Billy Graham Center

Collection 288 - Vincent Crossett. T2 Transcript

This is a complete and accurate transcript of the tape of the continuation of the oral history interview of Vincent Leroy Crossett (CN 288, T2) in the Archives of the Billy Graham Center. No spoken words have been omitted, except for any non-English phrases which could not be understood by the transcribers. Foreign terms which are not commonly understood appear in italics. In very few cases words were too unclear to be distinguished. If the transcriber was not completely sure of having gotten what the speaker said, "[?]" was inserted after the word or phrase in question. If the speech was inaudible or indistinguishable, "[unclear]" was inserted. Grunts and verbal hesitations such as "ah" or "um" were usually omitted. The transcribers have not attempted to phonetically replicate English dialects but have instead entered the standard English word the speaker was expressing. Chinese place names are spelled in the transcript in the old or new transliteration form according to how the speaker pronounced them. Thus, "Peking" is used instead of "Beijing," if that is how the interviewee pronounced it. Chinese terms and phrases which would be understood were spelled as they were pronounced with some attempt made to identify the accepted transliteration form to which it corresponds. Readers should remember that this is a transcript of spoken English, which follows a different rhythm and rule than written English.

. . . Three dots indicate an interruption or break in the train of thought within the sentence on the part of the speaker.

. . . . Four dots indicate what the transcriber believes to be the end of an incomplete sentence.

( ) Words in parentheses are asides made by the speaker.

[ ] Words in brackets are comments by the transcriber.

This transcript was made by Jeffrey Dennison and was completed in March 2002.

Collection 288, T2. Interview of Vincent Leroy Crossett by Paul Ericksen on November 16, 1984.

ERICKSEN: We were talking about the Fundamentalist-Modernist debate. Was there much discussion of it in classes? Maybe in the Bible & Religion department?

CROSSETT: Well, I don't think much in the Religion department. Miss [Edith] Torrey was the one who...who taught Bible to me. I took...I took Bible with Miss Torrey. And (that's R.A. Torrey's daughter)...and [clears throat]...but it did get in our class of our science classes...the [pauses]...not...not theology, something had do with that.... What's...what's another branch of...? Anyway, in that course. That...that professor had a hobby horse. He was always riding it: the eternal triangle. And that brought in this discussion quite a bit. The...the [clears throat]...the liberals and, of course, the non-Christians and the liberals and the...and the...the Modernists. He brought that in everywhere.

ERICKSEN: That was the eternal triangle?

CROSSETT: Yes. And...and it really got in that class. He...he just had that hobby horse, and he was riding it all the time, both in class and out. But he was...he wasn't one of the best teachers either [laughs].

ERICKSEN: Now we haven't...we haven't named the seminary that...that Rev. Moses encouraged you to attend, but I presume it was where you went after you graduated from Wheaton, which was Westminster [Theological Seminary].

CROSSETT: Yes. Well, he said (when I asked him)...he said there are two seminaries equal as far as the...he would recommend. One was Dallas Theological Seminary down in Dallas and the other was Westminster. And Westminster, he said, because of the location of Philadelphia (and you have these...these theologians from all over the world visiting there and lecturing there) he recommended that that would be an advantage of going to Westminster. I don't think he really understood what Westminster was because.... See, I went there in the fall of '30, and they only opened in '29.


CROSSETT: There was a Westminster school [unclear], the ones who founded it came from Princeton [Theological Seminary], all of them. They saw Princeton had been reorganized and was going to go liberal. And so they...they.... He said that he would recommend...for that reason that we'd have opportunity to hear theologians from all over the world. But he also said Dallas is...was just as good. He put them on a par. I don't think he realized the theological stand at Westminster over against Dallas [laughs].

ERICKSEN: Well, what was it that influenced you to go to Westminster instead of Dallas?

CROSSETT: Well, it was mainly...mainly his recommendation.

ERICKSEN: So you didn't really know what you were getting into either?

