April 16, 2014

Louisiana College: lies, obfuscation, and a lack of repentance

Rondall Reynoso
David Hankins laying handson Joe Aguillard
David Hankins laying hands on Joe Aguillard

When I think that Louisiana College can no longer surprise me…they do. Yesterday, the Board of Trustees voted to retire Joe Aguillard. But, instead of repenting for the sins that occurred under his leadership they chose to praise Aguillard for his vision, diligence, fortitude, and Christian commitment. Chairman of the Board, Tommy French, released this statement to the press:

In keeping with the mission of Louisiana College, for almost 10 years now, as President of Louisiana College, Dr. Joe Aguillard has led the College as it has provided liberal arts, professional, and graduate programs characterized by devotion to the preeminence of the Lord Jesus, allegiance to the authority of the Holy Scriptures, dedication to academic excellence for the glory of God, and commitment to change the world for Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.

He has served this college with diligence, fortitude, and Christian commitment. His vision has allowed the college to grow beyond measure. He has led the college through many difficult challenges and as a result of his leadership:

the college has preserved through the theological position of biblical inerrancy as explicated in the integration of faith and learning into every course and area of the campus;

the college has become a level 5 graduate school as a result of the development and implementation of the Masters of Arts in teaching program (the first graduate program in the history of the college);

In 2005, during his first year as President, the college was removed from probation by SACS, and today the college stands as a reaffirmed accredited institution of higher learning.

Today, the Louisiana College Board of Trustees voted to bestow upon Dr. Aguillard the honor of continuing his contributions to Louisiana College in the role of President Emeritus beginning August 1, 2014. Dr. Argile Smith has been appointed by the Board of Trustees to serve as the Interim President to ensure that there is a smooth transition of leadership as we search for the next President of Louisiana College. Dr. Aguillard will be available to assist Dr. Smith as needed during this transition and additionally, will serve a vital role in the Graduate Teacher Education program as a tenured Professor.

On behalf of Louisiana College and the Board of Trustees, we want the Louisiana College students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community, to know our deep appreciation to Dr. Aguillard, his wife, Judy, and his daughters for the dedication they have shown to this College. God has blessed Louisiana College through the service of this President and we are grateful to God for that.

Please continue to pray for the College, our President Emeritus, the Interim President, and the Louisiana College Board of Trustees. May we, all, stay focused on continuing to fulfill the mission of Louisiana College in Christian unity and devotion.

Dr. Tommy French,
Louisiana College Board of Trustees
Chairman

This has not gone over well with many of LC’s constituents. I don’t think it is that those with an interest in LC are out for blood but they do want the College to demonstrate real contrition. Many do not feel they can trust LC if LC will not admit any wrong. I agree with that.

I also see, however, significant political machinations in what happened yesterday and a continuance of LC’s policy of dishonesty.

First the dishonesty.

Initial reports yesterday were that Dr. Aguillard had presented the expanded confidentiality agreement to the board claiming that they had to expand their confidentiality agreement or they would be placed on probation. That was horrible. What is worse though is that those reports were in error. It was actually Tommy French. There has also been confirmation from SACS (LC’s accrediting agency) to the Town Talk that they made no such statement and that it is not consistent with their policies. This means that the Chairman of the Board lied to the rest of the board in order to get a policy passed.

There are a couple of issues here. The first is that LC cannot demonstrate to the public that they are trying to change their way while they continue to be caught in lies at the highest level. Second, it SACS has any teeth this is incredibly dangerous for LC’s accreditation. Standard 1.1 with SACS is integrity. LC is already being investigated under this standard because of the forged documents that happened under Aguillard’s leadership. LC needed to be able to show SACS very clearly that this was a problem by removing Aguillard. But, at the same time French has now demonstrated both that integrity and governance are issues at LC.

The second issue of dishonesty is arguably less serious. We all know that Aguillard wasn’t retired because he did such a great job. He was retired firstly because his leadership has caused serious problems and most importantly because he ticked of David Hankins. It is common practice in the world to say wonderful things about a person you are firing to try to save face. But, LC should not be adopting the dishonest tactics of the world and they need to work toward building trust. They need to be willing to call a spade a spade.

Political Machinations, What I think really happened

As I have indicated, yesterday took me by surprise. I was expecting Aguillard to either be affirmed or fired. I didn’t expect both to happen. So, I spent a good deal of yesterday trying to wrap my mind about what really happened. Below is my best guess. It certainly contains conjecture but I do not think without grounds.

Initially, I could not imagine the board expanding the confidentiality agreement and getting rid of Aguillard. Then it occurred to me that Hankins could be working multiple angles. In retrospect, I believe that is exactly what happened. What happened yesterday was a demonstration of David Hankins’ political prowess and the stretch of his power.

Hankins has four issues that he wanted dealt with heading into yesterday’s trustee meeting.

  1. Joe Aguillard had disparaged Hankins and his son Eric on a recording released to the Town Talk. Further, Aguillard had initially lied to Hankins about it. Despite Hankins’ long standing support for Aguillard, in the face of serious ethical issues, Hankins could not tolerate this sort of disrespect and disloyalty.
  2. Dr. Aguillard is demonstrably vindictive. Former administrators at LC have expressed concern that if Aguillard were ever removed from office he would then work behind the scenes against his replacement. Hankins and the board have participated in this vindictive behavior before by calling the current institutions of former professors and there have been multiple concerns (which to date have not been proven) about Aguillard interfering which the employment prospects departing faculty with whom Aguillard was not pleased. Hankins needed a way to control this sort of behavior.
  3. Hankins’ undue influence in LBC agencies has been under attack by several trustees. Ten of them broke with unwritten LBC rules and wrote a public letter addressing the issues at LC which in some very serious ways go back to Hankins’ undue influence which can also be a serious accreditation issue. Hankins needed to find a way to discredit and/or quiet the dissenting voices on the board all of whom have access to recordings and documentation that prove Hankins’ tremendous influence and his role in retaining Aguillard last year despite serious ethical concerns.
  4. David Hankins is the force behind the anti-Calvinist campaigned at LC. His son Eric was the author of the ‘Traditionalist Statement’ and there have been concerns for years about Hankins wanting to remove Calvinists from LC. Hankins needed to find a way to keep the pressure on the Calvinist issue and not give any ground in his personal theological jihad against the doctrine.

The timing of the press release and the fact that only the emeritus portion of Aguillard’s package, not the faculty position or salary agreement, was voted on by the board indicates that this deal had been struck before the board meeting.

So how did what happened yesterday deal with the issues at hand?

