Jason Duesing Should Recuse Himself from Thomas White Investigation

On May 30, 2018, Paige Patterson was terminated from his position as President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary for, “the handling of an allegation of sexual abuse against a student during Dr. Paige Patterson’s presidency at another institution and resulting issues connected with statements to the Board of Trustees that are inconsistent with SWBT’s biblically informed core values.” (Source)
 

While there were undoubtedly many good friends serving on the SWBTS’s Board of Trustees, the fact that they were able to set aside their friendship with Patterson and do the right thing speaks to the integrity of the members of the Board of Trustees.
 

Now, two years later, a similar situation has arisen at Cedarville University primarily involving three proteges of Paige Patterson; Anthony Moore, recently terminated from Cedarville University for past incidents of paraphilia, Thomas White, the President of Cedarville University, and Jason Duesing, a member of the Cedarville University Board of Trustees.
 

Anthony Moore (whom Paige Patterson called “my sweet son, Anthony” in a foot-washing ceremony which took place at a chapel service at SWBTS) was terminated from The Village Church when a subordinate reported discovering multiple videos taken of him while showering at Anthony Moore’s home.
 

Thomas White was a long-time assistant of Paige Patterson, working at both Southeastern and Southwestern Seminaries. White is currently on administrative leave from his position as President of Cedarville University while his involvement with the Anthony Moore hiring is being investigated.
 

 

Jason Duesing currently works as Provost and Professor of Historical Theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also had a lengthy, close relationship with Paige Patterson. He was Patterson’s personal aid while at Southeastern Seminary and filled the same role at SWBTS. In fact, I was told Duesing was Patterson’s “right-hand man” while the two were employed at SWBTS.
 

One fact not mentioned in the short bio below is that Jason Duesing is a member of the Cedarville University Board of Trustees, as such, Duesing will be involved in the deliberations that will determine the fate of President Thomas White.

 

 

What concerns me about Duesing is whether he is able to be an impartial judge of the fitness of Thomas White to continue as the President of Cedarville University. While I realize the White investigation is not a formal trial, if it were, and Duesing was the presiding judge or a potential juror, he would have to recuse himself. I believe you will come to the same conclusion after viewing the information in this article.


 

In my opinion, Paige Patterson is not a man of integrity. It appears the men he selects to mentor also struggle in varying degrees with issues of integrity.

 

When you get this many “bad apples” it may be time to prune the tree!

 

Jason Duesing, having obtained his M.Div. from Southeastern Seminary in 2003, soon followed Paige Patterson to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Prior to leaving, Duesing was given a nice, one-year-old car that had been the property of Southeastern Seminary. It appears two Southeastern staff members learned of the gift and blew the whistle. Both whistle-blowers were subsequently fired and it appears a cover-up was initiated. A portion of the article is captured below, you may read the entire article at this link. An interesting follow-up article titled, “Seminary leaders, employees give different accounts of car sale” may be viewed at this link.

 

The critical issue in this story is the complicity of Jason Duesing. One may rightly wonder how issues of integrity were not raised in the sharp mind of Duesing by accepting a car that was the property of Southeastern Seminary. While I have trouble believing Duesing did not immediately find such a gift to be improper, he surely would have realized there were serious issues of impropriety when his father-in-law was enlisted (after the fact) to contribute $6,500 to the Seminary.

Now I will highlight the close relationship between Jason Duesing, Thomas White, and White’s cadre of loyal employees White brought with him from SWBTS to Cedarville University.

Below is a screenshot of the whole group on the occasion of Jason Duesing traveling to Cedarville University to speak at one of their chapel services. You will note that this was the first of at least three times Duesing has spoken at a CU chapel service.

 

Left to right: Jason Lee(Bible Dept. Chair), Zachary Bowden, Thomas White, JG Duesing, Mindy May,
Jon Wood, Billy Marsh
Below are a few Tweets from Zach Bowden and Mindy May. These two individuals are fiercely loyal to Thomas White. They also appear to have strong ties to Duesing.

