To the Trustees of Midwestern Seminary,
I do not envy you the job you have. Dr. Jason Allen has been nominated by your search committee as your next president and it is up to you to decide whether to affirm that nomination or decline it and renew the search. A lot of eyes are on you and there has been no shortage of opinions about the nomination. We are in a new age in which social media gives opinions such as mine and the others you have heard a wide hearing.
You have had letters threatening to de-fund the seminary if you elect Jason Allen. You have had more thoughtful letters, such as the one we published here yesterday from Dr. Rodney Hammer, that raise some issues that you should consider in your deliberations. You have heard from people who see Calvinist machinations or the hand of the Louisville puppet-master behind this nomination. I am sure you have also heard from many who believe that Dr. Allen is well-qualified to be your president and a brilliant choice by your search committee.
We are in a new world in which folks like me not only have opinions but a platform to announce them – and few have held back. The voices are loud and discordant as they attempt to instruct you on your proper course. Yes, no. Qualified, unqualified.
You have a tough job.
I have one word of encouragement for you. Do your job and do it well. You have been entrusted by the SBC with the authority to make this decision. You will have all the information and confidential reports that we do not (and should not) have access to and you will decide who should be the next president of your institution. That is your job and no one else’s. No matter how loud the din of the self-appointed gatekeepers becomes, no matter how ardent the demands for you to yield to this opinion or that, the decision is yours.
It is my hope that you will listen to reasonable voices on both sides of the debate, but ultimately you have to make the choice. I pray that God will grant you the wisdom you need to wade through the information, analyze the qualifications of Dr. Allen and render a sound decision.
There is no question that whatever choice you make, there will be people who are upset. If you affirm Dr. Allen, there will be some loud voices of dissent. If you feel he is not the man, there will be deep disappointment among some who will feel you caved to pressure. But at some point you must shut out all the voices and make your own decision. You are not called to please letter writers or bloggers, but to do what is best for the institution whose future we have put in your hands. At some point, you will have to turn down the volume of the voices from outside and make a quiet decision on your own.
And I want you to know that there are a lot of us out here who are willing to yield to your decision, whatever you choose. If you, after careful deliberation, discussion, prayer and examination, come to believe that Dr. Allen is the right man for the job, we will rejoice and pray for him to do a wonderful job that will win over even his most ardent critics. If you decide, after that same careful process, that you should not approve his nomination, we will yield to your qualms and pray for you as the search continues.
We all share a common desire – to see Midwestern Seminary put its days of upheaval behind it and enter a golden age, preparing great men for great service in our great denomination. You hold that future in your hands as you make this decision; and awesome task. We trust that you will take your job seriously and review this nomination carefully.
God bless you as you make your choice.