Liberty Theological Seminary?????

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by untangled, Jun 15, 2005.

  1. untangled

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    The other day I went to the Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary site and found that they are calling it Liberty Theological Seminary, instead of the former in some of their advertisements. Anyone know why this is?
     
  2. RandR

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    Couple of possibilities:
    1) Trying to appeal to students with non-Baptist backgrounds.
    2) Reflects the name of the university in which the seminary is housed.

    Either way a benign non-issue.
     
  3. untangled

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    RandR,

    Thank you for replying. I never said it was even an issue. All I wanted to know was if there was any underlying reason for it. It is all out of curiousity.
     
  4. RandR

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    Sorry about that. Didn't mean to come across as implying that you were trying to make a big deal of it. Perhaps it was, on my part, an ill timed pre-emptive against those who would call it some sort of theological compromise.
     
  5. panicbird

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    I have a semi-related question: Is it true that Liberty gives full tuition scholarships to Virginia pastors?

    Just wondering.

    Lon
     
  6. RandR

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    Not sure. I do know that they give full scholarships to gradutes of TRBC's Christian academy, and that they offer some sort of scholarship to the child of ANY SBC pastor. So what you suggest wouldn't surprise me.

    I've also known people who were promised "full scholarships" that never quite materialized.
     
  7. paidagogos

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    RandR replied:

    Couple of possibilities:
    1) Trying to appeal to students with non-Baptist backgrounds.
    2) Reflects the name of the university in which the seminary is housed.

    Either way a benign non-issue.
    </font>[/QUOTE]I beg to differ—it is an important and predictive issue. This may be an indication of direction and a trend at TRBC, LU and LBTS. The removing of Baptist from a church or school name usually indicates a minimizing of doctrinal differences to achieve a broader appeal. This could be the forerunner of highlighting on feel good worship and experiential religion as opposed to doctrinal distinctives.

    It would be a good point of debate to determine when former Baptists are no longer Baptists. There are still Baptist distinctives, I believe. If one doesn’t believe or practice them, is he any longer a Baptist?

    Falwell has already stretched his doctrinal praxis to include the charismatics. At one time, he would not accept charismatic students. Now, it is no longer an issue. This may be the harbinger of Liberty losing its distinctives as a Baptist institution. This is reasonable to postulate since many churches, including SBC and FWB churches, have followed this same trend.

    I would not be surprised to see TRBC become more like Willow Creek and less like a Baptist church. How does Liberty Community Church sound? Times are changing. Check back in five years and tell me if I am right.
     
  8. Martin

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    paidagogos said:
    I beg to differ—it is an important and predictive issue. This may be an indication of direction and a trend at TRBC, LU and LBTS. The removing of Baptist from a church or school name usually indicates a minimizing of doctrinal differences to achieve a broader appeal. This could be the forerunner of highlighting on feel good worship and experiential religion as opposed to doctrinal distinctives.

    ==With the naming of Ergun Caner as the new Dean of our Seminary I doubt any of that will happen. Caner is a hard core Baptist and is a vocal opponent of feel goodism and experiential religion. In fact, if I recall correctly, he wants to make the school more apologetics centered and focus more on the various languages.
    _______________________________
    paidagogos said:
    Falwell has already stretched his doctrinal praxis to include the charismatics. At one time, he would not accept charismatic students. Now, it is no longer an issue.

    ==Nor should it be. The school is open to all Christian students regardless of denomination (like the other SBC schools).

    _____________________________

    paidagogos said:
    This may be the harbinger of Liberty losing its distinctives as a Baptist institution. This is reasonable to postulate since many churches, including SBC and FWB churches, have followed this same trend.

    ==Liberty is not losing its "distinctives as a Baptist institution" it is just opening its doors to other Christians. Again by naming Caner as the new dean, Liberty sent a clear signal about its future: Liberty will be getting more conservative, more apologetic, and more focused on the languages. I believe those are great things. Opening the doors to students outside of the Baptist Church is not a problem nor is it a sign that the school is leaving its Baptist roots.
    ____________________________
    paidagogos said:
    I would not be surprised to see TRBC become more like Willow Creek and less like a Baptist church. How does Liberty Community Church sound? Times are changing. Check back in five years and tell me if I am right.

    ==Jerry Falwell is an old man and, as usual, people tend to soften when they get older (and less healthy). Look at Billy Graham. The other night when Graham was on Larry King I was shocked at the difference between the Billy Graham of today and the Billy Graham of ten or twenty years ago. The same can be said for Charles Stanley. Stanley is alot calmer (etc) than he was fifteen or twenty years ago. Falwell did open his church to Rick Warren and that did bother me, no doubt. However Falwell is not becoming less conservative. His son, Jonathan Fawell, will take over when Jerry leaves and as far as I can tell Jonathan is no liberal or moderate.

    In general I must respectfully disagree with your views on the future of Liberty University.

    In Christ,
    Martin.
     
