A 1998 Response to "Save Our Seminary"

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SEAGOON

Puritan Board Freshman
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

By now many of you will have already heard of and possibly read a blog called "Save Our Seminary" started by students and alumni of Westminster Theological Seminary (WTS) in Glenside, PA designed to call attention to supposed attempts to make WTS unduly narrow and conservative. On the other hand most conservative Presbyterians like myself who attended WTS, believe that the Seminary is in significant danger of becoming like Princeton, simply another once conservative and biblical Presbyterian seminary lost forever to liberalism and pluralism. Unlike the SOS bloggers most of us believe that Machen and his fellow founding professors who fled from that once solid institution would be dismayed at how far Westminster has drifted and would be zealous to see the seminary Reformed and returned to a more confessional footing.

I have not been privy to any attempts to bring about that kind of Confessional reform at WTS since I graduated, but while I was there, several of us attempted to bring our own concerns about the leftward drift at WTS to the attention of the administration, and both wrote to and met with President Logan all to no avail (other than making President Logan visibly angry). In order to simply illustrate the fact that if any reform attempts are currently being mounted they are certainly not a sudden coup attempt to make the seminary narrow and sectarian but a very late response to a long-standing pattern of doctrinal drift, here is a letter we originally sent to the administration in 1998 and which was signed by several students and alumni. Out of respect, I have stripped out the names of Profs and teachers who are either deceased or no longer on the active faculty. I apologize in advance for my unpolished seminary student writing style. Since this was originally a private letter, I have also stripped the names of students who contributed other than my own.

I also attempted to contact the Seminary THREE TIMES over the last few months to let them know I was releasing this letter and each time left messages on voice mail, but they did not bother to return my calls.
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Whither Westminster?

Compiled by Andrew J. Webb



The following material is an informal attempt to summarize the present situation at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. It seeks to present, in an unbiased fashion, the concerns of 4 other seminary students and myself, and represents a synthesis of our thoughts. Many other students I know of have expressed similar concerns about the general direction that Westminster seems to be headed in, but only three that I contacted were willing to put their concerns on paper in order that I might edit them and present them to you. I hope to also send along a separate letter from Westminster student C___ B___, which specifically addresses his concerns about the practical theology department and goes into far greater detail about the Practical Theology department than this report.

The material in this report is designed to show why we are concerned about many of the current trends at Westminster these trends are not isolated to specific individuals or even departments, so we strongly feel that it would be wrong to use the material contained herein for the purpose of bringing charges against individual professors. If there are significant problems at the seminary one must point out that the administration of the seminary is certainly well aware of the current situation, and seems unconcerned or even pleased about the direction that Westminster is moving in (if the speeches of President Logan are anything to go by). Therefore, to isolate individual professors for criticism or discipline would seem to absolve the seminary, as a whole, from culpability. We have included individual incidents and statements made by Professors only to provide physical evidence that there is reason to be concerned, and that our uneasiness is not the result of vague and subjective feelings.

We would ask that this material be handled with discretion. Should you deem it necessary for the good of Christ’s church to expand the circle of men who have access to this material, we would humbly request that you contact us first.

This report is not being compiled out of a desire to damage the seminary in any way, but rather we simply seek to make our general concerns known to representatives of the denomination that has historically had the closest relationship with the seminary. We are concerned first and foremost with the truth. If this report might in any way act to hinder the peace and purity of the church, rather than advancing it, we would ask that you simply destroy it.


Strengths

It would be wrong to submit a report on possible problems at Westminster that did not also attempt to present the obvious strengths of Westminster.

Academically speaking, Westminster is probably one of the most demanding and rigorous seminaries in America. I myself have studied at another Reformed seminary, and my experience on transferring to Westminster was that of a quantum leap in both the amount and difficulty of the work expected of me. Westminster’s language programs are extremely challenging and the seminary still works hard to ensure that it’s graduates are well equipped with the necessary tools for biblical exegesis. The caliber of the teaching staff is also high, especially when one considers that Westminster does not have the financial resources that other seminaries have. The teaching staff is also very friendly and approachable, indeed it is difficult to think of a Professor at Westminster one could not describe as a “nice guy.”

