Much has been said over the past six weeks to disparage the character of Dr. Christopher Rollston as an academic and a Christian. But what has been painted is a distorted and ultimately false portrait of the man who has touched deeply the lives of countless students and Christians throughout his career. What follows are just a handful of the many letters that have been sent to President Michael Sweeney in support of Dr. Rollston. They paint the real picture of Dr. Rollston’s sterling character, his tireless commitment to students’ needs—both academic and personal, his abiding love for the mysteries of Scripture and the church, his faithful and enduring service to his congregation, his dedication to helping students forge a robust faith that embraces both criticism and mystery, and his gratuitous devotion to caring for his students well beyond the bounds of academia, often accompanying students through the dark nights of their souls. I wish that more of the letters that have been written on Rollston’s behalf could be published here, and there remains an open invitation for students to contribute their voices to the chorus of those who have been profoundly and forever impacted by Dr. Rollston’s selfless service and loyal friendship.
Many of the letters that appear here have brought me to tears; some of them made me blubber. I urge everyone to read each and every one of these letters. Even if you have no association to Dr. Rollston whatsoever, these stories of his service and his friendship should inspire us all to be better human beings.
I need to point out that each of these letters is written in support of Dr. Rollston and his place at Emmanuel Christian Seminary. What they expose is the gargantuan hole that will be left in the Emmanuel community should Dr. Rollston be terminated. But these letters don’t speak to the politics at play. We all hate the politics, love Emmanuel, and most importantly here, we love Chris Rollston.
The comment thread of this post will be dedicated solely to those who wish to add their own words of support for Dr. Rollston. I encourage everyone who has known and been loved and served by Chris to add their stories to the collection. This post is a sacred space, outside of the politics surrounding Dr. Rollston’s tenuous position at Emmanuel. Anyone who tells their story here can do so without fear of becoming engaged in the political fray.
Technical notes: if the writing is too small, you may click on the “arrow” icon at the top-right corner of each document to open it in a new window. Also, the letters appear in alphabetical order by surname.
UPDATE 01: Now updated with a new letter from Stephen Paul.
UPDATE 02: Now updated with a new letters from Bradley England and Matthew Worsfold.
UPDATE 03: Now updated with a new letter from W.G. Hulbert.
UPDATE 04: Now updated with a new letter from Joe Beal.
Without further ado…
Now tell us your stories.