Criswell College Dean out - glossolalia strikes again

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Jimmy C, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. Jimmy C

    Jimmy C
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    The Dean of Criswell College is out after a short tenure evidently mainly due to glossolalia - is the SBC becoming more Charismatic and I missed it? It seems inconceviable to me that the president of Criswell did not know that his dean and former classmate practices glossolalia in his new and growing church. I live close to Arlington and have not heard of this church, anyone else in the area heard anything? The Dallas Morning News artilce follows:

    Dean leaving Criswell College amid rift over doctrine
    Dallas: Administrator's support for speaking in tongues a factor


    07:22 AM CST on Tuesday, January 31, 2006
    By SAM HODGES / The Dallas Morning News


    Criswell College, the conservative Baptist Bible college near downtown Dallas, has chosen not to renew the contract of its dean of students, in part because he supports the charismatic practice of speaking in tongues.

    The decision comes as the Southern Baptist Convention's International Mission Board is embroiled in controversy over whether foreign missionaries should be required to repudiate speaking in tongues.

    Scott Camp's contract as Criswell dean ends today. Both he and Criswell President Jerry Johnson described the parting as amicable, but both acknowledged that doctrinal differences played a role.

    "He was a great friend, and is a great friend," Dr. Johnson said. The two men were Criswell classmates in the 1980s and were in each other's weddings.

    Mr. Camp was hired a year ago on a six-month contract, which was renewed once. Dr. Johnson said Mr. Camp made a strong contribution to the school, recruiting students and boosting chapel attendance.

    But Mr. Camp also is pastor of a new, rapidly growing Southern Baptist congregation in Arlington, Fellowship of Joy Church. He said he understood that he would have to focus on his college job if he wanted to be dean for the long term.

    "A decision needed to be made, and the president and I had been in dialogue about my willingness to leave the church," he said.

    But doctrinal differences also shaped the decision not to further renew Mr. Camp's contract.

    One involved Mr. Camp's professed sympathy for speaking in tongues, a charismatic practice in which believers, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, call out in a language others can't understand.

    "Southern Baptists churches are not charismatic churches," Dr. Johnson said. He added that while Criswell enrolls students from charismatic backgrounds, faculty and top staff are expected to toe the line on Baptist beliefs.

    Of late, the International Mission Board has moved to oust a member, Wade Burleson, who has publicly questioned the board's insistence that missionaries not use "a private prayer language" – a form of speaking in tongues.

    Dr. Johnson said he hadn't discussed Mr. Camp's contract with Southern Baptist Convention leaders, but he added that it's important for Criswell, because it sends students into the mission field, not to contradict the mission board's position on speaking in tongues.

    Mr. Camp also has enlisted Carl Raschke, author of The Next Reformation, as "theologian in residence" at Fellowship of Joy. Dr. Raschke, who holds a doctorate in religious studies from Harvard and teaches at the University of Denver, visits the church monthly to preach and work with youth groups. He has written critically about biblical inerrancy, the notion embraced by Southern Baptists that every word in the Bible is divinely inspired and factually accurate.

    Criswell College, with just over 400 students, is a mission of First Baptist Dallas. It's named for the late W.A. Criswell, legendary pastor of the church and a leading proponent of biblical inerrancy.

    But Dr. Raschke has called the idea of inerrancy "pseudoscientific" and a "weak" view of Scripture.

    Dr. Johnson said Dr. Raschke's close affiliation with Fellowship of Joy was another reason why Mr. Camp's contract was not renewed.

    "Inerrancy is a big issue for this college and always has been," Dr. Johnson said.

    Dr. Raschke said he came to Criswell in November to meet with faculty and speak to students to clarify his position on the Bible, which he said had been misrepresented. He said students seemed to understand, but not top administrators.

    "I'm arguing for a stronger view of Scripture, not a weaker view," he said. "I'm certainly not a liberal, and I'm certainly not a relativist. But they don't bother to read what I'm saying."

    Barry Hankins, a history professor at Baylor University who has written extensively about conservatives' gaining control of the Southern Baptist Convention in the 1980s, said that biblical inerrancy is a bedrock position for that wing of the denomination and that the "personal experience of speaking in tongues" makes many conservatives uncomfortable.

    He said the Criswell episode reinforces that conservatives have begun to quarrel.

