NOTE: If you’re the sort of Christian who thinks Amos and Jeremiah and Ezekiel and John the Baptist and Jesus and Paul and Luther and Calvin and Knox were overly-critical in their leadership of God’s people and intemperate in their language, please don’t read this post. Your deeply spiritual sensibilities will be offended.
It’s ironic that the feminist rebel of the Presbyterian Church in America who has done more to sabotage the PCA’s Biblical witness on sexuality than any ten of his competitors also got his M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, as my brothers and I did. I’m speaking of Tim Keller.
Tim and I (along with my brother David) just received an email from Gordon-Conwell requesting our input into their search criteria for their next president:
December 12, 2017
In October after President Hollinger announced his retirement plans, I shared with staff and faculty that the Trustees would be developing a presidential profile and identifying key characteristics to inform the job description. This will help the Trustees and Presidential Search Committee establish selection criteria against which to assess future candidates.
As a valued member of the Gordon-Conwell community, we invite your input as we develop the presidential profile. To assist in the process, a survey has been designed to gather your feedback. If you have thoughts you would like the search committee to consider, we encourage you to click on the link below and answer a brief questionnaire. The link will be available through Wednesday, December 20, after which the survey will be closed. Please note this survey is intended for only the recipient. Please do not forward or share. Later in the process, you will be invited to share names of possible candidates.
For those who have already completed this survey, thank you, and please disregard this email.
And as a reminder, the following are key steps that will be taken in the search process:
• The Presidential Profile will be received and affirmed by the Board at its February 2018 meeting, which will be held at our Charlotte campus.
• At our February meeting the Trustees will then name a Search Committee, which will represent the varying constituencies of the seminary and will include faculty representation.
• The position will then be posted internationally, in a wide variety of venues after which applications will be received and reviewed.
• The goal will be to name the new president by the February 2019 Board meeting.
We welcome your prayers for wisdom and discernment as we seek God’s clear direction in the selection of our next president.
John Huffman, Chair of the Board of Trustees
John Huffman has been on Gordon-Conwell’s board for decades. For many years he pastored an extremely wealthy Presbyterian church in Newport Beach, California. In his memoirs, he tells readers what a great life he’s had as a pastor. An admirer’s book review runs thusly:
Sprinkled throughout this book are fascinating accounts of his relationships with some amazing people like Richard Nixon, Norman Vincent Peale, Mark Hatfield, Chuck Colson, Billy Graham, Harold Ockenga, Carl F. Henry, Charles Pew, and many others. John traveled extensively in his ministry and has been to the Middle East over thirty times leading tours to Israel and Europe when he was only 18 years old!
John has been a Board member of World Vision, Christianity Today International, Gordon Conwell Seminary, and many other significant organizations…
Through the years, I’ve not responded Gordon-Conwell’s emails. The seminary has been a feminist hothouse since David, Nathan, and I were there together back in the early eighties. Feminism is their raison d’etre, their schtick, and thus the suggestion that they hire Tim Keller. He’s extremely wealthy and perfectly nuanced with feminist credentials that are unimpeachable.
This one time, though, I decided to respond. Clicking through the link, I looked at the first question and thought, “of course.” The questionnaire was a charade. It consisted of multiple choice questions through which alumni were granted the privilege of affirming their faculty’s presumption and pride. Stuff like this:
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary is proud of its heritage as the leading institution of higher education in the Evangelical Church. Having earned the respect of women and men around the world (and well out into the cosmos) for its stellar training of scholars now serving the church ever-so-humbly, the time has come to bestow upon our eminent selves a new president minted in our image and likeness. We value the values of our valued alumni and request your answer to the following questions, beginning with this one:
Here are six values we value greatly. We wonder if you value them also? Please choose the three values you consider most valuable for the woman or man we will dignify with the honor of serving as our next president:
A. That she or he be known around the world.
B. That she or he be published around the world.
C. That she or he be a flatterer adept at milking rich women and men.
D. That she or he have a proven track record of moderating academics’ passive aggression.
E. That she or he have some experience, somewhere, sometime at something that qualifies as “ministry.”
F. Other: please add anything you want that didn’t quite make it into our stellar list above.
Seriously. I’ve paraphrased it, but that was the first question. The other four questions were similar.
It should go without saying, but the academic institutions known as “seminaries” to which the church has delegated the training of her shepherds are responsible for the complacency and impotence of the church, today. Have nothing to do with them. Send your men to pastors colleges in local churches. We have one, and so do many other churches. Men set apart by the laying on of hands and prayer to the office of shepherd should train the church’s future shepherds. Not men in awesome threads covered in bling proving that they spent seven or so years being trained in the skill of eviscerating Scripture of God’s authority.
When I was in Africa and returned to the States, my overwhelming sense was how small we are. Especially the American church. So very small.