In Memoriam … Dr. Glenn Martin — In Defiance … Dr. Ken Schenck

The greatest man in my life was Dr. Glenn Martin. Dr. Martin was chair of the Political Science Department at the college I attended and the college Dr. Ken Schenck now teaches at. Dr. Martin set me on the path of Presuppositionalism and Worldview thinking and introduced me to presuppositionalist authors such as Dr. C. Gregg Singer and Dr. Francis Schaeffer. Two of my majors at Marion (Political Science and History) found me sitting under almost every class that Martin offered.

Even before Cultural Marxism, Political Correctness and multiculturalism descended upon the West in full force, Dr. Martin was warning about these coming realities. Dr. Martin was pro-South, taught Austrian Economics, taught that the mainstream Media was captured by the Socialist left, exposed the leftist history of the Union movement in America, taught about the communist influence in the US Government and told the real story about Alger Hiss and Whitaker Chambers. Dr. Martin exposed the wickedness of Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Dr. Martin introduced me to Alexander Solzhenitsyn where I read Solzhenitsyn’s — to date unheeded warning to the West — in his Harvard address. From there I absorbed on my own Solzhenitsyn’s “Gulag Archipelago” and “A Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich,” as well as other writings by Russia’s Prophetic voice to the West. Dr. Martin introduced me to Dr. Fred Schwarz’s “You Can Trust The Communists To Be Communists.” This was a book written in 1960 that should be required reading even yet today for in that book one can learn a great deal about our current domestic enemies. From Martin I likewise learned Muggeridge, Kuhn, McLuhan, Efron, and a host of other authors.

At 18-22 I hardly understood these authors and their greatness as well as I one day would when I would circle back and re-read them as I aged. Likewise, at 18-22 I never appreciated Dr. Martin as much as I do now. I now realize I missed the bullet that most university students, who receive majors in the fields I received them in, take right between the eyes as their education is conditioned w/ Marxist poison of different varieties. Dr. Martin’s teaching was so exhaustive and so demanding that he always insisted that if you could earn an “A” in his class you could earn an “A” in any university in the country. The difference in those “A’s” though, was that most Universities in America were teaching history, political science, government, media, philosophy, from a pagan worldview while Martin was the Wesleyan version of R. J. Rushdoony.

Dr. Martin taught us the distinctions between different kinds of socialism (Fabianism, German National Socialism, Italian Fascism, etc.) and how it was, in most varieties, a political precursor to the same Utopian state that Communism was pursuing. Dr. Martin hated collectivistic and tyrannical government with every inch of his being. He hated them so much he loved telling a story about how he would speak in Churches and little old ladies would come up to him following his lecture and say, “What we need is a Christian dictator.” Dr. Martin would tell us in class that the very last thing we needed was a Christian dictator if only because such a thing is not possible. Dr. Martin believed in and taught Biblical government. Everything that Gary DeMar teaches in his “God and Government” book, Dr. Glenn Martin was teaching me in his 101 courses in 1977 at Marion College.

Further, as with all good presuppositionalists he taught the intellectual history of the philosophy of the West that was driving much of the cultural bankruptcy of the West. This included his course titled. “Western Intellectual and Social History.” In this course Dr. Martin traced the degradation of the Philosophy of the West starting w/ the attempt to synthesize Augustinianism w/ rationalism through Aquinas and the Scholastics. Martin’s premise was as long as the West kept trying to mix Biblical Christianity w/ pagan philosophy it would never have the strength to resist defeat. Martin spent a good deal of time covering existentialism covering Kierkegaard, Sartre, Camus, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and others. This training put me in good stead to understand postmodernism for what it was when it showed up on the scene.

As I grew older, I discovered other presuppositionalists (Bahnsen, Rushdoony, Clark, Os Guiness, Van Til, etc.) and by learning them I learned at the same time that Dr. Martin would have been well served if had been a little more conversant in Reformed Theology. Dr. Martin tried to avoid the Reformed vs. Arminian conflict his whole teaching career. I think his teaching would have been even more powerful if he had had some background in Reformed systematic and historical theology. As it was, since he taught at a Arminian college, he was forever trying to avoid the Arminian vs. Reformed debate, choosing to always only refer to himself as a “Biblical Christian.” As I became more conversant in Reformed Theology and later re-read his works I noticed some glaring inconsistencies in some of his lectures. I think though I can say that Dr. Glenn Martin, though he may have never intended to, planted some Reformed seeds in me that years later came to maturation. (I was still quite the rabid Arminian when I graduated Marion College.)

