~ HE WAS A VERY very large philosopher. A veritable teddy-bear viking of a man.
My mentor and favourite professor– Dr. Rodger Forsman of the Acadia Philosophy Department, and the Religious Studies Department– made my head hurt. Often.
He put me on edge. He made me ask over and over why I thought what I did, not– like so many progressive professors do– to undermine it, but to help me articulate the reasons, truth, and evidence of things, ideas, whole philosophies. He was smart, kind, rigorous, wise, fair-minded and funny. But he made my head hurt.
He was the father of my adult mind, a mentor, a friend. I give thanks to God for him.
For me, Doc Forsman was a trusty truth-lover, not a coddler, and someone that many students and even other faculty went to to discuss issues and problems, as well as the bigger questions.
For this professor, being merely “right” was never enough. Why? For what reasons? Based on what principles? What evidence? What were the strengths and possible criticisms for any given position? Very Aristotelian/ St. Thomas Aquinas, for a Baptist.
His passion was the writings & sermons of Anglo-Catholic theologian Austin Farrer, chaplain to various Oxford colleges, and friend & pastor to C.S. Lewis. A brilliant thinker and preacher, just when the church was going mad in the 1960s, Farrer is often overlooked, or unknown.
Bring On The Derp
The current mainstream of the arts programs in many universities (Marxist thought for dummies ass mental bubble gum– easy to chew, not very exhausting, and full of smug self-righteousness and judgy, too) had not yet taken over Acadia in the 1980s. Thank heavens.
“Muh Feelz” of the safe-space Social Justice Warriors were not going to tantrum about Dr. Forsman’s upsetting the progressive categories back then. We had some politically correct profs and students bumbling about, but they had not taken over the place, gone nuts, and then run the asylum.
Even in the 90s and early 00s, he saw the rot coming– he observed that– unlike the past– the first task in his philosophy classes was to help students believe in objective truth, and that truth was knowable. He also gave ethics courses in the Business School, which expected a magical “one-size fits-all” moral ethics system, to prevent sleazy business practices– this in the era of Wall Street & Corporate crimes, Enron, and the like.
A Great Man
What I learned to love about him most was that Doc F was cheerfully magnanimous– great-spirited. No matter who you were, and what you thought, you learned to respect him (he was pretty much the smartest guy in the place), some to love him. Unless you were very stupid or lazy or very close-minded, you also left his classes actually knowing things about stuff.
A giant humble gentle man, and gentleman-scholar, teacher, student, husband, father, and mentor to many. And an unashamed Christian, active in the university, his local church, and in the community.
I can only imagine what he’d say of the current Rick Mehta circus-crisis at an institution he loved & served for 40 years of his life. It would not please him in the least, I suspect.
Love you, Doc F. May you rest in peace, and rise in Glory.
Rodger Ernest Forsman
The death of Rodger Ernest Winfield Forsman occurred on Sunday, August 13, 2017 at Valley Regional Hospital, Kentville, Nova Scotia from acute myeloid leukemia.
Rodger was born on May 28, 1934 at the farm of his pioneer parents, Ernest Bror Forsman and Margareta Isabella Johanson, east of Strasbourg, Saskatchewan. Rodger had three sisters, Joyce (Lee), Estelle (Anderson), and Yvonne Brown (deceased). Rodger attended both elementary and high school in Strasbourg, and excelled in all of his studies. He attended B.L.T.S. in Calgary in 1951-52.
Working and studying in the automotive trade, he earned his journeyman papers in Motor Vehicle Maintenance and Repair in 1957. Rodger married Lois (Anderson) on July 28, 1956 in Congress, Saskatchewan. In 1959 they moved to Hamilton, Ontario where Rodger earned his M.A and M.Div degrees at McMaster University. He then attended the University of Toronto where he earned an M.A. and a Ph.D that he completed in 1973. He also taught at York University and Brock University when he lived in Ontario. In 1971 the family moved to Wolfville, Nova Scotia where he taught for 40 years at Acadia University in the Departments of Religious Studies, Philosophy, and the School of Business.
He was acting Dean of Arts, Senate member, and served on many committees. As a member of Wolfville Baptist Church he sang in the choir for over 30 years, was a deacon, served on the Board of Trustees, and other committees. He also sang in the University Chorus and the Gentlemen’s Chorus.
Rodger is survived by his wife of 61 years, Lois; two sons, Jon (Dominique), La Desirade, Guadeloupe; Andrew (Hooban), San Diego, California; and three precious grandchildren, James, Alexander, and Heidi. He will be missed by many relatives. Cremation has taken place. There will be no visitation, by request. A service of Thanksgiving to God for the life of Rodger Forsman will be held at Manning Memorial Chapel on Monday, August 21, 2017 at 2 pm., Reverend Timothy McFarland and Reverend Doctor Roger Prentice officiating.
Memorial gifts may be made to the Manning Memorial Chapel Endowment Fund or charity of your choice. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the White Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Kentville.
1 Let us now praise famous men, and our fathers that begat us.
2 The Lord hath wrought great glory by them through his great power from the beginning.
3 Such as did bear rule in their kingdoms, men renowned for their power, giving counsel by their understanding, and declaring prophecies:
4 Leaders of the people by their counsels, and by their knowledge of learning meet for the people, wise and eloquent are their instructions:
5 Such as found out musical tunes, and recited verses in writing:
6 Rich men furnished with ability, living peaceably in their habitations:
7 All these were honoured in their generations, and were the glory of their times.
8 There be of them, that have left a name behind them, that their praises might be reported.
9 And some there be, which have no memorial; who are perished, as though they had never been; and are become as though they had never been born; and their children after them.
10 But these were merciful men, whose righteousness hath not been forgotten.
11 With their seed shall continually remain a good inheritance, and their children are within the covenant.
12 Their seed standeth fast, and their children for their sakes.
13 Their seed shall remain for ever, and their glory shall not be blotted out.
14 Their bodies are buried in peace; but their name liveth for evermore.
15 The people will tell of their wisdom, and the congregation will shew forth their praise.
16 Enoch pleased the Lord, and was translated, being an example of repentance to all generations.
17 Noah was found perfect and righteous; in the time of wrath he was taken in exchange for the world; therefore was he left as a remnant unto the earth, when the flood came.
18 An everlasting covenant was made with him, that all flesh should perish no more by the flood.
19 Abraham was a great father of many people: in glory was there none like unto him;
20 Who kept the law of the most High, and was in covenant with him: he established the covenant in his flesh; and when he was proved, he was found faithful.
21 Therefore he assured him by an oath, that he would bless the nations in his seed, and that he would multiply him as the dust of the earth, and exalt his seed as the stars, and cause them to inherit from sea to sea, and from the river unto the utmost part of the land.
22 With Isaac did he establish likewise for Abraham his father’s sake the blessing of all men, and the covenant, And made it rest upon the head of Jacob. He acknowledged him in his blessing, and gave him an heritage, and divided his portions; among the twelve tribes did he part them.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost: as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.