To address my question right at the outset, the answer would appear to be yes. But as one who has been the subject of various online hit pieces myself, I think we need to proceed charitably and cautiously, and hear everybody out. At the same time, we should not blithely assume that somebody must be on it, reasoning in our hearts that, after all, it is almost impossible for an evangelical Christian college to drift left . . .
You get the point. Absolute fairness to Grove City as they explain themselves, coupled with a genuine commitment to hear the critics out. There are reasonable questions being raised here, and they ought to be treated as though they are reasonable questions.
My Proverbs 18:17 Section
If you are not aware of the developing controversy at Grove City, a controversy which is actually about the mission of Grove City, I have provided some links below. The controversy concerns whether or not Grove City, heretofore a stalwart conservative evangelical college, is in the process of going woke.
The original petition from concerned friends of Grove City is here. This is followed by a response to that petition by the college president, Paul McNulty. Then comes an article at American Reformer, written by Josh Abbotoy. Then we have two defenses of Grove City, the first by Carl Trueman, who teaches there, and second one by Lee Wishing, who is the vice-president of admissions at Grove City.
And I understand that there is a video collage out there somewhere of woke speakers offering various harangues during chapel at Grove City. If I get my hands on it I will post it here, or in a follow up post. This story is worth following, and I will be following it.
Here is the video I mentioned. There are chunks of it that are excruciating.
Potpourri of Thoughts
There has been trouble brewing at Grove City for a while. Back in 2017, I posted this, and those concerns do take on new significance in the light of the current controversy.
One of my critics out there in the world has been a gent named Warren Throckmorton, and he teaches at Grove City, and he was part of the trouble in 2017. That by itself need not be unduly alarming, and with an establishment name like Throckmorton, we might even be reassured a bit. I mean, one thing a Throckmorton wouldn’t be is straight outa Compton. But he is straight out of somewhere, and if you read my linked post, you will see this well known college professor was endaevoring to make LGBTQ students feel welcome there at Grove City. He also made a splash back then with his opposition to “conversion therapy” for homosexuals.
Speaking of conversion therapy, for those who have their eyes on the big totalitolerance agenda, calling homosexuals to repentance is about to become illegal all across Canada, with that measure passing the Canadian parliament unanimously. There is no way that could happen without rampant cowardice and/or cluelessness going down. Unanimously. Up to five years in the clink for anyone who offers the water of life to a parched soul. We need to understand that opposition to conversion therapy is not something that signals mere disagreement with it (there are all kinds of “treatments” for homosexuality that thoughtful Christians should disagree with). No, the woke agenda always has the end game of outlawing dissent. And those who don’t understand that don’t really understand anything..
But back to Grove City. Carl Trueman’s defense of Grove City is really worth considering. He cites all the anti-woke things he is associated with, and testifies that the college administration has not sought to interfere with him or his activities in the slightest. That testimony is worth something because Trueman has written one of the best books you can find on the woke disease that is afflicting us all. That book is The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self, and I made it my book of the month last May. That said, Trueman also appears to have the ability to see a troublesome gnat buzzing around Rousseau’s head centuries ago while being unable to detect or identify the camel that Aimee Byrd is riding off on.
And there is one other thing about the structure of Trueman’s testimony. If a woman goes to the doctor, and the doctor points out the worrisome dark spots on the lymph nodes, it is not really to the point if she points to her left forearm to show that she has no worrisome dark spots there. That’s as may be. The concerns being raised do not maintain that Grove City is woke in every respect, in every department, top to bottom, front to back. Trueman himself is plainly not woke, and he, equally plainly, teaches at Grove City. But that is not actually the question before the house. He might be the left forearm.
Part of the controversy concerns what the Office of Diversity there has been doing. I will confess that my concerns are elevated simply because I have discovered that they HAVE an Office of Diversity. If you are a college in North America, and you have the word diversity with its own box on the organizational flow chart, you are already in trouble. You should have a red light blinking on your dashboard. If that box is still on the flow chart after a year, then the sirens ought to be going off.
And here is another thing, as something of an afterthought, but still indicative. The reaction of Grove City to the whole COVID panic has demonstrated that they don’t exactly have a healthy immune system when it comes to large scale stampedes outside the college walls. COVID is such a stampede, as is the woke business. Conservative colleges need to be able to give the raspberry to all of that kind of stuff.
Suggestions for Grove City’s Board
Grove City has a problem, and the issue before us has to do with the nature of the problem. What kind of problem is it? If these dark spots on the lymph nodes are a woke cancer, then Grove City has that problem. If they are not a woke cancer, and the whole thing is a matter of bad luck, poor communication, and misunderstandings, then they have a PR problem, a messaging problem. In either case, it is imperative that the college act decisively.
And, to be clear, acting decisively must involve more than issuing soothing statements of reassurance.
With all of this in mind, I have a few suggestions for the board of Grove City—because this is plainly a board level issue. Serious questions have been raised about the core mission of the college, and that is board business. If anything is board business, it would be that. So the board should appoint a committee to investigate the whole thing. That committee should include members of the board, a couple of their big conservative donors, men who were actively invested in Grove City’s mission, and a couple of faculty members, men whose anti-woke credentials are impeccable. They should come back to the board with a full report, along with recommendations. And because the controversy is public, the report should be public.
In the meantime, what can the admin do? Taking their protests at face value, their decisive move should consist of inviting a line-up of chapel speakers this spring, with an invitation to each speaker to unload the truck when it comes to their woke critiques. They need to invite Voddie Baucham once, Scott Allen once, Owen Strachan three times, and, staying with their commitment to diversity, James Lindsey once. That should help to fix everything.
They also need to make that diversity office go away. That office should be nuked from outer space, just to be sure.
As this story develops, I hope to stay with it.