“An Argument to Turn to Jesus Before the Bar” (New York Times -2/28/2014)
When Kim S. Phipps was leading the search for a new president of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, she called Edward O. Blews Jr. and said, “Ed, this is God, and she is calling you to the C.C.C.U. presidency.”
Her joke, recounted in the Chronicle of Higher Education, seems to have been persuasive, for in January 2013 Mr. Blews assumed the presidency of the council, the major association of evangelical schools, which includes Oral Roberts University, in Oklahoma, and Wheaton College, in Illinois, Billy Graham’s alma mater.
Then, in October, Mr. Blews was removed. Two weeks ago, he sued the council. According to his lawsuit, his contract “commits the parties to attempt to resolve any dispute in a biblical manner,” using “the principles stated in I Corinthians 6:1-8, Matthew 5:23-24, and Matthew 18:15-20.” If New Testament precepts did not help achieve a resolution, the parties would go to “nonbinding Christian mediation.”
To most of us, the details of the $2.2 million breach-of-contract suit are not interesting. But its resolution could turn on which side reneged on a promise to use Christian principles in the workplace, a quarrel that offers a window into a parallel, little-known system of religious justice.