Originating From a Secret Bunker Dug By William Hosea Holcombe and J.B. Gambrell Somewhere Off the Square in Oxford, Mississippi
In 2013 at Louisiana College in Pineville, Louisiana, there was a dust up concerning Calvinism. (Louisiana College is a Baptist college affiliated with the Louisiana Baptist Convention.) It is believed that three professors did not have their contracts renewed there because Calvinism was allegedly being pushed on students. Additionally, Dr. Chuck Quarles, who was then Dean of Louisiana College’s Caskey School of Divinity and now teaches at the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC, was forced to resign. Interestingly, shortly after leaving Louisiana College, Quarles was admitted to the Society for New Testament Studies. Only two other Southern Baptists are members of this society, which is widely deemed the most prestigious society of New Testament scholars in the world.
According to a Shreveport Times article dated March 15, 2014 (“Was Calvinism or politics at root of Louisiana College conflict?“), audio tapes have been made available to the secular press that appear to show the alleged pushing of Calvinism at Louisiana College was totally contrived. Conversely, quoting Dr. Quarles, the article also implies that the Executive Director of the Louisiana Baptist Convention was pushing the Traditional Statement as a formal doctrinal statement at the Caskey School of Divinity. The effect would have been to narrow the parameters of the Baptist Faith and Message to a place where Calvinist leaning professors would have been excluded. Please note that the Executive Director of the Louisiana Baptist Convention is none other than David Hankins, father of Eric Hankins, who is pastor of Oxford’s First Baptist Church and author of the Traditional Statement.
So what hath Oxford to do with Pineville? If the Times article is accurate, then a controversial document originating from Oxford, Mississippi, may have played a part in the forced resignation of a world-class biblical scholar at Louisiana College, who also happens to be a native of Lafayette County. To the sizable number of people from the Oxford area who signed the Traditional Statement, is this what you really wanted? Some of you know Chuck Quarles. I suspect a few claim to be his friend. Enough said.