When I began college I was a personal mess. To this day I can’t believe I made it through my first year. (I even actually “quit” for a week, but went back because I had nowhere else to go.) I was failing exams and courses left and right. I finally made my failures a matter of prayer and told the Lord Christ that, “if in the exam I was taking on the morrow, in Dr. Martin’s class, I failed that really would be the end.” I took the exam and the next week received the exam back. I think I had scored something like a “45%.” I thought to myself … “Well, Lord I guess that does it — I’m finished.” However, I thought I would check on Dr. Martin’s door to correlate the score to the grade and found out, that because Martin graded on a curve, and because the rest of the Freshman class was as stupid as I was that a “45%” was a “C.” I stuck with it and the rest is, as they say, History.

Dr. Martin was also my adviser through college and we became as much friends as a bumpkin and a genius can become. I’ll never forget that he went out of his way to attend the first sermon I ever preached. (Which must have been quite painful for him to sit through.) I also remember him attending a meal in my honor at my graduation w/ my family and friends. I also was privileged to be invited to his home to watch the Republicans in 1980 nominate Ronald Reagan for President. Reagan was a man for which Dr. Martin had great hopes.

Dr. Martin was always viewed with suspicion at his place of employment. In reflection I would say that that was one part envy and one part ideological conflict. The suspicion became so deep while I was there that one professor each from the Sociology and the Psychology departments actually enrolled to take classes from Dr. Martin because they just couldn’t believe what Martin students were bringing to and saying in the classes in sociology and psychology they were teaching. It was clear that Worldview conflict between departments at Marion College was intense. Dr. Martin seemed not to be phased by this as he understood and taught the whole Reformed idea of the antithesis, though he never called it “Reformed.”

Dr. Martin’s influence was so great at Marion College while I was there that when an attempt was made to start a “Young Democrats Club” nobody showed up to become a member. Largely because of Dr. Martin Marion College was a conservative (I would even say paleo-conservative) campus.

I left in 1982 and occasionally I would hear through the grapevine that Indiana Wesleyan University (the new name of my Marion College) was going liberal. When I attended Marion College there was always a professor here or there who was loopy that way, but on the whole the religion and theology department (one of my degrees was from this department as well) was as solid as Arminians can be in that regard. I mean, in hindsight their theology sucked, but they weren’t teaching the historical-critical method of hermeneutics or singing the praises of Bultmann or Tillich, or Barth. They were basically “come to Jesus” (revivalist) people in their theology and while the damage in such theology is bad enough it was nowhere near the muck and mire that is being taught at Indiana Wesleyan University now.

And this brings us back to Dr. Schenck. Somehow (and I honestly quite forget how) I learned that Schenck and the Religion department was running down Dr. Martin. Then as I interacted w/ Dr. Ken Schenck I leanred for myself the incredible public disrespect Schenck exhibited for Dr. Martin.

Now, I have many faults. Legion is their name. However, one of them isn’t a lack of loyalty. I owe a debt that I will never be able to repay to Dr. Glen Martin and I didn’t and don’t take to kindly to these fool Ph.D’s in the religion department at IWU running down the greatest teacher that University will probably ever know. Further then that this becomes a, “Who is on the King’s side,” kind of tale because in the attacks the religion department made on Martin while he was alive and now makes on him now that he is dead they are attacking, as far as I am concerned, King Jesus. Not because Dr. Martin = Jesus but because many of the positions that Martin took were just your basic Christianity 101.

The theology of these people isn’t merely your garden variety Arminianism (which would be bad enough) but rather IWU has gone over the edge w/ a Barthian-post-modernist strain in their thinking. Schenck himself has told me that there is no way that one can ever find an objective. For Schenck all there is, is particulars. There are no Universals. This descends into pure subjectivism in theology and in matters of truth. Schenck insists that he prefers to play “small ball” when it comes to these issues but if there are no Universals then how can he know what small ball is?

I will always … always have a soft spot in my heart for the Wesleyans. When I was a child and a young adult they were the love of Christ to me when I was living in a pretty messed up family life. It may seem a severe mercy with the slapping around of Dr. Ken Schenck that I am returning to them for all their past kindnesses but if I could write anything to shake these people up and get them to return to John Wesley Arminiansim as opposed to Ken Schenck post-modern Arminianism I would be ecstatic.

And besides, I’m not a guy with a lot of heroes in my life and the handful I have I am going to defend against the attacks of little men like Dr. Ken Schenck who look big in our even smaller culture and church.

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.

