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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Upcoming Student-Led Demonstration at WTS

I recently heard about an event that's been called for next Tuesday, the 25th, on the WTS campus. I can't be there, but I believe that it's something worth supporting. I'll reprint the announcement here, so the organizers can tell you about it in their own well-chosen words. Be sure to read their purpose statement and their guidelines.

The Orthodoxy of Dr. Peter Enns: A Public Student Demonstration Recognizing the 12-8 Majority Faculty Vote in Favor of the Orthodoxy of Dr. Enns’ Teaching and of His Book, Inspiration and Incarnation.

Date: Tuesday, March 25th, 2008
Location: The Campus of Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia
Time: 10am
Invited: All Students, Alumni and Friends of Westminster who agree with the 12-8 faculty vote in favor of Dr. Peter Enns’ orthodoxy and can participate in a show of solidarity for this decision.

The Event: A Public Presence and Proclamation of Dr. Enns’ Recognized Orthodoxy
The Purpose: To inform any students or others not aware of this faculty decision of its existence and attest to its importance by means of a personal, public testimony.

Background, Call and Responsible Parties:
Drew Matter and Allen Drew are fourth year MDiv students at Westminster Theological Seminary. The following call that we are issuing has not been solicited by any member of the faculty, staff, or board of Westminster. It is being pursued after months of deliberation, prayer, and seeking the wisdom of our elders in the faith. Behind us stand an unknown number of students and alumni, and it is with them and for them, and the classes of students who will follow us, that we make this statement.

It is our conviction that on both sides of the current debate at Westminster Theological Seminary stand godly men who, despite their differences, deeply desire to honor both the Lord Jesus and the students for whom they have taken vows to train for service in his church. These men are our beloved professors, and from our experience in their classes we know that they hold their convictions with great depth of study and much prayer.
They are men who do not ultimately desire division at Westminster, but whose convictions at the moment run deeper than their desire for unity. As students, we acknowledge that those tensions run deeper than we understand, but they have had a tangible effect on us as students. By gathering together, we do not desire to further conflict between faculty, nor between them and us as students.
The administration and faculty of Westminster have assured students with great patience and understanding that there is no desire to silence students, nor to keep us uninformed concerning this division. This we must trust. Nonetheless, students are at times inhibited for many reasons from knowing what would actually be helpful for us as developing pastors, counselors, and academics. It is our conviction that the fact that the teaching and writings of Dr. Enns was approved of in December 2007 by a 12-8 majority of our faculty is crucial to our theological development. For by this vote, the faculty, as a whole, have affirmed that the current tensions at our seminary are not simply the result of his teaching.
Our fellow students, we need to know this and we need to make this known, both for ourselves and for all who consider the future of our seminary. We are therefore gathering on Tuesday, March 25th at 10am on Westminster’s campus to hear this motion read and to recognize it. This gathering will be surrounded by scripture and prayer.
We are fully aware of the limited knowledge of students at the seminary, as well as the tendency to ungodly speculation and emotionalism that threatens any onlookers who attempt to make sense of the current divisions. Speculations and personal preferences have only distorted our convictions and forced us to inappropriately dissociate what should be a melding of theological concepts. Practically, such guess work has led only to the working out of wisdom that James 3:15 tells us is “earthly, unspiritual, demonic (ESV).”
Therefore, the following are required of anyone desiring to participate in this demonstration:
1/. There will be no statements made concerning information that has not been made public by the seminary.
2/. There will be no statements made that could be easily construed as slanderous or retributive toward any person.
3/. There will be no actions taken on seminary grounds that could be easily construed as outside of the bounds of a normal, civic presence conducted coram deo.
4/. The statements to be made will concern the 12-8 vote of the faculty (with moderator abstaining) on the “Edgar/Kelly motion” which affirmed that Dr. Enns’ book Inspiration & Incarnation is consistent with the Confessional stance of the seminary, that it is in line with the historical trajectory of the seminary, and that an “incarnational analogy” is one that has been used by a long line of orthodox, Reformed scholars to describe the essence of Scripture.
5/. Anyone desiring specifics concerning the “Edgar/Kelly motion” should not rely on hearsay but request this public document from any member of the Westminster faculty either by email or in person. The faculty have been authorized to provide this document to anyone who requests it, and we encourage you to read it.
If you can subscribe to these stipulations, we eagerly urge you, whether student, alumnus, or friend of Westminster, to join us for this presence. Many of us are aware and ashamed of ungodly caricatures that have defiled Westminster’s name recently. If you cannot refrain from such expression, we ask—and will ask—you not to join us. We will be gathering to speak in the middle of Westminster’s campus, for all to see; may they witness a gathering conducted in a manner worthy of our Lord.

It was Geerhardus Vos’ conviction that "…the ultimate is in a very important sense the normative, that to which every preceding stage will have to conform itself to prove the genuineness of its Christian character” (The Pauline Eschatology, 42). We agree with Vos here to our very core. Accordingly, this demonstration is out of the desire to conform the difficulties of Westminster in this broken, sinful age to the completeness of the Kingdom of God that has come, and is coming. Our cautious hope is that our Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward Westminster as He alone sees fit.

1 Comments:

said...

Why not also read the motion that was past last week as well? Oh wait it only past 12-9. Wouldn't look to good would it?

9:36 PM  

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