Louisiana Presbytery’s Pleas

Posted by Bob Mattes

Updated slightly on 27 Jan.

This post at HaigLaw’s Xanga site has been up for a week, but no one active in these discussions, including myself, seems to have found it until now. A commissioner at the Louisiana Presbytery meeting on 19 January wrote a brief article about the proceedings. HaigLaw’s post is a good read, and his hit count will probably skyrocket now.

I’ll try to put the pleas into perspective. Louisiana Presbytery (LAP) had decided its answer to their indictment and citation by the PCA’s Standing Judicial Commission (SJC). LAP has pled “not guilty” to Charge 1 and “guilty” to Charge 2. I’ll offer a quick analysis of what that means and where it leaves us.

Read the rest of this entry »

Save Our Seminary?

Posted by Lane Keister 

It is difficult for me to write concerning my alma mater at a time like this. In so writing, I do not wish to steal the thunder from Gary Johnson, who will be writing shortly on the particulars of this website. Instead, consider this post as a shot across the bow, as a preparatory post, a prelude. I have many friends among the students who have signed this document, and I count Enns, Kelly, Green, and Taylor my friends. I count them as brothers in Christ certainly.

My question for the folks who have signed this document is this: what do you suppose is the motivation behind those faculty members who have been disturbed by Enns’s book? If all one read was the website referenced above, one would think that anyone concerned about some of the things in Enns’s book was a witch-hunter. The website advocates that the seminary be saved from such faculty. That is not explicit in the text of the document, which does not name names. However, the “villains” have been clearly identified for anyone who has ears to hear.

Let me say right here and now that I will put my entire reputation, integrity, and everything else on the line and vouch for the faculty that those who have concerns about Enns’s book have them because they want a confessional seminary. And, I would add, anyone who wishes to suggest that a confessional seminary cannot be creative needs to go jump in the lake. Would anyone accuse Gaffin and Poythress, for instance, of being uncreative? Look at their writings. And some, I suppose, might accuse them of being non-confessional. I would not, and would contest anyone who would.

I do not wish to sound like I know better. But let me say this: if three entire departments told me that I had said something wrong in my book, I would hope (I have an ego, too, so I don’t know for sure) that I might reconsider what I said in the book. Proverbs 9:8 is very important here: “Do not reprove a scoffer, for he will hate you. Rebuke a wise man, for he will love you.” I do not regard Enns as a scoffer, mind you. I was primarily thinking of the last half of the verse. Enns has a lot of wisdom. I am the better for his wisdom. So, as a wise man, he should be humble. The fear of the Lord and great humility are some of the signal marks of wisdom. I can well imagine that the prospect of rejecting some of one’s published writings would make one think that he has been humiliated, attacked, etc. His own precious infant had been attacked. That’s probably how I would feel. So, I can imagine that the thought of any kind of recantation is hateful to him. So, in asking him to reconsider his book, I know that I am not asking of him something easy. It is terribly difficult to admit error, especially if one has a Ph.D. from Harvard. Nor do I ask him to recant everything in the book. I found many helpful things in the book. The Christological implications of the incarnational analogy in the form that he presents are what trouble me. Let him not think that the faculty hates him. Let him rather think that this discipline is actually part of love. If I were going astray, I would hope that my fellow presbyters would corral me back into the fold. I would love them for it. Otherwise am I an illegitimate child, and no true son of the King.

I will say one more thing. I had lunch with Enns once. It was a very enjoyable experience. We talked about creativity. I told the story about my music composition professor in college who told me that boundaries spur creativity far more than the lack thereof. If I were to sit down and say, “I’m going to write a piece of music,” I would be absolutely stymied. I have no conception of what I could do. But if I say, “I’m going to write a theme and variations for organ pedal solo” (which I did), the piece practically leaped out of me. The question then became: what can I do within those boundaries? The more rigid the boundaries (and feet are a bit rigid!), the more creative I became. The analogy here is this: one does not find truly biblical creativity by escaping the boundaries of confessional orthodoxy. The boundaries establish the prerequisites for creativity. Modern theology needs to recover this insight, or the entire theological enterprise is completely and utterly doomed.