Greenville College

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Christian faith is hate speech...

(Tim) So, speaking only personally, I have a friend fired from the faculty of Greenville College (a small Christian liberal arts college in Southern Illinois where three of my in-laws attended), for defending Christian orthodoxy; another friend denied the Ph.D. by Harvard because his thesis defended Christian orthodoxy; another friend ejected from his Ph.D. program in the history department at UW-Madison (my own alma mater and major department) because of his commitment to Christian orthodoxy; another friend terminated from Covenant College who found the atmosphere there stifling to Reformed orthodoxy; another friend disciplined and publicly humiliated by the Vice Chancellor in the Faculty Council (on which he sat) for holding to Christian orthodoxy (see here, here, and here); and now, another friend has been terminated...

Oh Lord, won't you buy me...

(Tim) What's the connection between denominations, denominationally-affiliated Christian liberal arts colleges, a denomination's church planting demographics, and Mammon?

When Mary Lee and I were first married, we joined a church newly
planted by the Reformed Church in America (RCA) in Madison, Wisconsin. Soon after arriving there, I
saw a denominational flier thumb tacked to the church bulletin board
that explained the denomination's church planting demographic vision. It said
something like, "We have done studies of our denomination's
constituency and find that RCA church plants do best in upper middle
class, highly educated neighborhoods and communities."

Our small congregation of 75 or so was filled with souls who fit the RCA church-planting mold much better than Mary Lee and I. Three who stand out were Del Smith, Senior Telecommunications Counsel at Jones Day; the philosopher Keith Yandell; and the historian of science, David Lindberg. Of course, our church building was on Madison's far west side and included several who lived in Shorewood Hills.

Do you ever find yourself wondering if what Jesus said is still true today--that those who would follow Him must deny ourselves and take up our crosses?

Years ago I saw a cartoon that pictured...

Testimony by Gerald Eichhoefer's "staunchest supporter"...

Note: this comment was just made by Dr. Jack Chisolm, a principal witness to the Greenville College termination of Dr. Gerald Eichhoefer. Chisolm sheds significant light on the matter and it seemed best to promote his comment to the main page to interested readers would not miss it.

Revs. Bayly:

I'm the Jack Chism referred to in the AAUP documents. I tender you my thanks for your coverage, and also my tribute to your father's memory: I used to love his "Out of my Mind" column in the old Eternity magazine.

[I found you through Dr. Rasmusen's blog, where I had left a comment, which I will repeat here, hoping it might be helpful to anyone following this discussion:]

I was involved in the Eichhoefer case, and the AAUP referred to me as Jerry's "staunchest supporter." I'm not sure if that's true, but I was certainly a visible one whether I wanted to be or not. Many of his other supporters were afraid to be publicly identified because of fear of retaliation. I suspect that this will put some restraint on comments that they might post here, in his support. (unless you were to provide a way for their names to be withheld)

The religion department's hostility to evangelical faith at Greenville did not occur just recently; I've seen evidence of it for decades...

Some of my experiences at Greenville College...

Note: In the continuing saga of Professor Gerald Eichhoefer's termination at Greenville College, here is another document recording other aspects of the story not previously told. It's particularly interesting to me to see the intense hostility those seeking to undermine the faith of their students at Greenville College had to reformed doctrine.

Men with responsibilities related to educational institutions, whether as a board member of a Christian college, department head, administrator, pastor recommending colleges to members of his church, or parents directing their children to consider this or that school, need to read this and the other Eighhoefer documents. They are an excellent introduction to the state of Christian education today, although I'll grant that the Greenville case demonstrates tactics more obvious than most. Wheaton, Gordon, Westmont, Taylor, etc. would be ever so much more sophisticated in how they did it, but the trends are the same regardless of the average SAT scores of the school's students. (For example, how many years did the faculty and administration of Wheaton College tolerate Professor Gilbert Bilezikian's soul-destroying work within Wheaton's Bible department, and exactly why was Bilezikian granted Professor Emeritus status?)

A short time ago, I sat at a dinner table with a board member of one of the top few evangelical colleges and a student who had just graduated from that school, and I listened as this recent graduate described how the school's Bible department was filled with what she called "egalitarians," and how as a result of their influence she had been leaning in that direction, but was now swinging back to what she called the "complementarianism" her parents had raised her to believe.

She said it matter-of-factly, not realizing my history of work in this issue, and then she concluded, "When I left (the school), I'd lost a lot of my theological foundations, but now that I'm (away from the school), I'm getting them back."

The board member demonstrated no alarm or inquisitiveness at all. It seemed entirely ho-hum to him. Why?

I'm not sure, but my guess is that he sees such placing of stumbling blocks in the pathways of his institution's students as the raison d'etre of higher education--including (and maybe especially) evangelical higher education.

