From Dr. John B. Hulst, President of Dordt College, I received the letter below which concerns the matter of Prof. Hodgson’s instruction at the college. This letter, of course, is still in connection with our editorial critique of Dr. Hodgson’s views. Other than to say that this appears to be a step in the right direction, we will refrain from comment and await further developments. We thank Dr. Hulst for keeping us informed.
The letter follows below.
In the June 1, 1987 issue of your publication an article appeared under the title “Evolution at Dordt College.”
In that article questions were raised concerning Professor Richard Hodgson’s position regarding creation and evolution. By implication questions were also raised as to the position of Dordt College regarding this very important and sensitive issue.
Subsequently it was indicated to you that the Dordt College Board of Trustees had appointed a committee “to study and evaluate . . . Professor Hodgson’s position regarding creation and evolution.”
On March 10, 1988, the study committee presented its report to a full meeting of the Board of Trustees. The recommendations of the committee were adopted, along with the following statement, which was formulated for the purpose of making the Board’s position known to the public:
The Board of Trustees of Dordt College, in its meeting on March 10, 1988, received a report from a committee appointed to study and evaluate Professor Richard Hodgson ‘s position regarding creation and evolution. The committee reported that Professor Hodgson’s personal position fully embraced the biblical doctrine of creation. At the same time the committee identified certain weaknesses in his scientific methodology and manner of expression which caused confusion regarding his position.
The Board approved the recommendation of the committee that the Board of Dordt College concur with the administration’s actions in which Professor Hodgson will withdraw the syllabus which has caused confusion and, for the present, discontinue his teaching of an introductory geology course. Professor Hodgson was encouraged to deal sensitively and carefully with the issue of creation and evolution and to work closely with the academic community in clarifying his position in this area.
The Board of Trustees declared that it is satisfied that appropriate and sufficient measures are being taken to ensure that the teaching of Professor Hodgson is fully in harmony with the Word of God as interpreted in the Reformed confessions.
The Academic Council of the College is now instructed “to pursue an institutional study of the issue of creation and evolution.” It is also understood that the Board of Trustees will receive periodic reports concerning the progress and the findings of this communal study.
It is our hope that this statement of the Board of Trustees will answer the questions which have been raised and also make clear the commitment of Dordt College to approach the matter of creation and evolution from an integrated biblical perspective.