Sunday, November 23, 2014

Tremper's open letter



However, speaking honestly, you have lost my respect as a board. 

That's such a paternalistic statement. Why does he imagine the WTS board pines for his respect? 

And, based on the many emails and private posts that I have received, I am far, far from alone in that assessment. It is indicative of a problem that many of those who contact me privately ask for anonymity because of a fear of reprisal from the present administration at the Seminary.

I don't even know what that's supposed to mean. Assuming, for the sake of argument, that the WTS administration is vindictive, surely the only people it's in a position to retaliate against are current employees. How "many" could that be? WTS is not a huge seminary, like SWBTS. It has a fairly small faculty to begin with. 

Does Longman imagine that the WTS administration can wreak vengeance on former faculty, board members, or alumni? How, exactly, does that work? Does Lillback have the power to issue a blacklist? The long arm of Lillback? 

This approach is unprecedented in Westminster’s past and thus represents a departure from the tradition of Westminster Seminary. As a result, until the past ten years, Westminster had been a significant influence in the broader evangelical and even the broader Christian world. 

Well, on the one hand, that would go back to the halcyon days when Enns was working there. Is that the kind of influence Longman sorely misses?

On the other hand, Fantuzzo and Green have a very short paper-trail, that I'm aware of, so it's hard to see how much influence that were in a position to exert outside the classroom. 

Today, Westminster is irrelevant to the broader Christian world. The Seminary, under your leadership, has circled the wagons and become in-grown and parochial.

i) What's his standard of comparison? Fuller Seminary? Eastern University? 

ii) If, moreover, WTS has become so marginalized, how is it in a position to retaliate against critics? 

Indeed, it has become increasingly embarrassing for alums and former professors like myself to say we were connected to Westminster.

If he feels that way, perhaps he should ask WTS to rescind his MDiv.

In the first place, I seriously doubt that the Board will discipline the administration. The problem is that the Board has basically been shaped by the administration after there was a mass resignation of Board members who voted against the continuance of the present administration.

i) Again, I don't know what that's supposed to mean. "Mass resignation" makes it sound like the former board resigned en masse. But if a majority of the board members were opposed to the current administration, they had the votes to fire Lillback. 

So I can only assume that a minority of the board resigned after they were outvoted by the majority.

ii) In addition, doesn't this go back to the termination of Peter Enns? Presumably, the disgruntled board members resigned after they lost that battle. If so, what does it say about their judgment or theological bearings when they sided with Enns? 

The board may be ultimately responsible for the Seminary, but it is accountable to its constituency and owes those of us who are a significant part of the Westminster community an answer to these disturbing questions.

Who is the "us"? Longman is not a member of the Westminster community. By resigning, ex-board members severed connections.  

Already I have received messages from people (including PCA ministers and denominational executives) who have said that they will not hire Westminster students.

How ironic. In the context of attacking the WTS regime for its allegedly Machiavellian tactics, the critics are going to settle old scores by exacting revenge on the students. Guilt by association. Attack the administration through the students. Talk about "reprisal"!

Longman and his cohorts are so fanatical that it's blinded them to any semblance of moral consistency. They've become the very thing they feign to hate. 

2 comments:

  1. Vituperative fellow that Longman.

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  2. However, speaking honestly, Longman has lost my respect as a scholar. His approach is unprecedented in Westminster’s past and thus represents a departure from the tradition of Westminster Seminary. As a result, I can only hope that Longman will no longer be a significant influence in the broader evangelical and even the broader Christian world. Liberals in sheep's clothing, like Longman and Enns, have circled the wagons and become in-grown and parochial. Indeed, it has become increasingly embarrassing for Westminster to say Longman and Enns were connected to the Seminary.

    One suspects J. Gresham Machen would never have tolerated the follies promoted by these men.

    May they both repent of their errors with haste and diligence.

    ReplyDelete