CROSSETT: No, I knew it was a Presbyterian school. At least it had Presbyterian influence. It's an independent school. But...and...and.... Way back, my folks were Presbyterian. When they moved out here two...a couple of generations...two or three generations ago, there was no Presbyterian church in Wyanet, so they went Congregational church. In those days, the...the doctrine wasn't too different, except the form...the...the church organization and the...the...the.... Yeah, mainly the church organization. One was Presbyterian, one was Congregational as far as church government is concerned. That was a big difference and so they didn't...because they both adhered to the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechism, and so it put them almost on par. Except that one was ruled by the people and the other was ruled by a representation that's elected by the people. And so that's where...that's where I joined first when I worked and I joined that church. And that's where they'd been for two, three...three or four generations. Now, it's for at least four generations...five. [laughs] But the...but Presbyterian...I...I [pauses] liked.... And then...then, of course, another influence that may have had something to do with it (I...I doubt it), I've got relatives out there (uncles and cousins and aunts and so forth) two or three generations back. And...but I liked the culture of Philadelphia there. The...the...that argument that he...he gave was the one that really...really the deciding factor, because I wasn't Presbyterian at the time. I whole influence was either Methodist or Congregational which were [laughs] opposite doctrinally in those times. Methodists are free will and Congregationalists [laughs] and Presbyterians are the sovereignty of God [laughs]. So, anyway, my...that...that was a big relief deciding that. And I liked going east. Of course, [unclear] within a hundred miles or so of Philadelphia.

ERICKSEN: So you finished Wheaton in the end of the Spring, and then did you move straight out to Philadelphia?

CROSSETT: I finished here in the Spring, and I went.... I didn't go to Philadelphia until just before it opened in the Fall. I went home from here, and I think I...I got a...I got a job, yes, driving a truck around...a gravel truck there in Wyanet. Then...then in the Fall I...I went out to Philadelphia. How did I go out? I don't remember the details or anything. But I remember we got there.... No, no, no! Here''s the sequence of things. Between my sophomore and junior year here in Wheaton I wanted to get a job and earn money so I could pay for my way a little more. I couldn't find one anywhere. And Mr. Spooner, who was the superintendent of the Congregational conference in...for Illinois...he asked me, "How'd you like to go down and take...take a little church down in southern Illinois and preach for the summer?" Well, I hadn't preached a sermon in my life. "Go down for eight weeks. We'll give you twenty dollars a week." And I thought it over and I said, "Okay, I'll go down." [laughs] So I went down there (this was...this was in 1928).

ERICKSEN: Now was that...that was in Alto Pass, is that...?

CROSSETT: Alto Pass. In Alto Pass. I took that for eight weeks, and it was such a.... Well, they just flocked around a young fellow, you know, and [laughs] I had quite a...quite a ministry down there. I preached one sermon over in Elgin, a little church over there, just before I went down there. But it was after I had said I'd go [laughs]. And I...just green as anything, but I went down there, and they took to me like.... Well, the young people just crowded around another a young person [unclear]. And...and...and so then the next summer I went to another church, Spooner sent me to another church...

ERICKSEN: Where was that?

CROSSETT: ...for eight weeks. That's Marshall, Illinois, which was dollars a week. Down in Alto Pass I got my room and board for seven dollars a week. So I had all the other to spend. I spent it all on young people's work [laughs] down there. So I came back to school with no more money in my pocket than I had before I went after eight weeks. But anyway, the Lord arranged it. But then, for the...for the next four, all together five, summers I spent supplying in churches throughout...three times in Alto Pass and twice in Marshall. And so, when I went to seminary, it was.... I...I had to buy a car in Marshall. I paid twenty-five dollars for a Model-T Ford get from...because there was two churches eight miles apart. And so George Marston and I drove out to Westminster in that Model-T Ford that I had. We got there during chapel on the first day that they opened school in that...that 19...the Fall of 1930. And that's...I went after...after supplying down in...down in Marshall...I mean down in Alto Pass. So that [laughs]...that's how I got out there.

ERICKSEN: And how many students were at West...Westminster then?

CROSSETT: Westminster...there were only about, I think...I think we had around sixty...between sixty and seventy students. I don't remember....

ERICKSEN: Had any of them come from Princeton along with the faculty?

CROSSETT: Yes, there were some...some that came from Princeton, and some that it was their first year, like mine. I was...I wasn't the first year of Westminster, but I was the second. I...I...I wasn't the first one that had my whole seminary training there, but...but there were several...several Princeton student...students that had transferred from Princeton to there, yes.

ERICKSEN: What...what do you remember of Dr. [J. Greshem] Machen?

