A Campus in Turmoil

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Jerome, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. Jerome

    Jerome
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    Some alumni and students 'concerned' with Cedarville trustees' move to promote fidelity to school's Fundamentalist doctrinal statement:

    Inside Higher Education

    cedarville.edu/Job-Openings/Doctrinal-Statement.aspx
     
  2. Greektim

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    I know that school also had some problems w/ faculty and the "new" perspective of Paul a few years back. All schools go through this though.
     
    #2 Greektim, Feb 4, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2013
  3. Jerome

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    Student dissident Joshua Steele: The Choice is between Fundamentalism and 'Robust Evangelicalism':


    Open Letter to Cedarville Admins and Trustees


     
  4. mjohnson7

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    Dr Kevin Bauder at Central Seminary in MN addressed this in a recent edition of In the Nick of Time. Though I have no first hand knowledge of the situation, from what I have read, the move back to conservatism is a good thing. There are more than enough liberals in higher education.
     
  5. Jerome

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    But they're not liberal, they're 'robust evangelical'. :laugh:
     
  6. Greektim

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    But this is not a liberal vs. conservative thing. To shut out voices (and they were not liberal in the real sense of the term, they were broadly evangelical) is at the heart of fundamentalism.
     
  7. Greektim

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    Which could simply mean that they are not fundie dispies, and they don't mind working with multiple denominations to achieve gospel goals. I prefer the term broadly evangelical. "Liberalism" is not really the issue here.
     
  8. Jerome

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    Did you read the school's doctrinal statement?

     
  9. preachinjesus

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    This kind of thing has been going on at a number of institutions. I suppose it all started with Pete Enns at Westminster. Dr Enns, who is a qualified and competent theologian, was at odds with their statement of faith and they ultimately released him from the faculty. Personally I think Dr Enns has proven that this is a wise move by his dramatic shift leftward but it hasn't been without injury to the school.

    One of the challenges is that as a faculty member at a school part of your ethical obligation is to uphold the precepts of the core values of that school. For instance in the two points listed by Jerome above, I couldn't teach at Cedarville. I don't accept a pretribulational rapture of the Church. Thus, I would not submit myself for their consideration.

    However, one of the challenges that arises at too many schools is when someone believes these things and another believes these to a legalistic degree and attempts to force out a less dogmatic voice. Fundamentalists have a terrible, but earned, reputation for such actions which will harm the intellectual environment of a school. One of the challenges of so-called higher education to allow varying voices a place in the discourse which informs and leads students to consider positions that aren't their own. While I am not advocating staffing your theology departments with radical feminist theologians, it would be wise to at least allow students exposure to these kinds of writings for their own contemplation. When faculty aren't allowed to even present a counter-position honestly we have a serious problem.

    I'll never forget sitting in a PhD seminar where part of the reading was on some very extreme liberationist theology that was, honestly, offensive to read. The professor, who wasn't an evangelical, skillfully guided the discussion to evaluate the positives and negatives of the viewpoints. Though most of us in the seminar came to different conclusions than the scholars we read we were left with being able to respect them, understand their positions, and articulate why we disagreed. I don't see this aim in most fundamentalist institutions. Too often they castigate and disregard thinkers with a kind of vitriol I've only seen exampled in the secular world of politics.

    In the end we must be careful to promote intellectual freedom, academic challenge, and personal growth in our faculty and students. Cedarville has been a concern for a while. Perhaps what is most ironic about all of this is that while Cedarville is shift rightward its (step)-sister school Liberty is cruising towards a more moderating view. (I'm not saying Liberty is anything but conservative, however I am saying they are no longer fundamentalist.)
     
  10. mjohnson7

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    I truly can't argue intelligently on this topic, but the term, "broadly evangelical" does give me pause. Roger Olson is broadly evangelical. While I would consider him a brother in Christ, I couldn't, in good conscience, support a school where most faculty would have a great deal of common ground with him.

    There have certainly been an overwhelming number of abuses and embarrassments in fundamentalism. Would you consider SEBTS or SBTS broadly evangelical? I certainly wouldn't and I think they're better for it.

    Liberty's path, though my alma mater, is troublesome.
     
  11. Greektim

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    I would qualify them as thoroughly evangelical and proudly SBC. In other words, they work w/ other denominations. Even SEBTS new theology journal made this point in its inaugural issue that they got various writers of the international evangelical persuasion that were not SBC to make a clear point--they are thoroughly evangelical.

    BTW... you can be thoroughly evangelical and still conservative. You can be broadly evangelical and be conservative. So like I said, it is not about liberalism and conservatism.
     
  12. Jerome

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    Huh?

    The student dissident quoted above was using 'robust evangelical' in contrast to 'conservative evangelical', not equating them.
     
  13. Greektim

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    But he was thinking of fundamentalism. I think he even expressed that. The point is, the concept of this sort of evangelicalism is not that it leans to one side of the conservative/liberal spectrum but rather that it embraces both views as valid talking points. And the "liberal" we are talking about is not that liberal in terms of heresy. But the farther conservative/fundie you get, the more everything looks liberal. The farther right you move, anything left of you is deemed liberal. So that is not the issue.
     
  14. Thomas Helwys

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    You are talking about education versus indoctrination. I come down on the side of education.
     
  15. thomas15

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    OK, let me say this in my nicest, kindest internet keyboard tone of voice. It didn’t start with Peter Enns at Westminster. I know that this is hard for you to believe but there is a fairly large world out there beyond the tip of your nose. Doctrinal disputes are nothing new. While I do not agree with the doctrinal stance of WTS, I applaud them for taking the action they did against Enns. What some might consider academic slavery, others might call doctrinal integrity.