    "With almost every revolution," he said, "it's easy to hold the movement together while you're still fighting. Once you've won, the fault lines begin to appear."

    It is not the first time that a doctrinal dispute has resulted in a high-profile departure from Criswell College.

    In 1996, the school's president, the Rev. Richard R. Melick Jr., stepped down after disagreeing with Dr. Criswell on a point of theology involving details about the Second Coming.
     
  2. gb93433

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    The article reminds me of what people do when they are not busy making disciples and are more concerned about being politicians.
     
  3. shannonL

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    GB,
    I don't see how matters such as biblical inerrancy, speaking in tongues etc.. is a matter of politics? You are correct that often times politics is a big player in the convention but if Criswell college believes in inerrancy of Scripture and this dean is exploring the idea that Scripture may not be inerrant along with fraternizing with other men who are moving in that direction then Criswell Co. was well within its rights to dismiss the gentleman.
    I find it interesting that some baptists that are either involved in the CBF or are sympathetic to those of that persuasion are now so eager to come to the defense of those baptists who are of a reformist bent. Now that is what I would call strange bedfellows indeed.
    Seems to me that some want to take advantage of certain situations that are now taking place within the convention by "piling on" hoping this will cause even more division.
    I'm not always for some of the things that go on in the convention concerning the politics of it.
    However just remember for politics to take place there has to be at least two parties of opposing views in order for their to be ground to fight over or what have you.Moderates do their fair share of politicing as well. It is not just a conservative practice.
    I'm afraid some of the "concern" that some are voicing over these recent matters going on in the convention are merely thinly vailed forms of wishful vengence against those who have helped to return the convention to its conservative stance concerning the Scriptures.
    Moderate baptists would never regain control of the convention as a whole. At least not for a couple of generations if then. So why do some tend display an attitude of glee when they see that their might be a small crack or two in the ole ship? Maybe I'm wrong about this assessment but I don't think I'm off base all together?
    If you truly had a love for what the convention does as a whole then why hope that it would implode? Would one have the same desires if the conv. was moving in one's personal theological direction?
    I just don't buy the fact that all consverative baptists are evil, political, powerhungry folk who want to run rough shod over all those who oppose them. While at the same time moderate baptists are to be portrayed as merely victims of the revolution,simply collateral damage of a baptist holy war?
    Lets be honest. The consevative resurgence was essentially a battle for the Bible. It needed to be put back into its rightful position in our seminaries etc.. Which is the position of supreme, final authority on all matters of faith and practice concerning southern baptists. Along the way some egos swelled up at times. Some moves were made where maybe the motives weren't always as pure as they seemed . Yet the objective was clear and worth fighting for plain and simple. If the battle did not take place then baptists would simply have been another "has been" denomination plain and simple.
    Inerrancy along with the infallibility of Scripture will always be worth defending no matter what the cost.
     
  4. Shiloh

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    Anybody taking a job with a 6-month contract better not unpack their suitcase. ESPECIALLY a Baptist outfit!
     
  5. SeekingTruth

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  6. Psalm 100

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    I didn't know the "speaking in tongues" was an inerrancy issue. I thought that was a private interpretation issue.

    I don't see this so much as politics, as much as I do the SBC starting to formalize doctrine and creeds, and leaving the autonomy of the local church and believer in question.

    The red flag to me was the association of Dr. Rashke, especially with the youth groups. To have someone with those ideas concerning inerrancy potentially influencing tomorrow's leaders is scary.
     