Theologically, Westminster is a consciously Reformed institution. It is one of only a few seminaries in the USA that officially supports the Reformed Faith as it is expressed in the Westminster Standards. There is still an effort on the part of most professors to stay within the bounds of confessional orthodoxy, and moving beyond them is generally not something that is done in a cavalier fashion.

Concerns

Despite the obvious strengths of Westminster, it is impossible to study there for any period of time without realizing that the seminary is “on the move” theologically. The Westminster of 1998 is a very different place from the institution founded by Machen, and indeed one cannot help but conclude that he would not be very happy, or indeed comfortable with some of the obvious changes that have occurred since his day.

In discussing what concerns us as students and members of Presbyterian and Reformed denominations that confess the Westminster Standards to be the system of doctrine contained in the Bible, I will attempt to divide this report into various sections in order to address our concerns systematically and to show that the problems we feel that the seminary has are not limited to any one individual or department:

The Old Testament Department

I and other students are concerned about the fact that the O.T. department seems increasingly willing to adopt positions historically associated with theological liberalism whilst simultaneously maintaining that the Bible is indeed inspired. Prof. Doug Green, for instance, has made the following statements in classes:

· “There is nothing in the Pentateuch which gives clear evidence that Moses is the author of the Pentateuch.”
· “Moses’ words are redacted either by Moses himself or more likely by a narrator when the people were in the land.”
· “Final redaction [of the Pentateuch] is in the life of exilic Israel.”

Additionally, Prof. Peter Enns reported [with approval] that Prof. Green has said “If Moses wrote the Pentateuch he did a good job of covering it up.” When Prof. Enns was questioned about just who wrote the Pentateuch he answered “God wrote the Pentateuch”.

It is hard to see exactly how the doctrine of verbal plenary inspiration could possibly extend to a document finally redacted during the time in exile, but this tendency towards decidedly postmodern thought patterns can be detected in many of the departments at Westminster.

Creation in 6 literal days is not the officially supported view at Westminster. When Dr. Poythress teaches the section on Creation during _________’s Doctrine of God class the view he supports and represents as the only really cogent view of creation is the “framework” view put forward by Meredith Kline. Apparently, the view held by the Westminster Divines that creation occurred in the space of six days was a result of their not having the benefit of our superior knowledge of the literary structure of the Old Testament.

The New Testament Department

Controversial statements about the Bible are not limited to the Old Testament department. In this year’s New Testament Intro class, for example, Prof. Steve Taylor asserted that the Bible can only be correctly understood if one makes a proper use of archaeology and other historical sciences in order to understand the proper context of scripture. In his own words, “I do not believe the Bible is self-authenticating”

He went on to state in answer to a question that the doctrine of the perspicuity of scripture as formulated by the Divines and Reformers is false. He also indicated that rather than being judged by scripture, Reformed theology has always stood over scripture, and that we are kidding only ourselves if we assert anything else.

Practical Theology

As indicated by C___ B____ in his forthcoming letter, the Practical Theology department is probably the area of greatest concern because it is the department most visibly adrift from the Confessional Standards. Most of what I say here will only serve to emphasize points which are more fully discussed in C___’s letter.

In order to show why this is the case, it will be necessary to divide this section into subcategories

Faculty

Preaching classes are currently taught by Prof. ___, Prof. ______, and Prof. _____. None of these individuals strongly teaches or advocates a pattern of worship in keeping with a strict interpretation of the Regulative Principle of Worship as outlined in Chapter 21 of the Westminster Confession of Faith. Professor _____ pastors a CRC church with a contemporary-charismatic style of worship that includes frequent exhortation and reading by both laymen and women. Prof. _____ church has recently begun using video clips from movies for dramatic emphasis in worship. Preaching as taught in these classes cannot be described as anything other than contemporary and broadly evangelical.

Women in Preaching Classes

Question 158 of the Westminster Confession clearly says in answer to the question “By whom is the Word of God to be preached?”, that “The Word of God is to be preached only by such as are sufficiently gifted, and also duly approved and called to that office.” And yet women, who are obviously excluded by this statement, are in the expository skills class and are expected to present a sermon to their classmates which will be judged according to the same standards as men. This is part of the overall problems attendant with having women at the seminary and admitted to every class (I will discuss this problem in greater depth in a separate section).