Read on and weep, dear brothers and sisters, for the children who have been lost to our Precious Faith and Lord because of false shepherds with Ph.D.s and our own cowardice in allowing them to carry out their work unopposed. But praise God for men such as Jerry Eichhoeffer.

And remember my Dad's dictum after graduating from Wheaton College, then working on secular campuses for sixteen years with Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship: "You never know who the enemy is at a Christian college, but on a secular campus it's always clear."

Some of my Experiences at Greenville College

by Dr. Gerald W. Eichhoefer

In 1998, thirty years after I graduated from Greenville College, I returned with my wife and daughters to teach Computer Science. I was warmly received and supported by my Science Division colleagues as I began work on a new Computer Science curriculum and my family began to adjust to our new home. In my previous job I had a joint appointment in Computer Science and Philosophy and I looked forward to a congenial relationship with the Greenville philosophy professors even though my main focus at Greenville was Computer Science. I have a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Rice University and a bit of graduate work in Theology.

The Templeton Seminar - Fall 1998/Spring 1999

I approached a Greenville Philosophy professor and asked him to introduce me to the St. Louis philosophical community and was surprised and puzzled when he refused...

Loss of faith at Greenville College...

Note: A few weeks back, we introduced our readers to Professor Gerald Eichhoefer who, until December of 2004, was a faculty member at Greenville College in Greenville, Illinois. Then, the administration of this small evangelical college fired him as punishment for seeking to protect Greenville's students from spiritual destruction.

For two years prior to December of 2004, in addition to his duties as a professor of computer science, Jerry had been working to expose wolves who, under cover of faculty status in Greenville's Department of Philosophy and Religion, had been undermining the faith of their students. Jerry's work publicly opposing the department and its supporters infuriated the powers that be. Here, then, is the paper Jerry wrote that led to his termination.

David and I both think it's outstanding and hope you'll take the time to read it.

Loss of Faith at Greenville College
Response to Dr. Rick McPeak

by Gerald Eichhoefer, Ph.D.

Mary Chism, a senior at Greenville College and daughter of Professor Jack Chism, publicly announced that she is no longer a Christian in her February 20th editorial in the student newspaper, the Papyrus. Before attending Greenville Mary was an active member of the Greenville College Free Methodist Church, a Bible Quizzer and a pillar in her youth group. Her father Jack, who was my undergraduate roommate at Greenville, is a strong evangelical Christian who recently survived a nearly fatal bout with acute leukemia. Jack led one of his hospital nurses to Christ as he was receiving chemotherapy.

In her editorial Mary summarizes the collapse of her faith:

Greenville College, Prof. Gerald Eichhoefer, and academic freedom...

The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. This is a basic principle of spiritual leadership and it applies to those God has called as fathers, pastors, elders, or professors who, by virtue of their calling, are required to watch over and guard immortal souls.

If you were a professor at a state university and Alfred Kinsey was a fellow faculty member, would you speak out, warning student's against him? Or would you protect your tenure by sitting silently as Kinsey did his private and public work of normalizing sexual perversion?

Let's make the question harder. Say you were a professor, not at a secular university but a Christian college--say Westmont, Gordon, Wheaton, Taylor, or Covenant. And the colleague in question was not a zoology professor who was publishing studies that purported to show that sexual perversion was much more common than previously thought. Rather, it was a Bible professor who lectured and wrote books opposing the Scriptural doctrine of father-rule. Would you publicly warn students against him and seek to have him removed from his tenured position? Would you work to inform your students' parents that this man was undermining their son's and daughter's Biblical faith?

Let's turn up the heat even more. Say this same Bible professor not only attacked the Biblical doctrine of father-rule publicly, but was widely known on campus to have been involved in sexual immorality with one of his female students who had had an abortion but, from shame, was unwilling to testify against the professor. If you knew the story was true, would you take it to the administration for their action?

Reform is hard work and reformers frequently die bloody deaths, so if you answered "no" to any of the previous questions I commend your honesty and fully understand how the self-preservation instinct has led to your silence.

Occasionally, though, God blesses a home, church, or college with a faithful shepherd who, in the power of the Holy Spirit, is willing to die for his sheep. Such a man is my friend Professory Gerald (Jerry) Eichhoefer who, until recently, was a member of the faculty of Greenville College in Greenville, Illinois. Jerry gave up his life for his sheep when, in December of 2004, Greenville College's administration fired him as punishment for his work protecting Greenville's students.

For the previous two years, in addition to his duties as a professor of computer science, Jerry had been working to expose wolves who, under cover of faculty status in Greenville's Department of Philosophy and Religion, had been hard at work undermining the faith of their students. Jerry's work publicly exposing the department and its supporters infuriated the powers that be and led to his termination, although the administration disingenuously claimed that fiscal constraints were the reason for his departure.