No Word from Concordia Chicago Yet on Professors Signatures Supporting William Ayers Petition

Yesterday  we reported that several professors from  Concordia University Chicago  (an institution of the LCMS) have signed a petition that supports William Ayers and his radical views on education.  We called President Johnson yesterday to ask him to request that these signers recant thier position of support for the petition and Ayer’s radical views. President Johnson is out of the office for several days but  we are under the impression that he received  our message because we got a call back from his office within ten minutes after alerting them to the situation. His secretary called us back and asked for more information about the petition and where it could be found.

Since then we have not received a call back as to what action, if any, is being taken. There is also no news on the matter on the Concordia website. If you are concerned about this matter, you and the other 7,000+ readers of this website may want to contact Concordia and share your concerns with them. As we reported yesterday, support for William Ayers and his radical philosophy of education is not in keeping with a confessional Lutheran and Scriptural view of God, man and society.

Pastor Rossow

About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.


No Word from Concordia Chicago Yet on Professors Signatures Supporting William Ayers Petition — 8 Comments

  1. I must admit that I feel two almost contradictory ways about this issue. First, I believe William Ayers should be in jail and if academics had any integrity this man would have been shunned instead of embraced. However, I also believe that individuals should have the academic freedom to sign petitions if they see fit.

  2. Dr. Phillips,

    Thank you for your participation on the BJS website and your thoughtful comment.

    I have some experience with academia. I was a teaching fellow for two years at St. Louis University where I taught freshman philosphy and I have even taught at the university under discussion here (an Old Testatment course). I too am aware of the need for academic freedom but it does have its limits. Try this view on and see if it works.

    Universities, even conservative, confessional Lutheran universities should be places where the mind is taught to analyze things, even question things so that the mind can be sharpened to better know and articulate the truth. The truth that they are to be taught is to be consistent with the revealed truths of Gods word. This is a far cry from saying that all citizens and teachers are called upon “to be skeptical of authoritative claims” (from the petition).

    This is not a Christian philosophy of education that the petition describes. It contradicts the essence of Christianity. The Bible teaches that God is the creator and we are not. He has authority over us. We do not question his authority but relish it, welcome it, and praise Him for it all because He has redeemed us from our selfish, sinful, authority-questioning self and given us new life in Christ.

    Bill Ayers is a Marxist (his words not mine) who believes that authority figures such as God are the opiate of the people and thus are to be questioned and rejected. Professors who sign petitions in support of people like this and thier godless philosophy ought not to be teaching in our conservative, confessional, Lutheran universities.

    If you study Bill Ayers philosophy in depth you will see that he espouses freedom at all costs. We Christians do not rank freedom as the end all. As a matter of fact, we are happy to be humble faithful servants, which in many respects is the opposite of this absolute freedom at all costs thing which is actually quite arrogant and prideful. Acadmeic freedom is important but whatever it means, it does not mean that we are free to define the universe in such a way that all authority must be questioned.

    Besides all of that philosophy of educaiton talk, does it not bother you that professors at one of our LCMS universities are signing a petition in support of a guy who does not regret fire-bombing peoples houses?


    Pastor Rossow

  3. Yes. It bothers me very much. I don’t understand how they could do it. I simply thought they as free individuals should have the right to sign the petition. I don’t know if this signing violates their contractual obligations at CUC. I hope no one at Concordia-NE signs this silly thing.

    I received my Ph.D from SLU.

  4. Dr. Phillips,

    Good to be talking with a fellow Biliken (sp?). I graduated with an MA in philosophy in 1987 (wrote my paper on Bonaventure’s metaphysics).

    I still question their freedom to sign. I am free to to sin but obligated by God’s word not to. They are “free” to sign anything they want, but because they teach our children at our university (a conservative, Bible-beleiving, confessional university), they are obligated to refrain from holding a pagan philosophy of education. Remember my main point is not about the individuals who signed but about the the fact that this is in part, proof that our Concordias are not under the supervision that they ought to be. Either they are too big or we need to increase the amount and manner of of supervision.

    I call on President Johnson to ask these professors of ours to recant these signatures. I spoke to his office earlier this week and will call back again this coming week to find out in what manner he will excerise supervision on behalf of all of us in the LCMS who will not stand for this nonsense.

    Pastor Rossow

  5. I seriously doubt CUC’s enrollment will plummet because a few education professors sign a petition. However, I would probably choose another education program. As far as I know no one at CU-NE has signed it and I don’t think they would.

  6. It probably would not plummet because we have chosen to fund our universities with tuition dollars from the secular world which is why we find ourselves in this position. Most of our tuition income is coming from non-Lutherans.

    Our philosophy of education is growing pagan. If it is not, would someone from a Concordia education dept. please check in here and tell us that this is not the case. While you are at it, maybe you can explain why your peers have signed on to a pagan philosophy of education?

    Pastor Rossow

  7. Pr Rossow,

    What you stated may be true about CUC but it’s not the case about CUNE. Approximately 70 % of our student body is LCMS. However, I don’t have a problem with non-LCMS students. At CUNE the education department addresses different theories of education but it is very centered on Christian Lutheran Education. I am not an education professor but I teach many future history teachers.

    Much of our income is tuition based. If you’d like to raise funds for our endowment and scholarship funds to defray the costs of tuition that would be great. Our financial situation can be quite limiting.

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