Polity

None of the Practical theology classes seem to be willing to actually state that Presbyterian Polity is the system of government taught in the bible and that other systems of government are less perfect because of this fact. The faculty seems so concerned to make sure that none of the students from non-Presbyterian denominations are upset, that the teaching becomes positively pluralistic. We end up with multiple truths for multiple churches. The increasing denominational “diversity” of the seminary population seems to have caused professors in all of the departments to tone down their willingness to clearly state that ONLY ONE system of Polity is taught in the bible. The problems attendant with the denominational diversity of the seminary will be discussed in a separate section entitled “Broadly Evangelical?” None of the PT courses teach Presbyterian church practice, so if a student wishes to learn say, how to fence the Lord’s table, he had better study hard by himself.

The current Doctrine of the Church class (taught by Prof. _____) contains no section of the lecture time and devotes almost none of the reading to Presbyterian Polity. How does one talk about the Church without addressing Polity? In fact, one of the special guests taking up valuable class time will be discussing cell churches. Apparently appreciating cell churches (are we even sure cell churches are orthodox?) is more important than discussing the system of church government that Paul devoted so much of his writing to.

Despite the fact that polity is thought to be outside the scope of the Doctrine of the Church class I noted with some interest that the reading list this year included books by Dulles (a Jesuit), Fee (a Pentecostal associated with the Assemblies of God), Kung (a liberal Roman Catholic), and Minear (a liberal Protestant). Perhaps if students weren’t required to be so conversant with other theological traditions they might have more time to study the Presbyterian and Reformed Faith?

Broadly Evangelical?

As one student put it, “I knew a student who attended Westminster in the late 1960’s who said: ‘The school was always in the red, the classes were small, and the theology was consistently orthodox.’ And now I would suggest, that the school is in the black, classes are large, and the theology is more broadly evangelical.”

As has been discussed before, the student population is becoming more theologically diverse. In the past Westminster was an institution that made Reformed believers out of students from non-Reformed backgrounds. Today, professors go out of their way not to suggest that there is anything wrong with the theological perspectives the students arrived at the seminary with, possibly for fear that their feelings would be hurt by such an insensitive and dogmatic point of view. This applies even to students coming from Charismatic or Pentecostal denominations. As an illustration of this phenomenon, last year Prof. Edgar stated whilst teaching the Introduction to Systematic Theology class, that the section on cessation was the section “he hated to teach” because it made it seem like there was something seriously wrong with Pentecostal or charismatic denominations rather than their simply being “different”. In short, Westminster seems determined to be “all things to all students.”

Many professors teach and act as though the students in their classes were all rabid hyper-calvinists who needed to be pried away from their dogmatic and unthinking attachment to the Westminster Standards. However, new students at Westminster are increasingly graduates of non-reformed institutions with little or no grounding in Reformed theology. Many students were converted under non-reformed ministries such as Campus Crusade, and may even be suspicious of Calvinism to begin with. The teaching emphasis of those professors who are attempting to convert the “hyper-calvinists” in their midst, can end up fostering cynicism or even contempt towards the standards amongst students who have no attachment to Calvinism to begin with.

In a recent incident one member of the OT department, openly attacked the entire practice of confessionalism in his class. He went so far as to allege that Confessions were not really Protestant, but were in fact Roman Catholic. In light of comments like these one has to ask whether the teaching staff properly understands or appreciates Reformed Standards and the process of subscription.

Due in part to the influence of the Practical theology department, ecumenism is becoming one of the leading forces at Westminster, even the suggestion that non-Presbyterian churches are out of accord with the Bible is viewed as “too narrow”. The idea that we should be attempting to convert or reform churches and Christians outside of the Reformed and Presbyterian camp is a deeply unpopular concept.

Women at Westminster

The ever increasing number of women in all classes, including those once only open to men in the M.Div Pastoral track, is a strong indication that Westminster is no longer strictly a seminary, but is in fact becoming a “divinity school”. Once a seminary admits women, it has ceased to be a place exclusively devoted to the training of future pastors, and inevitably the whole atmosphere changes. It begins to take on courses that a seminary does not necessarily need, which in turn means that time and resources are taken away from the courses that future pastors really need to focus upon to be effectively trained for the ministry. When coupled with pressure from an accreditation association, such as ATS, the presence of women in the seminary (consciously or not) becomes pressure to move towards ordination of women in denominations affiliated with the seminary. The presence of women in preaching classes inevitably works to break down inhibitions toward the ordination of women amongst faculty and students. The professors at WTS are already embarrassed whenever the subject is raised. Having a large population of Female students has also lead to calls for women on the faculty, which means ordination requirements for faculty get dropped, which brings in even more problems.