26 thoughts on “In Memoriam … Dr. Glenn Martin — In Defiance … Dr. Ken Schenck”

  1. This is very interesting, and I agree with all you say about Dr. Martin. Do you happen to know where I can get hold of his lectures in written form, or are they only available on tape? I have the basic series but I am very interested in his series on education and economics, and anything else he did – but it would be much better for me to have them in writing because I really don’t have much time to listen to tapes. I hope you can help me!

    God bless.

    Alison Shortridge (Cape Town, South Africa)

    1. Hi Alison,
      I live in Cape Town and I am looking to get hold of the basic series on tape (or mp3) by Dr. Martin. I had the pleasure of sitting in on Dr. Martin’s series of lectures that he gave at His People church in Cape Town some years ago.

      God Bless,

      1. Bernard,

        I think you can get that basic Martin lecture series through Indiana Wesleyan University’s “Triangle Publications.”

      2. Hello Bernard,

        Did you manage to obtain the tapes or mp3’s that you refer to? I sat under the tutelage of Dr. Martin during 1980 and again in 1981 and while I have obtained the the book, “Worldviews in Western Society from 1500” and have found a couple of his lectures on YouTube (posted by YWAM), I have always wanted to revisit his complete introductory lecture series on worldviews.

        You may remember my father who headed the institute as HPC?

        Kind regards,
        Euan Waugh

    2. I don’t know if you’ll ever get this since so many years have gone by, but I have been looking for years, even called Linda, Dr. Martin’s secretary trying to get copies of his lectures, written or especially audio. Do you or anyone know how I can obtain the tapes or lectures and/or notes from the basic series? I have the book that was printed, but it is nothing like his lectures. To be honest, I didn’t like the book at all. To me it missed the point of what he taught, or at least failed to communicate it well enough for anyone without prior knowledge would understand.

      Please let me know if you can point me in the right direction. Thank you!!

      1. Dan,

        If Linda McKay can’t help you with this I don’t know who would be able to help you.

        There are many many at Indiana Wesleyan who would like to drop Glenn Martin down a memory hole. The University really is quite Liberal and I wouldn’t even consider it a Christian College any longer.

  2. Bravo Pastor Bret! I’ve never heard of Dr. Martin before now. But I wish I had met him.

  3. Dr. Martin made his way to Australia in the 1980s on more than one occasion. At that time I was distributing the books and audio lectures of Dr. R.J. Rushdoony and organizing a small, local area meeting of Christians. It was a privilege to have Dr. Martin as a guest in our home and have him speak at one of those meetings, in which he covered more intellectual territory in the space of an hour or so than most other speakers. His knowledge was vast, and his ability to present that knowledge in a simple and concise manner an evidence of a superior mind. He was popular in Australia, and an encouragement to those of us who were – and still are – on a learning curve. You have given a wonderful testimony of a great man.

  4. I was a student under Dr Martin for 4 years at IWU. The time I was there I also felt the university was keeping a distance from him and his teachings. Dr. Martin shaped my worldview, and that drives people crazy even 20 years later. Most of my fellow classmates felt blessed to learn from Dr Martin.

    “My friends, know what you believe and why and what you don’t believe and why.”

  5. There is no way I can express, in such a short forum as this, how much I appreciate the work that God did in my life through the ministry of Dr. Martin. My development as a thoughtful Christian began as a result of hearing a lecture series he gave at a YWAN base. In as much as I have learned much from other teachers in the area of Christian World studies, it was Dr. Martin that inspired a love for learning. As a result, I accumulated a library of 1200 books covering in all the intellectual disciplines, all of which I read from cover to cover, except for reference books. You cannot appreciate how significant that is unless you realize that I started at age 35, with little formal education outside of the technical electronics and piloting.

    This you will find humorous: In the first tape of the series I heard of Dr. Martin, he defended his employment of philosophical terms by saying that he was not using them for any “pedantic” reason. Well, I had no idea what the word pedantic meant. I was over whelmed by the nomenclature, but I made it my business to look up every word. And after I had listened to the whole series about 50 times, I realized how gifted he was in teaching in terms of his economy of words and appropriate nomenclature.

    His emphasis on the interlocking propositions of God’s Word became so clear to me. If I were to sum it up, which I must, I would say that what he taught and the way he taught was amazingly profound; absent of the pretense that is all to common among intellectuals; the fluff, minutia and, frankly, bullshit, that is so frequently couched in intellectual language has become so obvious to me having listened to Dr. Martin—I am here referencing postmodern philosophers, not Christian.

