A few weeks ago I posted, and responded to, Bruce Waltke’s video in which he was urging us to to believe in evolution — evolution or spiritual death was the alternative as he presented it. Since that time, and because of that video, he has resigned his position at RTS in Orlando, and has now been hired on at Knox Theological Seminary.
More links and info here.
But here is where it gets a bit more tangled. Dr. Waltke handed in his RTS cafeteria card because a video clip embarrassed the seminary, and not because he had been dishonestly keeping his views secret. Those views are in print as early as 2007. The apparent problem is that evangelical theologians are supposed to keep their views within the covers of big, fat books that rank 68,000 at Amazon, and not air their views on video clips that can be circulated out there in public where seminary donors can see it. The politicians have had their own rough time adjusting to the new youtube realities, and the same thing might be happening now to the theologians.
So now Waltke is at Knox. Like Enns at Westminster, this situation reveals how much the conservatives have been out-maneuvered as they have been playing machen and the liberals in their mama’s backyard with little wooden sticks. Even though it is good news that incipient liberalism is being dealt with here and there (albeit messily), the conservatives have nevertheless spent the last few years conducting intercine purges of other conservatives and, in the process, showing how truncated their theological education was, and how difficult it is for them to follow certain lines of argument.
Like the boy who cried wolf, when the time comes to deal with real theological problems (which these things really are), they find that half their men are gone, and other good-hearted people are not disposed to believe anything they say because of how poorly they have been behaving. If there is one thing you can count on a discernment blog to do, it is to show very little discernment. Discernment blogs are often little more than “bottom-of-the-monkey-cage” blogs, which can usually be found at flingpoo.com. The word discernment, used in a more biblical fashion, does not come to mind.
Presbyterian pastors have been so busy shouting down Calvin’s view of the sacraments as heresy that when someone else pops up and says that Darwinism is orthodoxy, they set up a hew and cry over that too, but who wants to listen to these guys now?
And note that Waltke lost his job at an evangelical Reformed seminary over this. And note also that he had another job at another evangelical Reformed seminary within the week. And he teaches that evolution will save us from spiritual death. Good thing we have sharp-eyed guardians in the presbyteries going after Leithart and Meyers!
If someone right before the battle of the Alamo had exiled Davy Crockett for having too long a rifle, and Bowie for having too wide a knife, the situation would be about comparable.