, Parminides, Plato, or Augustine even though they all fall under philosophy.

  24. Jimmy Marcengill says:

    Mr. Wilson, I don’t know you and I really don’t care to know you. It seems to me that you are the coward hiding behind the pages of your “publication” rather than publically face these implied “secular” Erskine alumni to which you refer. I graduated from Erskine in 1987 and met my wife while at Erskine. She was a life long ARP and I joined the ARP Church and served faithfully in it for 18 years. During this time, I was both on the Deacon and Elder Board and held many other positions in the church. Both of my children were baptized in the ARP Church. I am proud to say we are no longer ARPs as are many of the “former” ARPs that were there with us as well. I would like to have about two hours with you face to face to tell you about my ARP experience with people just like you. ALL of you need to take the blinders off and see that you are killing the denomination and Erskine College as interest in both is declining. Aside from the recent Crenshaw event, my concern is that both the ARP denomination and Erskine College are in the midst of a slow death. I’ll ask you the same question that I posed to my own Session as similar events were unfolding in my local church. “Are these really the fruits of the spirit” ? You are attacking a lot of good people. What is it with judgemental people like you ? I have read nothing in the Bible that indicates ARPs will sit by Christ while everyone else will be cast aside. Get a grip and find something meaningful to do with your life.

    • Kyle E. Sims says:

      Mr. Marcengill,

      I would encourage you to take Mr. Wilson up on his offer to meet with you. Mr. Wilson can be very direct and I do not always agree with the methods or manner that he expresses his opinion, that is to say I would do it differently. Yet, I have been around Mr. Wilson enough to know that he will listen to your concerns and he will address them directly. I think it would be a good thing for more one on one conversations about Erskine and the ARP, and less computer banter. I too am sorry about your experience, I have many good friends and family in your former church and I know that was a difficult time for all of you.

  25. Dear Mr. Jimmy Marcengill,

    Thank you for your post.

    1. If you don’t want to know me, okay.

    2. If you want two hours of my time, okay. I live at 204 Stonebrook Drive, Seneca, SC, and my phone is 864-882-6337. Call me. I’m available most days. The door is open, the light is on, and the coffee is hot. I’m a gracious host.

    3. I too have an Erskine degree behind my name.

    4. I was a member of the Erskine Board. I know the people.

    5. When you graduatred from Erskine College in 1987 I had been serving the ARP Church for 15 years as a church planter and pastor.

    6. I’m sorry about your painful experience in your former church.

    7. If you don’t want to be an ARP, that your decision.

    8. Pray consider that you too may be a bit judgmental.

    9. FWIW, I respect you. You don’t hide behind a false identify.

    Regards,

    Chuck Wilson
    ARPTalk

  26. Matt Lewellyn says:

    Did “the editor” have the audacity to compare a well educated and highly esteemed intellect to Judas? I think, sir that one should reflect upon the many statements of rebuking that Jesus directs towards the pharisees, rather than towards Judas.
    While I was never a student of Dr. Crenshaw’s, I am constantly appalled by the attacks that he and many students of Erskine experienced during their time at the institution. Instead of accepting those who had different opinions, ideas, and lifestyles, they were rejected and ridiculed. It was not an “oasis” within a “secular” world, but rather for many, it was confining and stifling. Many were forced to hide who they truly were and I believe that this online publication reinforces the feelings of shame that so many experienced.
    I am in graduate school now at a “secular” institution and I realize that in many ways I was never exposed the real world– I was told what was “right” by others instead of being led by the Holy Spirit. You, Mr. Wilson (or should I call you ‘editor’), are only reinforcing this pharisaical philosophy that is so prevalent within the walls of Erskine.

    • Dear Mr. Matt Lewellyn,

      Well, ain’t you a daisy!

      Thank you for your comments. I also thank you for introducing yourself to me. I have the following observation regarding your comments.

      1. Crenshaw ain’t that highly educated or esteem. He’s a hack.

      2. You misread my comments about Crenshaw and Judas. I said that Crenshaw, like Judas, took a bag of money and ran. In actuality, it seems that he hasn’t taken a bag of money – at least not yet.

      3. If your experience at Erskine was so “confining and stifling,” why did you stay? Couldn’t you get into another college? Did you stay because of the scholarship money? I know the amount of the discount you received! If you want to talk about hypocrites, look in a mirror!

