Excellent article by Michael Ruse HERE.
The real surprise is that Calvin College managed to be so good for so long in spite of its original sin, supposedly being part of a religion connected to constant reform (which for people in reformed traditions will always be necessary due to the way that innate epistemic and moral depravity undermine human institutions, especially ones relating to religion) and yet at the same time making professors swear allegiance to the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Canons of Dort!
Q & A 7
Q. Then where does this corrupt human nature
A. From the fall and disobedience of our first parents,
Adam and Eve, in Paradise.^1
This fall has so poisoned our nature^2
that we are born sinners—
corrupt from conception on.^3
^1 Gen. 3
^2 Rom. 5:12, 18-19
^3 Ps. 51:5
John Calvin himself, following Augustine, urged us to think of scripture as often metaphorical, God accommodating common people. The anti-Calvinist doctrine that scripture was inerrant came much later, in fact at the Princeton Theological Seminary in response to a popular wave of fundamentalism. It was finally rejected by Presbyterians in 1927 (though it has survived elsewhere, most notably recently enshrined by the Southern Baptist Convention). But the President of Calvin College knows better than John Calvin! Here is Ruse on what happened:
So if modern science says that a literal Adam and Eve do not exist, start thinking of ways that one can keep a good creating god, sinful humans, and the need for Jesus to die on the cross for our salvation. And this is precisely what John Schneider, until the end of last month a member of the Religion Department at Calvin, has been doing. Drawing on theology even older than Augustine, he has been speculating that perhaps we should understand human nature as something developing gradually and (from a moral viewpoint) always in need of improvement and help. He has been arguing that perhaps the coming and suffering of Jesus is not “Plan B,” a fix-it solution by God to mop up after the mistakes of Adam and Eve, but something always part of the Divine Intention.
It is this that has got him into hot water with the president of Calvin College, who thinks that Schneider has been violating the terms of his employment. You will note that I said that Schneider used to be a member of the Religion Department for he has now taken early retirement. He and the College have issued one of those po-faced statements that say everyone is concerned to work things out for the good of the group and no one is blaming anyone for anything, but goodbye and good luck.
Anyhow, please read the Ruse article as well as the articles to which he links (Ruse has been following this for some time). It's pretty depressing stuff.