Carl Trueman Leaves Westminster for Grove City College

There are 42 Comments

Aaron Blumer's picture

Grove City is historically conservative. It'll be interesting to see how they handle Trueman's ambivalent political philosophy.

WallyMorris's picture

Trueman will like Grove City as far as his alcohol use, since Grove City does not have any specific policy regarding that topic for faculty and staff. So he can continue his drinking scotch and bourbon.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

Steve Davis's picture

WallyMorris wrote:

Trueman will like Grove City as far as his alcohol use, since Grove City does not have any specific policy regarding that topic for faculty and staff. So he can continue his drinking scotch and bourbon.

Ah, always good for an irrelevant jab. What's that have to do with the price of tea in China? Although I don't know Carl personally he is right outside Philly where I live. And I didn't know anything about his alcohol use. Or care. Not sure why you do.

TylerR's picture

A loss for Westminster, to be sure. I have listened to Trueman's lectures on the Reformation and the Medieval church, and they're very good. I also have his book on creeds. I appreciate his work!

Tyler Robbins is a pastor at Sleater-Kinney Road Baptist, in Olympia, WA, and an Investigations Manager with the State of Washington. He blogs as the Eccentric Fundamentalist

Bert Perry's picture

I've got friends whose children loved it there, but if indeed it is correct that Grove City can too often equate political conservatism with theological conservatism (something we all need to watch), then I would suggest that hiring Trueman was a coup for Grove City.  

Regarding the "Scotch issue", my first thought is to wonder exactly why someone would be surprised that the heir of a Scottish-heavy theological tradition might enjoy Scotch.   But more importantly, Lincoln's comment about Grant comes to mind as well.  When reproached for employing Grant because "he was a drunk", Lincoln's response was to ask what brand he drank so he could send a barrel to each of his generals.  Agree or disagree with Trueman's use of Christian liberty, and agree or disagree with him on Baptist-centered issues, he writes, to paraphrase Lincoln again. 

Aaron Blumer's picture

Conservative theology is not compatible with liberal political philosophy. The latter is built on unbiblical views of human nature, the nature of society, the labor-reward relationship, the role of government, and -- usually -- the nature of property in general, and the nature of the family and its role in society (and sexual ethics as well, just to round out the list).

Lincoln's attitude toward boozing generals has nothing to do with anything. 

Bert Perry's picture

To simply claim that "conservative theology is not compatible with liberal political philosophy" is a gross over-simplification.  Conservatism ranges from the various brands of libertarian theology--which would include Ayn Rand--to "arch-conservative" ideology of Michael Savage, Reagan conservatism, Trumpism, and all the way to "slow the rate of growth of government."  No argument that good theology does demand certain political responses, but to boil it down to right vs. left is precisely the distillation which Trueman rejects, and rightly so.

And sorry, but yes, Lincoln's quip has everything to do with Wally's cheap shot about Truman's enjoyment of Christian liberty.  Grant's detractors wanted to argue that since Grant allegedly got drunk in the camp, that he should not be a general.  Lincoln responded, in effect, that he couldn't afford this kind of fratricide--he fights, Lincoln said, and the Union effort needed more of that.

The exact same sort of argument applies here.  To point at Trueman's enjoyment of Scotch is, really, to say that he shouldn't be welcomed in the theological forii of the world.  And to that, I respond, again, he writes, and quite frankly at this point in history, the fundagelical movement cannot afford such fratricide.

Andrew K's picture

If you read Trueman's articles on First Things, you'll see he is extremely conservative on the vast majority of social issues. Takes a lot of heat for it there as well. 

josh p's picture

I believe he is something like a classical liberal which is way “to the right” of Republicans on several issues. 

WallyMorris's picture

Trueman's alcohol use is not "Christian Liberty". His ancestry has nothing to do with his choice of beverage and cannot be used to justify such choices. I was under the impression that culture does not determine right and wrong. What disturbs me more is that some Christians will not criticize drinking scotch, brandy, or other strong alcoholic drinks.That lack of criticism shows how far the culture HAS influenced some people. Trueman's alcohol use is relevant to his judgment and wisdom. Someone who shows such a poor use of judgment and wisdom should not be teaching in ANY Christian college. Some say they "don't care" about his alcohol use? Wow - what a revealing statement.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

Andrew K's picture

WallyMorris wrote:

Trueman's alcohol use is not "Christian Liberty"... 