      4. What is this about different “lifestyles” and “shame”? How about an explanation?

      5. It is no secret that I have differences with some members of the Erskine faculty; however, this I will grant all of them: they prepare their students. If you are now having difficulty with grad school, it’s not because you were not prepared; stop whining – you should have worked harder. Work harder now! Also, grow up!

      Regards,

      Chuck Wilson
      ARPTalk

      • Brent Wells says:

        all you do Mr Chuck Wilson is degrade people!! And you call yourself a once “pastor?” I totally agree with what Matt L has mentioned in his post! The ONLY reason I came to Erskine was to major in chemistry! They have a WONDERFUL chemistry program, other than that I could have cared less! I still feel this way! I WILL NOT leave bc I am a Senior Chem major, yes its a GREAT major, but I would NEVER come back to Erskine as a freshman! The people here are so FAKE and never know how to handel themselves! You obviously have nothing else better to do than sit around and think about this situation day after day after day! maybe there is a reason you have disagreements with faculty at Erskine! Erskine does prepare students for graduate programs, I will attend one and will be successful! ONLY from the help of the chemistry faculty! the bible department is rediculous and its taught as a history! there is NO spiritual application after taking the classes! As I mentioned below, Erskine is capable of “fixing” itself if left alone!

        • Dear Mr Brent Wells,

          Thank you for you comments. Since you did not introduce yourself to me, I’m assuming that you’re an Erskine student. The context of you comments seems to indicate that. OK, welcome to ARPTalk.

          May I make the following observations?

          1. If you want to speak of degrading and attacking, see your comments.

          2. I would say that the major reason you went to Erskine is because of the money. I am a former BOT member. I have served on the Finance Committee. I know the discount rate and the scholarship setup. You did well! Congratulations!

          3. I’m delighted that you have benefited from your major.

          4. You write: “The people here are so FAKE and never know how to handel [sic] themselves!” What do you call that? You seem to have a double-standard, don’t you?

          5. I DID NOT say that Erskine did not prepare students for grad school. I SAID THAT ERSKINE DID PREPARE PEOPLE FOR GRAD SCHOOL!!! Re-read!

          6. I’m grieved that the Bible courses were a disappointment for you. Well, you did learn some history, didn’t you? I have two degrees in history.

          7. If you don’t care, why do you write? If you don’t care, it’s just a narcissistic whine!

          8. You speak of Erskine fixing herself, but why hasn’t Erskine fixed herself in the last 40 years? Twenty years before you were born, we were dealing with these issues.

          9. Finally, we are off subject. This is not about you or me. The topic is that Crenshaw was fired. None of what you write touches on why he was fired. Why have you not addressed Crenshaw’s public insubordination? Why have you not addressed his abusive and very public attacks on Dr. Norman? Why have you not addressed his disloyalty to Erskine? Why have you not addressed his frequent abuse of students? Why have you not addressed his long bashing of the Erskine Mission?

          Regards,

          Chuck Wilson
          ARPTalk

          • Tim Phillips says:

            Chuck, I hear that being able to stay on topic in a discussion without introducing red herrings is actually a hallmark of critical thinking.

          • Brent Wells says:

            Wilson!
            Yes, I am an Erskine student! To answer a few of your questions, I would like to start with comment number 2! I would have you know that I DID NOT come to Erskine for the money! I had a full ride to Furman! I chose Erskine because it is closer to my house! At that point in my life I needed to be closer to home. Secondly I think that I need to report you to the school for commenting about scholarships to a public forum! It is NONE of your business what so called “discounts” students get here and further more it is not your information to to provide to the public! I am SURE that I can have the school look into your so called “BOT” and finance committee positions. Quesiton number 4 dealt with people being “fake” at Erskine. People are really FAKE here! They pretend that they are such great christians and then bash people who do not “live up” to what they believe. Yes, literally bash people! They get so frustrated when people do not want to do what they have or had planed as an event. They also love to cause arguments between people about religous issues. Your question number 6 dealt with me learning history! Thanks to Erskine’s liberal arts education we are forced to take 2 histories along with 2 bible classes from that dreaded department! Furthermore have you been to Erskine for the right reasons? To actually look at how your ARP behaves here? I think that the church should look into how the ARP is serving Erskine, not how Erskine should serve the ARP!