Issue #1

This is the most obvious one. Aguillard was removed from the presidency. All reports indicate that this was not negotiable for Hankins. And, while how it was done leaves a bad taste in the mouths of many this was also a partial win for the side of integrity. Aguillard was not removed for the right reasons and he was not removed in a way that indicates a change in direction for Louisiana College; but, he had been emboldened by nine years of no accountability. His abuses were becoming more frequent and worse and students and faculty were at risk. A new president, even one in the mold of Aguillard, will not be as bold which is at least partial protection for the ethical faculty, staff, and students. This hopefully will give those in danger time to find new jobs, retire, or transfer.

Issue #2

This was a major concern. How do you keep a vindictive litigious person from causing problems when they are released from their position? There was concern that if they fired Aguillard straight away he would file suit against the college. There was also concern that if they just let his contract expire without removing him from office that they would risk him doing things that damaged the school. The solution seems to be to pay him off. If he has significant financial interest in not screwing things up then they hope that he will play along. So, next year, according to the Town Talk, he will be on sabbatical (something that is normally associated with a research project but in this case seems to be a paid vacation) while receiving his full salary of $202,007. When he returns we will make 50% of that salary, $101,003.50 as a full tenured professor. The following year and through his retirement he will make at least 30%, $60,602.10. I say, “at least” because the report does not indicate how possible raises with be handled. This arrangement, especially the one year paid vacation, provides a significant cost to Aguillard if he does not play well with others. From one perspective this is smart. But,that perspective does not consider LC’s troubled relationship with the truth and the good will that the institution needs to very intentionally try to rebuild.

There is also the question of, “Will Aguillard play nice?” Some interpret the sabbatical as a way to get Aguillard off campus while the college tries to move forward. However, it is not clear if Aguillard will be away from campus on sabbatical or on campus. The press release clearly states that Dr. Aguillard will be available to assist Dr. Smith during the transition. Is this polite talk obfuscating the truth that they are running Aguillard out-of-town or is it a sincere statement? It is hard to tell. If though, Dr. Aguillard does remain on campus it is difficult to imagine that someone with such a dictatorial style and clear control issues would be able to quietly work in his corner while new leadership sets the direction for the institution.

Further, having such a controversial figure on campus has to complicate the search for a new president. The search will already be very difficult as most qualified, thoughtful, integrous candidates will be very leery of the dishonest culture within LC and the LBC and of the extremely difficult road the institution has to regaining respectability, financial health, spiritual conviction, and academic integrity. Qualified candidates waked away from the position last time it was open when there were far less serious issues and a shorter history of problems.

Issue #3

The influence of Hankins is a real issue in Louisiana. Potentially, it is also an accreditation issue. The expanded authority of the Executive Director is in direct contradiction of the original intent of LBC founding documents. But, while I have heard talk of Hankins’ corruption since I first moved to Louisiana it has become even more clear in the last year as he has over exerted his influence at LC. Recently, there has been talk about the tensions within the Baptist Building (LBC headquarters in Alexandria, LA) and a growing movement against Hankins. Some churches have begone redirection their dollars away from the LBC which may be the only real voice individual churches have. But, Hankins’ greatest and most critical detractors have been from members of the LC Board of Trustees. Jay Adkins specifically has been very public in his criticism and a group of 10 board members released a statement that pointed out Hankins’ undue influence. Individuals willing to speak their mind and stand for truth is a real challenge for dictatorial regimes. The needed to be quieted. Tommy French had already threatened Jay Adkins earlier this year but Jay had not done anything wrong so it was difficult to go after him.

As a result, the Board needed to have new policies. Tommy French presented a new policy that forbids Trustees from discussing college business even with their wives. He further stated that this was due to a letter that the college had received from SACS claiming that they needed to do this or be placed on probation. This however was a blatant fabrication…umm…lie. SACS made clear publicly that they have no such requirement and that any requirement that they have which could be misinterpreted in this way is actually meant to increase transparency not decrease it. But, politically it worked. The board passed the resolution in a split vote. Further, they then voted that they will prosecute any board member who does not comply. Jay Adkins and Larry Hubbard immediate resigned from the board. I have to admit I would have also. In fact, I tend to think that the only real voice that dissenting board members have left is to have a mass resignation. Their voices have been marginalized and their presence at this point only lend credibility to a corrupt institution.

Now, board members are under threat of legal action if they speak the truth that Hankins and French do not want spoken. Adkins and Hubbard are still free to speak but they do not have continuing access to information. In effect, Hankins cut the legs out from under his critics. Of course, this also fits French’s purposes as he has shown the willingness to lie to the board and publicly and now he can prosecute anyone on the board who points that out.

Issue #4

From the beginning the anti-Calvinist issues at LC have been the child of David Hankins. There were concerns about that as far back as when I came to LC in 2007. He has put significant energy into crying about this wolf and he was not about to let it go. Argile Smith has been an ally in this quest. In fact, testimony by Smith and another faculty member were used against Chuck Quarles to spread the idea of Calvinist conspiracy at LC. Unfortunately, for Smith tapes were released to the Town Talk which demonstrated that Smith was lying. This is particularly interesting as the departure of Quarles opened up his position to be filled by Smith. It at least looks like Smith was willing to lie for personal gain while pretending he was speaking truth about an “important” theological issue. While this would be shocking at a healthy Christian institution LC has been so full of lies in recent years that it has hardly been noticed and clearly didn’t keep Smith from being named Interim President. Additionally, Smith was recorded last year threatening a student. A student recorded an interaction with Smith where he asked if a speaker was still going to speak in Chapel. After answering the quetion Smith says to the student, “If you put this on your blog I’m coming after you.” The student then asked what that meant to which Smith responded “You know what it means.” He further went on, “If you put anything about my friend Russ Moore on your blog, you and I will have a discussion.”

While there has been some significant criticism of how this recording was obtained almost all that criticism has come from those who do have not experienced the environment at Louisiana College. (ETA: Please see the added ETA at the end of this blog as thisneeds some further clarification) But, more importantly that criticism misses the point that Dr. Smith behaved in an unprofessional way that is entirely inappropriate and that he did so with almost no provocation.

How does someone who has been proven to lie and gain personally from it and who has threatened students gain the position of Interim President. I believe the answer is simple. He has wanted it for a while, has proven that he can play well with the relevant powers, and is ardently anti-Calvinist. There have been rumors for a while that Smith was angling for the Presidency of LC. I have no confirmation on this and really it is beside the point. What concerns me is that LC is at a juncture where they are needing to build good will But, they pull in another good ol’ boy who has a proven history of dishonesty and threatening students. This is not how an institution regains trust. But, it is how Hankins and French can ensure that divisiveness over Calvinism continues.

Conclusions

Most people who are following the situation at LC consider the ethical issues to be the main concerns. For many the financial issues are a close second. But, the leadership at LC and in the LBC seem blind to both these concerns. Rather than, as religious leaders, fighting for truth they continue to be consumed with political maneuvering, hiding the truth, and manipulating for power. This does not bode well for the future of the institution. For LC to be healthy, for the LBC to be healthy, they need to repent. They cannot continue to lie and obfuscate the truth and think that they are in good standing before God or man. The world is watching. Potential students and their parents are watching. Alumni are watching…you know those folks who used to give money to you.

