NewsFlash: New Graduate Program at New St. Andrews
The graduate program I have referred to a while back is now advertised on the web, which you can see here. In usual fashion, the Moscow marketing team employs the high arrogance loved within the reformed community (with their special poetic, postmill twist) to launch this next business start up:
Many theology graduate programs today are often designed more for theology wonks, doctrinalists, pietists, or Gnostics than for men and women who can touch and taste, laugh and dream. This program is designed for those who want the Trinitarian vision to reshape every fiber of their being and to remake every institution and culture into the cruciform image of our sovereign God.
Wow. Lofty self-conception for a program that hasn’t even started yet if you ask me! Good luck fellows. Not hard to “touch and taste,” but the “laugh and dream” seems like a difficult task while insulting the enemy and re-building Jerusalem’s walls. As has been our policy here in the Wood from the beginning, when religious businesses/churches/schools attempt to grow and sustain themselves via offensive arrogance, a bit of humility inducing rhetoric is always justifiable.
There is perhaps one thing these guys might not be fully cognizant of: folks looking for a graduate program are going to be, generally, more intelligent and informed than the typical 18 year old home-schooled person looking for a Christian College that doesn’t do dating. Perhaps they should have a specialty program called “Principles of Communitarian Justice” in order to attract the more promising theonomic minds; Wilson will no doubt go down in church history for his profound applications of his Justice Primer. Looking at the Graduate Faculty, however, it seems as though Leithart is now Enabler in Chief (“enabler” is a technical term in the literature on spiritual abuse and cults). With him, this program might stick, at least for graduating NSA students who want to stay around Moscow and not get a job (a common seminary draw).
What of the other faculty? Stokes? Sure. Try to get this friend of mine to publicly debate me. I haven’t mentioned yet that my friend Dr. Mitch Stokes decided that his daughter was no longer allowed to be around my daughter many months ago. I was reminded about this fact after seeing Farris’ bold pronouncement on Wilson’s lynch thread that I was not kicked out of Christ Church and that I have never been shunned. Ya, right. I offered Dr. Stokes warm hospitality to the community. His daughter was one of my daughter’s favorite friends. Stokes even informed me that it was nice talking to me since I could speak some of his language (although it was never clear to me that Stokes did speak the language of philosophy; but I don’t want to say anything here that reflects poorly on Notre Dame—not all letters of recommendation will be fully honest and not all stable PhD students turn out just right regardless of how prestigious a program might be). Stokes was struggling with all the lack of clarity and even “Continental Philosophy” at New St. Andrews and really felt a bit out of place. I tried to make him feel as comfortable as possible without granting his criticism of New St. Andrews.
When Jones, Merkle, and others attempted to poison the well at a faculty meeting, telling Stokes that I was after him, giving him some kind of “watch out” advice (funny ha ha ha), I notified Stokes and the faculty that they were dead wrong. I even invited Stokes and his family over for dinner. Not sure what more another local philosopher is supposed to do in a small community. Do you? But without speaking to me once, after Pooh’s Think was launched my friend Dr. Mitch Stokes takes his prestigious degrees and his obviously dearly cherished job position and status here (Wilson unjustifiably gloats about his new hire at any chance) and uses them to shun me, my wife, and even my own small children. For a man who just graduated in the liberal arts from an ecumenical and prestigious university, this is simply a disgrace. Ironically, many kirkers have stayed good friends with us, and few have explicitly shunned us. My daughter is hoping daddy and pastor Wilson can become friends again so that she can once again enjoy her time with Dr. Stokes’ daughter. She keeps a picture of her and Dr. Stokes’ daughter up in her bedroom. And, by the way, my daughter just turned eight years old. Welcome to Moscow, Idaho folks; educational capital of the world!
Moscow-Kirk culture grows by subterfuge and hiding. No light getting set on a hill here. Just draw in the remnants of theonomic yahoos from the four corners of the earth; Mecca of North Idaho. No? Well then surely this new graduate program would open its public forums to local bears.
Another stream of consciousness about faculty: I recall how disappointing Dr. Gordon Wilson’s “response” to Eugenie Scott’s criticism of “creation science” was. After writing up my own response and making my first visit to Vision 2020, Dale Courtney published me on his Kirk Blog. But after witnessing Dr. Wilson’s presentation in reply to Scott, I was a bit frightened about what his incompetence said for creation science in general. Thankfully, Dr. Wilson was able to procure the notes taken by a New St. Andrews student after attending Scott’s talk; otherwise, it is not clear what Dr. Wilson would have been able to say about it. He was at least humble enough to admit what he had done. He also had access to my response and let me know he had read it and that it cohered with his own thoughts, but it was not clear that he had read it given the kind of category mistakes in his presentation that my essay would have corrected. I tried dialoging with Dr. Wilson about the subject via email in a cordial fashion but he apparently was not interested in talking about it.
Will this response to New St. Andrew’s arrogant marketing program truly induce humility? Well, probably not. But every polis-of-heaven needs its gadfly….and someone to kill.