Baylor sets sights on joining top 50 schools

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by bb_baptist, Oct 3, 2001.

  1. bb_baptist

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    WACO--Baylor University plans to enhance both its Christian identity and its academic program in a quest to become one of the top 50 universities in the United States.

    Both goals are spelled out in a 40-page vision document for the next 10 years adopted by the university's board of regents Sept. 21.
     
  2. bb_baptist

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  3. Helen

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    They are also the ones who dismantled the Polanyi Institute because they did not like the idea of Intelligent Design. I personally have a very hard time with any institution who can't handle Intelligent Design and still calls itself Christian! I'm sorry, but Bill Dembski is a friend, and what they did to him stinks. Of course, after they pulled that stunt, they had a lovely dialogue with Yale theological folk discussing how they could all agree.

    Baylor may not have been at the North American Conference on Faith and Order
    http://www.cccb.ca/english/episdocs.asp?ID=102

    but in its own dealings with Yale has been on the ecumenical forefront, including even Mormons
    http://pr.baylor.edu/aaup/sched.html


    It is endeavoring to join the world and gain the world's respect. It cannot do that by holding to straight biblical doctrine. Baptists are CHRISTIANS -- and all Christians are called OUT of the world. We are here in part to influence the world, not to allow the world to influence us.

    Baylor may still be talking the talk in some areas, but the walk is becoming a whole different story.

    My apologies for any offense, but someone has to get this stuff out!

    Helen
     
  4. Rev. Joshua

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Helen:
    I personally have a very hard time with any institution who can't handle Intelligent Design and still calls itself Christian! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I had a seminary professor who said, "It's OK if you don't believe in evolution; just don't go to a physician who doesn't." Baylor is trying to maintain a top-notch medical school and undergraduate science program. I can see where those faculty might be at odds with "intelligent design" since it is certainly not normative in the scientific community.

    You can be a deeply committed Christian without feeling the need to take Genesis literally. You can be an institution that fosters Christian growth and Christian principles without adhering to the beliefs of one segment of Christianity.

    Baylor's a good place with a good faculty. I know some of the graduate religion faculty there, and they are mature Christians with deep, personal faith.

    Joshua
     
  5. Helen

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    In other words, choosing between what is 'normative' in the scientific community (which has a tendency to undergo a major paradigm shift every fifty years or so!) and God's Word, they choose the world's science.

    In the meantime, there is nothing in evolution that has ever, in any way, helped medically. Instead we got thalidomide for pregnant women, lobotomies, and the routine removal of tonsils because they were 'vestigial' and had no use! Evolutionary theory has done more to HARM people medically than any other theoretical basis in modern history!

    Baylor has lost its foundation, and the building will not stand as a Christian structure without it. I'm sure they will get worldly applause, however.

    Yes, I know there are individuals who are committed Christians. God has His own sprinkled everywhere. That does not help Baylor, though, with the way its policies are going.

    And, by the way, the only point the Intelligent Design movement is making is that intelligent design is scientifically discernible in nature. It does not cross the theological doorstep, no matter what evolutionists holler about it being 'creationism in disguise.' I am active in both the creation science front and the ID front and have close friends among the more well-known people in both camps. Intelligent design looks at the same evidence a forensic scientist would use to determine whether something was an accident or intentional. This is the same approach used by archaeologists. It involves the criteria of specified complexity, natural law, probability, and the like.

    Creation science, comes at natural phenomena from exactly the opposite direction, assuming God's Word is correct and that He is, as He has stated throughout the Bible, responsible for creation in a very direct way. Using these parameters, creation science examines the data.

    For the life of me, I cannot understand why ANY person, claiming Christianity, could turn around and say that the concept of intelligent design was foreign to them. What deity are they worshiping, anyway? The God of Christianity is the Creator of the universe and has left evidence of Himself all through it (see Romans 1, or go outside and check out your average bug). Specified complexity that is not by natural law and far removed from a reasonable probability abounds.

    But Baylor is uncomfortable with the scientific evidence that indicates that...

    OK. I just would never want one of my own children to be indoctrinated by that approach.
     
  6. Houstonian

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    Dismantling the Polanyi Institute is only one occurrence within a very large university system. I realize that it is difficult to stomach the hurt of a friend, but is it really fair to brand the university as non-Christian just because it did not see fit to keep the program.
     
  7. John Wells

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    Joshua Villines, a minister(?) said, "You can be a deeply committed Christian without feeling the need to take Genesis literally.

    Do I get to choose what I don't take literally also? Fair's fair! OK, I choose Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John! Gone . . . zippo . . . outta there!! Your turn! OK, I threw out three more than you, so you can pick three more books to toss! Amazingly disgusting! :(
     
  8. DocCas

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    Come on, John! Tell us what you really think! :D :D [​IMG] :cool:
     
  9. ellis

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    My understanding, from news articles I have read (not from biased, one sided web sites) in Baptist publications is that the "dismantling" of the Polyani Institute at Baylor was a financial issue and the instigation of a conflict in the university community by the director of the center. Apparently, some personnel policies were violated.