When thinking about yesterdays events we do need to keep in mind that it was a partial win. Joe Aguillard’s leadership of Louisiana College is coming to an end. That is important! But, we also have to remember that there is nothing in how LC handled this situation that indicates a willingness or a desire to become a healthy God honoring institution. As always they continue to draw near to God with the mouths while their actions demonstrate that their hearts are far from Him. There is a choice now. Individuals can continue fighting for Louisiana College but they need to realize that to do so is now a larger task which includes fighting against the unhealthy spiritual environment within the LBC and it may require redirecting church funds away from the LBC and the Cooperative Program. It requires demanding that both the pastors and laity in the LBC stand for truth and demand truth from their leaders. It will not be easy. People will not be happy. But, the fight for truth is worth it. The other option is to simply turn LC and frankly the LBC over to Satan. Both institutions will continue to call Lord, Lord. But, they will not honor God. That sounds harsh. I am not saying that there will not be legitimate well-meaning Christians in those institutions. Of course there will be. What I am saying is that the leadership has shown a heart of deception and lies not the heart of God. You have to either accept the heart of these institutions as they have demonstrated themselves to be or you have to continue fighting knowing that it will be difficult.

The choice belongs to those individuals sitting in the pews and preaching from the pulpits across the 1600 LBC churches in Louisiana. I believe most of them are good folk who would not approve of the type of behavior LC and LBC leaders have exhibited. But, out of the conservative resurgence has emerged a dangerous doctrine of authority which discourages the laity or even they less elevated clergy from questioning their leadership. I believe this model is not only contrary to Baptist tradition but far more importantly contrary to scripture. We stand alone before God. We can not hide behind our leadership. We cannot claim we did not know. If we support institutions that are working cross purpose with God we are at fault. It isn’t the fault of Hankins or Aguillard or Smith or French or the Board of Trustees. Is it the fault of the average person in the pew and the average pastor. These others only have power because you give it to them. That is at the heart of Baptist polity.

 

ETA (4/17/14): When I say significant criticism, I am not meaning to imply that I believe the criticism is well founded. The recording was initially made by the student to defend himself if needed. He was not trying to entrap Dr. Smith as has been accused by a small but vocal group. I believe that the student was justified in seeking to protect himself and had good reason to release the recording when he chose to do so. His reason’s for releasing the recording  can be read here.

 

Rondall Reynoso


Rondall is an artist, scholar, and speaker. He is currently an Assistant Professor at Lee University in Cleveland, TN. He holds an MFA in Painting and an MS in Art History from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY and is completing a Ph.D. in Art History and Aesthetics from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA.

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  • Jim Packer says:

    Rondall: What a tremendous heartfelt and thoughtful response you have provided. Where in the world did you attain this level of understanding of political machinations? And I agree that Smith must not be allowed to become the next president and I was concerned he would become interim.
    However, I will withhold more of what I really think about him since I really don’t have good info. I have a real bad feeling about him personally. Keep up the good fight. Jim Packer

  • Scott Shaver says:

    So now that these paragons of virtue like Rondall Reneyso, Ken Fryer and JD Hall have had their appetites whetted somewhat by the demise of Joe Aguillard, We should heed their call to assassinate the character and integrity of the interim president, Dr. Argile Smith (among the finest and most respected baptist preachers, if any left, in the country)?

    Nice work simpletons….very constructive model of applied Christian ethics indeed.

    Remember this truth however and check the records to confirm if my history is correct. Were it not for the tireless work of individuals like Ken Fryer and JD Hall with Tommy French, Leon Hyatt and David Hankins, Joe Aguillard would have never been named the president of Louisiana College to begin with. He was their guy!

    Smith’s only mistake was granting a few minutes of his time along with an appeal for the exercise of common sense to a brown-shirted snake-in-the grass agenda driven student widely known to be in the habit of carrying hidden microphones to procure audio footage for his public character assassination projects on You-Tube. Somebody should have given this kid a football instead of a video game for Christmas when he was little.

    There was a time not long ago in Louisiana Baptist life when Fryer, French, Hall, Hyatt and Hankins were all allies for the purpose of putting a guy like Aguillard in place. Now you’ve got Hall and Fryer, swords drawn, condemning their former allies (French, Hyatt, Hankins, Aguillard).

    It’s like a Baptist Camp Meeting on mescaline.

    “Reformation” for many is nothing more than the scorched earth politics of self-exaltation among an ever shrinking circle of small-minded and egocentric preacher types.

    Appears the tradition continue here.

    • Scott, I believe I have applied a consistent Christian ethic. My stance has been very simple truth matters. Character matters. I do not know Argile personally. I have had people contact me who were very concerned because he had been their pastor and they loved him so they have a hard time reconciling his current behavior. Honestly, I don’t know how to reconcile any of that. But, you are wrong to say that Smith’s only mistake was to allow time to a student that was recording him. He threatened that student. That is never appropriate. But, a simple apology could have fixed that in my mind. My greater concern is the fact that he lied when he testified to the that Dr. Quarles was forcing the advocation of Calvinism. The recordings of those tapes have been released and he clearly lied. Maybe this is all inconsistent with his character. I hope it is. But, still placing someone who has been proven to have lied about the issues whichhave ben pertinent to LC over the last year does not demonstrate wisdom on the side of LC.

      As for JD Hall and Ken Fryer…JD is from Montana and was not a part of Louisiana Baptist politics when you were fighting with Hyatt. Ken was. I have spoken to him onthe phone once but I don’t know him nor was I in Louisiana when those battles were taking place. I cannot speak to that at all. I can only speak for myself. I am not advocating a scorced earth policy. What I am advocating is that the Baptist leadership in Louisiana needs to exercise integrity and walk in truth. I cannot support a leadership that false short of that mark. This has been my major point all along. Aguillard’s incompetence is a huge issue but for me it has always been a secondary issue. I have no blood lust after Aguillard’s fall.

      I hope that the tradition does not continue! That is my concern in Louisiana. There are some very entrenched, very unhealthy spiritual elements. Those need to change if LC or the LBC is to find healing.

      • Scott Shaver says:

        You do so, sir, by taking public liberty with the intergrity of Argile Smith whom you know little about apart from his detractors (also allied with Hall, Fryer etc)?

        • Scott,

          Thank you for taking the time to post. You provide an interesting case study. Let me address the two issues you bring up and one issue of philosophical consistency.

