Dick Lugar, Bryan Chapell, and Jack Collins...

Although our good Gov. Mitch Daniels endorsed him, I'm pleased Senator Richard Lugar lost the primary last night. It was time for new leadership.

Speaking of new leadership, the PCA's Covenant Theological Seminary has moved former president Bryan Chapell over to the position of Chancellor and is searching for a new president. You can count on Bryan's stint as Chancellor being quite short before he moves on to another institution.

Sadly, I fear this leadership change has strengthened the hand of Covenant's faculty...

Where reform of a seminary is needed (and it's very much needed at CTS), an emboldened faculty is almost never good. Nevertheless hope springs eternal and I suggest longtime fellow presbyter and acting president Mark Dalbey take the opportunity he's been presented to fire OT prof Jack Collins.

My former denomination, the Presbyterian Church (USA), has a place just up the road in Chicago called McCormick Theological Seminary where Jack's shilling for evolution would fit perfectly.

Assuming Bryan and Jack are both gone in the coming year, about a third of Covenant's reform will have been accomplished. Pray that the trustees will hire a man with Biblical commitments who is humble and fears God enough to cut off Covenant's promotion of Tim Keller and fire two or three faculty members.

(TB: Disclaimer: the above declarations are my own and are not to be construed as reflecting the views of my brother David, PCA denominational officials, MTW's Paul Kooistra, Covenant Theological Seminary's Board of Trustees, or presbyters of Central Indiana Presbytery. Smile.)

Comments

Enough grey area , tell us how you really feel . Take a stand ! :-)

Much love Brother.

Timbo,

Wisco Man would have to agree with your assessment of Lugar losing; he may be a "nice" man, but he was a girly man, a spineless wonder, a "Can't we all get along.." silver-haired, blue blood, hoity toity-type Republican; would that all such men would soon be removed to the ashbin of history.

Chapell released this letter explaining his move:

Dear Friends,

As our Board of Trustees announced a few days ago, I will be transitioning from my post as President of Covenant Seminary as of June 1, 2012, to the position of Chancellor. I will assume the Chancellor responsibilities following my current sabbatical.

Though this move may come as a surprise to some, such a transition has been part of our discussions for several years as the Board, the President’s Cabinet, and I sought to establish a strategic vision for the future of the Seminary’s leadership. As the Board has worked to discern the next phase in the development of the Seminary’s mission, this seemed an appropriate time for the transition to occur.

My wife, Kathy, and I have considered it a great privilege to serve the Covenant Seminary family, the PCA, and Christ’s body by helping to prepare future church leaders to proclaim the gospel of grace. We now give special thanks to our God for a Board that has provided this opportunity to direct our energies to the areas of service we most treasure.

I am excited by the opportunity to focus my time on serving as an ambassador for the mission and ministry of Covenant Seminary. As Chancellor, I will continue to be available as a consultant for future Seminary leaders, teach homiletics courses, travel and speak on behalf of the Seminary, and assist in building and nurturing relationships with our many alumni, donors, friends, and other faithful supporters.

As I look back on nearly three decades of service with Covenant Seminary, first as a faculty member, then in various administrative roles, and finally as President—not to mention my time as a student here before that—I am struck by how much of my life and ministry, and that of my family as well, has revolved around and been influenced by the godly people and values of this amazing institution.

Kathy and I are profoundly grateful for the many friends in the Seminary community, past and present, who have made it such a joy to live and serve here. We are grateful to have been able to raise our children in a community so steeped in the gospel of grace and so rich with Christ-like love. We are grateful as well for the many ways in which the Lord has blessed the institution during our time here, and how he has grown it so beautifully—through the labors of many faithful and dedicated servants—into a place of increasingly expanding influence for the gospel.

In the book of Ecclesiastes, the wise Preacher reminds us: To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven (Eccl. 3:1 kjv). As one season in the life of Covenant Seminary draws to a close and a new one begins, please pray with me for the Lord’s continued blessing on an institution that has been such a powerfully transforming part of my own life, and of the lives of so many others who have lived, studied, taught, worked, and gone forth from here to minister God’s Word.

Pray for wisdom and discernment for the Seminary’s leaders during this time of transition, especially Dr. Mark Dalbey as he assumes the role of Interim President, and the search committee our Board has established to seek the institution’s next President. May they—and we—keep our eyes and hearts fixed always on the One who leads and guides us, and may his boundless loving-kindness spur us on to run the race before us with perseverance and with hope.

In his service,
Bryan Chapell

* * *

This was simply business as usual--it was always our plan, says Bryan. Really. I promise.