If Trueman had a reputation for drunkedness or disorderly behavior under the influence, I would agree with you. Since to my knowledge he does not, but enjoys a good reputation as a Christian leader and an elder, I think you should modify your tone.

Bert Perry's picture

Just sayin', Wally.  The Bible does not plainly condemn the use of alcohol; therefore neither will I.   Urge caution with alcohol, I'm with you.  Point out that certain types of beverages seem to be designed to get people drunk, I'm with you 100%.  Tell me that a person can't participate in theological discussions because he enjoys a shot of Scotch once in a while and never gets drunk, well, ya lost me there.

TylerR's picture

Relax, my friend. You're clearly outraged over Trueman's use of alcohol. Why does it bother you so? He's a Presbyterian from England, and Grove City College isn't a Baptist fundamentalist institution which shares our sub-cultural interpretation of the "alcohol passages." It's not as though Trueman accepted a position at Maranatha Seminary!

As an aside, I watched Trueman do reformation history class at Masters Seminary, and there were some funny and uncomfortable moments during class when Trueman told stories which involved pubs ...  

Tyler Robbins is a pastor at Sleater-Kinney Road Baptist, in Olympia, WA, and an Investigations Manager with the State of Washington. He blogs as the Eccentric Fundamentalist

bobbycook's picture

I have been working my way through "The Wages of Spin". I have found the book both challenging and enlightening but now that I know Trueman imbibes I guess I'll have to trash it. Maybe C.S. Lewis too. 

TylerR's picture

I plan to do the same thing, as soon as I finish reading Trueman's book on grace alone ... The burn pit awaits.

Tyler Robbins is a pastor at Sleater-Kinney Road Baptist, in Olympia, WA, and an Investigations Manager with the State of Washington. He blogs as the Eccentric Fundamentalist

Aaron Blumer's picture

Trueman drives me a little bit crazy, because sometimes he is so eloquently right and sometimes so disappointingly (but still eloquently) wrong. 

.... Somehow CSLewis, since someone mentioned him, never disturbs me much even when he's wrong. I guess I understand better how his views cohere. 

Steve Davis's picture

WallyMorris wrote:

Trueman's alcohol use is not "Christian Liberty". His ancestry has nothing to do with his choice of beverage and cannot be used to justify such choices. I was under the impression that culture does not determine right and wrong. What disturbs me more is that some Christians will not criticize drinking scotch, brandy, or other strong alcoholic drinks.That lack of criticism shows how far the culture HAS influenced some people. Trueman's alcohol use is relevant to his judgment and wisdom. Someone who shows such a poor use of judgment and wisdom should not be teaching in ANY Christian college. Some say they "don't care" about his alcohol use? Wow - what a revealing statement.

"Wow - What a revealing statment."  I did say that Wally. And I'll say it again. I don't care that he drinks Scotch. My care capacity doesn't have room for everyone's personal choices. I understand that Carl is a brother in Christ, loves the Lord, and has been gifted to serve the Church. For that I rejoice. But Scotch? Not my thing. But no, I don't care. He stands and falls before his Master. So Wow-Wow!

TylerR's picture

Did your sister attend Grove City College?

Tyler Robbins is a pastor at Sleater-Kinney Road Baptist, in Olympia, WA, and an Investigations Manager with the State of Washington. He blogs as the Eccentric Fundamentalist

Bert Perry's picture

Per Jim's comment, here's an article about Scotch.  Not your thing?  Not mine either, but let's understand what it is and why people drink it.  In a nutshell, it's generally not something one gets drunk on--the tastes are too strong and the spirit too expensive, by and large.  The ice or water put into the glass also helps the drinker smell and taste it without being overcome by the "burn" of the spirit.

To be honest, the big thing that says "Danger Will Robinson" to me is not liquor in general, or hard liquor in general, but rather cheap liquor with a premium on alcohol and a minimal emphasis on taste.  Even that can be enjoyed responsibly, though.  