            • Reiggin says:

              What’s that take on Proverbs 17:28? Oh yeah… “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.” You might have heard that in one of those history classes you were forced to take. Those “discounts” are matters of public record, young Mr. Wells. You can probably even find them published in US News and World Report; that is, if they even still list Erskine.

              • Dear Mr. Brent Wells,

                May I make a coupe of suggests that may be helpful for you in the future?

                1. I didn’t say or give the impression that you are not a student a Erskine; therefore, you don’t need to emphasize the fact that you are. I would suggest some remedial work in critical thinking. Emoting and blithering like a ninny are not signs of maturity.

                2. In discussions, try to say on task. This thread is about Bill Crenshaw. It’s not “The Days of My Terrible Life at Erskine.” Therefore, do have any thing to say about my article regarding Crenshaw?

                3. Before you attempt to do graduate work, I would also suggest some remedial work in English 101. Grammar and spelling are important in grad school. They are not your strong points.

                Having make those suggestions, let me make the following observations about your comments.

                1. Of course, it was about the money that you attended Erskine! What other reason? You have made it very clear that you don’t give a fig about the Christian faith of Erskine. Don’t you realize that no one is going to buy the “distance” argument? You’re pleading. Bad critical thinking!

                2. Well, you want to report me? Report me for what? Being able to read? BTW, BOT stand for “Board of Trustees.” I served on that Board from 1998 to 2004.

                3. If you are so unhappy at Erskine, why didn’t you leave and go to another school? A man of integrity would have! The money and time be damned! BTW, I once had to make a decision like that. Have you no backbone?

                4. Sweetie pie, you certainly have a gigantic sense of entitlement, don’t you? That is not very comely for someone who is being given as much as you are being handed at Erskine! Sad to say, some of that money may have come from pocketbook! Boy, have you ever had a job, paid taxes, FDIC, worked your way through college, raised a family, provided your own food, or given one dollar to Erskine? Child, you whine! Stop feeling sorry for yourself! Go home and let you Mama wipe your nose!

                5. BTW, the only thing that exceeds your ignorance is your arrogance! Those required “dreadful” classes in history and Bible may help both. I’m optimistic! Good luck and God bless to the profs who will have you in their classes!

                Regards,

                Chuck Wilson
                ARPTalk

                • James Curtis says:

                  Rev. Wilson,

                  I daresay, you are too hard on Brent. As James Evans has commented, spelling and punctuation, while excellent points of showing that you are willing to engage people in the English language, is not the language of the internet. Though I disagree with it.

                  Brent, you raise some great points, though off topic to the thread. Erskine is full of fake people, but so is Furman. So is UGA, Auburn, Clemson, USC, and so-on.

                  And that’s the crux of it, Brent. That proves, rather- you prove our point: Erskine isn’t what the alumni, nor Crenshaw claim. We are experiencing the world (albeit, not exactly to the same degree). We’re not fully integrated into society, to the world because we’re in College, but we are given a glimpse at what the fallen world looks like.

                  Brent, I am in full agreement with you about other students here at EC. Some need to grow up, others (like myself) need to shut up, but we all need to learn. That’s a part of the process. Something you (and most definitely I) need to do is give people more grace, more forgiveness. We should be loving other people, yes. But we shouldn’t be forsaking the truth for that love.

                  You make comments regarding the Bible Department, however, I disagree with. You didn’t study for BR125 and 126 until the night before the exams. You went in hating on Dr. Makujina, and never changed that because you didn’t like your grades. Granted, that’s frustrating. Trust me, I’ve taken a Dr. Evans class before (and yes, I’ve walked out pissed at the man for the grades on several of my tests), but what you and I must realize, Brent, is that both of those grades were OURS. Dr. Evans doesn’t see my name and say, “Well. I hate this kid, let’s give him a C!” Nor does Dr. Makujina! We have to put effort into those classes, and you and I didn’t put effort into BR125, and if that’s any indicator as to whether or not we did in BR126, well. I think we can say we didn’t.