    Anyway, I suppose this is my late eulogy to the man that is most responsible for having taught me how to think, and how teach others to do the same. I only spoke with him by phone twice, but I know his voice having listened to it for perhaps hundreds of hours. ERS

  6. I too studied under Dr. Martin one summer in YWAM, in Wiler, Switzerland. At that time I was a 24 year old junior high school drop out. I didn’t know how to learn and study. In fact, I still find it difficult to this day. During one of his classes, he asked a question of which the answer was blatantly obvious. It was of what Margaret Thatchers worldview was based on an article we were to have read. Since there could have been no mistaking it unless one hadn’t read the article, I jokingly gave the opposite answer from what I knew he was looking for. Dr. Martin stopped the class and instructed me to come sit next to him. In my immaturity, I was furious that he had singled me out in front of everybody and had treated me as a child. I sat next to him, but I was fuming. He picked up on that and stopped his lecture again, excused himself to everyone for a brief moment, turned to me and publicly made it clear to me that he hadn’t had me sit next to him to discipline me, but so that he could better help me to understand. He knew my struggles with learning and was so sincerely concerned about one of his students, me, that he selected that student out of everyone to have the honor of his special attention so that he would not be left behind.
    I did not yet understand the Biblical Christian Worldview, or how so many Christians think they have a Christian worldview and in reality don’t. It wasn’t until weeks later that I understood.
    The one thing I learned the most from Dr. Martin was there really are great people, with great minds, who are leaders, and who genuinely love, and are genuinely concerned about those with whom they are sharing the gospel of Christ.
    There was not one bit of self-recognition, “look at me, aren’t I a great Christian,” in this man. I could sense nothing in him that he thought he was better than others, or was more important because he was “the professor,” or the special guest speaker, or even the authority. He wasn’t there to “be right.” He was just there to love others, and most of all to love God. He was the real deal. He was a real life lived reflection of Jesus Christ in my life.
    I want to know Jesus more and more so that I can be like him. But what does it look like for someone other than Jesus to be like Jesus. Dr. Martin was the closest example that I know of, and if I could be one tenth the Christian he was, then I will be satisfied that I have done my best to look like Jesus. Don’t misunderstand me please; I’m not saying to look at Dr. Martin was to have looked at Jesus. I’m only trying to say that Dr. Martin is the closest picture of Jesus lived in my life, and that I can look at his life as a model of how to be Christ-like.
    Besides my heroic parents, this man was a true hero in my life.

  7. After just one class my freshmen year at IWU I was hooked. With dictionary in hand I took every class Dr. Martin offered and attended a Sunday School class he taught at the campus church. He has impacted my thinking more than anyone and I was saddened when he passed. I have two sons and have honored the man who radically changed my life to think Biblically by using both Glenn and Martin as middle names. It is a shame more of his teachings have not remained for others to enjoy.

  8. I have some resources from some of Dr. Martin’s lectures of the Biblical Christian Worldview, both on cassette tapes and one copy typed up that I would love to share with others. In fact, I am having the tapes copied to digital format right now. They are not the best quality, the sound drops off at times. I have (had) the book and the CD that came with that, so I have the lectures that were on there, but I would love to exchange resources with anyone else who may have some; notes from the lectures, copies of audio, written format, outlines, or whatever other format or resources anyone may have.
    I would also like to exchange information with other student’s of his and learn from each other. I only had the privilege of taking a brief course under him for 2 weeks one summer, and it changed my thinking. But I find it difficult to find others to exchange ideas and info that they have learned from him. I know there must be many more “Martinites” (as I hear they were called at IWU) out there. I don’t know if we’re allowed to post our email addresses on here, but i’ll give it a try. Also, if the author of this memoriam is willing, maybe you could contact me and we could stay in touch. Thank you.

  9. I stumbled upon this post while searching online for a reminder of what year Dr. Martin died. I studied under him at IWU for 4 years back in the 90s. God used him mightily to help renew my thinking, and that of many of my peers. What a mind! I still have all my scribbled notes from every class, years later. So glad to read others’ regard for him too.

    1. If you ever get this, is there any way I can get a copy of your notes? They would benefit me so greatly. I only got to spend two weeks with Dr. Martin in Switzerland, and he blessed my life possibly more than anyone else. I would so love to find out so much more of what he taught, how he thought, etc. etc.

      Dan (I use SpamRival, which was stared by a Christian, and was passed on to someone else because of health issue. That someone else is likewise Christian. The first time you send me an email, you will get a returned message asking you to respond. You only have to do that once and you will never hear from them again, but I WILL NOT get your emails unless you do; so please do. Thank you!!)