CROSSETT: He is the best teacher I've had in all of twenty years in my schooling. From first grade through [laughs] seminary to the graduate school here. I've never had a teacher...every class was a masterpiece. He knew what he was talking about, and he knew the situation in the church and in the world generally (I mean the religious world generally). But he was really involved. I mean, he...he took it to heart. Of course, he wrote a lot, and he was speaking a lot, and.... But he was just an outstanding man. I've never known a person quite like him, yet he was very approachable, very sympathetic. One class we had there, at the end of the class (there were about twenty...twenty students in the class), the whole class just clapped because he was just [laughs] was just such a masterpiece and you just felt that you were sitting under a real master here. I've never had a...a professor like him.

ERICKSEN: Did he teach many other classes at the seminary?

CROSSETT: Yes, he taught quite a few. He taught [pauses] exegesis. I mean, he taught several of the Greek classes, and...and he...he had a regular load. [pauses] Very very busy, but a very capable man. He wasn't married. He had a mother that he was caring for. She was down in Baltimore, I think, but he was...he had one of these penthouses in...that looked on the fourteenth floor, I think it was, in one of the hotels there. And in the beginning of the seminary (this was the year before I came), every Saturday night he had what he'd call a Checker Party. And he would have...and he invited all the students, anybody who wanted to come (there was compulsion)...wanted to come. He'd buy the best apples and oranges and...and figs and he'd fill his refrigerator with all kinds of soft drinks and [pauses]...and cider and various other things. And he would play chess and checkers with the boys (they'd...they'd all be playing). But what he did that for was to get their thinking in the church situation. He did it to get into their minds, and this was a relaxed situation. Boy, he'd say [laughs]...when...when he'd come in, he'd say "Don't be tightwads, fellas." In other words, "Eat everything you want to here, and help yourself." But he would be playing and he'd be talking to those students. He wanted to get into their thinking and into the situation in the churches they came from. That he did every Saturday during the...most every Saturday during first year. Second year it was only about once a month or so because he got [laughs] so involved and so busy, but he kept that up as long as I was there. It was was a real education to talk to him. He knew the situation and he knew the people, and the...the way things were going in the church [raps table with hand]. Of course, that's one reason he pulled out of Princeton and started Westminster: he saw the trend. And he wanted to have an institution where men could be trained properly. But he was...he was outstanding. I do [unclear] and so humorous. [laughs] He...very...not out-of...out-of-order but in [laughs] order. He was very...he had a real sense of humor. He could give what he called stuts. He said everyone ought to have a stut. In other words, some kind of a reading or a...a...a...the...the humorous.. . humorous reading or a.... And he...they'd have a special celebration once a year, and different ones would give their readings. Of course, he was always asked to give readings. He had some...some classic ones. [laughs] Oh, it was just side-splitting. [laughs] He was...he was just an all-around fellow with the fellas.

ERICKSEN: Did you have to prepare a reading?

CROSSETT: I didn't. It wasn't compulsory.


CROSSETT: I tried and I wasn't satisfied, so I [laughs].... But he prepared different ones. You have to hear him because he was so expressive. He really could...could express himself just the way he wanted to.

ERICKSEN: did the...the atmosphere at Princeton compare with that at Wheaton? You had mentioned that Wheaton tended to be rather restrictive.

CROSSETT: I...I don't know anything about Princeton. You mean Westminster?

ERICKSEN: Oh, I'm sorry. Westminster, yeah.

