James White’s eternal doctorate: And what’s yours worth?

James White’s blog aomin.org is my favourite, especially his podcast “The Dividing Line.” Alas, owing to the haaaalidays, there have been no podcasts, and so I’ve been feeling rather forlorn.

What I want to talk about here is White’s Doctorate obtained from the unaccredited “Columbia Evangelical Seminary.” (See “Of Doctorates and eternity”

Before I talk about the besmirching of White’s degree, let me say something about degrees in general. Did you know that some accredited universities in the US accept doctoral students from certain countries and when they graduate their degree contains the stipulation that it is not valid in the US?

When I was teaching at Fort Hare University (Nelson Mandela studied there – whoopee), one of the junior lecturers in the (English) Department said he was going to the US for 18 months to do an M.A. I said to him: “Eighteen months! Why don’t you do two or three?”

I know several South African graduates from accredited British Universities, who couldn’t explain what their dissertations/theses were about, and never published, and will – if I’ve got nothing to do with it – never ever be able to publish in an accredited journal.

Back to James White. What counts, as White, correctly points out, not exactly in these words, that if you can’t DO, your piece of paper is not even worth the doo-doo you wiped it on. And James White sure can do. So all you Arminians and Muslims (now not only James, but me as well, has put his foot in it), put that in your pipe and smoke it.

But hey, James, you too are not exactly snow white. Remember that time you cocked a snook from your underground bunker at Liberty University at Ergun Caner’s PhD from the “University of South Africa.” Now, it is you who is being horrible. Of course, I know that if you knew (and knew me) that I did my teacher’s diploma and B.A. Honours (French) there, you would have been more – as the Apostle Peter admonishes – gentle and respectful.

There’s another South African University tucked away in the cute North-Western town of Potchefstroom (formerly “Potchefstroom University,” now “North West University”). As far as Christian theology goes, especially Reform theology, Potch is high up there. Ask any Dutchman. Mike Licona sometimes hangs out there.

“Mike has a Ph.D. in New Testament Studies (University of Pretoria). He completed all requirements “with distinction” and the highest marks. He is a frequent speaker on university campuses, churches, Christian groups, retreats, frequently debates, and has appeared as a guest on dozens of radio and television programs. He is a member of the Evangelical Philosophical Society, the Institute for Biblical Research, and the Society of Biblical Literature. Mike is currently the president of Risen Jesus ministries and serves as an external research collaborator, Faculty of Theology, North-West University (Potchefstroom).”

Now James, or any other (North) American, don’t diss North West University (Potch), ’cause I did my M.A. there. En passant, I also have a Ph.D. (applied linguistics – so now I am qualified to do something with it) from a South African University, the University of Cape Town. Stop it! Didn’t you know that the first successful heart transplant was done there? True, the patient, a Jewish grocer, Louis Washkansky , only lived on for 18 days.

Viva University of Cape Town, viva Potchefstroom University – and vivaaaa Columbia Evangelical Seminary. And viva all Calvinists, Jewish and otherwise.