          1) I would not say that I am allied with JD or Ken. I began dealing with these issues before either of them became aware of the issues at LC. Further, my issue has nothig to do with Calvinism. I am actually an arminian. My concern has been solely with Truth. As such, there has been overlap and what you seem to be calling analliance. As near as I can decern they are both also concerned with Truth. I would saythat there is consonance in our concerns, but I would not call itan alliance.

          2) I am takingno liberty with the integrity of Dr. Smith. I am simply pointing to publicly available information. It is publicly documented that he threatened a student and thathe lied about Dr. Quarles and the issue of Calvinism. This is not taking liberty these are documented truths.

          3) You take issue with me making statements which reflect on the character of Dr. Smith while I “know little about him apart from his detractors.” But, the truthis that what I know about him comes not from his detractors but from his own mouth and his own pen. Yet, you seem perfectly willing to disparage me without personally knowing me. Feel as you will. But, as one who claims to follow Christ strive to have your words seasoned with grace and your criticisms without hypocrisy.

          • Scott Shaver says:

            The words of the cartoon character Yogi Bear used to come from his mouth with accompanying audio visual….didn’t make his words either real or true.

          • So please clarify. Is your agrument that the recordings of Dr. Smith speaking and the letter he submitted as testimony were not actually his?

  • Argile Smith, one of the finest preachers in the country? Im sorry sir but that statement has no weight to it for several reason:
    1. He threatened a student. I don’t care how severe the threat was or was not, as a professional administrator (in title at least) you DO NOT speak to a student in such a manner, especially as a preacher and preaching professor. Such a threat would get a man fired at any other institution.
    2. He lied. It’s a documented fact that he not only lied on record but did so to slander the character and work ethic of his boss and at one time close friend, Dr. Chuck Quarles.
    3. He has failed to present the gospel. As a former LC student who has sat on many a chapel services, in which Smith was the preacher, I can testify to the severe lack of scriptural integrity. He has failed to not only properly communicate scripture as it provided (making up speculative versions of biblical narratives not presented by scripture) but has failed to present the foundational truths of the gospel necessary to salvation.

    • Scott Shaver says:

      James Who

      #1 you say “YOU DO NOT speak to a student in such a manner. Fact is, HE DID, and many of us are impressed by the degree of restraint he showed given this particular student’s history of spinning truth and slinging half-truths for world consumption on behalf of a reformed Calvinist agenda.

      #2. your spin on the documentation in question is coated in as much snake oil as Brelands covert and hidden audio recording. If Smith did in fact take issue with Quarles and issues of Calvinism as you state, the fact that you along with Fryer, Reynosso, Breland, Wales, Hall, Hiles, Lister, Adkins, Hubbard,are crying so loud about him indicates one thing for certain to me.

      NEO-CALVINISM WAS AS BIG A PROBLEM AS JOE AGUILLARD and contributed to the current state of affairs at Louisiana College.

      As a sidenote, I’m trying to keep Ronald Reyonosso’s unfortunate experience at LC separated from the Calvinist agenda.

      #3. I’m sorry Smith didn’t “do it for you”. Moot point. The testimonies of churches, seminary faculties and baptist Christians scattered across a good portion of this country trumps your vote and testifies otherwise. Records and good faith endorsements are replete for the genuinely honest and interested. I might add, because Smith didn’t “do it for you” does not mean that you’re the center of God’s universe and egocentricism is not among the virtues I find listed in various biblical texts.

  • Can we all admit now that Scott Shaver is delusional?

    • Scott Shaver says:

      Delusional? Perhaps not … but we can all admit that JD Hall is no less a liar than he claims Ergun Caner and others to be right down the embellishment of credentials.

      • I’ve never claimed to be born in a country I wasn’t born in, or raised in a country I wasn’t raised in, never got important dates in my life wrong by over a decade, never faked a language I didn’t speak, never claimed my father was a polygamist and never claimed to debate people I never met. On top of this, I’ve done none of these things, repeatedly, on audio and video recordings.

        But this post isn’t about Butch Caner. This post is about the well-documented sin and criminal behavior of Joe Aguillard and now, the bullying and lies of Argile Smith (both of which are substantiated by audio recordings).

        But while we’re comparing the two controversies, I pray the casual observers of this back-and-forth can take note a common thread between them – there appear to be some in the SBC that despise the truth and choose to attack truth tellers rather than face impregnable evidence. In the end, it’s part sinful predisposition and part unconquerable ignorance.

  • Scott Shaver says:

    You are discussing degrees of sin in your comparison JD…. so I’ll repeat the question, have you ever lied?

    • So Scott, are you saying that Caner lied but it is acceptable because we have all lied at some point? I have no dog in the Caner fight other than a general interest in the truth.

      • Scott Shaver says:

        Rondall:

        I’m saying only that the constant besmirching of personalities not in the networks of Reyneso, Hall, Fryer, Breland, Wales, etc and perhaps certain departed LC professors is nothing more than an attempt to build profile, blogosphere and radio audience presence somewhere among active rigs and prairie dogs in the state of Montana. It’s not real. It’s not completely truthful and it’s not in my understanding something that should even be associated with the divine nature of the work you each claim to be about.

        The use of something as underhanded ( illegal in most states) as a baited conversation by an agenda-driven,theology-worshipping student with a fetish for doing splice and trash jobs via internet for the distruction of others is disgusting … regardless of what you feel the recording implies or does not imply. It’s culture driven, not Christ driven.

        But lest I digress I appeal to the recording itself. I hear a naive, sneaky, student setting a switch and bait trap for audio recording with a professor who was approached by the student, not vice versa.

        I hear an understandably frustrated albeit rational professor using the language of “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander ” (also interpreted by the faint of heart as a “threat) language in his attempt to appeal to the student for sane, Christian behavior/honesty in his reporting. My confidence is that most fair-minded folks listening to the recording from the “slam job” will hear the same.

        As Mr. Hall was apt to point out previously, the subject here is Argile Smith and I might add this “reform” version of the Mickey Mouse Club now condemning him primarily for reasons stated heretofore.

        • I had typed up a long response but lost it when I was talking to my daughter. Not sure how I did that. In the end though, it doesn’t matter. Belief is a function of the will. You are ignoring the lies to argue about how the rocording was obtained. You make an assumption that it is inherently unethical claiming that it would be illegal in most states. That simply isn’t true. It would be leagal in 38 states. To fuss about that and ignore the clearly documents lies demonstrates where your heart is in this. I’ve been saying belief is a function of the will. It doesn’t matter what I say if you do not have the will to believe the truth. I offered to talk this through on the phone which you declined. You prefer to snark here instead. Fine. Snark away. As I communicated to I have a transparency policy so I will continue to allow you to post and be as snarky as you wish. Your derision does not change the truth.

          • Scott Shaver says:

            I stand corrected, illegal in 12 states. Mistakes of facts do not inherently represent an absence of ethics there Henlee Barnett Jr.