One student remarked, “In the application for admission to Westminster students are required (regardless of their degree program) to state how they understand their calling to ministry. I would like Westminster to define calling to ministry and to define ministry. I would like to understand how a woman can write this essay, ‘I have not been called to the gospel ministry, but please teach me to preach anyway, it will help with your reputation and accrediting.’”

Then there is a simple practical consideration. The majority of seminary students are married, the presence of young women can strain marriages that are going to be strained enough in the pastorate. Often emotional affairs begin precisely because these women in the seminary "understand" the world that the male seminary student lives in while his poor untutored wife at home can't hope to understand what he means by "pericope", "2nd aorist imperfect", and "kerygmatic." Many of the male students I have talked to have also remarked that the presence of women makes close camaraderie amongst the students difficult.

Other Concerns

Several of the faculty members seem to be supportive of the concept of “deaconesses.” Dr. Lilliback has “commissioned deaconesses” at his church (Proclamation) and Dr. Logan attends a church (Calvary PCA) that has deaconesses. Both churches have fully integrated deaconesses into their diaconate, and frequently these deaconesses are the chief deacons on any given Sunday. In private conversation Dr. _____ has also expressed his support for the ordination of women to the office of deacon. This practice obviously contravenes the PCA BCO which clearly states that the office of deacon is for men only [BCO 7-2], but the PCA churches that support this practice claim that since these women are “commissioned” and not ordained to the office they are not contravening the Book of Church Order. What exactly is commissioned but not ordained church officer?


Regarding Chapel services:

· Women sometimes lead in the Chapel worship.
· No attempt is ever made to accommodate our Covenanter brethren, we never sing acappella psalms so these brothers are constrained to stand silent for hymn singing, or simply not attend chapel.
· Westminster has now formed a choir for chapel worship. This seems to disregard the concerns of those students who believe that choirs and special music are not acceptable in worship, because they contravene the Regulative Principle of Worship.

In Conclusion

Other issues of concern could certainly be raised and discussed, but I hope the above will suffice to indicate why conservative Presbyterian students at Westminster are concerned. If you have any questions related to this report, please feel free to contact me with them via telephone or email

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Your Servant in Christ Jesus,

Andy
 

SEAGOON

Puritan Board Freshman
Speaking of WTS, does anyone actually know what the great looming event that the SOS website was designed to head-off is?
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
Interesting. I read the blog, and it appears that they are using the same tactics that the liberals used on Machen and the conservatives long before. They accuse them of being "too narrow" in their interpretation, meaning they are intolerant. Of course no one would ever become so "narrow" in their thinking out of studied and informed conviction... that's just unheard of.
:rolleyes:
 

CDM

Puritan Board Junior
Thanks for posting this.

Some of RTS Charlotte's female staff have M. Div's - one of which was granted by RTS.

Last year, 1/3 of the Preaching class was made up of women - some Presbyterian, some Baptist, one was an ordained episcopal priestess!

I did not detect anyone teaching anything outside of the Confession from the Professors - they are great. Many resent having to keep silent about some of these issues.

I transferred to GPTS this year. All the staff are preachers and women cannot take the Divinity programs. And if women have some classes that our ususlly assoicated with the Divinity degrees they are encouraged to not debate with the men but to learn quitely.
 

Josiah

Puritan Board Senior
Thank you for posting this. The issue with seminaries not emphasizing Presbyterian polity (among other issues stated) has been mentioned as one of the reasons why the OPC began the MTIOPC ministerial candidates.

:offtopic: but, i appreciate your blog (Building Old School Churches). Please keep up the good posts! :up:
 

Stephen

Puritan Board Junior
Thank you, Andy for this helpful information. I have been greatly concerned about the direction of WTS Philadelphia for sometime, but have not followed the recent events. I assume you are referring to GreenBaggins blog. I am quite disturbed by the attitude of Dr. Logan. The seminary started declinning when Shepherd was teaching his heresies back in the 1970's. Mark Karlberg, a WTS-Philadelphia graduate, wrote an excellent booklet entitled The Changing of the Guard in 2001. It is quite disturbing to read because he states that Richard Gaffin was influential in promoting much of the new teaching at WTS. He did (I assume he still does) followed Sheperd in affirming that sinners are justified by faith and non-meritorious works. I wonder if some of the current problem is not related to some of the Federal Vision rubbish. It is something that should grieve our hearts. Please keep us informed on these matters.
 

