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”
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.
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.
The last issue of ARPTalk, “Kooistra’s ‘Hail, Mary,’” must have hit a nerve in Due West. Instead of presenting the case for an Erskine football program and asking the board’s approval (as was anticipated), President Kooistra pulled back. In uncertainty, he said he just wanted to talk about football. Was he indicating that football was not a “Hail, Mary,” but just a forward pass?
The new year has begun well for Erskine College & Seminary. What does 2016 portend for financial disclosure at Erskine? More of the same? A new page? I do not know!
FDR’s once intoned, “Four years ago we were drowning in the waters of a great depression. Today, we are still drowning; but we have learned to breathe under water.” Well, that is the story being told at Erskine — they have learned to breathe under water financially. And as baseball’s philosopher Yogi Berra coined it, “It’s like déjà vu all over again.”
The Erskine board meeting on May 28, 29, and 30 began with drama. It was a time in which little was done and much was accomplished. Chairman David Conner resigned from both chairmanship and the board leaving new Chairman Bill Cain with the task of reconstituting the Presidential Search Committee. At long last, I think this chapter of the battle for Erskine is closed.
Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting different results.” Einstein’s definition is a perfect opening for a report on the February 20 and 21 meeting of the Erskine board.
When we in the ARP Church are confronted with the history of Erskine, what do we say? Have we hastened to obey God? Knowing the “right thing,” have we attempted to do it? The 2013 meeting of General Synod is the time for us to “Carpe Diem” and “hasten” to obey God.
According to reliable sources, the “blame” game has begun – well, unofficially, at least! At the board meeting on August 17th and 18th, in scattered and private conversations, the lament, “ARPTalk is killing us!”, was overheard. To blame the Erskine disaster on Chuck Wilson and ARPTalk is a gratifying but ultimately ridiculous act of blame-shifting.
Ms. Jane Green’s letter of resignation on July 29 from Erskine Theological Seminary was a surprise. Fourteen months ago she was brought on board ETS with a record of success and a sterling reputation for industry and integrity. The reasons she lists for her resignation are plain and damning.
Here on the verge of the meeting of the General Synod of the ARP Church, are we watching as Erskine College and Seminary becomes the handmaiden of the EC Foundation? The Erskine administration and board (EBOT) are declaring the independence of Erskine from the ARP Church, threatening retaliations from SACS, and sending reports to General Synod that are poorly crafted attempts at dissimulation, obfuscation, disinformation, and slight-of-hand.
Last week, an unsigned “attack piece” was released by EBOT Chairman Joe Patrick as an official response from the EBOT to the signers of the Minority Report. It flings double-speak, half-truths, misdirection, avoidance of findings, unctuous pseudo-piety, self-justification, and threats of reprisals like water at the signers. WHY? They were caught by the signers of the Minority Report in their treachery and exposed with their drawers down!
Folks, I am so tired of this. I am tired of Erskine College telling the ARP Church that has birthed them, prayed for them, and given more than $20,000,000 in the last 40 years to stay out of their business. I thought they WERE our business. What we are asked is to drink water from a poisoned well! I will not do it!
According to Julie Andrews in the film Mary Poppins, “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” is a word that one says when one has nothing to say. It is a nonsense word meaning nothing. And if there is a better word to describe some of the goings on in the ARP and Erskine communities nowadays, I do not know it. Indeed, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious maximus!
With all the miseries that have beset the ARP Church regarding Erskine College (EC) and Seminary (ETS) the last five years, an obvious thing has been lost in the miasma of words. That is, all roads lead to Greenville. Well, I suppose all roads lead to GARPC. One gets a feeling there is an embedded institutional incestuousness when begin to look at the players involved.
The Erskine Theological Seminary Self-Study Report was finished and distributed in January. At 465 pages, the document is a massive chronicle of the monumental failure that ETS has become as a result of the feckless leadership these last years. What the Editor of ARPTalk has been reporting for the last four years and the Moderator’s Commission report from the “Snow Synod” now has a stamp of validation.
I think that the tragic character Gollum in J. R. R. Tolkien’s epic trilogy The Lord of the Rings is specifically analogous to the relationship between the ARP Church and Erskine College and Seminary. Like Gollum and the ring, the ARP Church for the past 50 years has been both spiritually seduced and gelded by the power of a deadly ring. Our dream of an evangelical and confessionally Reformed college and seminary that are second to none has gripped us in blind and stubborn devotion to the point that we have thrown ourselves and our resources into a fruitless and, I sincerely believe, sinful endeavor.
The Erskine Board of Trustees (BOT) meeting of February 18-19 has come and gone. Not unexpectedly, news as to what took place is slowing seeping out. The following report reflects information that the Editor of ARPTalk has collected from multiple sources.
Nowadays a great deal is being said about lawsuits in the ARP Church. Shamefully, ARP elders and ETS professors have taken the ARP Church to civil court because the General Synod attempted to reform Erskine College and Seminary so that the educational institutions of the ARP Church were in accord with their mission and in conformity with the Scriptures and our Confession. What does Calvin have to say about Christians and lawsuits? There is a more timely question: In what Calvin writes, is there anything that gives justification to the three plaintiffs who have brought a lawsuit in civil court against the ARP Church?