 

“In 2007, Duesing and White edited the book, “First Freedom – The Baptist Perspective on Religious Liberty.”  In the Acknowledgements, they thank their student (and friend) Anthony Moore for indexing the book.

 

They also make an unfortunate “if-then” prediction: “If these two students represent the future of Southern Baptists, then our future is bright indeed.”

 

Well, we have seen the future, and it isn’t bright.

 

The tragic secret life of Anthony Moore has since come to light, as well as an epic series by the Houston Chronicle detailing the sexual abuse of 700 individuals by Baptist pastors. More recently we have seen J.D. Greear, pastor of the Summit Church and President of the SBC foolishly hire Bryan Loritts, a man who has admitted covering up the crimes committed by his then brother-in-law while he was the senior pastor of Fellowship Memphis in 2010.

 

White, Duesing and Moore were connected as far back as at least 2007. Moore was their student. Now, Duesing is a trustee of CU who has the responsibility to determine if White should keep his job for hiring, hiding, and then firing the confessed predator, Anthony Moore.”

 

 

 

Duesing recently taught a class at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  Below are some screenshots from the syllabus for the course. Please note the titles and authors of some of the books for the course.

 

Duesing includes several of his books, including two that are co-edited with Thomas White. Ironically, one of these texts is titled, “Restoring Integrity in Baptist Churches.”

 

Another questionable text is authored by Judge Paul Pressler. Pressler has been accused of sexually abusing multiple teenage boys.

 

Then there is a text authored by Bryan Loritts. I have referred above to the fact that Loritts covered up sexual abuse admitted to by his then brother-in-law in 2010.

 

Duesing also lists a book authored by his mentor, Paige Patterson.

 

In the acknowledgments for the book “Restoring Integrity in Baptist Churches,” the editors, White, Duesing, and Yarnell drew special attention to the “king of integrity,” Paige Patterson. They also thank Jon Wood.

 

Wood followed White to Cedarville where his official job title is “Vice President for Student Life and Christian Ministries and Assistant Professor of Theological Studies.” I am told that unofficially he serves as White’s hatchet man.

 

 

 

 

Duesing and White are also on the Board of Directors for CBMW. Danny Akin, President of Southeastern Seminary, is also on the Board of Directors. Additionally, Akin is also a member of the Cedarville University Board of Trustees.

 

I am cautiously optimistic that Akin will do the right thing in the Moore/White scandal.  I base this on the fact that he and Al Moehler are the only two “celebrity Christians” who have, to my knowledge, publicly disassociated themselves from C.J. Mahaney.

 

The fact that the CBMW Board of Directors includes Jeff Purswell (lapdog to C.J. Mahaney), Ligon Duncan (strident Mahaney defender), Wayne Grudem (Mahaney defender), in addition to Thomas White and Jason Duesing should raise legitimate questions about the organization.

 

 

In summary, I believe Jason Duesing needs to recuse himself from the decision-making process on whether to retain or terminate Thomas White as the President of Cedarville University. I have no confidence that Duesing is capable of setting aside his friendship with Thomas White, Anthony Moore, and White’s loyal subordinates to enable him to make an impartial decision.

 


Comments

Jason Duesing Should Recuse Himself from Thomas White Investigation — 47 Comments

  1. There’s nothing like a mutual admiration society where you can praise each other on Twitter and come to each other’s aid when another is in trouble. I’m not sure if it’s the clerical Mafia or the naughty boys at school who are always getting themselves into trouble and making excuses for each other. It is sad and a dishonor to the cause of Christ.

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  2. Linn: a mutual admiration society

    The world of SBC elite is strange indeed. The folks listed in this article puff their chests out like they are somebody, yet the average Southern Baptist has no idea who they are (with the exception of Paige Patterson, perhaps). So the darlings admire each other in their inner circle. Sad to see what has happened to the SBC.

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  3. The lack of accountability, and not wanting to appear to have “conflicts of interest” is really breathtaking. Again, the secular world, at least for us “Worker bees“ is again ahead of the “church”… However, I have noticed the the “rules” of conflict of interest do not seem to apply to Boards of Trustees in secular institutions as well..