CROSSETT: Well, Westminster was's much the opposite, because you're mature, you're an adult and you're going there for a purpose. And so the weren't bound by regulations. If you wanted to go off and do as you please, well fine. If they found it out, then you might be [laughs] kicked out of school. But...but they took for granted that you were adults and that you were mature and that you were there for a purpose. And so they didn't.... They had one man that came there and he was (oh, he could talk like everything)...he was a little older, I would say he was getting close to fifty, at least from my standpoint then.) And, oh, he could...he could quote the...the [pauses]...once he...he...he did so much it repelled me because he said, "Look, the book...the book that we have here." He said, "This is just covered with blood," just as though impress on somebody that he believed the blood of sacrifice and so forth. Later on he was kicked out because he was there as a student only as a pretense and he was running a sales job all over town. He was selling things. He used their expenses, a lot of them paid, and so forth. Well, he got kicked out in a hurry. [laughs] But it's the...the atmosphere was entirely different as far far as any rules and regulations are concerned. There were some, however [pauses]...even the rule on smoking. If you smoked, that's your business. In other words, Christian liberty. If you were close to the Lord, if the Lord convicts you, then you've got to cut it out. If you...if you aren't under that conviction, and He hasn't convicted you, well they're not going to kick you out because you did that. Although I don't think there was smoking in the dormitories. I think it only.... Well, the dormitory was only a [pauses]...a floor of one of the hotels. [train passes in background] They just rented the whole floor of one of the hotels. And we got all the hotel service and everything else. And [laughs] they didn't have any dormitories in the seminary when I was there. It was just a little in-between building between one of those blocks. If you've been to Philadelphia the houses are built just...just like this, right along and just stairway down. I mean the...the little landing in front and the stairway and then you go up two, three stories just between two other buildings right here. That's what Westminster was when I went there. Then, later on, they went out...out in the suburbs. They have a wonderful campus now, but that was in the beginning. It You were pretty much free to do as you please. Of course, if they found out you were doing things that were contrary to the doctrine and contrary to ethics and so forth, well that's.... They would be lenient in trusting you. But if they found you untrustworthy, then [laughs] out you go. They weren't lenient that way. But we had what they call, of course, you know, bull sessions [open-ended discussions, in this case on different theological positions on the Second Coming of Christ]. We'd have a lot of bull sessions. We those days, we had Arminians, and we had Calvinists and we had people from many...several denominations. And, boy, we'd have bull sessions well into the night. We had dispensationalists, we had amillenialists, pre-millenialists, post-millenialists. Even on the faculty, they had post-, pre-, and a-. No dispensationalists on the faculty. [laughs, clears throat] But you had some really good discussions. And all except one, I think, of the people who were there [laughs] that came, they went away Calvinists and not...not Arminians. All but one...and one. Even the...the Arminians, they...they...they had a special prayer meeting. They met regularly just to pray that they'll keep their faith [laughs]. Most of them got switched around. But when you go into a Calvinistic school, you expect to get hit from that side...


CROSSETT: ...pretty hard.

ERICKSEN: Now who...who was the one who didn't...? All but one didn't....

CROSSETT: Bill...Bill...Bill Fratz [?]...Bill. He was a Methodist. And he was thinking very seriously when he left, but...about whether...whether he has got grounds for his...his stand sufficiently to keep it Methodist. [laughs] You really...we really had some bull sessions way into the night.

ERICKSEN: Now would Machen get in on those?

CROSSETT: Well, if.... It was usually among the students, usually among the students. Machen would...he wouldn't back off if it...if he were encountered with it, but he had his facts in hand, so [laughs] he knew...he knows his Scriptures, of course, and he knew it backward and forward. He studied his Scripture Greek. And he didn't...not learn to drive a car. He said, "Waste of time. You can't do anything but drive." [laughs] I agree with him in a way, but I do drive a car [laughs]. But then later, of course, there was a split. Faith Seminary broke off from Westminster, and the Bible Presbyterian Church was started. Mc... (what's his name?) McIntire... Carl McIntire and that split. And that took.... That is when we had no more dispensationalists. And it...that...that just made a big difference.

ERICKSEN: Now was that when you were there?

CROSSETT: That was not when I was there. That was later. That was...McIntire was there. He was my roommate one year. That is.... No. He wasn't my roommate, he was just across the hall.

ERICKSEN: What kind of fellow was he?

CROSSETT: He was more mature than the others, a little bit older. He was...he had been a map salesman down in Texas between his first seminary and later on. He was more mature, but he was very definite, very positive, and...and he was [pauses].... Well, you just went along with him, or else you didn't [laughs]. I mean, you got out. And of course, when...when the thing split and Faith Seminary was started [1937], there was...people felt very strongly on both sides, both ways. He was, of course, a...what you'd call a [pauses] separatist. Naturally, because separation from sin and from anybody else that doesn't agree with you [laughs]. And...and there are the...the (what do you call it?)...Christian liberty and...anyway, Christian liberty. In other words, things like smoking and drinking, those are individual things. We don't legislate against those things. McIntire was for legislating and...

ERICKSEN: Like legalism?

CROSSETT: ...sep...separation. Like what?

ERICKSEN: Legalism?

