Covenant Theological Seminary and the decline of the PCA

(Tyson Turner) #22

Joseph, I wasn’t trying to say that Ince is supportive directly of the lesbian speaking at the MLK event. The significant lack in the PCA is that the most visible shepherds are at best silent and what seems more close to reality that they are supportive. Nabil is Moderator Ince’s son. All of these pastors who have relationships with those who are publicly promoting sin could easily stand up and say something public in direct opposition.

Just a little bit of searching reveals friendship between the groups. It is worthy at least pointing out because some in the PCA are quick to believe that it is just a couple of rouge PCA men who are abandoning God’s Word.

(Gary) #23

Looks like Dr. Ince follows Faith for Justice on Twitter. He knows the image is being used. Looks like his son actively promotes the organization on Twitter, too. I think there’s enough here to raise questions.

(Joseph Bayly) #24

Yes, @Gary but these are additional facts that are not contained in just a picture. Let’s be very clear about what we’re saying and what we’re basing it on.

And @ttwt, I agree.

(Gary) #25

Venneikia Williams is one of the 3 “Team members” of F4J.

Looks like she’s also a student at CTS. Here’s her FB page: , in which claims she seeks liberation “by any means necessary.”

Her posts are replete with racial animus, rage, and promotion of liberation theology.

Perhaps if the Dean of Students at CTS were informed of such behavior…

(Tyson Turner) #26

Yes, Dean of Students, Mike Higgins

(Gary) #27

This from Irwin’s FB page. So he’s fine with being called, “Part of the Faith for Justice team.”

(Joseph Bayly) #28

Which still doesn’t indicate much, in my opinion. I don’t mind digging to see what’s below the surface, but remember that F4J, as far as I know has only recently implicated themselves in the homosexualist agenda. Was that surprising? No. More specifically it’s hard to believe it could have been surprising to Pastor Higgins who is on the board.

Prior to this coming out party, the picture is no different than Ligon Duncan being pictured being friendly with Tim Keller or any other PCA feminist—and there are plenty of those, and there is certainly something bad about it. But the GRN pic would only have caused us to say what Tyson said above if it were not for the words that came with it telling us that they were making peace with liberals.

Anybody willing to make common cause with Michelle Higgins in 2018 certainly knew about how she was striking a blow for feminism. But we should all recognize that she’s done nothing compared to her father. Or Sauls. Or Keller.

Here’s what it comes down to in my mind: every pastor and elder in the PCA has a closer connection with men like Sauls than Erwin Ince’s connection to Ms. Higgins. And since Sauls and his ilk are the cause of Ms. Higgins, and many others like her, the responsibility seems to fall just the same on every silent ordained man as it does on Ince, even if there aren’t pictures of them going along to get along like there are of Ince.

If somebody asked Ince if, given the picture, he was willing to speak in opposition to the planned F4J event’s plan and he refused, that would be news. Or if he promoted the event today, that would be news.

I hope that makes sense.

(Gary) #29

Pastor Joe, I agree with you sentiment, I would probably take it a step further though. Not just every ordained man, but every member who buries their heads in the sand and sacrifices orthodoxy to the altar of porn, careers, politics, Saturday college football and Sunday NFL.

(Fr. Bill Mouser) #30

This is an excellent point, which exposes the critical failure in so many Protestant communions - Baptist, Anglican, Presbyterian. In all three (in their American versions, for sure) you could find pastors and other denominational leaders who would confess to the fullest orthodoxy, but they would not oppose those who wandered off the reservation. From the other side of their denominational boundaries (with respect to this or that doctrinal standard) they would continue building ministries, all the while saying “I’m a fine (Baptist, Anglican, Presbyterian, whatever).”

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the ostensible pillars of each communion’s leadership are professing allegiance to the home church, confessing its orthodoxy, never once lifting a finger to the renegades.