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  4. Your research here is stunning, Todd. Thank you for exposing all these connections. It appears these men don’t know a thing about having integrity, let alone restoring it. Likewise, it’s disgusting to see on Duesing’s 2020 syllabus that he’s assigning books by alleged pedophile Paul Pressler, misogynist victimizer Paige Patterson, and the terrible trifecta: the now-disgraced Thomas White, Jason Lee, AND Bryan Loritts. It’s like a Who’s Who of Bad Baptist Bullies & Pathological Liars. What a travesty.

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  5. Typical backroom Baptist back-slapping. But I appreciate Todd’s thorough ‘dot-connecting’ to demonstrate that probably nothing will ever happen with the Thomas White situation. They look out for their own, because they’re all riding the same gravy train! All of this makes me think that the SBC should create a new game: instead of Kevin Bacon, it could be “Six Degrees of Paige Patterson” (or Al Mohler!)

    And for the record…my boss has NEVER given me a car!

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  6. Jeffrey Chalmers,

    “…the threat of “not going to heaven”…”
    ++++++++++

    running with this one…

    i observe christian leaders everywhere wielding this threat. never directly, always hinted at. but that’s all it takes, really.

    it’s used for shock & awe.

    (“a tactic based on the use of overwhelming power and spectacular displays of force to paralyze the enemy’s perception of the battlefield and destroy their will to fight.”)

    and to put forth yourself as the one with answers. a mini-messiah.

    to make the people you’ve just unsettled dependent on you.

    to shore up your power base.

    to increase your numbers which raises your peer standing, and your giving units.

    to build your brand.

    and for political power. it’s often tied in to a social agenda item like female submission, anti-lgbtq, anti-social justice, etc., effectively using the human beings these issues are about for your own purposes.

    sometimes it’s done with full awareness, but it seems to me more often it’s done because it’s just the done thing. learned behavior. emulating those you associate with.

    and since it involves the concept of God, it all turns into a righteous cause.

    which makes it all to easy for christian leaders to overlook how they are manipulating people, using them, for the sake of building their own empire. (assuming they have a conscience to begin with)
    .
    .
    (i’m sure this ties into the Cedarville circumstances…)

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  7. Max,

    The two SoBap churches that are in my area have both imploded and reorganized (one, at least) in the past 20 years. I had contact with both due to looking for a Spanish congregation for myself or for others. They both had so many tiffs going back so many years that people were always arguing about what happened years ago, with no connection to now.Both churches have made me swear off Southern Baptist congregations. There is no perfect church, I know, but the EFCA I ended, although not problem-free, does a much better job of dealing with issues.

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  8. Jeffrey Chalmers: the threat of “not going to heaven”

    Fear tactic.
    Well, actually in this case, God is the One Who is the Decider.
    If donors read their Bibles for themselves, prayed, & listened to the Holy Spirit directly, maybe they would be better informed.
    Cults, following men (or women) over God.
    Tragic.
    Jesus died & rose so we would all have direct access to God, and the Holy Spirit dwelling with each one of us. Ever grateful. Gospel.

    If the Gospel Coalition, et al, don’t believe/teach this, maybe they would be more accurately labelled as the Cult Coalition.

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  9. Linn: The two SoBap churches that are in my area have both imploded and reorganized (one, at least) in the past 20 years … They both had so many tiffs going back so many years that people were always arguing about what happened years ago, with no connection to now.

    Oh, that is very typical in SBC life. In lots of communities across America, you will find multiple SBC churches … the result of “First” Baptist splitting, then those churches splitting, etc. Southern Baptists are more famous for their infighting than their spirituality. They fuss about everything ranging from color of the carpet to color of the preacher. Powerful families compete for local religious thrones and try to run things, eventually running things into the ground. Long before the New Calvinists showed up, SBC was a mess! New Calvinism will just finish it off. Sad to behold, because I have fond memories of a different denomination 50 years ago when Southern Baptists were an evangelistic people focused on the Great Commission … now they just focus on each other.