    You know, I see a pattern here. When a Christian institution that is not controlled or related to fundamentalist Baptists is extolled and is successful in its mission and ministry, the fundamentalists just can't seem to stand it, and come out with great bitterness to tear it up. Its like you guys just get all bent out of shape when someone who does not acknowledge your approach to the Christian faith reaches some level of recognition and achievement.

    Baylor University is the largest Baptist university in the world, and produces more ministers and missionaries than any other school. Its impact and influence in Baptist life over its nearly 160 year existence is unparalleled among Christian institutions in America.

    If some of the dumpy little schools run by fundamentalists would clean up their house a little bit, raise their educational and academic (and spiritual) standards, and at least agree with one another on a few things rather than bickering and fighting back and forth over who's the best and who's not, they could achieve some of the same things.
     
  10. Helen

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    I have Bill's 'from the horse's mouth' email. Let me get permission to post it here.

    The short form is that he was hired by Baylor to institute the Polanyi Center. He did. He held an incredibly successful conference there (The Nature of Nature)that was attended by at least one Nobel prize winner among many other quite distinguished scientists. There was no financial problem involved as they sold out.

    However, the Intelligent Design group made the Darwinian apologists look rather silly a number of times, and since Baylor is advocating evolution over Genesis, that didn't go over awfully well with the professors. They then complained bitterly that the President had 'commissioned' Bill Dembski without consulting them and so much pressure was put on that Bill was demoted and the Polanyi Institute disbanded.

    That left Bill with a contract and nothing to do. They have since 'reorganized' his job description and he is fulfilling it.

    And I don't care how large or how 'successful' Baylor is -- advocating evolution over a straightforward reading of Genesis and trust that God knows what He is talking about marks them as a school I would not trust with the education of my own children. The issue was not even 'young earth creationism'! It was simply that nature gives evidence of Intelligent Design (thus inferring a Designer, true, but that is not the province of the ID movement) vs. the Darwinian concept that life as we see it both now and in the fossil record came about through time, chance, mutations, and natural selection. When a Christian University cannot cope with the concept of intelligent design, the Christians who are trusting it are in major trouble!

    Does this reflect on their entire education program? In my mind, yes. It means they trust man more than God, and that is not a good way for a Christian school to be.

    By the way, I did not say they were non-Christian. I do say that I would not trust them with teaching the Bible to my children, though.

    And as far as 'dumpy little schools' run by creationists -- to each his own, I guess.
     
  11. Manstrom

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by John Wells:
    Joshua Villines, a minister(?) said, "You can be a deeply committed Christian without feeling the need to take Genesis literally.

    Do I get to choose what I don't take literally also? Fair's fair! OK, I choose Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John! Gone . . . zippo . . . outta there!! Your turn! OK, I threw out three more than you, so you can pick three more books to toss! Amazingly disgusting! :(
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    If the statement about Genesis was not so unbelievably ignorant, I would have gotten a chuckle out of your response. Talk about a dumbed down "clergy".

    Agape,

    Mike
     
  12. Rev. Joshua

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by John Wells:
    Joshua Villines, a minister(?) said, "You can be a deeply committed Christian without feeling the need to take Genesis literally.

    Do I get to choose what I don't take literally also? Fair's fair! OK, I choose Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John! Gone . . . zippo . . . outta there!! Your turn! OK, I threw out three more than you, so you can pick three more books to toss! Amazingly disgusting! :(
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    John,

    I really don't think the question mark is necessary. I am a minister, whether or not I agree on some of the particulars of the faith.

    Notice that I never said anything about "tossing" books of the Bible. Recognizing which parts of the Bible are allegory or contextual is part of a mature understanding of Scripture. Even the supposed literalists here, who believe that the Old Testament laws regarding sexuality are still in force, do not believe that a woman should be executed for failing to scream loudly enough while she was raped. Likewise, I don't think anyone here believes that the sun, which does not go around the earth, was stopped for Joshua.

    It's not a matter of ignoring things. It's a matter of placing them in context.

    Joshua
     
  13. Pete Richert

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    I think the sun was stopped. There are many ways God could have "stopped" the sun. He could have stopped the earth from spinning. First off, he would have to increase the gravitational pull a bit, because a fraction of it (albeit not very large) is from the earth's spin. He would also have to slow all of our iniritia's (relative the the space around the earth) down with the earth gradually so we didn't all go flying off towards the east coast (or through the center of the earth) at 90,000 miles per hour. He could also have left the earth spinning, but actually moved the sun (which is already moving obviously, but faster and in some direction quite quite fast) so that the spinning earth always faced it and it appeared to be standing still. Both of these are quite extradinary, but hey, they are supernatural. So what if God had to supernaturally affect he whole universe for it to work, he still can do it.

