Concerning Michael Farris

“Make sure and contact your state legislator to register your opposition to this proposed legislation to require home school parents to register with the local school district. Be sure to be nice and respectful when you contact them.”

Michael ‘Augustine is in Hell’ Farris
Speaking at a Home school rally in Lansing Michigan

Now, given that Michael Farris has repeatedly disparaged Calvinist theology, I am not a big fan. Ironically enough, what Farris doesn’t likely know is that historically speaking Arminianism has always been prone to support big Government aspirations while Calvinists have historically been on the side of resisting governmental tyranny. If Mike ‘Augustine has to go’ Farris wants a history lesson in this regard he might want to google ‘Arch-Bishop William Laud’ and look at his theology (Arminian) and his politics (Statist).

Second, what reason, beyond sheer ignorance on the part of the fellow who founded Patrick Henry College, motivated a person, who apparently doesn’t like epistemologically self conscious Calvinists, to name his College after one of the fieriest Calvinist colonialist who ever lived?

Just imagine this scene,

Professor being interviewed for position at Patrick Henry College: “I am looking forward to lecturing at a school named after the premier Calvinist in Colonial America.”

President Farris: “We don’t approve of Calvinism at this school.”

Prospective Professor: “You don’t approve of Calvinism at Patrick Henry College? Isn’t that like not approving of pregnancy at a Lamaze class?”

Well, quite apart from that idiosyncrasy there is something else I want to delve into briefly as it pertains to the above Michael Farris quote.

Can anybody tell me why it is essential to go out of my way to be ‘nice and respectful’ to an enemy who is trying to kill me? I don’t get it.

In the movie ‘Saving Private Ryan’ Spielberg has a vicious scene of hand to hand combat between two soldiers who are intent on killing each other. Neither one takes the time to be nice or respectful to one another in the course of their deadly encounter. Both understand that this is about life and death and not about social niceties. Now granted, state legislators are not trying to literally kill anybody when they advance ‘kill home schooling’ legislation but with this anti-home school legislation their ultimate goal is to eliminate the home schoolers way of life, which in turn is an attempt to eliminate (kill) their faith. It’s probably just my personality, but I have no intent to be nice or respectful to somebody who is trying to do that to me. That doesn’t mean I am going to go out of my way to be rude or mean-spirited but it does mean that I am not going to mince words when articulating what I think of their fascistic tendencies to want to control what is none of their damn business to control. If Farris wants to be nice and respectful that is his business. Personally, I would rather these nanny state legislators fear me as opposed to thinking me nice and respectful. If they change their minds, I’ll be glad to be nice and respectful but until they quit trying to kill my influence in my children’s lives and until they quit trying to steal the little lambs I am pastorally responsible for they shouldn’t be surprised if I take their behavior personally and respond with my own shiver in the dark.

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Familialist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture. Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

5 thoughts on “Concerning Michael Farris”

  1. It’s one thing to say that Farris is not a Calvinist. It’s quite another thing to make up a quote of him saying PHC does not approve of Calvinism. (I think you put it “imagine”)

    I don’t necessarily take issue with the rest of your statements as they are opinion.

    But as an alumnus of PHC, I can tell you that the school takes no such position on Calvinism.

    Words do mean things–be carefully how you use them — imaginary or otherwise.

    With Regards,

    A PHC Alum

  2. Did PHC or did it not fire Professors who endorsed Augustine — a progenitor of Calvin?

    Has MF said that “Augustine was in hell” as he has been quoted by others in the know?

    Has MF repeatedly disparaged Calvinism as has been reported by those close to the scene?

    Imagine means ‘imagine.’ I was painting a scenario based upon reports I’ve read about Michael Farris attitude towards Calvinists. If he has the attitude that he has then it is not difficult to ‘imagine.’

    You know imagine… Kind of like ‘pretend.’

    Here is a quote from a publication that I pulled from online that supports my post,

    Theology professor Todd Bates, who is a Calvinist, claims Farris told him “a person of the reformed position … cannot in good conscience sign the [school’s] statement of faith.” In July, Farris will be replaced as president by Dr. Graham Walker, who was formerly the vice president for academic affairs and dean of Oklahoma Wesleyan University. Farris says he is surprised the disgruntled professors would leave PHC even though they knew he would no longer be president. Farris, the founding president of the school, will continue with PHC in the role of chancellor.

