“Reconciliation”

attachment-1It is a grim roll call. Peter Enns at Westminster Seminary. Anthony Le Donne at Lincoln Christian University. J.R. Daniel Kirk at Fuller Seminary. Thomas Jay Oord at Northwest Nazarene University. Douglas Green at Westminster. Michael Pahl at Cedarville University. Chris Rollston at Emmanuel Christian Seminary. Michael Licona at Southern Evangelical Seminary. Bruce Waltke at Reformed Theological Seminary. Each of these people were professors at the above-mentioned institutions. Some had tenure. All were sent packing for various “heresies” against imagined Christian evangelical orthodoxies. In no case was it exactly clear what orthodoxy was at stake or what the professor did to cause offense. I mean, it’s not like any of these men apostatized! In the case of Dr. Enns, he wrote a book on how to interpret the Bible that seemed (to some) to question Biblical inerrancy and a literal approach to the interpretation of the Bible. Dr. Oord’s offense may be connected to his view that G-d’s love is not coercive … or it may also relate to the theory of evolution. Dr. Kirk’s separation from Fuller appears to be connected to his views on same-sex marriage.

These terminations follow a pattern. They are announced as a resolution achieved by “mutual consent” of school and professor. The school says nice things about the terminated professor. The professor says something conciliatory in return. The termination is proclaimed to be in everyone’s best interests. The details of the termination are never discussed—they are confidential. The professor leaves, quietly. A small group writes protests (like I’m doing here). Those that remain as professors at these schools are left to wonder what they need to do, and avoid doing, to keep their teaching positions.

We now have another name to add to the above list: Larycia Hawkins.

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