For the firing of Anthony Le Donne – Time to boycott the Jesus Conference at Lincoln Christian

Jim West breaks the sad news

I am writing with disappointing news. After over a year of pressure from Lincoln Christian University donors, concerned citizens, and certain employees, the president of the university has decided to terminate my employment. I have been told that this decision is in direct response to the publication of my popular-level book, Historical Jesus (Eerdmans, 2011). I have no doubt that the LCU administration made a staunch effort on my behalf, but eventually needed to assuage the fears of (what I am told) is a largely anti-intellectual constituency.

Le Donne is an excellent author – and both books are a wealth of information. His website is here.

Oddly enough, Lincoln University is set to host a Conference dedicated to a forthcoming volume,

Lincoln Christian University (Lincoln, Illinois) is hosting a two-day conference to critique the assumptions and methods of the so called “Third Quest of the Historical Jesus” on October 4 & 5, 2012.

Bringing together world-class authors and speakers, this conference will discuss “authenticity” and “criteria” as these concepts have been traditionally understood and employed in New Testament studies.

For questions about the conference or book, contact

The list of speakers?


Dale C. Allison Jr.
(Pittsburgh Theological Seminary)

Mark Goodacre
(Duke University)

Chris Keith
(Lincoln Christian University)

Anthony Le Donne
(Lincoln Christian University)

Scot McKnight
(North Park University)

Loren T. Stuckenbruck
(Princeton Theological Seminary)

Jens Schroeter
(Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin)

Dagmar Winter
(Newcastle Diocese, UK)

Rafael Rodríguez
(Johnson University)

Maybe it is time to  boycott the event.

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20 Replies to “For the firing of Anthony Le Donne – Time to boycott the Jesus Conference at Lincoln Christian”

  1. it’s absurd that they would host such an event given the fact that ‘certain donors’ are happy to force a good, good scholar out for the very issues doubtless to be addressed! hypocrisy!

  2. Dear Friends,
    As Anthony Le Donne’s colleague, co-editor, and co-organizer for the conference, let me say that I’m as destroyed as anyone at the unexpected dismissal of him. One of the first things we decided, however, was that the conference would no longer be on LCU’s campus. We are currently seeking an alternative host site.

  3. The article doesn’t tell us why Le Donne was fired, only that it supposedly has something to do with his historical Jesus book. What is so shocking about the book? I haven’t read it.

        1. Yes. If you go further back, you’ll find Peter Enns who was fired, and a recent Calvinist theologian fired because he questioned Genesis 1

  4. The cynical pathos in this post is damnable, especially considering its source. I might suggest that the blind criticism, poorly-founded accusations, soapbox emotion, and blatant pride found herein be replaced by humility, grace, and a posture of seeking understanding. Did you call the university’s administration to let it speak for itself? Perhaps if you would have, you could have learned that the conference would no longer be held at LCU, and this post suggesting a “boycott” of the event would not even be necessary.

    – An undergraduate student at LCU who is deeply concerned about the firing, an advocate for the pursuit of truth, and friend and former TA of Anthony Le Donne

      1. I realize that, but if perhaps you had contacted someone at the university seeking better understanding of the situation and expressed your concerns about the conference being held there given the firing you might have been notified that LCU wouldn’t be hosting the conference any longer. Perhaps you’d noticed that Dr. Keith’s comment was submitted on the same day of the post’s publishing, the words of which suggest that the decision had been made to move the conference prior to his posting the comment. My point is that the information might have been available, and you might have received it had you been willing to be open-minded.

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