Saturday, April 23, 2011

Follow Up: Denver Seminary's Transformation (Updated)

First, I have contacted Denver Seminary President Mark Young via email.  Since I wanted to include links in my letter to him, it seemed the most appropriate format.  I have not yet received a reply from anyone at Denver Seminary.  The day after the email was sent, however, four visits totalling nearly twenty minutes were made to this blog from Denver Seminary's server.  At this point, I don't intend to make any further attempts to elicit a response from the school.  As of this writing, the video is still available on their website.

Second, I contacted one of the "Affiliate Guides" of Pomegranate Place to clarify a point included in her biography.  Michanda Lindsey's bio says she "serves as a priest for a local cathedral".  Several search attempts using various key words and forms of her name turned up nothing.  A search on her name alone, however, turned up a top hit with a local talent agency.  In a telephone conversation with Myrna Ramos at the Donna Baldwin agency, Myrna said she did not know about that aspect of Lindsey's personal life and offered to pass along my contact information.  In short order I had an email from Lindsey telling me to feel free to contact her, but there has been no subsequent response to my query about where she serves as priest.

UPDATE:  Lindsey has responded, but declines to name the Cathedral, "I appreciate your inquiry.   However, my responses are not suited for email and would be better suited by phone or in person.  This would allow me to also gain a better understanding of who you are as well."

Last, I ask readers from Denver Seminary arriving via avenues such as google reader notices to feel free to contact me via email (link available on the profile page).  You should know that even in the middle of Holy Week this blog had approximately 1000 hits as a result of this story being picked up by other blogs.  Some will likely think it par for the course trajectory of evangelicalism in general.  Others will wonder how a supposedly conservative evangelical institution has fallen so far off the rails.

My question?  If you believe yourself to be a Christian of orthodox belief -- What are you doing to call your school to account for leading unsuspecting souls astray?

11 comments:

Caedmon said...

Michanda Lindsey's bio aroused my interest as well, especially the statement that she "serves as a priest for a local cathedral". Immediately I thought of St. John's Episcopal cathedral, as TEC ordains women and calls their clergycritters "priests", but I found nothing which indicates that she serves there. Like you, I found nothing whatsoever about her on the web, and I would therefore be very interested in ascertaining just which "local cathedral" it is that she serves as a "priest." This whole thing gets curiouser and curiouser.

As for Denver Seminary's response -- or lack thereof - well at least we know the powers that be are aware of the controversy. I'm guessing they're also aware of the fact that Fr. Kendall Harmon picked up the story at his TitusOneNine blog:

http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/36066/

I'd say it would be in the institution's best interest to make a public statement on the matter.

Kamilla said...

No surprises - but two things I don't think I've mentioned which lend strength to my belief that DenSem leaders are not only aware of what their alumna is doing, but approve of it.

First, not only is the wife of New Testament Professor Bill Klein one of the "Affiliate Guides" of Pomegranate Place but Professor Bradley Widstrom lists the Women's Center as a "like" on his Facebook page.

Second, Vaun Swanson along with her co-authors of "Taking Flight: Reclaiming the Female half of God's Image" were invited to speak to the October 2010 meeting of the Denver Chapter of "Christians" for Biblical Equality. The Denver chapter is a frequent guest, hosting their meetings in seminary facilites and publicizing them around campus as well as numbering several faculty among its members.

In the early days of religious feminism, the late Vernon Grounds brought many of the pioneers like Nancy Hardesty to the campus for a conference in 1978 giving the fledgling movement a crucial boost and veneer of credibility.

Caedmon said...

By the time I began my studies there in 1981, femitarianism had a gained a pretty strong foothold, or so it appeared to me. Though I briefly dabbled with it in the the late 80s, other influences propelled me in a Catholic and traditionalist direction, and I quickly jettisoned the femitarian stuff. But I remember my impression of it all back in 1981 was that it was just so "trendy." There was an unreflective embrace of modernity in it that made me uncomfortable. I eventually began to see that it was all part and parcel of a quest to "engage the culture" which in reality was a surrender to modern culture; a conforming to the spirit of the world which the Gospel condemns. The idea of Christianity as being a salutary countercultural force was lost.