            I agree that belief is an act of the will. However, willfully failing to agree with you and your little network of pious vengeful assassins in your shoddy assessments about the value and integrity of certain other Christians does not constitute a rejection of truth…unless you and your buddies have (God help us) become the new sources of truth.

            Your offer to talk by phone was explained to you in detail. Why don’t you print the explanation? Never mind, I’ll do it for you. Because your willingness to utilize the poor quality of source materials you’ve chosen (i.e. those pushed by Drew Wales, Josh Breland, Ken Fryer, JD. Hall, Ryan Lister, and others) tells me immediately that your tolerance grid for the slander generated by individuals with agendas who carry cameras and hidden recorders are not the kind of folks I speak with by phone or tend to associate with in general. Christian or not.

            No, would rather deal with you on this particular issue out in the open… in your own little surreal yet public blog world where everyone can read for themselves exactly what I’m attempting to communicate.

      • Scott Shaver says:

        Sorta. I personally don’t believe there’s ever been a human being save One that’s never lied. Caner may not be acceptable in your sight or that of Hall, Fryer, fellowship of the man-made doctrines of grace et al.

        But I remember reading somewhere that God makes lying trash human beings acceptable … even useful for His purposes miraculously through the righteousness and sacrifice of that One.

        Don’t think a God with that kind of power on heaven and earth needs pop preachers and their sycophants fine tuning the good work He’s already up to.

        Only job that preacher has is to declare the good news. Anything else and he’s completely sidetracked.

    • Sure I’ve lied. I’ve repented. Has Caner repented? I’ve asked you at least a dozen times. Please answer: Has Caner repented?

      • Scott Shaver says:

        I have no idea JD. Don’t give a rat’s ass because it’s between him and God. Not me and you. Know very little of anything about Caner except what you’ve been writing from morning till night for last several years and don’t believer 87.5% of that, even if tested on a gas chromatograph.

        • Ladies and Gentlemen, I think you can see the character and intellectual honesty of Scott Shaver.

          • Scott Shaver says:

            Ever thought about becoming a circus announcer JD?

          • Scott Shaver says:

            JD. One as full of character and intellectual honesty as yourself might be willing to pin back up the pre-redacted version of your public bio recently called into question.

  • Scott Shaver says:

    You guys could probably get more data suitable to your agenda by contacting your two laisons in the state department (i.e. two LC trustees who were reported by newpapers to have left board meeting early with threats of resignation.

    Why don’t we get them on the line? Somebody call Quarles and Lister.

  • Scott Culpepper says:

    Scott,

    Are you a graduate of NOBTS? There was a guy serving as a local pastor in Shreveport when I was taking some extension center classes there who stopped by a couple of times. I was trying to figure out if you were him or not. In response to a much earlier comment you made about “Neo-Calvinism,” I wanted to point out that “Neo-Calvinism” is a term that applies to a much different stream of Reformed thought that emerged in the Netherlands during the early twentieth century and which has nothing to do with Southern Baptists past or present. I do not think you could really label any of the current SBC Reformed leaders as Kuyperian” Neo-Calvinists.” I think John Piper wants to be one sometimes. I make this distinction because it has been one of the many amusing mistakes that SBC media have made reporting on the LC situation. They also constantly spell the term “Arminian” as “Armenian.” As in “Shazam, we be Armenians not Calvuhnists.” If you do not know how to spell it you probably do not know what the heck you are talking about. :) Secondly, as a former faculty member from LC who is also Reformed in theology, I can assure you that there was no “Calvinist” agenda except in the fantasies of David Hankins and Joe Aguillard. I have never cared if the school was Reformed or Arminian. It would be nice if it would be somewhat Christian. The powers that be in Louisiana have created a strawman caricature of a theological system they do not understand to keep their sins from finding them out. You can believe it or not. It is the absolute truth.

    • Scott Shaver says:

      Scott Culpepper:

      Yes, I am a graduate of NOBTS, MDiv-89, D.Min-95. Held pastorates for 1988 to 2044 in Mississippi, Louisiana, Missouri.

      Doubt seriously I am the “student” of which you speak. I understand why an academic would be “amused” and agree with you that my selection of labels for the subjects in question do not follow what you would consider in your professional world to be standard protocol.

      “Neo-Calvinsim” is a label I personally like to use in reference to the spirit of these divide and conquer operatives flying under the banner of “reform” with their activity in Southern Baptist life. Most of these same personalities in Louisiana who’ve been involved in SBC life for a while were formerly allied with bible-defending fundamentalists under the banner of the “conservative resurgence”. I call them neo (new) calvinists because, in my opinion, they have no spiritual or intellectual relationship to their historical antecedents.

      As far as me being influenced by SBC media in my choice of labels. I rarely read and hardly ever regard most of what’s printed by SBC media for last 10 years.

      20 years after Fundamentalists took control of the SBC, the Taliban element of the conservative alliance is still touting the slogan Semper Reformanda and still pushing rabid commitment to the theological template they label as the “Doctrines of Grace.”

      You can believe that or not, Scott. It is the absolute truth regardless of whether folks spell the labels correctly or not. Drawing attention to misspelling does not obfuscate the evidence that there were five problems resulting in the current state of affairs at LC. Two of which have been addressed.

      1. Joe Aguillard
      2. The influence of neocalvinism ( my term and sticking with it even if to the amusement of college professors and academics)
      3. Leon Hyatt
      4. Tommy French
      5. David Hankins

      Beyond that, I would imagine some trustees need to be cycled on and off both the LC and LBC boards. Hyatt, French and Hankins need to get out of Louisiana College affairs every bit as much as some of the departed LC professors and Joe Aguillard.

      My world, professionally, has nothing to do with theology but rather the extraction, blending and transport of crude oil and natural gas liguids, I would not expect an academic like yourself to use terms like C6, C4, C3, or NC4 if you and I were having a lay discussion about the properties of butane, propane, isobutanes and natural gasoline.

      This Taliban element within what was formerly described as the conservative resurgence is now crying foul over Calvinism being used as a smoke-screen or red-herring with regard to the situation at LC.Just like them, Scott, you say Calvinism was a straw man in the debacle at LC….and that’s the absolute truth?

      You sure about that?

      Like you Mr. Culpepper, I have a history of interactive relationships with students, supporters, faculty and administrators at Louisiana College. Consequently, your assurances of what did or did not occur at LC during your tenure, especially with regard to militant calvinist students and agendas within the divinity school, don’t quite square with the perceptions of others I know personally who were also there during the period and also deeply involved in the life and function of the school.

      I’ve read some of your reflections and conclusions about your tenure at Louisiana College and honestly believe that you, as an individual and as an academic under contract with the college, did not have a theological agenda during your time there. I’m not convinced that is entirely the case with some of your former colleagues and students.