                  The Bible department isn’t a “dreaded” department, either. They’re strict, they’re rigid to the rules. They aren’t our best friends, they’re our teachers. They want us to learn and thrive in the world, and especially academic spheres. The Bible department is full of three great professors with nothing but the best in mind for us. Get past those numbers on your tests and get to who they are in and out of the classroom.

                  Yes, they (Erskine) “force” us to take classes here, but they didn’t “force” you to attend, Brent. Remember that. You proudly proclaim you chose to come here, but turn around and toss the F-word (Force) around.

                  To sum it all up to both Chuck and Brent-

                  Our generation (Brent’s and mine) need to accept responsibility for our actions. Unfortunately, the generation before us hasn’t been giving us the best example. But that’s not a reason to start attacking people like I have. That doesn’t give us the right to degrade people, or look down on them (like I have!). We need to tell the truth, but with gentleness. And the truth is, Brent, neither one of us accepts responsibility for our actions. Let’s change that, shall we?

                  Respectfully,
                  James Curtis

    • Daniel F. Wells says:

      I appreciate Matt’s comments. Matt is a solid Christian man. I agree that no one should boast at the firing of a professor since there are concerns for the individual’s family and what not. Even if an employee deserved to be fired and it is just to do so, there should be compassion, even if the said person was on the cusp of retirement.

      I find Matt’s comments about some students feeling “confined” and stifled to be confusing. Matt, I assume you are talking about students feeling stifled by a Christian influence on campus? Or is it something else?

      If a student comes to Erskine and isn’t Christian or isn’t even religious, they will feel uncomfortable when they hear the Bible read, or take a Bible class, or attend a chapel/worship service. This has less to do with the institution and more to do with 1 Cor 2:14-16. Certainly, it is possible for a church or educational institution to not have a warm, welcoming atmosphere, but no apologies should be made if a student is uncomfortable when surrounded by spiritual fervor or passion.

      I for one love the admissions policy at Erskine. I think it is good that there is no faith statement to be signed by students. But, as a professor at Erskine used to say, “In ancient Israel, the foreigners were more than welcome to come to the table and feast with the Israelites, but the menu was always decided by the Israelites.”

  27. Bobby Davis says:

    A little bit about myself:
    I am a sophomore Bible & religion major at Erskine College. I was raised a Methodist,so was not raised reformed, or ARP.. It was in middle school that I become Reformed by reading the puritans, and I now go to a PCA church. I plan on going to Westminster theological Seminary or Covenant Seminary for Christian Counseling when done at Erskine.

    To my post:
    The secular alums as the belittle the idea of orthodoxy and become judgmental and like to create a straw man to argue against instead of truly opposing arguments. Dr Crenshaw, as I have been told, since I never has a class with him; has done the same. It seems that all Liberal theologians do the this. They make fun of our position instead of trying to understand. This should never have taken place at a supposed Christian college in the first place. It one thing to challenge what I believe, and to help me find why I believe it. Dr Evans is having the students in his Christian Theology do a research paper on a theological issue; I chose infant baptism because I do not know where I stand on the who we should baptize. This paper will help me understand why I agree with whatever position I find to agree with, and challenge my current belief;but it will do so without risk of belittling my faith, or mocking my faith.
    That is all Dr. Crenshaw does is belittle and attack Biblical Christianity.It is better for professors like Crenshaw to be elsewhere where they can no longer endanger the faith of students, and cause the college harm. Yes, harm maybe not psychical, but spiritual harm. That is even worse then any psychical harm,and should not have allowed to go at a “Christian college as long as it has. As the AAUP likes to say Dr. Crenshaw has not cause any harm ,when in fact he is causing a harm to God’s elect, a harm worse then any pain.
    I applaud Dr. Norman, and will stand by him as he continues to try to make Erskine an authentic christian community. The one I was told by admissions Erskine was two years ago.I hope Dr. Norman can save Erskine, and make it like other Christian colleges,maybe more like Covenant College, not Bob Jones. The firing of Dr. Crenshaw was a step in the right direction, and I hope Dr Norman continues to make these hard, but needed decisions .
    I end my post on this John Bunyan Quote:
    Zeal without knowledge is like a mettled horse without eyes, or like a sword in a madman’s hand; and there is no knowledge where there is not the word: for if they reject the word of the Lord, and act not by that, ‘what wisdom is in them?’ saith the prophet (Jer 8:9; Isa 8:20). I think this can be applied to all wisdom,not just wisdom of God.

