Cedarville, Let there be Light. (pt. 2)

Read Part One

Further Questions, All Relating to the University Statement on Dr. Pahl’s Dismissal:

  • If Dr. Pahl’s book, The Beginning and the End, was controversial enough to lead to his dismissal, why was the book allowed to be used as a textbook last school year?
    • Shouldn’t we trust the Bible professors’ judgment in their selection of the book as a text?
    • If we should, then was it worth firing Dr. Pahl over a book which other CU professors approved of enough to require as a text for their courses?
    • If not, why not? Why don’t we trust these highly-trained men and women as an institution? Shouldn’t they be a resource instead of a feared danger? Does this potential fear have anything to do with Dr. Pahl being dismissed?
  • Do all members of the Board of Trustees agree with “each and every position of Cedarville University’s Doctrinal Statement” in the way Dr. Pahl was expected to in order to still be allowed to teach?
    • If he was dismissed, despite the apparent alignment of his personal views and those expressed in his writing to the Doctrinal Statement, is there a possibility that some of the trustees should also be dismissed according to such strict standards?
  • Was Dr. Pahl dismissed for something that wrote which contradicts the Doctrinal Statement? If so, what was it exactly that he wrote? (I have been unable to find anything in The Beginning and the End)
  • If Dr. Pahl was not fired for something he wrote, was he fired for something that he didn’t write? Again, if so, what was it exactly that he didn’t affirm?
  • Furthermore, is firing someone for not affirming something fair? Are all professors required to affirm the Doctrinal Statement in its entirety in everything they write and/or publish?
  • What is the administration’s vision for the future of the Bible Department at Cedarville University?
  • How does firing an orthodox, promising scholar who is committed to Scripture and to the gospel help to achieve that vision?
  • Has Dr. Pahl been cared for by the University in any way during this process? As our brother in Christ, have we dismissed him in a way that is honoring to God and helpful to him and his family?
  • What explanation has been given to the students who have been affected by Dr. Pahl’s dismissal (i.e. the ones registered for his classes)? Has that explanation been accurate and forthright?
  • Are any other professors currently being considered for dismissal by the University for things they have written and published?

(CONTINUED: An Explanation)

Categorized as Personal

By joshuapsteele

The Rev. Dev. I solve problems with a pastor's heart for people and a programmer's eye for detail. Learn more at https://steele.omg.lol/


  1. Here’s a question. He was only here for a year, and they dismissed him for not adhering to the doctrinal statement. What kind of screening process do they have that allows a professor to work here for a year before it’s readily apparent he doesn’t hold tightly to the doctrinal statement?

  2. All good questions and I would suggest a possible answer. First, let me be clear I do not know Pahl or his book, although I have ordered it, so what I’m going to say is just speculation based on some experience in these cases. I have seen the process of hiring/firing at small private schools and what many people don’t realize is that job security at many of these small schools is very much in the hands of just a few people. If the provost or equivalent person has any reason to feel that a faculty member is not “right” for the school they can find any number of reasons for dismissal. Although many cases are said to be the result of doctrinal differences I believe that most of these are personality clashes. yes, there is often some small difference in doctrine but if the person was well liked in all other respects they probably would not have lost their jobs based on those differences. But if the person has rubbed a few administrators the wrong way personally that small doctinal difference becomes the tool used to dismiss them. In addition to this, small schools take teaching very seriously as it much more part of their image than a large public institution. All it takes is a couple of students complaining about something said in class to the president or provost and a job can be in danger. I teach at a university and a few student complaints aren’t going to put my job in danger. In the case of Pahl there aren’t many on-line student reviews but the ones there are, aren’t so good. In fact I have found that those on-line reviews often aren’t far off. Students aren’t going to take the time to write a review unless they are thrilled with a teacher or really upset with one. There will always be malcontents but when there are more than a few at a small school you will have yourself a problem. I would speculate that Pahl may have had some minor doctrinal differences that by themselves would not be grounds for dismissal but there is probably some unsaid incident where he either said something or students complained that gave someone in the administration the feeling that they needed to move on with this position.

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