Really, one thing Wally's comment brings to mind is really a habit that is all to common--not just with Wally.  We see that bad effects can come of something, then assume it WILL come of that thing, and then we assume that someone using that something (say Steve's motorcycle or my mountain bike) is in sin because of it.  We need to learn to be more nuanced, I think. 

Joeb's picture

I may be wrong about this so I stand to be corrected.  In my readings I discovered JACK HYLES spoke at Maranartha during the day.  So JACK HYLES is okay but TRUMAN would not be.  Just because he drinks an occasional scotch.   Wow WALLY me’s think you need to re-examine the issue.  

Rob Fall's picture

More like because Hyles was a "Baptist" and Truman isn't. Though, Dr. Cedarholm was a thoroughgoing teetotaler.

Joeb wrote:

I may be wrong about this so I stand to be corrected.  In my readings I discovered JACK HYLES spoke at Maranatha during the day.  So JACK HYLES is okay but TRUMAN would not be.  Just because he drinks an occasional scotch.   Wow WALLY me’s think you need to re-examine the issue.  

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

TylerR's picture

Bert Perry's picture

I have to admit that I, had I been asked, would not have believed they made wine in Kreglinger's native Bayern.  I may post a review on my blog.

TylerR's picture

It was really a joke, but if it works for you, that's ok, Bert ... !

Tyler Robbins is a pastor at Sleater-Kinney Road Baptist, in Olympia, WA, and an Investigations Manager with the State of Washington. He blogs as the Eccentric Fundamentalist

Bert Perry's picture

A joke, but what if God is glorified in our enjoyment of the things He gives us?  What if a bit more knowledge of the vineyard would help us understand the Scriptures better?  Sure, Eugene Peterson, who wrote the foreword, doesn't have the best reputation in fundagelical circles--some of his stands are mocked rightly in the Babylon Bee--but what if the author got it right?

Going back to the topic of Trueman, I am reminded of the fact that fundamentalists were supposed to separate on Gospel critical issues, not the mode of immersion or whether someone had a drink every once in a while.  And when we don't interact with others--say wild and crazy Presbyterians or Bayern Maedel who grew up in a vineyard--we get dangerously isolated and even inbred, theologically speaking.  There is a real issue here to be dealt with. 

Joeb's picture

[quote=Rob Fall]

More like because Hyles was a "Baptist" and Truman isn't. Though, Dr. Cedarholm was a thoroughgoing teetotaler.

 

Joeb wrote:

 

I may be wrong about this so I stand to be corrected.  In my readings I discovered JACK HYLES spoke at Maranatha during the day.  So JACK HYLES is okay but TRUMAN would not be.  Just because he drinks an occasional scotch.   Wow WALLY me’s think you need to re-examine the issue.  

 

So Rob Nope Hyles was acceptable to speak at Maranatha because he was a Baptist versus a Presbyterian   That’s your answer versus Hyles was much amore questionable in his personal walk with Christ and teachings compared to Truman taking and enjoying a shot of whiskey once in a while. Even though Hyles allegedly  had a continuous adulterous relationship; covered for his son’s sexual sins; protected and stuck up for sex Predator Bus Driver; and gave a Soul winnning award to a Hyles Pastor in jail for sodomising six 13/14 year old boys on a church camping trip   Mes thinks Wally needs to reevaluate his position on Truman and drinking versus other heinous acts believers do ie being overweight; attacking and judging other believers over minutia etc   

PS.  When did Maranatha drop having Jack Hyles speaking yearly at a conference.  You Know did they look the other way while the Elephant was in the room versus the occasional shot drinking Pastor they’d kick to the curb on a moments notice. 

Joeb's picture

In regards to Truman,  good for him on the move. Both will gain from this move.  Grove City has no problem getting students.  Due to its low tuition

Christian Students are waiting in line to get in.  I believe Grove City is run by a former graduate who was CEO of the Tyco Corporation.  This CEO took the helm of Tyco after his predecessor went to jail in NY.  Bert I may be wrong this guy could have left could check me on that.    

Not criticizing Maranatha or BJU. Both have excellent academic reputations and have very good bang for your buck tuition.  I paid for two college educations at Gordon and can’t say they would have had the same bang for your buck equivalent.  In today’s market that’s a big big deal.  

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