    In Christ,
    Bobby Davis

    • Brent Wells says:

      WOW! Bobby,
      There is nothing wrong with Dr. Crenshaw’s teaching! He actually forces christian students to question why they believe what they do! If we are never questioned can we really say we understand why we believe what we do? The ARP need to calm down and step back and look at what he has done FOR the students at Erskine College! They should appreciate him for making future christians question and understand why they believe what they do! If it keeps going I am sure Erskine’s accredidation will come back up again! And can i just add that I have paid too much to attend Erskine for my degree not to be worth anything in a few years! And there are MANY MANY students who feel the same way! Erskine has been around for MANY years and I think that it will eventually fix itself with NO help from the ARP. The ARP sends people to campus, but they only talk with certain groups of students! If you are not an ARP, in the “bible beating clique”, or just bow down to the chaplains feet, then spiritually you are just out of luck! This whole thing would not have even been started if it weren’t for the Safe Groups! Like the saying goes a few rotten apples will RUIN the bunch!! that statement is holding true at this very minute! I think that ARP should just let Erskine continue to be what is has been in the past. Erskine always puts out the best of students! Erskine prepares students not only in thier major but in other areas of life…therefore its a LIBERAL ARTS COLLEGE and fulfilling its intended purpose! we do not have to become a Bob Jones for Erskine to fulfill its purpose!

      • Reiggin says:

        Mr. Wells,

        I’m afraid that while Dr. Crenshaw may have sufficiently proven himself to you as a champion of critical thinking, he did nothing to help you with your English composition skills.

      • Bobby Davis says:

        Brent,
        First, of all I said I did not want Erskine to be like Bob Jones,but more like Covenant College,which is the college of the PCA. It is the school I almost went to,but felt Erskine had a better community. Covenant makes all their professors adhere to the Westminster larger catechism then remember the shorter catechism. Erskine does not even want to do that as of yet, they just want all professors to adhere to inerancy. Covenant is still accredited by SACS when they made all professors adhere to the Westminster confession of faith some quit,some were fired. They were able to maintain their accreditation and sacs considers the PCA a due influence on the school, the same is probably know true for the ARP with Erskine.Our accreditation will not been in danger then. Therefore, what the ARP is trying to do is what other christian colleges have done before. Covenant is only a few places behind Erskine in the rankings. Covenant still teaches Evolution to its students, and other modern science beliefs. They do so with keeping faithful to the Bible and their denominations standards, which I feel Erskine has not done. I think from your post you would disagree

        Also I never said there was nothing wrong with my faith being challenged just mocked and belittled, which I have heard Dr. Crenshaw did.I never took a class with him, maybe I should have. The people who told me these things had taken a class with him,so I feel I can trust them. My faith has been challenged and questioned by my older brother who I admire a lot, but he has never mocked it or belittled it. I have others do the same, and help me understand why I believe what I believe, but none have yet to do so in mocking me.
        Also an English major told me that Dr. Crenshaw did not teach English,instead would debate the Bible,evolution, climate change and other hot topics in his English class. I see that as something wrong with his teaching, since he was hired to teach English, not current events.

        Also You may put me in that “bible beating clique”, but I stand on the Bible because I know Jesus saw it as the word of God, and I have seen lives genuinely changed by the Bible. My own is If that is what it takes to be in your ” Bible beating clique” then I am glad to be there because I have good reason to shove it down peoples throat. It has changed my life,and kept me going in times of troubles through the promises of God,and the grace of the gospel found so within. so I will certainly tell others about what it says,and hope for them to believe it too and what it says about the grace of God. I admit I am the chief of sinners and need more of God’s grace so we all do.

        Brent, if I offended you in this replay it was not my intent I was just trying to convey my point of view as humbly as I can and it is not of my own doing that I can humbly replay but that of the spirit of God.I can be very arrogant at times. Its something I continue to work ,and ask for God’s help with. I respect your opinion and I hope you will do the same, but I still disagree with you.

        In Christ,
        Bobby

  28. Dear Mr. Bobby Davis,

    Thanks for your comments. It’s good to hear from someone who reads John Bunyan.