    Besides, perhaps it is even literal that the sun moves around the earth. Its really just a matter of persective. The sun itself moves in a circle within the galaxy, and that qalaxy is moving in some direction. Perhaps the earth is the center of it all. If you take a piece of paper and place a dot in the center, (label it the sun) then move a circle around it, you have our orbit. But you can just as well put you pencil on any point on the orbiting circle, and rotate the whole page in a circle (keeping you pencil in the same spot relative to the table), you will trace out the same arc, but this time the sun moves around the earth (but not in a sperical orbit). So it really is just a matter of perpestive.
     
  14. Helen

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    No, God did not stop the sun. The sun does not move. We do. However it would have appeared that the sun had stopped.

    The answer may well lie with work done by South Australian state astronomer George Dodwell. There is strong evidence that the axis of the earth was tilted suddenly and violently one or more times during its history. His work is due to be published soon (posthumously), but it would explain not only the long day of Joshua, but the sun going 'backwards' on the stairs at the time of Hezekiah (Isaiah 38:8).

    One evidence that is easily understood is that we are the only planet which has a non-captured moon which orbits off the equatorial plane, at an angle to it. This would certainly indicate a tilt. The fact that both the Chinese and Mayans record a time when the night was two nights long very probably coincides with Joshua's long day.

    Yes, the Bible can be taken in a straightforward manner. It records what happened. Our understanding is not a prerequisite for the reality of history. It's fun to get that understanding, bit by bit, though. That's one reason I personally enjoy science. "We've only just begun," but the trip is a blast!
     
  15. Pete Richert

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    Sure the sun moves, in a huge orbit spinning around the center of the Milky way. It is also moving in a in an arc as the whole universe spins.

    But that doesn't matter.

    As far as the earth's axis tilting all of a sudden, I'm not sure how that would solve the problem. If the axis tilted the sun would not stand still, but move in a line perpendicular to its normal "movment". If people were on the world when it tilted, we wouldn't certainly know. Humans arn't good at judging velocity, that is why we can stand on a planet that is spinning at 90,000 miles per hour and think we are standing still. Even better, when your car has reaches a constant speed, you know longer feel as if your moving (you can only tell when you speed up and slow down which happens all the time so you can still feel it). We are, however, quite good at juding acceleration. If the earth's tiled on its asix "violently" we would all fall over (quite violently) and die. It's the same thing as when you slam your breaks in the car. The car stops but you don't. You keep moving at 55 forward. The only thing that stops you is the seatbelt across you chest (if your smart) or the windshield (if your not). Then again, this could be the answer, since God could supernaturally have us not feel the affect of the sudden shift. He would need to do the same if he stopped the spin of the earth.
     
  16. Houstonian

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    These convolutions remind me of the old debate as to how many angels can occupy the space on the head of a pin.

    I'm not impartial. I don't believe the sun stood still, and I don't believe the earth stood still, and I don't believe the earth jolted/shifted (I think that would have produced change equalling more than one long night). But mostly I find it incredible that people spend a lot of time trying to make a story have literal scientific underpinnings.

    God is big enough and creative enough to allow stories to be written that did not literally/scientifically happen. That does not mean that the meat of the story, the human-gets-better-relationship-with-God event did not happen.
     
  17. Helen

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    I don't see how a human can get a better relationship with God through an event that never happened.
     
  18. Pete Richert

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    I don't see how it has anything to do with how many angels can fit on a pin. This is an event recorded in the Bible. I don't recall the angel story anywhere.

    Just for clarification though, do you believe Joshua was a real person?
     
  19. Houstonian

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    Helen, in response to your question, a human being gets a better relationship with God, and a story is invented to seal that fact in the minds of learners in the faith tradition.

    In an society where the faith tradition is passed down orally, it is important to have stories that impart the truths about deity and how to relate to the deity. The fact that the story did not happen exactly the way it is presented in the Bible is not an indication that the truth behind the story is not true.

    In other words, the Bible is true, but that does not mean that God expects us to turn our noses up and ignore anthropology and the other sciences (ducking).

    P&SG, the angels-on-a-pin debate was an ancient Christian debate. Honestly, I can't remember why it was considered important. But the mental gymnastics required for both that debate and this one seem remarkably the same, and all to prove that something in the Bible is literally true.

    I think it is quite likely that many/most of the people mentioned in the Bible, including Joshua, were real people. I think that the oral traditions of Judaism probably had a basis in reality. This does not mean, of course, that storytellers were required to stick to the facts. Indeed, there is no indication that "sticking to the facts" in a manner acceptable to 20th and 21st century minds was expected or beneficial. Their point was to convince adherents to Judaism to remain faithful to the faith tradition. This end could ethically be served by the telling of stories that did not actually happen.
     

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