  9. paidagogos

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    ==With the naming of Ergun Caner as the new Dean of our Seminary I doubt any of that will happen. Caner is a hard core Baptist and is a vocal opponent of feel goodism and experiential religion. In fact, if I recall correctly, he wants to make the school more apologetics centered and focus more on the various languages.
    _______________________________
    [snip]
    ____________________________
    ==Jerry Falwell is an old man and, as usual, people tend to soften when they get older (and less healthy). Look at Billy Graham. The other night when Graham was on Larry King I was shocked at the difference between the Billy Graham of today and the Billy Graham of ten or twenty years ago. The same can be said for Charles Stanley. Stanley is alot calmer (etc) than he was fifteen or twenty years ago. Falwell did open his church to Rick Warren and that did bother me, no doubt. However Falwell is not becoming less conservative. His son, Jonathan Fawell, will take over when Jerry leaves and as far as I can tell Jonathan is no liberal or moderate.

    In general I must respectfully disagree with your views on the future of Liberty University.

    In Christ,
    Martin.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Well, time will tell. Right?
     
  10. untangled

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    I still think Liberty is a good school. I just don't understand the reasoning behind changing the name.
     
  11. Bluefalcon

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    Hey Untangled,

    I suspect it's a combination of two things: (1) Attracting more people; (2) Attracting more people. Everything at Liberty (and most private institutions) is driven by enrollment. I have long ties with Jerry's little empire up there in VA, and I can remember when Liberty was looking like it was going to fold and it was in millions of dollars of debt, etc., mainly because they gave out so many scholarships or didn't make students pay before the semester. Oh well, they had Pierre Guillerman who was such a nice guy he was giving out scholarships to any student who came by with a story of how he couldn't pay the tuition. Anyway, they got Borek and he made it where if you didn't pay, you didn't get to stay, and ever since the school has been afloat and paying its bills.

    I also remember when from the pulpit Jerry would call the place Thomas Road Church on occasion, and I remember getting a cringe every time he did that, because the church was and always had been (and still is) "Thomas Road BAPTIST Church." But it's a thing of them getting all these "Church Growth Analysts" (which I personally think is a big farce, BTW), and these guys make their suggestions and Jerry usually followed them. Most of them aren't there anymore, but I think Jerry is really into this church growth fad which supposedly changes your external image to make you more effective without changing the internals of anything. I'm not saying Towns, who I'm told now writes most of his sermons, is a bad guy, because he really knows his Bible. But he and McGavran were kind of the fathers of this whole church growth analysis thing. It's his baby and he's not giving it up. Jerry's had some near-death experiences lately and is so busy doing things like Larry King live that his preaching is different than before. It may be different now, but I can remember on any given Sunday being able to quote half of what Jerry said before or as he was saying it, just what happens after hearing him for 20+ years non-stop.

    Still Jerry and his Liberty University/Seminary (but not Village -- anyone from around there will know what I mean)) is being used by God in a great way and God is saving lives through the people who pass through the ministries there.

    Cheers, Bluefalcon
     
  12. untangled

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    Thanks for the reply BlueFalcon. I thought it was a growth thing myself. Anyway, I may be having to do go through a seminary change because I may be taking a church and if I chose to drive to SEBTS every week it would put a little over 250 miles a week if I only drove once. Right now I'm still DL through them though so I have time to see if I want to transfer or what.

    In Christ,

    Brooks
     
  13. Paul33

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    Falwell, if anything, is an opportunist. I'm not saying this in a negative sense. He saw an opportunity to move away from fundamentalism, which he perceived to be ever splintering and joined in with the SBC.

    This move was obviously necessary if Liberty were ever to become the 50,000 student body of his dreams (25,000 resident/25,000 distance learning).

    If he is changing the name of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, it is in keeping with the change of Liberty Baptist College to Liberty University.

    Nothing sinister about it. He wants Liberty University to have a seminary by the same name. Everyone knows Liberty is now connected to the SBC and probably will become the SBC's major university.
     
  14. Bluefalcon

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    Paul, you may be right. Church growth experts have been saying for years that having "Baptist" in one's name does more harm than good. It's like Billy Graham on Larry King Live: stay away from anything that is not essentially tied to the Gospel in order not to offend someone who otherwise might be open to the Gospel. This obviously doesn't make sense with the LBTS name change unless one is talking about getting more students who are not Baptists. LBC became LU instead of LBU for some reason also.
     
  15. paidagogos

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    IMHO, Paul is right. This is transparent to anyone who has followed the Falwell phenomena over the years.
    Of course! The church growth gurus practice Madison Avenue science. On Madison Avenue, it’s not about getting people to use more soap but it’s getting people to buy your brand of soap. In other parlance, advertising does not necessarily increase the market as much as it increases your market share. It holds in the church growth movement. Overall, church attendance is diminishing but some churches are growing phenomenally. One can argue that the church growth is at the expense of church decline. The declining churches are losing to the growing churches for a couple of reasons. Some are declining because of incompetent leadership whereas others are declining because they do not have the appeal and resources to compete with the high profile, high-revving super-churches. Some churches are winning over other churches in the competitive battle for attendance even when overall attendance is in decline. I am not sure that such internecine competition is a Biblical concept.