    Noticed he wasn’t replaced by somebody from Oklahoma Reformed University.



    p.s. — I thought they taught rhetoric, debate, and general reasoning skills at Patrick Henry College? You’ve got the rhetoric and bluster down. Now for the general reasoning skills…

    Let’s start with the need for evidence and the danger of unsubstantiated innuendo.

  3. Bret,

    First, let me say that like many other PHC alumni and current students and, yes, even current professors, I consider myself to be a Calvinist.

    Second, you characterized my post as “bluster.” And perhaps you are right. I’m jealous of my school’s reputation. And the last thing I would want is for calvinists to think that PHC is anti-Calvinist. I thought my post contained no more bluster than your own.

    Now, as far as logic goes…my point was never that Mike Farris is not a Calvinist. My point was that it takes a leap of logic to go from “Mike Farris is not a Calvinist” to Calvinism or Calvinist professors are not welcome at PHC.

    After reading your reply, I can understand how you might think so.

    But consider the following:

    -Prof. Darrel Cox, Associate Professor of Biblical Studies, is a graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s where D.A. Carson is a professor.

    -The provost of PHC, Dr. Gene Edward Veith, is an active member of the conservative branch of the Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod). (While conservative Lutherans are not exactly Calvinists, they are reformed.)

    -Consider also PHC’s Chairman of the Department of Classical Liberal Arts, Steve Hake. He received his M.Div. in theology from Westminster Theological Seminary. Hardly a Wesleyan institution.

    -I don’t know the current professors very well, but I can think of one PHC professor who would consider himself Reformed Baptist.

    -Last I had heard, about half of PHC’s board of directors are Calvinist.

    What you may not know, is that no one was fired from PHC for their Calvinist beliefs.

    The dispute between Mike Farris and a few of the professors was tragic. I pray that two sides will reconcile. (Mike Farris has said that as a Christian he is bound to continually make such attempts.)

    The only thing that could make this tragedy worse would be to have Calvinist professors and students shun the college because they think its anti-Calvinist and anti-reformed theology. This is simply not the case.

    (How’s that for general reasoning skills 🙂 )

    With Regards,


  4. Phcalum,

    It was quite good as it pertains to ‘general reasoning skills’ and answered a good number of my concerns. Thank you for taking some time to do so.

    Still, my conviction is that if we are to be successful, by God’s grace alone, in championing Christianity in such a way that Americans turn to Christ alone it must be done according to a Biblical, which is to say, Reformed mindset.

    In as much as PHC is consistent with being Reformed it can be a great means to the end of Reformation and awakening. I as much as PHS is inconsistent with being Reformed it will be part of the problem and not the solution.

    I am encouraged to know that you are a fellow Biblical Christian (i.e. – Reformed). May your tribe increase.

    Forgive me for my bluster.


  5. First off let me say that this comment thread was actually pretty hysterical as it perfectly encapsulates the type of discussion and debate I find myself in with my Christian friends. As we go back and forth on a very particular issue (I would say that Calvinism is a big one, Farris’ stance on it is not) we ‘fire shots’ at each other but ultimately conclude with courtesy.
    Anyway, I loved “jetbrane”s writing style. The witty style certainly kept me interest in his point.
    It was fascinating to stumble upon this article as I have quite literally spent the last two days researching two things: reformed theology and patrick henry college. Ironically enough, I fell in love with both of them. Over the past couple weeks and especially the last two days my seemingly never ending struggle with the doctrine of election came to an end as I realized that predestination is the only doctrine that is truly consistent with Christ’s message and the Bible as a whole.
    Additionally, I was also fascinated with Micheal Farris and PHC. It was everything I was looking for in a college and the millions of things that Farris has done in his life is quite literally the millions of things I myself had thought about doing.
    In turn, I thought it would be interesting to research what Farris position on Election was and whaddya know, the first thing that popped up was “Micheal ‘Augustine is in Hell’ Farris”. Perfect.
    Anyways, I can conclude this post “For christ, and for liberty” not because I have chosen to but as a result of God’s irresistible grace taking hold of my heart and mind. The irony.

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