Furthermore, I'm going to work for Covenant for a long, long time as Chancellor. Really. I promise.

If Bryan leaves Covenant in the next year or so and it's apparent the plan for him to leave was in the works from the time of his move over to chancellor, I hope everyone comes back and reads this letter once again carefully evaluating its honesty.

Truthfully,

"Though this move may come as a surprise to some, such a transition has been part of our discussions for several years as the Board, the President’s Cabinet, and I sought to establish a strategic vision for the future of the Seminary’s leadership. As the Board has worked to discern the next phase in the development of the Seminary’s mission, this seemed an appropriate time for the transition to occur."

That sound to me like, "The Board has been thinking about firing me for some years now, and while I was gone on sabbatical they finally decided to do it."

If it was a policy dispute, I wish they'd say what it was about. That can be done politely--- it's ok for people to disagree strongly. Or, it might have been competence or scandal--- I know nothing about the situation. If they don't tell us, though, all we can do is speculate that it's something bad enough they want to keep it secret.

A Dionne beat me to it. That was a pretty brief stint for a position that had been in the works for several years. 

[NOTE FROM TIM BAYLY: Since this comment was personal criticism, I've written the author and told him (or her) he's free to post the comment again if he does so using real and verifiable first and last names. This is our policy: those who post personal criticism of named posters or commenters must name themselves with that criticism. Thank you.]

Your blog seems to discuss more of what you're against than what you are for. Typical, arrogant, fundamentalist Baptists.

Someone's reading comprehension isn't up to the task at hand.

Below are some words I exchanged with Tim in email regarding my misguided post, along with some new ones:

I see the purpose of this blog now, and I have learned through this exchange to think carefully and look thoroughly before I post comments online. It's easy to fall into the trap of using vehement language online when there is no context of a relationship between many of the commenters, and I apologize for responding so defensively.

At first, seeing the title at the top of the blog ("Reflections on My Baptist Upbringing") along with criticisms of Covenant, Bryan Chapell, Jack Collins, and Tim Keller, I reacted suddenly and defensively, partially because a local Baptist church has been so unfairly critical of the seminary and other local reformed churches. I jumped to a wrong conclusion and should have thought more carefully about my words, rather than lashing out and becoming a perpetrator of unfair criticism myself. I'm honestly embarrassed and quite sorry.

I will say that I do think there are some more open-handed issues with regard to Christian theology and its response to secular science in particular, and I think it can be harmful in a community of believers to constantly be calling each other out on hair-splitting issues that have little to do with salvation. I am not at all suggesting we shouldn't have these important discussions; I'm more questioning the degree to which they occur at the expense of other discussions we could and should be having: how to serve the poor, how to reach out to unbelievers, how to reconcile broken relationships, etc. Wow - each one of those could be their own blog perhaps. Christians are well enough known in our culture for "proclaiming the truth;" unfortunately, we're not as known as we should be for taking actions on behalf of the oppressed, the sick, the hungry, the poor, the incarcerated, the lonely, the disabled, the mentally ill, the mistreated, the war-torn, and the weak. Most unbelievers wouldn't be as surprised to find a Christian blog making disparaging comments about "sodomites" as they might be to find Christians talking about their responsibility to create beauty in a broken world.

Having gone to a Christian college, I saw a lot of young men continually debating with one another about just about everything - from predestination to epistemology, and regardless of what they said about their pursuit of the truth, most of their peers perceived (and I think rightly so) they were more interested in winning an argument and being right than they really were about winsomely sharing the truth. I think I brought some of that experience to the table when I responded.

While I was in college, I also attended a reformed presbyterian church for a number of years that became known for condemning American culture and other non-reformed Christians more often than it talked about the transforming love of Christ and our calling to live according to His example in loving response. The PCA church I attend now focuses on the latter, and I find that approach is much more winsome as far as the gospel is concerned. This does not mean our leaders do not speak the truth in love when the time calls for it. 

Sure, maybe Tim Keller has made an error on a number of theological issues like hell, but he has done more to save unbelievers from it than most truth proclaiming pastors I know. As far as Jack Collins is concerned, I think both Genesis and Revelation are vague, poetic, and perhaps metaphorical at points. I think a person can be close-handed on the inerrancy of Scripture while being open to more than one interpretation of a text like Genesis. I don't believe that violates the Westminster Confession of Faith.

Anyway, I apologize again for being so critical in a defensive, misguided outburst. I respect that you have a forum here where people can discuss these issues.

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