Stephen

Puritan Board Junior
Thanks for posting this.

Some of RTS Charlotte's female staff have M. Div's - one of which was granted by RTS.

Last year, 1/3 of the Preaching class was made up of women - some Presbyterian, some Baptist, one was an ordained episcopal priestess!

I did not detect anyone teaching anything outside of the Confession from the Professors - they are great. Many resent having to keep silent about some of these issues.

I transferred to GPTS this year. All the staff are preachers and women cannot take the Divinity programs. And if women have some classes that our ususlly assoicated with the Divinity degrees they are encouraged to not debate with the men but to learn quitely.


I was not aware of this at RTS-Charlottee. It is certainly not Presbyterian polity to admit women into preaching classes. Dr. Michael Milton is the new President at the Charlottee campus and is a good friend. He is solidly Reformed, so perhaps these issues will be addressed.
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
Thank you, Andy for this helpful information. I have been greatly concerned about the direction of WTS Philadelphia for sometime, but have not followed the recent events. I assume you are referring to GreenBaggins blog. I am quite disturbed by the attitude of Dr. Logan. The seminary started declinning when Shepherd was teaching his heresies back in the 1970's. Mark Karlberg, a WTS-Philadelphia graduate, wrote an excellent booklet entitled The Changing of the Guard in 2001. It is quite disturbing to read because he states that Richard Gaffin was influential in promoting much of the new teaching at WTS. He did (I assume he still does) followed Sheperd in affirming that sinners are justified by faith and non-meritorious works. I wonder if some of the current problem is not related to some of the Federal Vision rubbish. It is something that should grieve our hearts. Please keep us informed on these matters.

If Gaffin ever did teach that, he teaches it no longer. He was on the OPC study committee that produced its report, and he was fully in favor of it (which garnered him quite a bit of flack from the FV guys, I can tell you). Gaffin is orthodox. Karlberg's book is a bit overboard in his criticisms.
 

CDM

Puritan Board Junior
Thanks for posting this.

Some of RTS Charlotte's female staff have M. Div's - one of which was granted by RTS.

Last year, 1/3 of the Preaching class was made up of women - some Presbyterian, some Baptist, one was an ordained episcopal priestess!

I did not detect anyone teaching anything outside of the Confession from the Professors - they are great. Many resent having to keep silent about some of these issues.

I transferred to GPTS this year. All the staff are preachers and women cannot take the Divinity programs. And if women have some classes that our ususlly assoicated with the Divinity degrees they are encouraged to not debate with the men but to learn quitely.


I was not aware of this at RTS-Charlottee. It is certainly not Presbyterian polity to admit women into preaching classes. Dr. Michael Milton is the new President at the Charlottee campus and is a good friend. He is solidly Reformed, so perhaps these issues will be addressed.

Please keep me posted.
 

Stephen

Puritan Board Junior
Thank you, Andy for this helpful information. I have been greatly concerned about the direction of WTS Philadelphia for sometime, but have not followed the recent events. I assume you are referring to GreenBaggins blog. I am quite disturbed by the attitude of Dr. Logan. The seminary started declinning when Shepherd was teaching his heresies back in the 1970's. Mark Karlberg, a WTS-Philadelphia graduate, wrote an excellent booklet entitled The Changing of the Guard in 2001. It is quite disturbing to read because he states that Richard Gaffin was influential in promoting much of the new teaching at WTS. He did (I assume he still does) followed Sheperd in affirming that sinners are justified by faith and non-meritorious works. I wonder if some of the current problem is not related to some of the Federal Vision rubbish. It is something that should grieve our hearts. Please keep us informed on these matters.

If Gaffin ever did teach that, he teaches it no longer. He was on the OPC study committee that produced its report, and he was fully in favor of it (which garnered him quite a bit of flack from the FV guys, I can tell you). Gaffin is orthodox. Karlberg's book is a bit overboard in his criticisms.