  7. shannonL

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    I find it interesting that a gentleman that has less than high view of Scripture would also be fascinated with the "experience" of speaking in tongues. Obivously this practice is mentioned in Scripture. I simply say how long will it be until the "experience" overrides the teachings of Scripture. Especially when one has no conviction of Scripture being inerrant. If one doubts the inerrancy of scripture the next thing is infallibility. After that one opens the door to allow his personal experience to become rule of thumb in his personal doctrine. Regardless of whether or not that experience is biblically sound or not. Moderates or liberal theologians do not like to acknowledge this fact but it is true.
    Fuller Seminary long ago left out the terminology of inerrancy in its doctrinal statement. Therefore you have all kinds of interesting movements, churches etc... that can be traced back to where the leaders of such churches etc...were indoctrinated Fuller being one of those institutions. I'm simply using Fuller as an example. There are both good and bad apples that have came from that tree.
    Your simply playing dumb if you don't think that the just terminated dean would not try to incorporate his philosophy / doctrine upon those he had influence on at the college. Whether it be consciously or not. If he didn't one ministry he was involved in would have to be a sham. Either the direction his church is heading or the position he was holding at the school. If you truly have a conviction concerning your views they will surface in everything you do.
    If you truly had convictions concerning inerrancy of Scripture you would not be having liberals like Dr. Rashke in your pulpit or speaking to your youth group or in the college where you were presiding dean.
    This is where mods. and libs get their dander up.
    Yes Dr. Rashke is a liberal or he is on his way to say the least. There are alot of things that are up for discussion. The inerrancy of Scripture is not one of those things.
    Like my daddy used to say: "You lay down with dogs your gonna get fleas".
    Dr. Johnson is to be commended for "nipping it
    in the bud".
     
  8. shannonL

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    Actually it is disgusting that a "pastor" would allow a man that questions the integrity of the Bible to speak to his youth? At a time when young people are highly influenced by role models in their lives their pastor is going to bring a man in that will do nothing but cast doubt into their minds concerning His infallible, inerrant, inspired Word of God.
    His youth get the joy having their faith potentially being wrecked even before they go off to some secular college or even a place like Baylor as far as that goes.
     
  9. EdSutton

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    Uh! Did I miss something? At least in the post of Psalm100 where he posted;
    "I don't see this so much as politics, as much as I do the SBC starting to formalize doctrine and creeds, and leaving the autonomy of the local church and believer in question."
    If I am not mistaken, I believe I just read above the following two things.
    The first was posted by Jimmy C and was apparently taken from the Dallas Morning News, hardly a 'house organ' for FBC, Dallas, which says:
    "Criswell College, with just over 400 students, is a mission of First Baptist Dallas."
    The second is in the same press release and cites the President of Criswell as saying:
    "Dr. Johnson said he hadn't discussed Mr. Camp's contract with Southern Baptist Convention leaders"

    If that is not the 'autonomy of the local church' vis-a-vis the SBC entity at work, how would you describe it. As to the 'autonomy of the believer', the school is also stated to "enroll students from a charismatic background." Note the word was enroll students. Enroll the students; control the faculty. Sounds like a plan!

    Also, maybe this is just me, but I would characterize a '6 mo. contract as Dean', a 'trial basis' at best, wouldn't you think?
    I'm going to give Jimmy C. the benefit of the doubt, here, but suggest that his opening statements in the OP are ill advised at best, and dis-informative, at worst. The title heading for the thread is worse. To characterize the second of three reasons identified, (and given the News post as implied as a lesser reason than the time issue) as 'mainly' (One out of three does not qualify as mainly by my math) unless the gentleman has some additional information he chose not to share, is inaccurate, to say the least. I have never even met, or heard of before today, any of the individuals involved, to my knowledge. Ergo, I can have no ax to grind. Let's keep it all above board, without any agendae. Anyone disagree?
    In His grace, Ed
     
  10. Jimmy C

    Jimmy C
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    Ed

    I appreciate your reply - when I read the article in the Dallas Morning News this morning, I was struck by the statement in the article that one of the main reasons given was the tongues issue. I have no quarrell with Criswell College, have had friends that attended there, and think that it is their right to hire and fire who they want to. As far as I know, none of my cooperative dollars go to help fund that school. I find interesting however was that this came on the heels of the IMB issue, which does make me wonder if glossolalia is becoming more of an issue in postmodern/emergent baptist churches.

    I dont think that my opening statements are either ill advised or dis-informative, but as this is a discussion forum thought it would be an interesting topic to discuss. The tongues issue is the first issue that the DMN brought out in the article, and after going back and reading the article I still think is the main reason that his contract was terminated.
     
  11. shannonL

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    So what if it was the main issue. If the dean has charismatic leanings then let him go and lean somewhere else. As far as Emergent churches go I say God help the SBC pastors who lend a ear a hand or whatever to that movement. It is an attack on the church and the Scriptures.
    Furthermore you can probably count on one hand the number of charismatic churches that practice the doctrine of tongues as the Bible teaches.
    Here is one that will knock your socks off. I called Criswell today. They do allow students with a charismatic background to enroll at the school. I say big mistake unless they sign something akin to the BF & M. Still though the president is to be commended for booting the dean. I e-mailed him and told him so. He shot a note back telling me thanks which I could have cared less but that was nice.
    In case you've missed it charismatics are often very militant in their views and pushing them on others . At least in some charismatic circles.
    The leaders of their movement are often linked to immoral scandal along with unethical financial practices. Yep we need folk like that in baptist circles. As if we don't have enough charlatans to deal with as it is.
     