It’s always been a failure of nerve in the face of heterodoxy, then heresy, which has caused the truly orthodox to abandon their historic communions and to go out into the ecclesiastical wilderness to rebuild.

Tragic that the PCA, built from the ground up from these very sorts of refugee Presbyterians, should succumb to the very disease which prompted their creation!

(John M. ) #31

Are there any “Social Justice”-type organizations that are to the right of Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign position on the homosexual agenda?

I might even say that if any were, there would be a good claim that “Social Justice” would be false advertising.

(Andrew Lohr) #32

Mmmm. When I read the PCS NW Ga presbytery asking the PCA to disconnect from Covenant Seminary, it SAID the seminary can support itself and might be able to do its job better if free from the oversight of ordained men, so make it independent. It did not SAY let’s throw those liberals overboard. And I did not watch much of South City worship service, but I didn’t observe a saxophone in the first thirty seconds. (Thanx for the linx to create witnesses not just gossip.)

When US Army artillery captain Mike Higgins decided to go to seminary, he looked up seminaries in the phone book. The first one he called asked “How long have you been a Catholic?” The second (Concordia?) asked "How long have you been a Lutheran? The third, Covenant, asked “Are you a Christian?” So he went to Covenant. Not saying he’s always right or close to it, but I do think he’s our brother.

Do you have a statement you’d like South City Church and others to sign or put out? Something like: Triune Jehovah created Adam and Eve to be husband and wife. All sexual activity and indulgence in sexual lust that deviates from this model is sin that needs to be repented of and forsaken like any other sin. Being aware of temptation is not sin, as our Lord Jesus Christ was tempted, but pursuing temptation is sin: he who stares at a woman to daydream about having sex with her has committed adultery with her already in his heart. Repentance and forgiveness is welcome, e.g. to the Lord’s table, but need not extend to instant complete trust. (A man who has repented of sex with children had probably better not work in the nursery.) A very strong temptation is an enemy to be fought, not an identity to be accepted; a label for a problem, not for pride. Rebukes are to be in love (as defined by God), and pastoral wisdom extended to those trying to repent and struggling against temptation; which has not always been done.

(Tim Bayly) #33

Yes, Anglicans should return to Rome. They should admit their failure of nerve and repent. But of course, I’m kidding. Almost always, it’s the men who stay in who have no nerve. Was the case with the PC(USA) and will be the case with the PCA. There are many levels to engage you on this one, Fr. Bill, but as time goes on it will become clear to readers that you and I agree on this more than we disagree. And certainly we can both state right here and now that faith in the ministry to admonish and correct, as well as encourage and exhort, are the absolutely beginnings of faithful church officership. Much affection, always,

(Tim Bayly) #34

You realize this statement calls into question the truthfulness of our testimony, right? I’m sure you didn’t mean to, but there it is.

Concerning the overture, the entire context for its passage is Revoice. It’s often helpful to frame overtures in a way that avoids the issue. Strategy. “I am on trial because I believe in the resurrection of the dead.”

Concerning a statement, yours is excellent but Dean of Students Pastor Higgins has already put out statements in his Covenant alumni, and especially his daughter. His fruit is the problem. Plus when his session put out their statement claiming ignorance, it strains credulity. Love,

(Gary) #35

Andrew what exactly is your point. Higgins wants to be challenged on these types of social issues. He says so himself:

“I am waiting to be challenged on mentioning James Cone, Black Liberation Theology, and his writings, especially The Cross and The Lynching Tree yesterday in a Presbyterian Church in America worship service. I am actually hoping to be challenged on that.”

I love reading what people feel compelled to disclaim: “Do I embrace everything that Cone affirmed? No. But I don’t embrace everything that any theologian affirms,” especially when the purpose is to put theologians from Union (which recently proclaimed that Christ is not necessary for salvation), who have led millions of people astray, in the same category as those who have served to define the lines on which their own denominations are drawn. One can only ask: is he intentionally blurring the lines, or just critically misguided?