Karlberg was not the first person to raise this issue and he does make some valid points. Robert Reymond and Palmer Robertson both signed a document that Gaffin criticized. This was about the time that Dr. Sinclair Ferguson was still teaching there. He later resigned from the seminary.
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
Thank you, Andy for this helpful information. I have been greatly concerned about the direction of WTS Philadelphia for sometime, but have not followed the recent events. I assume you are referring to GreenBaggins blog. I am quite disturbed by the attitude of Dr. Logan. The seminary started declinning when Shepherd was teaching his heresies back in the 1970's. Mark Karlberg, a WTS-Philadelphia graduate, wrote an excellent booklet entitled The Changing of the Guard in 2001. It is quite disturbing to read because he states that Richard Gaffin was influential in promoting much of the new teaching at WTS. He did (I assume he still does) followed Sheperd in affirming that sinners are justified by faith and non-meritorious works. I wonder if some of the current problem is not related to some of the Federal Vision rubbish. It is something that should grieve our hearts. Please keep us informed on these matters.

If Gaffin ever did teach that, he teaches it no longer. He was on the OPC study committee that produced its report, and he was fully in favor of it (which garnered him quite a bit of flack from the FV guys, I can tell you). Gaffin is orthodox. Karlberg's book is a bit overboard in his criticisms.

Karlberg was not the first person to raise this issue and he does make some valid points. Robert Reymond and Palmer Robertson both signed a document that Gaffin criticized. This was about the time that Dr. Sinclair Ferguson was still teaching there. He later resigned from the seminary.

Yes, Gaffin has done some things which he would not do now (as he himself told me on the phone). That doesn't mean that he is continuing to teach problematic doctrine. Indeed, it can be argued that Gaffin never taught problematic doctrine himself, and that, had he known the trajectory of Shepherd's thought, he would never have supported him. Gaffin, you must understand, is a polite scholar. Shepherd was his friend. But Gaffin no longer defends Shepherd.
 

Poimen

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I am glad to hear that about Gaffin and I am also somewhat sympathetic.

A year or so ago, I happened to be present at a meeting where someone read aloud from a document that Shepherd had written and I was somewhat surprised: it sounded orthodox. However, upon asking the person for the title of the work I discovered that it had been written in 1980 (or '81).

Personally I think Shepherd has become muddier as time goes on which would account (in part) for the lack of charges brought against him back in the 70s and 80s and the rejection of his theology by so many today.
 

Stephen

Puritan Board Junior
If Gaffin ever did teach that, he teaches it no longer. He was on the OPC study committee that produced its report, and he was fully in favor of it (which garnered him quite a bit of flack from the FV guys, I can tell you). Gaffin is orthodox. Karlberg's book is a bit overboard in his criticisms.

Karlberg was not the first person to raise this issue and he does make some valid points. Robert Reymond and Palmer Robertson both signed a document that Gaffin criticized. This was about the time that Dr. Sinclair Ferguson was still teaching there. He later resigned from the seminary.

Yes, Gaffin has done some things which he would not do now (as he himself told me on the phone). That doesn't mean that he is continuing to teach problematic doctrine. Indeed, it can be argued that Gaffin never taught problematic doctrine himself, and that, had he known the trajectory of Shepherd's thought, he would never have supported him. Gaffin, you must understand, is a polite scholar. Shepherd was his friend. But Gaffin no longer defends Shepherd.

Ok, thanks Lane for the clarification. I was not aware of these things.
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
Ok, thanks Lane for the clarification. I was not aware of these things.

No problem. It is unfortunate that Gaffin is misunderstood today. If you believe some, he is the cause of all the problems in Reformedom (or if he is not, then Van Til certainly is). There are significant historiographical problems with such assertions, and fine distinctions to be made. For instance, with regard to Van Til, the only reason he supported Shepherd in the 80's was because Bill Bright from Campus Crusade was wrong. Van Til was quite old by this time (and could hardly remember people's names!). He knew what he was against, and so he supported someone else who was also against Bill Bright (Shepherd). That is how Van Til saw the debate. It was *not* as if Van Til was supporting Shepherd's errant claims about justification. So, Van Til is not responsible for Shepherd's problems. It can certainly be argued that he should have retired earlier! But responsible for Shepherd, he certainly was not.
 
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