Part of a letter the President of the Seminary sent to Dr. Rollston reads,
“At a time when Emmanuel is under severe financial stress, we have some potentially significant donors (one of whom is capable of regular gifts in the six-figure range) who refuse to support Emmanuel because they regard your influence as detrimental to students,” Sweeney wrote.
In the letter, Sweeney accused Rollston of causing crises of faith among his students, saying that he usually discounted such claims because many students come from a conservative background and are not used to having their beliefs challenged. But the number of reports troubled him, he wrote, and those issues had not arisen with Rollston’s predecessors.
This seems like a letter filled with double-speak. No specifics. Only allusions to boogey-men. One thing is clear, however, is Michael Sweeney’s position that truth takes a backseat to donor funding. I am unsure who this donor is, but Sweeney and this donor fulfill succinctly the quip in 2 Timothy 4.3, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires.” It seems Emmanuel Christian Seminary does not seek sound teachers, but only teachers who will tell the donors and the students what they desire to hear.
This is troublesome for many reasons. If Rollston’s article countermands the school’s philosophy, then surely this reaction of the school countermands the words of Scripture, not just in denying Grace and liberty, but so too in suggesting that the only reason Emmanuel Christian Seminary is in business is to make money, heaping to themselves teachers who only speak the words that warm the wallet of ECS. If Emmanuel Christian Seminary, led by Paul Blowers and Michael Sweeney, is no longer engaged with the pursuit of the truth but instead seeks to satisfy those itching hears, perhaps it is time to chain the doors as ECS will longer have real academic standing in our communities. Indeed, let their wanton gold rust and their angel be removed.
The letter is deeply saddening because it shows an institution willing to bend to the purposed idolatration of “In God We Trust.” What is the crisis of faith Sweeney speaks of? I would suspect that it is more of a crisis within Sweeney. He is questioning himself as to whether or not he can actually continue to call himself an academic or and educator when he knows he no longer serves the academic community and no longer seeks to educate, only to confirm what the highest bidder is selling. No, the crisis of faith is not from a student, but from the office of the President. Whom does Mr. Sweeney appeal to? God or Caesar? Mr. Sweeney has chosen to cast his lot, I am afraid, with Caesar.
- Inside Higher Ed Exposes Emmanuel Scandal: Christian Seminary To Terminate Professor in Exchange for Donation? (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
- So for Emmanuel ‘Christian’ Seminary, Money is the Determinative Factor, Not Scholarship, Education, or Academic Integrity (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
- Dr Robert Cargill’s Response to Emanuel’s Dr Blower’s Critique of Chris Rollston (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
- Bob Cargill Sets the Record Straight on Emmanuel and Chris Rollston (tomverenna.wordpress.com)
- Stark Defends Rollston (patheos.com)
- Shouldn’t Professors Get to Profess? The Mascu-Klan at Emmanuel Christian Seminary don’t seem to think so. (drjimsthinkingshop.com)
- Easy does it: A suggestion for the Rollston uproar (timothymichaellaw.com)