      I apologize for my less than historically and theologically correct use of labels. My only defense is that I don’t use em the same way for the same reasons as you guys.

      In light of the current state of affairs in SBC life, here’s another home-made slogan for lay folks that you may or may not appreciate …Semper Reformanda de Calvin.

      • Scott Culpepper says:

        Scott,

        The issue about using the “Neo-Calvinist” label correctly is not about academic arrogance or posturing. It is about accuracy and Christian charity. You are talking about two very different groups of people. The “Neo-Calvinists” who descend from Kuyper etc. would not want to be confused with some Reformed elements within the SBC. I am very sensitive to the issue because the first thing LC did in response to my letter was try to paint my Christian Reformed friends here (in Iowa) as synonymous with SBC Calvinism. They said some very inaccurate things which only revealed their theological ignorance.
        I appreciate your willingness to trust my motives in the LC controversy. Being lumped together with Chuck and the others as part of some “Calvinist conspiracy” was frustrating to me. Chuck and I had very different opinions about which direction LC should grow. I do have to concede that there were individuals, mostly students, who could push Reformed theology a little too hard. A couple of students changed their major from Christian Studies to history for that reason. We were glad to get them. :) But the problem was not pervasive. There was one faculty member who could be somewhat intemperate in his Sunday School class with pushing a Reformed agenda, but I am not aware of him doing it in classes at LC. Beyond that, I honestly do not believe there was ever a conspiracy by Calvinists to take over the school. Chuck was content with the graduate program and, in my opinion, far too willing to yield to Aguillard’s leadership. There were people like Argile Smith and Phil Caples who provided a more Arminian perspective for the practical ministry students. Most importantly, Joe Aguillard showed no concern whatsoever about the presence of Reformed theologians at the school until Chuck tried to hold him accountable. I do not think Chuck has a political bone in his body. Which is not necessarily a good think when it comes to matters of discernment, but does go against the idea of his forming some sort of conspiracy. Rondall and I always knew that Joe would throw Chuck to Hankins if it was ever to his advantage. I think the only person that did not realize it was Chuck.
        What Rondall is saying about Smith is based on more than just Breland’s experience with him. Frankly, I have a hard time trusting the integrity of anyone who is left at LC above the assistant professor level at this point. I was so disgusted with the total lack of ethics at LC that I had decided to resign at the end of the spring 2012 semester even I did not have another position. I am thankful God provided a place for us, but I faced the very real possibility of leaving the ministry I have enjoyed more than anything else I have ever done. That is how strongly I felt and still feel about the offensive disregard for basic Christian ethics at Louisiana College. What happened last week is not positive change. It is simply another chapter in LC’s tragic decline.

        • Scott Shaver says:

          Thanks Scott.

          I will begin with the conclusion of your last post first. Were I or anybody else in your shoes at the time you were in them, he/she would have felt and probably dispatched themselves exactly as you did (i.e. “hard time trusting the integrity of anyone left at LC above the assistant professor level”).

          I’m glad that the door of opportunity at Dordt opened for you in the wake of what surely was a frustrating experience in Pineville.

          Thanks also for delineating/clarifying a few of the dynamics at work during that time among some other profess and students. I apologize for my lack of sensitivity to the sensitivities of those who prefer to keep their historical labels accurate … my problem however is this:

          I’m tired, as a southern baptist lay-person of church and denominational leaders using labels (both historical and theological) to mask religio-political agendas within local churches and collectively owned baptist graduate and undergraduate colleges/seminaries.

          We are probably in total agreement that Leon Hyatt, Tommy French and David Hankins have been a blight on LC for the better part of two decades now.

          I conclude by addressing the primary reason for my having posted on this thread to begin with. Joshua Breland, the former LC student, who hid the microphone and approached Smith under the guise of questions about Russell Moore, fits exactly the mold I understand from your admission:

          “I must concede that there were individuals, mostly students, who could push Reformed Theology a little to hard.” Breland along with his buddies Wales, Fryer and JD Hall all fit very well into this category and Fryer was pushing reformed theology during the days of his alliance with French, Hyatt and Hankins during the efforts of the “CR” in Louisiana. This group (a.k.a. “the Louisiana Inerrancy Fellowship) was among the collectives primarily responsible for putting Joe Aguillard into the presidency of LC.

          I would not expect a responsible assessment of anything about the life, ministry, integrity and calling of Dr. Argile Smith from anyone who had not been a beneficiary of his work and ministry across the last 30 years…much less, anything along those lines (tape recording and all) from the group I’ve previously mentioned.

          Best wishes and God’s speed in your work at Dordt. Scott. Thanks for interaction.

  • Scott Culpepper says:

    Scott S,

    I was not referring to Josh when I mentioned the complaints about some students pushing Calvinism. In fact, that incident happened before he arrived at LC. And the Christian Studies professors took steps afterwards to talk to all of their students about being more gracious to others with whom they disagreed theologically. Like I said, it was one or two students, not a pervasive problem at all.
    I agree that an atmosphere where conversations have to be taped is deplorable, but I assure you it was absolutely necessary at LC. You have to put Josh’s conversation with Argile into a context where absolutely no one could trust that what administrations said to them behind closed doors would be admitted in the light of day. Faculty and staff took to taping conversations because the administration would say one thing in private and then blatantly lie about what both you and they had said behind those doors. The recent release of the recordings by Chuck Quarles are a perfect case in point. Without those recordings, we would only have Chuck’s word about what was said. He would be facing solid denials by three men who were afraid to face the consequences of what they had said in private and were willing to lie to cover it up. Chuck’s recording proved that Aguillard and Smith were not only lying about their assessment of the “Calvinist threat” at Louisiana College, but making some pretty serious charges against the Hankins boys. I do have to say those statements about the Hankins are the first thing Joe, Argile, and I have agreed on for quite some time. :) Best to you as well Scott.

    • Scott Shaver says:

      Scott.

      I understand you were not referring to Joshua Breland specifically in our discussion.

      However, Scott Shaver is referring to Joshua Breland … SPECIFICALLY as a case study addressing the question of whether or not Calvinistic theology contributed to the atmosphere of intimidation and mistrust between administrators, certain students and professors at LC within the Caskey School of Divinity particularly.

      If aggressive Calvinism was a burgeoning issue among students, teachers and administrators at LC, then we might agree a reaction among individuals (students, trustees, administrators) not comfortable with “the doctrines of sovereign grace” being shoved down their throats would not be an unexpected occurrence.

      Consequently, if such a dynamic was present at LC (regardless of the shenanigans of Aguillard, Hankins, French, Hyatt, certain trustees et al), Smith would have been disclosing something LESS THAN THE TRUTH if in subsequent interviews on the situation he did not mention the fact that “CALVINISM” was among the issues causing problems.