EDIT for source:

(and apologies for the confusion on the website, looks like F4J didn’t delete the blog post but had simply moved it)

(Fr. Bill Mouser) #36

Oh my yes! I guess that wasn’t clear from what I said. The ones who have nerve will kick up a fuss, but their colleagues lacking fuss will pull their punches for them, and join the renegades. I think we agree more than you seem to think.

The path by which all this plays out is highly affected by church polity. In hierarchical churches, those faithful to the old ways are usually down in the pews, effectively without much in the way of power (excepting power of the purse). For a good example, see those in the Roman church who are chafing against the homosexualist lobby widespread throughout their clergy, and also against a revisionist Pope.

On the other hand, American Protestantism in the past 100 years has seen two, rare examples of Protestant communions wrenching their denominations away from the liberalizers - the Missouri Synod Lutherans and the Southern Baptists. It was a decades-long project for the Baptists, and a six-year project for the Lutherans.

Far more common is the fate of the original Fundamenalists when they came up against the liberalizers across the denominational specturm in the late years of the 19th Century. By the mid 1920s the men with nerve (e.g. Machen, among the Presbyterians) were being shown the door. My own seminary (Dallas) was formed in this period, by Presbyterian Lewis Sperry Chafer and Anglican W. H. Griffith-Thomas. The point: there were men of nerve throughout all these varying Protestant bodies, but the liberalizers (at the beginning) had their hands on the institutional levers of power. The faithful (to whatever their historic denominational commitments) had only two options: put up or shut up. The former put up by departing to rebuild. Like the PCA, for example, many years after those early 20th-Century ecclesiastical fractures.

(Gary) #37

And here’s Faith for Justice, and Irwin Ince’s son Jelani Ince, promoting a radical ideology called, “Womanism.”:

What is “womanism?”

“A womanist is, according to Walker’s 1979 story Coming Apart , an African-American heterosexual woman willing to utilize wisdom from African-American lesbians about how to improve sexual relationships and avoid being sexually objectified.” -

Gee, that kind of sounds like inviting an apparently wise transgendered African-American homosexual to come speak at an FFJ.

Ms. Higgins seems well versed in Alice Walker (The Color Purple author):

Ms. Walker’s own daughter told the world 10 years ago just how dangerous her mother’s ideology was:

“The truth is that I very nearly missed out on becoming a mother - thanks to being brought up by a rabid feminist who thought motherhood was about the worst thing that could happen to a woman…You see, my mum taught me that children enslave women.”

(Dan Burke) #38

For what it’s worth:

Covenant.pdf (1.4 MB)

(Tim Bayly) #39

Dear Dan,

You realize this letter from Mark is lies and slander, right? He falsely accuses critics of Covenant and Revoice of lies and slander, but doesn’t name even one. Months back when he tried, the ones he came up with were straw men. As strongly as Mark condemns Covenant’s critics is how strongly everyone should condemn him for this letter filled with accusations that his critics are liars.

Add to this that the letter will help nothing and the tragedy of the whole project becomes painfully evident.

(Dan Burke) #40


I didn’t post this letter to start an argument but to add to the ongoing discussion. This response, for what it’s worth, seemed relevant to this thread.

A public provocation warrants a public defense or clarification of their position on these issues. That is how I read the bullet points at least. With regard to their written position on biblical sexuality being a lie, I’m not sure I am following.



(Tim Bayly) #41

Sure, I know. But let’s count the accusations in what you posted from Covenant’s prez, Mark Dalbey. As they occur: “rumors,” “falsehoods,” “patently false,” “slanderous,” “sinfully slander,” “slander,” “completely untrue,” “actively misrepresenting,” “misinformation,” “misbehavior,” “falsehood,” “untrue,” “falsehoods,” “attacks,” “distractions,” “noise,” “confusion.”

This is no ongoing discussion. It’s lies and slander, dear brother.