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Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by mjohnson7, Sep 1, 2010.
And this alum moans. Sad, truly sad.
I like Dr Towns, he's a good man and a fine leader. He's a choice for now though I suspect the school leadership is still looking for a more permanent solution.
Why so, Ruiz?
I kinda expect a true Biblical Scholar who is respected more than just having a large Sunday School Class and can write pseudo intellectual commentaries and theology books.
I love Townes personally. I do not think he should be a seminary President.
I beg to differ with you on Dr. Towns. I think he will do a fine job but his age show he might not be there a great amount of time.
Unless times have changed, his position is to have a stable and good school and raise money. Be sure they have the best professors that they can get. He did a great job in the school in Canada before he came down and helped start the college there with Jerry, if I recall correctly.
Many said about the same thing when Dr. McClain was given the job of starting Grace Theological Seminary and he seem to do a fine job as well as well as Chafer at Dallas.
I do not doubt his administrative abilities. I doubt his Biblical Scholarship. If they were going to choose someone at Liberty, there were better options available to include Dr. Habermas, Dr. Mitchell, or Dr. Deimer. I did not, when attending Liberty, think Townes was a theological scholar and my opinion has not changed.
I do agree that this is a stop gap measure.
My friend I know of Dr. Habermas and have great respect for him, the other two I'm not sure of who they are. Do you know if it was offered to him?
I don't know about who is and isn't a theological scholar, I listed some that I had at Dallas and Grace that I thought were great on another thread. But I took a class years ago for three weeks given by J. Vernon McGee and he was great and took a week class given by Ray C. Stedman both of these men were know more as pastors even though McGee had taught at DTS.
To me I would put McGee and Stedman equal or better than any professor I had where I finished seminary, I went to the two above later.
You seem to be more up on Liberty than I am, how about the guy who went down to Tenn. Temple, would he be a good pick?
As another Liberty alum who sat under Dr Towns' teaching, I would have to agree with Ruiz. Just to echo what he has said, I don't think anyone would deny Dr Towns' godliness or his capabilities as a leader, however he is not a paragon of Biblical scholarship.
As someone else alluded to, Dr Towns' was no doubt the "safe" choice for the time being. Dr Habermas would be an excellent candidate. Drs Habermas, Mitchell, and Deimer are all current members of the faculty at LBTS.
IMO, Liberty would do well to find a "youngish" theologian/leader in the vein of Dr Albert Mohler that would lead them out of the entertainment oriented church funk they are in. For my undergraduate course in "church growth" (yes, that's a topic for another thread!) the two required texts were The Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren and Rediscovering Church by Bill Hybels. I think that speaks for itself.
Yes, I agree with the above statement. I am not disputing his character, leadership, or administrative abilities. In fact, I think he has excellent leadership abilities, far better than my own. I also think him to be a Godly man.
Mo and I probably agree 100% on this issue. I would like a theologically astute man that could bring longevity to the post and theological excellence. Or, I might wish to have an older scholar who will be there 10 years and prepare Liberty for a theologically astute person with more longevity. Sometimes you need an older person who is willing to make the tough choices to change.
I have no knowledge of the process and who was and was not talked to about the position. I, however, think Habermas would not want the position. This is merely my opinion and not based upon any actual conversations with Dr. Habermas, but just an educated guess.
I am assuming you are talking about Danny Lovett. He would not be a good pick and they should focus on other men.
Thanks for your reply. So often who we on the side lines thinks will be great, don't want the job.
I have been a member of a team trying to hire a professor for a seminary and a Bible college. So often the one you might like does not want the offer and so often the ones who apply does not meet your expectations.
Sometime great on knowledge and a personality which is lacking or poor or aloof attitude. Sometimes it breaks down to soteriological differences and so on. Takes much prayer and keeping self focus on Him, as I'm sure you know.
I think Dr. Habermas is different than any of the reasons you mentioned. Dr. Habermas is completely involved in so many other activities that he would have to sacrifice in order to be a good President. In other words, he is too big to be President. Oftentimes, great professors like Dr. Habermas are professors so to continue to teach their students, can devote time to research and help the esteem of the school. Every major school has professors of that caliber.
In other words, I think Liberty would love to have Habermas. I do not think Habermas will want to quit doing what he loves to take on being President (By the way, these are mere speculations and I have not absolute knowledge of this situation.)
Thanks again for your insight and speculation.
Very disappointing. It was just a matter of time till Caner imploded, so there was no surprise there. But Towns' ill-fated defense of Caner sullied his reputation. Poor choice. But if the brothers Falwell hold to the pattern, whatever happens with Towns from this point forward will depend on enrollment statistics.
Great scholars rarely make good presidents....or deans for that matter. (There are a few exceptions.)
The role of dean/president of LBTS (just like with many other schools) is more advocacy, fundraising, and developing a world class faculty than anything else. Dr. Towns will provide this base for now.
Given the theological restrictions to serve at LBTS I doubt the pool of truly able academicians, much less leaders is rather shallow.
While Dr. Caner had been a fresh breath of air his own devices were self-destructing all over the place. The best thing for the school would be to get a competent leader and not a grandiose personality...but that would be a deviation from LU's normal course of procedure with this specific post...just saying...
I think Dr. Towns did a bit more than lead a large Sunday School class. He wrote one of the few encyclopedia's about this subject.
Sounds like it was a good thing that the selection of Moses did not have to have the approval of some in here. Faith and Prayer Brothers!
Wasn't he the Dean of the seminary before? According to http://elmertowns.com/bio/ELT_Portfolio.pdf, it shows that he was the "Dean, Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, Lynchburg, Virginia, 1979-92." So maybe he was the right choice? I don't know much about the school so I can't say.
Scholarship or leadership?
You are precisely correct that great scholars rarely make great seminary presidents. The qualifications for a good seminary president are business and people skills, not academic reputation. Many times a good successful businessman is a better leader than a scholar. Academicians are often lacking in business acumen and people skills although there are exceptions. Dr. Towns, who has a long history and many connections with LU/LBTS supporters, is an excellent choice in a time of crisis to stabilize the situation although he is probably not a long-term choice. He is loved and respected in a way that brings confidence and credibility to the situation. Other pluses include his leadership abilities, loyalty, name recognition, etc. On the other hand, I do not see his role as setting the direction of the school over the next decade due to his age, etc. The other in-house choice would have been Dr. Ron Godwin, Vice Chancellor and Acting Provost, but he is more of a behind the scenes administrator than the out-front leader. He holds a Ph.D. in the design of higher education from FSU.