  10. Was the label “Martinites” used in the earlier days? We were a proud and devoted band of brothers and sisters in the 90s.

    1. Heather,

      I was at Marion College from 1977-1982 and the phrase “Martinite” was used. Usually as a pejorative by other faculty members who did not like Martin.

  11. Wow! What a nostalgia trip to find you fine folks here. Thank you Jetbrane, Dan and you others, for attributing honor to the greatest man I never knew. I never met the man in person, nor even spoke with him. However, as a young YWAMer in Spain (1983) I was assigned his BCWV material on cassette tapes. Each day after school, I closed myself in an empty classroom and immersed myself in the wisdom and grace of the man who more than any other, would teach me to think, using critical reinterpretation and presupposition paradigms. Dr. Martin inserted into my vocabulary terms and concepts like “the ontological, axiological, epistemological and teleological questions. I’m currently in contact with a community of faith that holds up “the seven mountain mandate”. Though the promoter doesn’t claim the material is his originally, I still chuckle at his popularization of the concepts, b/c Dr. Martin did such foundational work in that area over 30 years ago! Here of course I refer to Dr. Martin’s challenge to work toward a Biblical Reformation (should the Lord tarry :)), in the areas of:
    1. Family
    2. Church
    3. Arts and Entertainment
    4. Government
    5. Media
    6. Education
    7. Finance/Economics (Business)
    Alone with my mentor, Dr. Martin, via audio cassette, in that lonely little classroom in a YWAM base in Spain, I became convinced that each of these areas of social expression can be reformed via critical reinterpretation and pre-suppositional thinking. Indeed, he convinced me that to operate this social pillars on the alternate world view of secular humanism, could only result in “absurdity and despair”.
    Jetbrane, Dan, I would be ever so grateful to you for access to the BCWV series especially, and other audio/printed material from the late, great Dr. Martin, the greatest man I never knew.
    With fond memories of him and sincere gratitude to you for the culture of honor you defend and attribute to him.

  12. I had relatively recently tried to have the cassette tapes digitized, but it turns out to be a futile effort. The audio is so bad in places as to be either unintelligble, or else nothing but hissing for very long periods of time. Sorry to get anyone’s hopes up. The best I can do is point to the book that was released “Prevailing Worldviews” which has a CD at the back with some of his audio lectures on it. I buy a copy from time to time to mail to different people. I purchased one a couple of hours ago to have sent to my pastor.

    If anyone has any notes, or anything else that they would like to share, please contact me. I would love to have anything from his teachings over the years, even if they’re only notes taken during class. Thank you!!

  13. I entered my undergraduate studies at Marion College in 1987 to begin studying for the ministry. After a rough patch in my Christian walk I decided to drop my ministry major and study History and Philosophy. As a result I was exposed to Dr. Martin and what it meant to think with a Biblical Worldview and presuppositionally. I took every class that Dr. Martin offered and was forced to stretch and think. I eventually picked back up my Ministry major and graduated with a BS in History, Philosophy and Christian Ministry. I have said many times that I learned more about Theology and my Christian faith in Dr. Martin’s classes than I ever did in my ministry classes. That is not meant in any way to diminish some of the great professors the ministry department had at that time. I learned much from my professors who poured into me and taught me solid, biblical hermeneutics. But, I will forever be grateful for Dr. Glenn Martin who taught me how to think with a Biblical Worldview and to interpret history from the viewpoint that, “…thoughts produce consequences.” A statement that Dr. Martin often made and lingers in my heart. I am truly privileged to have sat under one of the best minds and teachers since Francis Schaeffer.

    1. Wayne … My story is much the same. Except my degrees were “History, Religion-Philosophy, and Politics.” However, I do think that theology program at Marion College was and remains (much more so now then in 1980) sub standard.

      The proof of that statement is the tension that always existed between the Religion department and Martin’s History department. The fact that the current theology department under Schenk is largely on a continuum somewhere between Barthian neo-orthodoxy and Kierkegaardian existentialism is to be gravely lamented.

      Martin was an incredible gift to Indiana Wesleyan University but I wouldn’t send my dog there today to train, just as I wouldn’t send my dog to be educated at most Universities today — smitten as they are with the prevailing Zombie zeitgeist.

  14. Remembering Dr. Martin, I came across your article this evening. I was blessed to have studied under Dr. Martin from 1984 through 1988 at MC. I took every class he offered. I am truly thankful that his teachings established, within me, a biblical world view prior to my attempted indoctrination otherwise in law school.

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