Open Letter

A Response to the Open Letter:

C.G. "Colly" Caldwell's Letter of June 30, 2000, mailed to the Co-Signers of the Open Letter, published from Harry Osborne's copy of the letter

Note: The letter was written on the letterhead of Florida College
119 N. Glen Arven Avenue * Temple Terrace, Florida 33617 * Telephone (813) 988-5131 * Fax: (813) 899-6772

June 30, 2000

Mr. Harry Osborne
(Address Withheld)

Dear brother Osborne,

When I returned from a preaching trip this past Monday, on my desk was a package containing "An Open Letter: The Creation Account & Florida College." While it says, "An advance copy of this article has been provided to brethren Colly Caldwell, Ferrell Jenkins, and Shane Scott of Florida College...," it had obviously been circulated widely for some time, at least among the men who signed it. I have no way of knowing who else has seen it or been influenced by it.

Since your name was listed as a co-signer, I presume that you take full responsibility for it. Ethically, of course, that requires your having personally examined the sources, directly studied the issues thoroughly, appropriately inquired about our beliefs, concurred in each statement contained therein, considered carefully the implications of each statement had it been directed to you, and met all criteria which you preach regarding the way brethren should deal with brethren.

I am attaching a statement which sets forth the position I hold on these matters. (To the Watchman readers, the attached statement can be viewed by clicking the link located at the end of this letter, SC.) In addition, I would remind you of approximately one hundred employees here (some of whom you know) who are very conservative Christians. They are respected gospel preachers, elders, their wives, and others with longtime fidelity to the Lord. I dare say there would be a major internal insurrection and exodus if we were to promote false doctrine concerning the Divine origin of the universe.

I would refer you to statements soon to be published in Truth Magazine concerning some of these matters. After reading, you may not agree with our decisions; but perhaps, at least, you will have some greater understanding. With the wisdom of twenty-twenty hindsight, we would do some things differently. We all grow as we learn.

You must know that it was not reasonable to ask us to defend opposing positions to yours on the propositions for debate you set forth in your letter. As you see in my attached statement, we do not espouse the positions you imply we do. We will not uphold any views which are contrary to Scripture.

I appreciate your concern for Truth and your desire to warn of departure from it when there is a real threat. In this case, there is none. As I have said on many occasions, we all need to be open to listen to concerns from our brethren and be certain our course is true to the Word of God. With these affirmations of strong conviction, I hope your mind is relieved. Further I would request that you share the full text of my attached statement with any who may have seen your open letter.


Colly (signed)

C.G. "Colly" Caldwell