CROSSETT: Yes. And...and so that [pauses] the...that...that...they really took a stand then. And those that were strongly...I mean, far more dispensational, they went along there, too, and even some of the millenial...pre-millenialists went along, too. Not all of them. I think Paul Wooley was a pre-millenialist. He was the professor of church history and very...very capable. Every...oh, facts were on his mind. He'd take...when he was a student in college, he could take the time...a regular time table and memorize it! And then you'd ask, "Say, you want to go there." He'd say, "You'd take this one to here and then change, and then you'll have a ten minute wait and then you'll go...." Well, he memorized the times of the regular time table! history, well that was right down his alley [laughs]. Yeah, it was a lot of fun getting to know some of these men. Paul Wooley was an excellent, excellent church history teacher. He was the registrar, too. And of course, we had John Murray and [Cornelius] Van Til [laughs], and Machen, and...and well, all of those old fellows..

ERICKSEN: You had Van Til for courses, too?

CROSSETT: Yes, yes.

ERICKSEN: What kind of teacher was he?

CROSSETT: He was a philosopher. He was very good in teaching. He was a little bit...sometimes he got a little bit over my head. I'm not that much of a philosopher. But he was...he certainly knows his stuff. He was...he was...he was a good teacher as far as facts are concerned. And...and...and he was good, too. If you had questions, he'd...he'd take time for questions and...and...and explain...explain them out sometimes. He was a...he's a Dutchman, a Dutchman, and he had Dutch idio...idioms and so forth [laughs]. But he was a good teacher, I mean, he was one that could get his point across if you could understand him [laughs]. Of course, he was a philosopher and he's...he's right in that...that...


CROSSETT: ...area.

ERICKSEN: Now if anybody... I guess if somebody had a hobby horse (you were talking about this fellow back at Wheaton who had the hobby horse) Westminster, if somebody had a hobby horse, you'd think Machen would the one with pulling out of Princeton and all. Did you get...did he often broadcast his feelings about...?

CROSSETT: He was very strong on sticking to the Bible. "The can't deviate from the Bible." And...and that's why, when they start bringing in different interpretations which...which bring questions on the statements and questions on the Bible, the authority of the Bible, he was very strong there. He said...that was a key issue. When they reorganized Princeton, they put in some liberals or tending [toward] liberals, who had different interpretations which were not scriptural. He...he...he didn't give any.... I...I wouldn't say he's riding his hobby. He's...he's convicted. He has convictions and he sticks by them. He's not forcing them on you, except that you know where he stands. And, of course, in his lectures, both in class and he's speaking, if he speaks, you know where he stands with regard to the authority of the Bible. He's a...he was just a...a mastermind as far as thinking was concerned. He could think things through. We read some of his books: The...[clears throat]...The Origin of Paul's Religion, The Virgin Birth, and Faith...Faith and Modernism (something like that). Well, you have to think when you read those books, and he's got the arguments down. And those argu...those arguments have not been answered. People just sidetrack and don't face it up [unclear].

ERICKSEN: Now at that point, he was still part of the Presbyterian Church in the United States, is that right? The OPC [Orthodox Presbyterian Church] came in 1936.

CROSSETT: Yes. No, he was still a member of the...of the Northern church, the...I've forgotten the Uni...the Presbyterian Church USA, is that was it was called in those days. It's changed its name from time to time.

ERICKSEN: Yeah, I think so.

CROSSETT: But he was there until he was defrocked [1935]. And there were about seven or eight, I think, that were defrocked at the same time. And then, of course, he had no other alternative. He did not want to start another denomination. He did not want to. And what got him in trouble...he could not recommend that people support the missionaries that were out under the Christian church. And so (this is putting it very very succinctly) he started...he was instrumental in starting the...the [pauses] Independent Board of Presbyterian Missions. In other words, he was recom...he started this board, and he was recommending that the...the money for missions be given to Evangelical missionaries, missionaries that are true to the faith. And...and he was making an opportunity for them to do that. He didn't have any intention of starting another denomination. He was fighting that idea. Some people suggested that he fighting that. But then he started this and that came up: if anybody supported any mission that wasn't...any missionary that wasn't on the...under the USA church, they could be expelled and disciplined, expelled. And..and so, it brought to the issue and finally.... I think that was the main issue. I'm not sure, but I think that was the main issue of why he was defrocked because he was.... But this Independent Board of Presbyterian Foreign Missions was started before...sometime before the OPC...I mean, yes, the.... Well, it wasn't the OPC originally. It was the Presbyterian Church of America. Then they got in trouble illegally over that name. Now they got the Presbyterian Church in America, and that's going along alright. But...but that's where it started. Then they had to change the name because they got into legal trouble, and then they...they finally chose the...the...the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. Of course, then the Bible Presbyterian Church separated, and then later the Bible Presbyterian Church divided and the Reformed Presbyterian Church Evangelical Synod was formed as a break-off from the Bible Presbyterian Church. And now [laughs] they've joined with the PCA [Presbyterian Church in America] and they...they're coming together though. The OPC may join in with that, too. These that came out of the Northern and the Southern church, churches which are one now. But anyway, that's...I don't know what that's doing to the mission interview [laughs].