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  10. elastigirl: for the sake of building their own empire

    A prayer warrior lady friend, senior on limited income by the way, noted this from the mailings she was getting from various “ministries” and “churches” and “leaders”:

    “Apparently, each one of these ‘leaders’ is ‘called’ to build their own dynasties, via the pocketbooks of their donors. Interesting that neither Jesus nor the disciples nor the early church modeled such enterprise – and in particular, via the pocketbooks of donors – nada.”

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  11. elastigirl: i think there’s only so much corruption and general a$$hattery in-the-name-of-God the universe can handle before karma comes riding in with devastating purpose.

    Karma and her sister Comeuppance are very much like Terminators from the future.
    Think of them as restorers of balance.

    elastigirl: an implosion is coming. i simply can’t see otherwise.

    I see one coming too, and I hope it’s mild, I hope it comes in the form of these great fundagelical movements just drying up and blowing away.
    Just as the so-called “Great Awakenings” in our Nation’s history went defunct.
    They had no substance and they had no sustainability.

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  12. Muff Potter,

    “Think of them as restorers of balance.”
    +++++++++++++

    trying to decide if it’s an overstatement to say i’m longing for it.

    i find the state of things in christianland philosophically unbearable. i have for so long. because it’s exploiting the ultimate person, the ultimate thing, the ultimate goodness –God, Father, Son, Holy Spirit– for self.

    it won’t be God’s fault nor God’s doing when it happens.

    it will happen because, as i see it, the universe & spiritual counterpart itself was founded on the same moral principles that all (healthy & normal) human beings innately understand (it is wrong to murder, to steal, to lie, to betray, to cause harm).

    it will happen because there are limits to discordance of these principles, before creation itself (physical & spiritual) revolts (through physical and metaphysical forces).

    like what a body does in response to food poisoning.

    i think most people sense agreement with this, whether or not they articulate it.

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  13. d4v1d,

    ““prune the tree?” Consider instead, “The axe is laid to the root.” I recently learned that pruning a grapevine means cutting the vine completely off an inch above ground – and starting over.”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    yes, that’s one way to put it. i don’t think God does this personally. (barring highly occasional true ‘acts of God’)

    in the same way that God doesn’t personally cause thunder and lightning when it happens here and there around the globe. God created the forces which in combination bring it about.

    this is simply how i see it. looking at the big picture, with observation of the seen, sensed, and faith in the unseen. it’s silly to nix observation and only go by faith. i mean, you’d end up destroying yourself. nobody actually does. not even Jesus of Nazareth.

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  14. Muff Potter,

    “I hope it’s mild, I hope it comes in the form of these great fundagelical movements just drying up and blowing away.”
    +++++++++++

    well, the stupid part will dry up and blow away like old cheese in the woods from a picnic last year. and Lord knows there’s a huge infrastructure of ‘stupid’ in christianland.

    as far as the truly reprehensible, perhaps just desserts will be selectively served. although i don’t imagine ignorance gets much of a pass.

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  15. RE: your announcement about CU’s Dean of Pharmacy, Marc Sweeney, being put on administrative leave

    Let’s hope this isn’t like the leave he was put on after harassing “Kat,” a leave complete with a slap on the wrist and a return to his job with no consequences, as Kat’s request for a formal complaint process was denied. Let’s hope there’s a legitimate investigation going on into his unethical and immoral behavior (As one of your previous commenters said, “There more to this story.”) Let’s hope termination marks the end of the road at CU for this man.

    But at this university, the man is always right–and always protected–and women are dismissed and denigrated, so I’m not holding my breath.

    In addition, administrators are telling present employees not to read articles on sites like this because they’re “attacks from the devil,” a typical move for those who are not interested in truth and goodness but instead, in control, manipulation, and image maintenance. And with men like Duesing on the Board who not only protects but also promotes other abusive men like Pressler and Patterson, it’s truly a depressing situation.