    I have some good news for your preachinginjesus, Westminster TS is still out there and will hire you in a heartbeat I’m sure. There you would be happy studying and teaching the Westminster Confessions during Bible study and you would also be free of the pre-trib thing. And as long as you don’t make The Enns mistake of writing a book that contradicts the WCF you can have the academic freedom you desire. I’m sure Fuller, Duke and Princeton could also be a nice place to teach.

    Alright, I’m done being a jerk by defending the pre-trib folly for the time being. In many posts here I have questioned reformed covenant theology. Although some here think it impossible for a dispensationalist to be Calvinist, I have considered myself to be as Henry Morris said “mildly Calvinistic”. The sticking point for me is I simply cannot make up my mind about the doctrine of limited atonement.

    That aside, in an effort to expand my horizons, I have added a few books to my library on Arininan theology. I don’t care for Roger Olsen as I think he is a whiner and a somewhat liberal. But after several attempts to get past page 4 or 5, I’ve finally made some headway with the writings of another Arminian writer, a Ms. Wynkoop who writes from as Wesylan/Arminian perspective and I have to admit she puts the holy Institutes into a simple historical and theological perspective that makes it worth reading her book. Food for thought some might say.

    I share the same complaints with some aspects of fundamentalism as many here. I visited a Wesylan church a few months ago with a friend and to my total surprise found it to be as evangelical as any church I have ever been to. I'm not saying that I'm planning on jumping the Baptist ship. But on this Baptist Only board I find that many who claim to be Baptists think and act like Presbyterians and no one really seems to care.

    The problem with the term evangelical is of course it means only what we (the individual) wants it to mean. So that there is no confusion, I define an evangelical church as one that upholds the fundamentals of the faith, one that preaches the good news as plainly stated in the Bible and one that teaches that Jesus can return at any moment. Therefore we must be about the Masters business, telling others about the salvation available to those who confess their sins and trust in Jesus for their salvation. All this before it is too late.
     
  16. Gregory Perry Sr.

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    Know Your Enemy

    I've been reading through this thread with some interest as I pass the time of day and have observed the application of various "labels" that are used to classify or catagorize the different groups of evangelical people and the theological positions they take. If I would classify myself I would have to admit that I am more of a Biblical fundamentalist than anything else.(for the record) I think we ought to all be informed and knowledgable enough about the other forms of theology and we should definitely know our enemies as well, if not better than our friends. I don't, however, regard theological ERROR as a "valid talking point". Truth (in the Biblical sense) is far more narrow than man is willing to admit. That is because he(or she) wants to have their OWN ideas accommodated within their "religion" so they can feel good about what they say,do and believe. We, as Christians need to be true ONLY to God and the dictates of His Word. That will make us, as His children, neither popular OR numerous (we will be the minority) in this world and likely in the professing church as well.
    If you are going to pursue or advise someone else to pursue a Bible college education then the #1 criteria for the Christian ought to be whether or not the school being considered is true to the plain and narrow doctrinal teachings of the Word of God. We have enough wishy-washy churches and institutions out there that don't really stand for anything of eternal value. I could say much more but I'll stop.

    Bro.Greg
     
  17. Greektim

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    And this is the kind of fundamentalist thinking I'm done with... passion for narrowness and certainty w/out the possibility that you may not have it all figured out and a refusal to have decent dialogue with those that differ.

    This is not about being wishy washy. This is about leaving the absurdity of western post enlightenment modernity which is where fundamentalism stems out of.
     
  18. Dr. Bob

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    I applaud Cedarville returning to its "roots". It was a GARBC fundamentalist school for most of its history and I find no fault in the Board saying "this is where we are at".

    SBC went thru that. Drifted into de facto control by "moderates" (anywhere else they would be honest and say "liberals") and in the 60's and 70's my advice to young SBC was "get out".

    But with the conservative resurgence and return to its roots, there is hope. So with, we pray, Cedarville.

    (I'm afraid Cedarville is just a MIRROR, reflecting the same problem in many of its supporting GARBC churches and now its ties and outreach into the SBC)
     
  19. Gregory Perry Sr.

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    Take This As You Wish...

    GT...by your description of yourself at the bottom of each of your posts, I have no trouble discerning why you think and feel as you do. While I can find much that I would disagree with you about I will at least say that I do appreciate your transparency about where you stand. Thank You.
    So you'll know where I stand, I am an old-fashioned, orthodox, Biblical Fundamentalist in what I believe is the classic tradition of that. I use only the KJV, believe in ecclesiatical and personal seperation and try to practice it as much as I am able. I prefer old style hymnal music and modest standards of dress and deportment both in and out of church. I attend a moderate-sized VERY conservative SBC church currently because that is where God planted me after I got back into fellowship with Him after a long (far too long) season of rebellion,defeat and sin . I have the heart of an Independent though. For the record, I am neither ashamed nor afraid to be both dogmatic OR narrow-minded when I come to any Bible-based position (and am sure of it) and that I have the "mind of Christ" and am right about any particular position. I believe God wants us to be humble and good testimonies of the love of Christ....but I also believe He wants us to be fully assured of the Truth upon which we stand while NOT fearing what man can do unto us. That's me...there's probably more I could say...but for now that is enough.
    In any case, I am NOT ashamed of the Gospel of Christ!

    Bro.Greg:thumbsup:
     
  20. preachinjesus

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    Hmmm...um...not really sure where this came from man.

    Did you read my whole post? Cuz there is zero reason for you to respond this way.
     

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