ERICKSEN: Was...was the Independent Board of Foreign Missions...was that already in the works when you were at Westminster or did that develop later after you finished?

CROSSETT: I think it was already organized when I was there. I'm quite sure it was. I don't know the exact history. See, I was not a Presbyterian in those days.

ERICKSEN: Yeah. [train passes in background]

CROSSETT: I didn't...I didn't become a Presbyterian really until 1961! [laughs]

ERICKSEN: Now I came across something that you were ordained by the OPC....

CROSSETT: I was ordained by the Berachah Church in Philadelphia. They called a council, mostly Presbyterians, and...and questioned me. They...they put me through the...through the...the examination, and then they ordained me. And that's where my ordination was up until I joined the OPC - Garden Grove Orthodox Presbyterian Church in California in, no, no, no. 19 [pauses]...yeah, 1961. That's when we left Honolulu. I couldn't remain a member of the church in Honolulu, and...and so my wife and I both joined her brother's church, Ed Elliot, Garden Grove, California. We joined by correspondence [laughs]. They knew us, and I asked if we could join that way [Ericksen laughs] and move right out. See from Honolulu we went straight out to Taiwan. We didn't come back to the mainland at all. And so, in that April I...he took it up before his...the Session, and they discussed it and let us. And so we came into the church on that basis. We never really were active members there in the sense of attending their services and giving our...our support and everything to it. But we joined the OPC then. Then in 1974 I asked them.... See, we were retired from the mission. I just let it be the way it was, this ordination from the Berachah Church in Philadelphia until we came home from Taiwan. And, no, when we went to Taiwan is when I joined that church, and then when we came home, I wanted to be...have my ordination recognized by the OPC. So I asked the Midwest Presbytery (the one...this one around here) if they would consider. And they gave...gave me the examination, the required examination, and my ordination was recognized there. So ordination now is in the OP...OPC. So that's...that's where I...where I wanted, that's where my sympathies are. But I had been independent all my life up 'til '61...well, Congregational. That has turned's a Congregational Bible Church there in Wyanet now. So it's a Bible church rather than a Congregational church.

ERICKSEN: Now, is that where you go to church?

CROSSETT: Yes, except we come up here.... See, our...our membership...well, mine...I'm a member of presbytery. But my wife joined the Bethel Presbyterian Church here in Wheaton. So we come up here. We plan to come up here at least once a month. And we are obligated...we talked to Bob Harvey [senior pastor of the congregation at that time] and he said...took it up with his Session, and they said, "Okay." See, this church...the closest OPC church there is is one hundred miles from...from...from our home. And we could to Peoria, to a PCA church down there. We're not in sympathy too much with the...with the church in Wyanet in their stand in different things, but it's an evangelical church. It's a Fundamental church in the broad sense of the word. And so we can have fellowship there. And, of course, relatives and friends [laughs] and so forth are there. But to join it, we didn't feel that we wanted to. So we joined the church up here until we go to the...into the retirement home whenever that will be [laughs]. We're down there in Wyanet mainly because of our sister. She has this big family house, and we can be a real help to her. She's seventy-three, seventy-four the last birthday. (Let me see, she was born in 1910.) Seventy-f...just...just passed her seventy-fourth birthday. [pauses] Yeah, third...third of November. And so it...she...she has a...she had one heart attack and so forth. In that great big house all alone, and...and we...she made an apartment upstairs for this other sister. And she went to Dallas and so now we're...we're staying there. And we feel that she is a blessing to us and we're a blessing [laughs] to her in some sort of.... And so we'll be staying there. And if she...if anything should happen to her, we'll be moving into...into a retirement home probably, either the OMF, Overseas Missionary Fellowship retirement home in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, possibly Florida, Bradington...Braden...Bradenton. We have made inquiries down there. That's...that's...that's beside the point for now.