      Subsequently, Calvinism at LC was not a red herring, Calvinism was among several problems at LC and, for obvious political reasons, it was the first problem offered up for public and institutional scrutiny by folks with agendas.

      In your previous response you alluded to “certain students” and “at least one professor” teaching a Sunday school class fitting the mold of theological agitant. Now in your latest response I’m to understand that at least some signs of theological aggression were evident BEFORE Josh Breland arrived on campus to the extent “the Christian studies professors took steps afterwards to talk to all of their students about being more gracious to those with whom they disagreed theologically.”

      You maintain “the problem was not pervasive.” I maintain from experience that a little leaven of this nature will eventually ruin the whole batch. How do you think LC got in this situation to begin with? There’s a history.

      From the scenario you describe it sounds like problems were brewing before Breland’s arrival and continued after his arrival. Also sounds like any problem, previously addressed by professors among students, was not heeded by Breland, Wales or their handlers, nor by their friends in certain churches (Fryer/Hall) or by certain friends on the LC Board (Adkins/Veuleman/Hubbard et al ). “Caution” was exchanged for a cause which Breland, Wales and others thought worthy of their time, efforts and internet subscription allocations.

      You say to understand Breland’s actions I would need to “put his conversation with Smith into a context where absolutely no one could trust that what administration was saying behind closed doors would be admitted in the light of day.”

      Same thing holds true for Smith as a professor/dean of chapel in a situation where he’s attempting to serve the sitting president and an incompetent board of trustees. Both the college and LC Board had been creating massive problems for themselves long before Smith ever arrived on the scene. He was certainly not responsible for the animosity which replaced the previous alliance between reform calvinists and fundamentalists Ken Fryer, David Hankins, Leon Hyatt, Tommy French, Heath Veuleman, Jay Adkins, Joe Aguillard et al.

      By the way, most if not all the meetings held by reform and fundamentalist allies “back in the day” in Louisiana were “behind closed doors”.

      One thing is immediately clear to me from our dialogue, Scott. Claims that Argile Smith lied about Calvinism being among the problems at LC is the newest and most obvious lie coming out of the LC debacle to date. And surprise! the folks screaming loudest about the unjust nature of the “lies” of Argile Smith are J.D. Hall, Ken Fryer, Josh Breland, Drew Wales and a cadre of professors and their sycophants who fled a sinking ship, spilling tons of digital ink to tell “the true story” before the moving vans ever arrived in Pineville.

      A little quick to leave (prior to internal investigations and accounting) and a little too quick to start writing defenses for internet posting in my opinion for them ALL to be squeaky clean.

      You are absolutely correct Dr. Culpepper. “an atmosphere where conversations have to be taped is deplorable.” Page Patterson and Paul Pressler made this practice famous among naive and impressionable baptist college/seminary students during their “reformation of the SBC”. Perhaps Jesus should have worn a wire when he appeared before Caiaphas. The situation ethic you suggest doesn’t work for me Scott, never has.

      I might surmise that your experience at Louisiana College has left you in its wake feeling a little like Ralph Elliott must have felt after his masterful commentary on the book of Genesis.

      However, It was not folks like Argile Smith who put you in the situation at LC causing you to contemplate “leaving ministry.” You got caught up in an incestuous feudal continuation of the same political machinations by the same personalities for the same reasons that have plagued SBC and Louisiana Baptist life for the last 20 years.

      Ken Fryer, Joe Aguillard, David Hankins, Leon Hyatt, Tommy French, Heath Veuleman, Jay Adkins and roughly half of LC Board until recently were all in it together for the same spoils….now they’re fighting among themselves for the spoils while spoiling everything they touch, including now your tenure at Louisiana College.

      Plain fact is, the guys pleading loudest your case and the case of the other departed professors (i.e. Fryer, Adkins, Veuleman,) along with such out-of-state allies as JD Hall and various student foot soldiers represent the very crowd that tore through Baptist ranks in Louisiana like Sherman through Georgia to put Hankins, Hyatt, French, and Aguillard into their positions at LC and within the LBC.

      With the support and sympathy of a group like that Scott, I’d wear a Kevlar vest if I were you. Beyond that, what have all these former allies in the conservative resurgence of the LBC done with their prizes (LBC and LC) since the takeover? Why would any baptist collective in its right mind allow itself to trust the advice and plans for correction of their institutions to the very hands and minds of those responsible for the school being in its current state of affairs?

      We’re not to believe our lying eyes but rather what they tell us?

      I conclude:

      1. Argile Smith’s conversation with/ “threat” of Joshua Breland is a forgiveable if not understandable non-issue based on the covert motives and operational mechanics of Breland. It testifies only to the relationship (strained) between Smith and Breland, nothing else.

      2, If Argile Smith actually said that militant Calvinism was among the contributing factors to current problems at LC, Scott Culpepper and others have certainly provided enough testimony to substantiate the implication. Consequently, It’s a lie to say that Smith lied about this.

      Have a nice day, Scott …watch your six with your new friends.

  • Scott Culpepper says:

    Scott S,
    Your reading of my post is pretty postmodern and broad in interpretation. And I doubt anything I say will change that. Calvinism was a red herring in the sense that it was not a campus problem anywhere but in the mind of David Hankins before Joe Aguillard used it to defend himself. The cases I mentioned were the only ones I saw and I mention those only to be painstakingly honest. They do not a conspiracy make. You are assuming a lot of links and connections between myself and others that are probably not as close as you may think. :) My interest in this whole business is restoring integrity to my alma mater and advancing the cause of quality Christian higher education everywhere. I have no dog at all in SBC battles or interest in supporting any of the fools that lead their factions. If they all took each other out tomorrow I think the world might be a better place. Any person, conservative or liberal, Calvinist or Arminian, who is committed to Christ, to honesty, and to personal as well as intellectual integrity is someone with whom I can work.

    • Scott Shaver says:

      Scott:

      “Postmodern” and “broad” may impress the scholars but probably not 10% of joes-like-me in the pews who don’t use and don’t care functionally about your preferred genre of terminology.

      You are correct, however, in the call that “nothing you say” will change my perception at this point. Unfortunately for the “red herring” rhetoric, It’s been your testimony provided in our current exchange which serves only to reinforce my perception that the “red herring of Calvinism” itself was a “red herring” thown up by the former allies-turned-detractors of Hyatt, French, Aguillard, Hankins, Veuleman, Adkins, et al.

      As one coming on to the LC faculty after the Rory Lee/Malcom Yarnell debacles…as a historian, you must certainly have seen a striking repetition of the same players over and over again in LBC life for the past two decades and following the “baptist refomation” of Pressler/Patterson.

      Same players then as now in LBC/LC life … exception being they’ve now turned on each other.