Interestingly, it was also during the early 1980s that the New Age Movement was projected onto the world scene. Gordon Lewis and others at the seminary correctly assessed the dangers of this movement, and sometime around 1983 or so the seminary hosted a highly publicized conference on the New Age, which featured speakers from all over the country.

There are those who argue that femintarianism is the "Arianism" of our day, meaning a heresy par excellence. I am increasigly inclined to think it's true.

Kamilla said...

Caedmon,

That is, in part, what makes this so frustrating. Along with Gordon Lewis, Doug Groothuis has consistently argued against "New Age" pagan and occultic syncretism with Christianity - and yet Groothuis will not allow himself to see that the feminism he so ardently espouses is, at the very least, the camel's nose under the tent that allows this sort of thing to follow on.

Honestly, can anyone show me a group that has embraced this sort of pagan syncretism *without* having previously embraced feminism?

Incidentally, I recently picked up the nickname, Athanasius!

Caedmon said...

"Incidentally, I recently picked up the nickname, Athanasius!"

A right honorable nickname, and it looks like you've earned it! A very blessed Easter to you, Kamilla.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kamilla said...

Anonymous,

While I allow unsigned comments, I reserve the right to delete them. This is my blog and the rules are mine. If you were a guest in my home and treated my kitchen sink as if it was the toilet, I'd probably ask you to leave.

Here, however, you are welcome to stick around and post another comment. Just please do try to make it something of more substance than the "you're so mean and they're so nice" variety. I've heard it before and, frankly, it bores me. If your second comment is in a par with the first, it will be deleted as well.

We're dealing with the fate of souls here. And what I defend is Christian Orthodoxy, not my personal opinion. Intentions don't amount to the value of a rat's right butt cheek if the glass you are offering is filled with draino when in all sincerity you believe it to be water.

Caedmon said...

"Along with Gordon Lewis, Doug Groothuis has consistently argued against 'New Age' pagan and occultic syncretism with Christianity - and yet Groothuis will not allow himself to see that the feminism he so ardently espouses is, at the very least, the camel's nose under the tent that allows this sort of thing to follow on."

Indeed:

http://theconstructivecurmudgeon.blogspot.com/2009/09/from-christians-for-biblical-equality.html

From Christians for Biblical Equality--Denver

Dear Friends,

Please join us for the next meeting of the Denver Chapter of Christians for Biblical Equality.

We will meet Monday, September 28, 11:30-1pm in the Executive Board Room at Denver Seminary.

A complimentary light lunch will be served at 11:30am. The program will take place from 12:00 to 1:00pm.

Dr. Doug Groothuis, Professor of Philosophy at Denver Seminary, will speak on “Egalitarianism and the Witness of the Gospel.”

We hope to see you there,

Janet George
Mary Hanson
Vaun Swanson
Lindsey Widstrom

Kamilla said...

Interesting! And not only is Swanson listed as a chapter leader, but when I checked on chapter details at CBEs website, the address they list is Denver Seminary's address. I hadn't realized the connections were quite so tight.

http://www.cbeinternational.org/?q=content/chapters#colorado

Fr. Bill said...

As vicar of St. Athanasius Anglican Church, I applaud your attracting to yourself Athanasius' motto: Contra Mundum! Kamilla Contra Mundum -- trips off the tongue nicely, no?

Our parish motto is Contra Mundum Redivivus. In any respect that this is not a motto for us, it is a prayer for what we might become.

On the Sunday which commences Holy Week, in which the motto of our Lord at that time was Mundus Contra Iesum, we revel in the knowledge that He overcame the world. Iesus Contra Mundum, Athanasius Contra Mundum, Christians Against the World -- this is the posture of evangelists and disciple makers. It doesn't make any of us candidates for popularity contests!

Trent said...

Wow!
Only recently, have I been figuring out that Denver Seminary is turning into a bastion of liberalism...too bad.
I have a female friend who wants to attend there, as she has "heard good things about it." Hopefully she does not go, but that is still at least 5 years away, and in that amount of time it would not surprise me if the seminary gets even more liberal.