On behalf of Reformed Forum, I am pleased to announce that our Board of Directors has appointed Dr. Lane G. Tipton as Fellow of Biblical and Systematic Theology. While he was already a member of our faculty, in this new role, Dr. Tipton will be devoting more of his time to theological writing and teaching through Reformed Forum.
On Monday, December 2, 2019, the following email was sent to the students at Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia from Dr. Peter Lillback regarding Dr. Lane Tipton’s departure from Westminster Seminary.
As you may recall, Dr. Lillback’s November 1, 2019 announcement indicated that more information regarding Dr. Lane Tipton’s departure from Westminster would be forthcoming. Please see the note below for more information. If you have further questions, please contact Westminster’s Communications Department at [email protected]
On behalf of a unanimous Board of Trustees and Senior Administration of Westminster Seminary, it is with sadness that I must report to you that Dr. Lane Tipton’s tenure as a Professor at the Seminary has been ended as of November 21, 2019, after fifteen years of teaching. To avoid misunderstandings, it is necessary to state that Dr. Tipton’s separation from employment is not due to theological or ecclesiastical positions he has taken, but to violations of the standards of conduct required of all professors at Westminster Theological Seminary.
Please join us in praying for Dr. Tipton, his family, and the Seminary community. We are grateful for your prayers.
In His Service,
Dr. Peter Lillback
On behalf of Reformed Forum, I am pleased to announce that our Board of Directors has appointed Dr. Lane G. Tipton as Fellow of Biblical and Systematic Theology. While he was already a member of our faculty, in this new role, Dr. Tipton will be devoting more of his time to theological writing and teaching through Reformed Forum. Dr. Tipton is well-known in our community, and I know many have been blessed by his unique and incisive scholarly gifts. We eagerly anticipate his greater contribution to the mission of Reformed Forum to support the Church in her charge of presenting every person mature in Christ (Col. 1:28).
We are also aware that there are questions regarding Dr. Tipton’s transition to Reformed Forum. It is our desire to promote truth and offer more clarity for the sake of the peace and purity of the Church. Therefore, we encourage you to read the statement posted below from Dr. Tipton.
I am most pleased that Reformed Forum has welcomed me into an increased role in its mission to promote and elucidate Reformed theology to a world in need of it. I have many friends here and am looking forward to doing what I can to be helpful in this ministry. As many who are acquainted with Reformed Forum may know, Westminster Theological Seminary yesterday announced that my tenure as a faculty member for the past fifteen years has been ended. That announcement denies that my employment was ended for theological or ecclesiastical reasons, but rather asserts that it was because I allegedly violated “standards of conduct required of all professors” at the Seminary. Although the accusation is unspecific, I am sufficiently aware of my own conduct, as are others inside and outside the Seminary, to say that the announced allegation is not true.
I am grateful for a second announcement from the Seminary yesterday that eliminates much of the darker innuendo of the previous one by posing and answering three “FAQs” (Frequently Asked Questions). The Seminary’s answer to the first of those questions appears to deny any connection between the decision to end my employment and my efforts to express my concerns regarding the theological formulations of Dr. Scott Oliphint with respect to the doctrine of God. However, I see it very differently. There were no complaints about my conduct during my fifteen year tenure at Westminster, at least none of which I was ever made aware, until after charges were brought against Dr. Oliphint in the courts of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and my name appeared as a potential expert witness regarding the theological issues that were raised by those charges. The first complaints about me to the Board of Trustees, as least insofar as I was told, were raised by Seminary leadership in May, after the charges against Dr. Oliphint had been dismissed. According to what I was told, those complaints began as pertaining to purported administrative inefficiencies on my part, but soon expanded to include dissatisfaction over how I responded to a series of Seminary inquiries regarding my connection to the ecclesiastical charges against Dr. Oliphint. The cumulative effect of these complaints led to the ending of my time at Westminster.
Although my service at Westminster Theological Seminary ended unpleasantly, my experience there, until the end, was joyful and rewarding for me, and I hope my efforts there will bear Kingdom-honoring fruit through the ministries of the many wonderful students it has been my privilege to teach.
The Lord is just in all his ways and kind in all his works (Ps 145:17). May brighter days be before us as we labor in the Kingdom for the glory of our King.
Lane G. Tipton