      You, my friend, were and are still being used simply as cannon fodder in this ongoing circus. And the pawns of these same personalities we’ve all come to love and respect will be lining up shortly calling for the head of another one of their former allies, David Hankins.

      If you’re suggesting that my “assumptions” about links you may have with individuals heretofore named are off-base, untrue or without merit, I would imagine you are free in this forum to disprove/discredit any data which might lead myself or others to arrive at such “assumptions”.

      Additionally, you never offered any detail (nor am I asking now) for the philosophical differences you had had with Chuck Quarles over the direction of the divinity school. You referred to this previously.

      Fact is, Calvinism was a problem for many Louisiana Baptists including students and professors at LC prior to yourself, Aguillard and Hankins! The “Doctrines of Soverign Grace” and Calvinistic reform a la Mohler were key characteristics of the theology and organizational goals of individuals like Ken Fryer, and other “reformers” who aggressively and wholeheartedly worked with Jim Richards (SBT) and with future LC trustees like Jay Adkins and Heath Veuleman for the ascendancy of Aguillard, Hankins, French and Hyatt to their recent positions within Louisiana Baptist life.

  • Scott Shaver says:

    Postscript: And at 6:39 Central Standard Time, we have a winner !…. Jay Adkins a la the “Crescent Crier” announcing its time for “Hankins to go.”

    What a shocking and unexpected surprise to all of us here in La La land.

    Perhaps Jay might add some earnest and quality to his quest for bettering Louisiana College by resigning from the college’s board in tandem with his calls for Hankins to vacate the Executive Director’s office.

    For crying out loud… Et tu, Brute?

    Former ally in the folly sharpening the executioner’s axe? What’s wrong with this picture?

  • Scott Shaver says:

    Another curiosity arises from reading these references to the conversations of Aguillard recorded by Quarles.

    If Quarles and student Breland were both in the habit (out of fear or whatever) of secretly recording conversations with LC faculty and administrators, is there a possibility that the same tape recording device was used by both Breland and Quarles?

    Just an observation that creates additional questions for the interested reader.

  • […] And, now, we have testimony that proves Eric has been lying in Louisville, lying at SBC Voices, and lying around the great state of Mississippi, the home state of liar, bully, and interim Louisiana College President Argile Smith. […]

  • Not that many years ago this same brother had nothing too kind to say about the LBC, LC, or the leaders of either. That was about the time the whole “moderates” vs. “conservatives” conflicts were more-or-less winding down in Louisiana, with “conservatives” firmly entrenched. His comments from around the blogosphere indicate that he was not (is still not?) supportive of the “Conservative Resurgence” that took place in the SBC. What is less clear is why he is so ardently anti-Calvinist. Perhaps because many people look to Mohler as the intellectual spokesperson of the “new” SBC, and Mohler is a Calvinist? Regardless of why, the transition from being identified with the “moderates” in Louisiana and not approving of either the “new” LBC or “new” LC…to defending the likes of Aguillard, Hankins, and Smith so naively because of an anti-Calvinism bias…is a strange transition indeed.

    • Scott Shaver says:

      Keep reading the history of your movement within the SBC Ann, lot of strange stuff there.

      …Oh, that’s right there’s curiously about a hundred years of it missing until CR/Mohler.

      If I am the brother you refer to as being critical, I have defended every LBC President and LC President during my lifetime in Louisiana … until Hankins and Aguillard.

      I have no defense for David Hankins, Aguillard, Hyatt or French. Fought hard with some others to oppose their designs for LC and LBC. 20 year ago. They all four have had more than their fair shake at the institutions of Louisiana baptist life”

      What’s left now is a struggle for shattered spoils among the Fundamentalist and Taliban elements of the old CR.

      With the exception of Argile Smith who was not politically involved in the LBC before or after his arrival at LC.

      I’m afraid, Ann, your bias against Smith not being a reform calvinist is showing.

      You have a nice evening.

      • Scott Shaver says:

        Correction for Ann:

        Meant to have typed “supported every LBC Exec and every LC President until Aguillard and Hankins.

        Left out that your assumption about my anti-CR bias is correct. What has been labeled as the “CR” is still described by many rank and file Southern Baptists in the pews as the “Egocentric Divergence”.

        Hence my comments that what we have left at LBC/LC fighting over damaged and decreased goods are neocalvinist and Fundamentalist former allies.

        After 20 years hindsight, I’m still trying to find something positive resulting from “CR” in any area of Southern Baptist life outside the local church.

        Frankly, all we’ve seen is a continuing decline of influence and acelerated fractionalization among Southern Baptists both nationwide and within my home state of Louisiana.

        I know a few professional theologians, Southern Baptist professor types. They seem to indicate that Mohler is more of theological popularizer than an intellectual in his approach.

        But then again….how could we of the unwashed masses possibly know?

  • Of course you were supportive of every LBC executive director and LC president until Hankins and Aguillard. They were the first two to hold their respective positions who came to their role thoroughly entrenched with a “Conservative Resurgence” mindset and credentials. So that doesn’t prove anything except the narrative I set forth.

    Your replies do confirm, however, that your…
    Current support for Aguillard and Hankins stems from…
    Strong feelings about Calvinism, which stem from…
    Strong feelings towards Al Mohler, which stem from…
    Strong feelings about the “Conservative Resurgence.”

    That *could* actually be a logical progression if Hankins and Aguillard weren’t themselves so identified with the very “Conservative Resurgence” that you didn’t support then and don’t support now.

    It is at best ironic, if not irrational or neurotic, for one to have projected so much CR angst upon Mohler, and by association anyone labeled rightly or wrongly as a Calvinist, while the likes of Aguillard, Hankins, your new buddy Pete Lumpkins, the Caners et al. (who are just as much the “fruit” of the CR as Mohler or his influence) get a free pass…because they’re anti-Calvinist…and Mohler is a Calvinist…who represents the “worst” of the CR…which was bad…(repeat cycle ad nauseum).

    • Scott Shaver says:

      Ann:

      Sad but obvious that your tradition continues to substantiate the very #1 fear that many rank and file Southern Baptists in the pews and living in suburbs and rural areas hold.

      Don’t guess it’s occurred to anybody within the SBC in the last 20 years that there’s a good portion of us out here paying the bills, paying our tithes, calling pastors and staff members who never signed off off the 2000 BFM out of fear for the very problems Southern Baptists are currently experiencing.

      Would be interesting to know how many participating churches within the SBC from various aligned states still hold to the 1963 BFM.

      Wake up.

      • Scott Shaver says:

        Additonally Ann:

        If in anyway you’ve ever interpreted an ounce of support in me for Hankins, Aguillard, French, Hyatt, a few departed professors…not all, I question your basic reading and comprehension skills.

        See previous posts.

  • Matt Althouse says:

    As always, Rondall, great analysis. Thanks for your writing.

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