  12. blackbird

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    Shannon---this is probably one of the best arguments in favor of the SBC movement I have seen posted in a while---God bless your heart!

    But why is it---when the SBC desires to make a move--in this case--against prayer languages--and in recent history against the CBF---that people tend to see it as SBC officials being "judgmental" and playing the political game???

    As a supporter of the SBC Conservative resurgence I will say this----Jesus' doctrine is worth fighting for and standing up for and dying for!! Titus 2:1 tells us that we are to preach the things that concern "sound doctrine"

    Thanks, ShannonL!!
     
  13. shannonL

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    I personally don't see the big deal in restricting those who go to the mission field with IMB to having to be baptized by immersion.
    We are baptists the last time I checked.
    While some folk are more willing to accomodate brethern of a different background involving baptism, tongues etc.. others are possibly being more careful in their willingness to be so accomodating and for good reason. Although some don't want to admit it, a person's conviction concerning the mode of baptism may be easily, detected evidence of a difference in other theological matters as well. Even though those issues might not be expressed openly for the sake of being accepted into the IMB. Even if some disagree I think this move to determine one's mode of baptism will quite possibly shed light on that particular individuals other doctrinal dispositions as well. Thus it may be a good way to weed out particular individuals who would later on down the road not be to concerned about being faithful the the BF& M concerning other doctrinal issues that are of a greater importance.
    If you want to call it a litmus test so be it. Again we are baptist. Historically we have held to immersion in a church of like faith.
    Wade Burleson makes the points that if the IMB sets these guidelines concerning private prayer language it would have to fire Jerry Rankin in order to not be hypocritical in passing this new requirment. He also says Mrs Bertha one of SBC's earliest missionaries would not be able to serve today as well if those requirements are passed.
    I suppose that makes a little sense. Yet we cannot assume that everyone who desires to work with the IMB who practices a private prayer language has pure motives for joining the IMB. Some may wish to see the SBC infiltrated with charismatic teaching. Starting off slowly with something miniscule like private prayer language.
    I don't see all this as infighting . I see it as protecting the turf that has been aquired by the battle that has just been won. We need to set up obstacles that cannot easily be overcome in order that the conservatism that has resurged doesn't easily disappear. Thus the desire by some to secure what has been brutally fought for in order that it might not easily be lost due to the craftiness of the enemy which is satan who would love to see the largest protestant denomination in the world fall back into a quagmire of theological liberalism. Apologies to those who call themselves moderates. I really don't think there is such a position. It has only been created by those in political and theoligical circles who don't have the intestinal fortitude to stand for anything be it right or wrong.
    Because you see to deny the inerrancy and infallibility of scripture is to thus declare yourself a theoogical liberal whether you like it or not. Once you have given up those two it is easy to give up cardinal doctrines that are contained in the very book that liberals claim is errant and fallible. It may take a long time to give up on those doctrines. Maybe even a lifetime but by denying the inerrancy of scripture one has set himself up as a candidate for apostasy. You see if you assume the Bible is fallible then you must question if your faith is falible. Down the slippery slope one goes.
     
  14. EdSutton

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    Jimmy C and ShannonL:
    Guys, read the article:
    The article does not say that this ('tongues') was "one of the main reasons given". With respect, Jimmy C, you are attempting to read between the lines, something that is not there. The heading for the article describes 'speaking in tongues' as "a factor"; The article follows up with "in part", "a role", and "another reason" about another issue. The article does not mention anything about "one of the main resons"; THAT has to be 'read into' the article, much as I noted before. So my original post stands, with respect to Jimmy C.

