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ARPTalk 143 – Four Proposals


This issue of ARPTalk examines why the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church has not and is not growing, why we lack a strong sense of brand loyalty, and suggests four proposals for advancing our brand.

ARPTalk 142 – The Lord Showed Up and Showed Out!


This year’s meeting of General Synod was simply REMARKABLE. For the first time in my life, I left Bonclarken with tears of joy in my eyes, with a sense of awe, and with a merry heart of thanksgiving. Neek Smif in a Facebook post gives the best and most appropriate summary of this year’s meeting of Synod: “The Lord showed up and showed out!”

ARPTalk 141 – Swamp Draining Underway!


The May meeting of the Erskine board was eventful, exciting, and promising. As some described it: “It was the best board meeting I have attended — ever!”; “It is the first time I didn’t drive away from Due West frustrated and fearful for Erskine’s future;” and “I felt so good I stayed for lunch on Friday and didn’t get sick.” Well, it is a new day in Due West, and it is a good day for singing a song.

ARPTalk 140 – Drain the Swamp!


There are a number of reasons I have been slow with my words — and especially with regard to Erskine: (1) a time of silence was needed; (2) I wanted to give Acting President Rob Gustafson time to implement a vision — an opportunity to succeed; and, (3) as I was reading Isaiah, I came upon verse 42.3 (which is also found in Matthew 12.29) which speaks of not breaking a bruised reed or quenching a smoking flax.

ARPTalk 139 – His Name Shall Be Called Jesus


The naming of Jesus was not left to the initiative or whimsy of Mary and Joseph. According to Matthew 1:21 and Luke 1:31, an angel of the Lord specifically instructed Mary and Joseph to name the babe of Bethlehem “Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21, ESV)

ARPTalk 138 – Hello, Goodbye, Wait, and Hello


The meeting on October 6 was pro forma and segued into the October 21 meeting for the nomination and election an Interim President. Nevertheless, a couple of big things came out of the October 6 meeting.

ARPTalk 137 – Don’t Waste a Good Crisis! (Part Two)


This article continues the story on the resignations of President Paul Kooistra and Chairman Ron Vigus and Erskine’s future. After the August board meeting the Erskine community in Due West has been thrown into the midst of a wonderful and God-given crisis.

ARPTalk 136 – Don’t Waste a Good Crisis!


The Erskine board met on Thursday, August 25th in Due West. The news, however, is not the events of the board meeting; the news is the resignations of the chairman, Ron Vigus, and the president, Paul Kooistra, the following Monday. Erskine is now in the midst of a wonderful crisis — yes, a God-given crisis. Let me tell you why.

ARPTalk (eMail 30) – Both Kooistra and Vigus Resign!


The following email went out today from Erskine….

ARPTalk 135 – An Open Letter to the Erskine Board


This is an open letter by Dr. R J Gore to the members of the Erskine board and seminary faculty. This letter is important to the life of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. I encourage the reader to read it carefully and prayerfully. The existence of our seminary is at stake.

ARPTalk 134 – The Fix Is In!


This issue of ARPTalk asks this question: In the light of what happened in the May meeting of the board, in the light of what happened at the meeting of General Synod, and in the light of what has happened since July 1 on the Erskine board, IS THERE A FIX IN to protect Kooistra?

ARPTalk 133 – Kooistra Takes Cheap Shot at Former Acting Dean of ETS


News update coming out of Due West: Erskine President Paul Kooistra has taken a cheap shot at RJ Gore. In a performance evaluation, Kooistra states Gore works hard and does a good job. Then he lambasts Gore because Kooistra perceives Gore does not like him. No! This is not a joke!

ARPTalk 132 – Trustees Petition for a “Called” Meeting of the Erskine Board


After the meeting of General Synod, on June 15 and in response to the actions of General Synod, three members of the Erskine board (two laymen and a minister) sent e-mails to Chairman Ron Vigus asking for a “called” meeting of the board. The particulars for the call are three: …

ARPTalk 131 – General Synod Was a Surprise!


I have been attending General Synods since 1973. This meeting of Synod was an outstanding experience. I attribute this to Moderator William’s work in the background. Longstanding wounds are healing. Brothers who were pulling in different directions are pulling together. I was surprised! I went home encouraged!

ARPTalk 130 – It’s a Butt Fumble!!


Football at Erskine is dead — again!! It was a “butt fumble” by President Paul Kooistra and Vice President for Athletic Mark Peeler. Kooistra and his athletic braintrust pulled out all the stops in their full-court press for football. He failed.

ARPTalk 129 – Who Actually Runs Erskine?


Presently, the situation at Erskine is a Turkish bazaar of the kooky. In the words of Patrick McManus, it is “a fine and pleasant misery.” Erskine CFO Greg Haselden is a Roman Catholic who says he is an “evangelical. Roman Catholicism and Protestant evangelicalism are about as compatible as water and fire.

ARPTalk 128 – The King Is Desperate!


Counting on football for Erskine is an act of desperation. Without blushing, King Kooistra admits he has no other plan. It is like he is in a poker game and desperately trying to save the family farm by going for broke. He is drawing to an inside straight flush. Good luck! The odds for success are “about 1.4 thousandth of a per cent”

ARPTalk 127 – Bring in the Clowns


Clowns are associated with circuses, birthday parties, and fun. However, a clown wears a mask, and not only does the mask hide the clown’s identity, the mask also hides the clown’s intentions. Recent events in Due West involving Erskine Seminary are similar to a circus parade of clowns.

ARPTalk 126 – The Three Amigos of Due West (Part Two: Heaven Help Us! They Still Ride!!)


A petition from the faculty of Erskine Theological Seminary was sent to members of the Erskine board and the General Synod of the ARP Church asking for the separation of the seminary from the college as soon as possible. What would trigger such an action from the seminary faculty? This article continues the unfolding story.

ARPTalk 125 – The Three Amigos of Due West (Part One)


Erskine College & Seminary was founded to educate college and seminary students to the glory of God. It appears the Three Amigos of Due West are attempting to turn Erskine College from a “gospel enterprise” to a sports-entertainment enterprise. Yes, Erskine may grow to 700 students, but at what cost?