    Regards,

    Chuck Wilson
    ARPTalk

  29. Ian Feigel says:

    I am an Erskine Alumni and had three classes with Dr. Crenshaw. I will NEVER donate a penny of my money to this now. Erskine, I hope your happy.

  30. Mary McCall Stone says:

    May I be the one who disagrees totally with you article. NO he was not one of my professors at Erskine. However I did receive an excellent education in both religion and science. Is that the case today?
    Mary Stone

    • James Curtis says:

      Mrs. Stone,

      Please read the following with a sincere tone of voice in mind, not sarcastic.

      You’re more than welcome to sit in on one of my Bible classes with me. I have Drs. Evans and Makujina this semester (Christian Theology, and Psalms and Wisdom Literature, respectively). I’m sure they wouldn’t mind.

      I also, being a Philosophy major, have Dr. Reiter if you’d like to sit in on my History of Western Philosophy I course.

      Respectfully,
      James Curtis

  31. Dear Ms. Mary McCall Stone,

    Thank you for your comments.

    FYI, there are many who disagree with me.

    Regards,

    Chuck Wilson
    ARPTalk

  32. Mary Haynes says:

    Thankfully Erskine has done something about this professor! Many people may argue that he helped students think critically. That may be the case with some students but, what about the students he verbally abused for not thinking like him? Dr. Crenshaw had a habit of singling out students who did not share his beliefs and harassed their intelligence over email and in class (in front of the class). There are a few students who share my same experience! So, I look at Dr. Crenshaw’s suspension as Erskine preserving free thought rather than stiffling it. Erskine has gotten rid of a bully!

    • Dear Ms. Mary Haynes,

      Thank you for your post and willingness to speak out. I want you to know that there are many alums like you. I have received much encouragement from alums who have had the same experience that you had with Dr. Crenshaw. Usually, they write something like this: “I’m in support of you. Keep it up. You are our voice. However, I’m afraid to say or write anything in public. I don’t want to deal with all the “hate” e-mails, letters, and phone calls.”

      Mary, you are a brave lady!! This past Saturday was an interesting day for me. In phone calls, I was threatened to be sued, called an “a**hole” and a “sick s**-o*-b***” by irate alums. Well, just another day! I’m so sorry for all the garbage that is going to come your way for telling the truth. Just another day in the FAR OUT world of the crazy BOIs!

      Bless you, NOBLE lady! Perhaps your courage and strength will give boldness to others.

      There is one other thing I need to say to you: As an ARP minister, I apologize that the ARP Church allowed this to happen to you. Please, FORGIVE US!!! Please forgive me for it was on my watch!

      Regards,

      Chuck Wilson
      ARPTalk

  33. Anne Smith says:

    When I came to Erskine in 1975, Dr.Crenshaw was a new
    professor, barely older than the senior students. He
    was an enthusiastic teacher so excited about opening new
    worlds for the students in his classes.

    Twice, I almost transferred to another college. Twice, the
    hunger for knowledge Dr. Crenshaw inspired kept me there.

    I have heard so much about what Dr. Crenshaw has done to
    disappoint his students and the administration, but I have
    yet to hear anyone ask, “How has Erskine College disappointed Dr. Crenshaw?”

    This man has given his entire career to the students at Erskine and to the residents of Due West. Living in a modest home a stone’s throw from the well cared for President’s house, he and his family were always available to any student who needed to talk. He and his wife served on the rescue squad and saved my life by getting me to the emergency room when I was deathly ill. In fact, my doctor said if it had not been for the timely fashion, I would have died. Then, he went in to class and the classed he loved.

    Consider that this man, vibrant and excited about teaching, changed. Could it possibly be that Erskine failed him? Could it be possible that actions such as this tainted his
    trust in what Erskine considered Christian behavior? What I
    have seen and heard is glee in destroying the career of a man who perhaps sadly has let Erskine politics disgust him too much?

    Is this the way Christians behave? Gloating and making remarks about grabbing cash? If he had been a man for money, I guarantee he would have packed his bags after his first year and headed for greener pastures. He could have easily doubled or tripled his salary or better yet, become an administrator with a fat salary.

    SHAME ON YOU ALL. YOU MAKE ME ASHAMED TO ADMIT I GRADUATED FROM ERSKINE. This form of Christianity smells vaguely of self righteous sinners.

    Anne Smith

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