    The article went on to mention Dr. Raschke. Dr. Raschke implied that he had been misunderstood, by the administration by not by the students. As one who has had the displeasure to run into similar teaching, I might suggest that the issue is not that he was misunderstood, but that he, in fact, was exactly understood. To use today's lingo- Been there; done that!
    In His grace,
    Ed
     
  15. Ron Arndt

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    I feel that it is VERY disrespectful to practice in a private religious assembly something that is against the church beliefs of that particular group. This would be similar to a group of individuals who would all of a sudden start spreading the teachings of Mormonism or Jehovah Witnesses. This is NOT respectful to the Criswell institution at all. These people should be asked TO LEAVE the premises.

    I am not against the gifts of the Holy Spirit and I personally believe if God wishes he could and can exhibit any of his gifts through his saints if he chooses to. That is not the point. The point is, if I as an individual felt compelled to speak in tongues and could not cease from doing so, I would tell the administrator of my convictions and politely LEAVE. as not to disrupt the the rest of the people in the religious institution. That's called RESPECT. I would then attend a college where I was able to express myself freely.
     
  16. shannonL

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    ED,

    I'm with you on what you said. Your right on about the misunderstood, understood thing. The administration heard the good DR. loud and clear.
    This is why the dean is no longer the dean.

    As a side note,

    I think charismatic practices are going to be more and more overlooked in the SBC. Just my opinion. The reason is that alot of your younger pastors and even a few older ones are not at all uncomfortable with sharing platforms with charismatic leaders. For example Ed Young Jr. fellowships to a degree with ole T.D. Jakes down there in Dallas. Dr. Graham from Prestonwood was a part of the Global Day of Prayer where he coordinated things with T.D. down in Dallas.
    Rick Warren's PDL program has been touted heavily by pentecostals.
    While I don't think it is a terrible sin to unite with charismatics in prayer I just think that nobody is really all that concerned about teaching baptist parishners the differences in our doctrine. It just isn't chic at the present time. It could become a problem 10 or 15 years down the road in baptist life.
     
  17. EdSutton

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    Again, Shannon, I caution to not read into this more than is there. The picking and choosing of what was the 'real reason' implies some 'hidden agenda' on several fronts. The Dean had one; the College President had one; and on and on. The Dean and President seemed to agree that there were multiple reasons. The time issue what what they spoke of first. Both agrees there were some doctrinal differences. These were two- the 'tongues' issue and the 'inerrancy' issue. It would seem that beyond that, we are into speculation. I would speak to the 'time issue' with regard to an earlier posting on this, namely that of your own mention of Fuller Seminary. At one time, Dr. Harold Ockenga was simultaneously President of the institution in LA and Pastor of Park Street Baptist Church in Boston. It simply was impossible to do both well at the same time. I suggest that that may have opened the door, in some small way, to what happened later. Dallas Seminary had a similar experience with Chuck Swindoll, as a 'big time' pastor in CA and large Seminary president in Dallas. No human being can be in two places at one time.
    Secondly, the Baptist Faith and Message does not address the question of glossalalia to my knowledge. Therefore, it is a 'red herrring' to say that somehow, this is a doctrinal issue, beyond the local church or individual. If one were to question me, I cannot say that I agree with every single jot and tittle of the BFM, but I am in substantial agreement with most of it. I do not agree, for example, that repentance is properly Biblically defined as "a genuine turning from sin" which is 'sub-defined' or 'added in italics' in the BFM. I would guess that I am not alone in this standard. I agree with the general idea that repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace. Gotta run.
    In His grace,
    Ed
     
  18. Ron Arndt

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    The Baptist churches faced this charismatic influence in the 60's when the charismatic movement was everywhere. But Baptist churches locally dealt with it nevertheless. Whether it is a local Baptist church or a Baptist college, the appointed leaders in charge MUST put their foot down to those who would disturb the doctrines and beliefs of that said assembly. That's the bottom line. When church leaders do not address the problem first hand, then what was once purely Baptist, now becomes a smörgåsbord of doctrinal truths.
     
  19. Ben W

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    Various SBC churches and ministries are into speaking in toungues and are not alot different from Pentecostals in their worship. Rick Warren and his churches who are growing rapidly in the moovement are not in agreement with Cessationism. Here is one such example of an SBC affiliated openly Bapticostal ministry -

    http://www.ronphillips.org/pages/page.asp?page_id=3664
     
  20. Ron Arndt

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    This is why I FIRMLY believe in INDEPENDENT Baptist churches. This way no one Baptist church must answer to an organization. If the organization goes bad the local church can still remain true to it's Baptist doctrines.
     

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