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  16. elastigirl,

    Pretty much what I had in mind; that the collateral damage to the little people will be minimized.
    But if history is any indicator, it’s the peasantry that suffers the most…

    All along the watchtower
    Princes kept the view
    While all the women came and went
    Barefoot servants, too
    Well, uh, outside in the cold distance
    A wildcat did growl
    Two riders were approaching
    And the wind began to howl, hey

    — Bob Dylan 1967 —

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  17. Cedarvillian,

    When ai was in HS and College, I remember “leaders” hiding behind the “ the devil is attacking me” argument….. nothing new under the sun, except now the internet is making it much harder for oppressive leaders to “control the narrative”
    The Morman Church is on record saying that the internet has caused a huge drop in “devoted Mormons” and the drop is as great, in terms of precent, as their running away from Ohio to Navoo, IL.
    The way “leaders” view their “sheep” comes into clear focus in times like this….. apparently the “leaders” of Cedarville do not believe that “average Joe” can think for her/himself!

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  18. Jeffrey Chalmers: The way “leaders” view their “sheep” comes into clear focus in times like this….. apparently the “leaders” of Cedarville do not believe that “average Joe” can think for her/himself!

    But “average Joes” can empty their wallets to support these clowns, AKA, “leaders”. The “leaders” will gladly take the “average Joes'” money/paycheck. But does the “average Joe” have a voice at the table? How about @aimeebyrdhwt? Her voice? Maybe it’s time to defund the tone deaf, the misogynists, the grifters, etc.

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  19. Max: Oh, that is very typical in SBC life. In lots of communities across America, you will find multiple SBC churches … the result of “First” Baptist splitting, then those churches splitting, etc. Southern Baptists are more famous for their infighting than their spirituality.

    The theoretical End State of Protestantism:
    Millions of One True Churches, each with only one member, each denouncing all the others as Heretics and Apostates.

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  20. elastigirl: it’s used for shock & awe.

    (“a tactic based on the use of overwhelming power and spectacular displays of force to paralyze the enemy’s perception of the battlefield and destroy their will to fight.”)

    And the “Black Belt in Barstool” version of taking down the biggest/meanest guy in the bar with one punch right at the start. Take the big guy down FAST and trivially and nobody will dare to challenge you.

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  21. Jeffrey Chalmers: If you do not “give”, I guess the threat of “not going to heaven” has more “power” than the “state”??

    During the Bork Confirmation Circus, I got a telemarketer call from American Life League demanding money to get Bork on the Supremes using that exact threat. The only difference was they used the Code Words “…or GOD Will Hold YOU Accountable for Every Child Aborted!”

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  22. Max: The world of SBC elite is strange indeed. The folks listed in this article puff their chests out like they are somebody, yet the average Southern Baptist has no idea who they are (with the exception of Paige Patterson, perhaps).

    Ever heard of the phrase “Admirals in rowboats”?
    Or “A Legend in His Own Mind”?

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  23. Ava Aaronson: But “average Joes” can empty their wallets to support these clowns, AKA, “leaders”. The “leaders” will gladly take the “average Joes’” money/paycheck. But does the “average Joe” have a voice at the table?

    I dunno about anybody else, but I’m so tired of personality cults. Not just in religion. Even locally. Maybe they won’t ever go away, but putting all your faith in someone human seems bound to disappoint.

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  24. Cedarvillian: … administrators are telling present employees not to read articles on sites like this because they’re “attacks from the devil” …

    Robert Morris called Christian watchblogs “Satan’s hit list.” “Administrators” like this don’t want truth to spread through cyberspace. It makes them all look bad for not addressing problems in their jurisdiction before social media does their job for them to inform and warn the Body of Christ.

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  25. Pingback: Jason Duesing and CU’s Thomas White Investigation | whatyareckon

  26. I went to MBTS in Kansas City for almost two years, 08/2017-05/2019. I only knew a little about reformed theology at the time and I left because of the way things were going. I could sense a change in the air so to speak. It’s very interesting how biased the school was towards hiring mainly reformed teachers. I only remember a few professors who didn’t consider themselves reformed. It’s also interesting how they think their reformed tradition is the end all be all. It seems like they compete with each other on who can write the most books every year. The spirit of religion is great here, the spirit of God not so much. I never actually spoke to Duesing himself but did see him around campus.

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