ERICKSEN: I'm curious as I think back over sort of your theological journey (and we haven't even gotten into your mission work yet) [Crossett laughs], was much of that formed when you were at Wheaton or did Westminster crystallize a lot of your thinking theologically?

CROSSETT: Well, that happened while I was at Wheaton. Westminster helped to crystallize it, but I...when I was at Wheaton, I was a strong dispensationalist. And when I went to Alto Pass...of course, I had to teach the women's...I had to teach class in the auxiliary...the women's auxiliary, and in the missionary society, and morning and evening service, prayer meeting, and everything. And I took a course...I taught a course in Revelation. And my textbook was Ironside's book on Revelation [possibly Lectures on the Book of Revelation]. And if there's anything dispensational, that is. And so I [clears throat]...I taught that right down. And in that course I repeated statements that he had made in the book. And I said, "This is it! This is it! Ironside says so. He's it." And they said, "Where do you get Scripture for that?" And so many of those questions came up that I started to look, and I...of course, I'd always say, "Well, I don't know. I'll...I'll tell you next time." Well, I couldn't find it, and that caused me to question some of the statements that he made. He was a...I think a sort of ultra-dispensationalist. And that caused me to question some of the things that...the statements that he made. And I...if...if I can't find them in the Bible, why should I say it? [laughs] Because I believe..I believe in the Bible [pats chair]. I think that what the Bible teaches is fine. If I don't find it in the Bible, well, I'd better be careful what I teach. So that started me thinking, and I started studying more. I didn't make an awfully deep study of eschatology, but made me question the details of the dispensations and so forth. And the more I finished...finished Wheaton, and then, of course, when I...when I got to Westminster, of course, we had all...all thoughts there when I went there. All the people that believed in all the [laughs]...even in dispensationalism as well as the other millenial views. And [I] got to talking and trying to straighten it out, and I got more and more Well, I discarded dispensationalism, except there are two dispensations: the old and the new. [laughs] And...and then the more I got into it the more I...I [pauses] felt that.... Well, that's...and that's as far as I did really discard is the dispensations. I held when I joined the mission...I said, "I'm...I'm...I'm a premillenialist, but I don't believe in the dispensations." It's like that...well, in the OMF, you've got people that hold all...all...all denomination practically. And just so long as they believe in the Bible, they believe that it comes from the Bible. But the more I studied it the more I felt I had to turn away primarily from dispensationalism. And I studied more, too, read different books on...on comparison of the different views until.... And then Margaret's experience, too, has been.... She brought up questions here in a class on Revelation and Daniel. The year she brought it up, the teacher got so mad she kicked her out of the class. That was one of those private Bible classes here, and she had quite a few young people in the class.

ERICKSEN: I'll have to make a note of that.... [both laugh]

CROSSETT: She did. She was the wife of one of the professors in the college. And she just kicked her out of the class and wouldn't let her come back anymore. [both laugh] So that was...she could tell you more about that, but....[Crossett laughs] I thought that was...that...that, of course, turns you off right away: if they don't have answers for your questions, you could at least say, "I don't know." [train passes in background] But yet she thought that she was a troublemaker, I mean the teacher thought Margaret was a troublemaker. But she was asking sincere questions. She'd already finished BIOLA (Bible Institute of Los Angeles; that's before it became a college or a university). But she was a person who thought and had a little bit of a background. But to have the teacher just get so angry to think that she was just in there [laughs] disrupting. She...she didn't go back anymore to that class. Of course, she wasn't allowed to [laughs]. That...that's interesting. And that was the attitude of some that were here when we here. Of course, she was a professor's wife, not a professor. [laughs] Anyway.

ERICKSEN: Well, I think...probably a good time to stop. This is an appropriate time to break, so...


ERICKSEN: ...I'll say thank you for now.

CROSSETT: ...informal conversation [laughs].


CROSSETT: [unclear] what...? What [unclear]...?


Return to BGC Archives Home Page

Last Revised: 3/26/02
Expiration: indefinite

© 2016 Wheaton College. All rights reserved. This transcript may be reused with the following publication credit: Used by permission of the Billy Graham Center Archives, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL.2005