    The whole point is that the church growth movement is more about bringing record attendance to my church, many times at the expense of other churches, than about bringing people into the Kingdom. Emphasizing a doctrinal position or label eliminates market share. Thus, Baptist is a big anathema in the church growth movement but it plays well for me. Baptist gives some definition of doctrine and beliefs. It should define certain distinctives. In my book, it is a positive label because it is an indication that these people care enough about doctrine to identify with a particular doctrinal position. Otherwise, it is a bland, tasteless, gray mush of non-denominationalism, inter-denominationalism and trans-denominationalism. However, when Biblical doctrine is not valued as highly as numbers, then it turns out to be okay to eradicate any labels or distinctives.

    Yes, and this is a sad situation. It is wrongheaded thinking. One only needs to listen to the old BG messages from 1950’s-60’s to realize this man preached with great power and fervency. (I listened to a few recently and marveled.) He preached against sin and he preached hope through our Lord Jesus Christ. Today, his sermons are only a weak broth of his former meaty sermons. And, this is not due to age and infirmity but it is the watered down message. The highly ballyhooed NY Crusade was only a nostalgic reunion and shadow of the great event of years gone by. No power, no mighty moving of the Spirit, only a fuzzy ooze of wistfulness and wan memories.

    Twenty years ago, I predicted and have reiterated that Falwell could not find his 50,000 students within Baptist Fundamentalism. Since his first pronouncement, he has stretched his professed convictions to reach toward his goal. (BTW, it was first depicted as 50,000 students on campus.) For example, Jerry boasted that LBU did not accept charismatic students but now they do. So, it is no wonder that Bro. Falwell is now openly courting non-Baptist student prospects. After all, being big and winning in the numbers racket is the only thing. Doctrine and other professed principles only count as long as they are useful. When you are playing in the bush leagues with the hometown boys, you swear eternal loyalty and unending allegiance to the hometown team. You easily forget those professed loyalties in the major leagues with the adulteration of the fans and the appeal of mega-bucks. Human nature is the same in sports and religion.

    No surprise here! Like Paul said, Jerry is an opportunist.
     
  16. RandR

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    Falcon,
    You know of what you speak. But don't forget Jimmy and Dan when you discuss getting out from under all the debt.

    Demagogos,
    Jerry has always been pragmatic to a fault. But how is that theological compromise?

    Bottom line on Jerry. He's just never really learned that the ends don't justify the means. (So maybe he is still a good Fundamentalist after all.)
     
  17. Bluefalcon

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    And what book might that be?

    Cheers, Bluefalcon
     
  18. Bluefalcon

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    DanR is a good man, and his many beautiful daughters are first class also.

    Cheers, Bluefalcon
     
  19. paidagogos

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    And what book might that be?

    Cheers, Bluefalcon
    </font>[/QUOTE]The one that you haven't read.
     
  20. Martin

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    You said:
    For example, Jerry boasted that LBU did not accept charismatic students but now they do. So, it is no wonder that Bro. Falwell is now openly courting non-Baptist student prospects. After all, being big and winning in the numbers racket is the only thing. Doctrine and other professed principles only count as long as they are useful.

    ==If this is what you believe about Liberty University you are way, way off. The teaching at this school is solid and Biblical. There is no compromise at Liberty. If a non-Baptist comes here they get the same type classes (etc) that Baptists get. Jerry Fawell does not teach classes at Liberty University or the Seminary. He, in many respects, promotes the school. Which is great. If non-Baptist wish to come I see nothing wrong with that, and if Liberty wants them to come I see nothing wrong with that. Either way there is no doctrinal compromise in class.
    _______________________________________

    You said:
    When you are playing in the bush leagues with the hometown boys, you swear eternal loyalty and unending allegiance to the hometown team. You easily forget those professed loyalties in the major leagues with the adulteration of the fans and the appeal of mega-bucks. Human nature is the same in sports and religion.

    ==Since when did the church get divided into teams? Baptist vs. Pentecostals? Such a divide is unBiblical and highly dangerous. There are Christians in all of the major evangelical denominations (and even non-evangelical). We should not divide from them just because we hold to different forms of church government. If someone is in heresy, fine divide from them. However we should never divide from other Christians just because they are in a different denomination. I am glad my school reaches out to people who are not baptists. I am glad my church, though small, works together with the other Bible believing Churches in our community. One is Pentecostal holiness, one is United Methodist, one is AME Zion, one is Church of God, one is non-denominational, several are Baptist. What do we have in common? Worship styles? Certainly not. Church government styles? Certainly not. Do we agree on eternal security or election? Nope. However we are Bible believing, Bible teaching, Jesus believing churches. Therefore we have plenty of common ground. I would hate to think that we would restrict our schools and churches to Baptists only. Btw the SBC seminaries admit non-Baptists.

    I once heard of a man who died and went to heaven. An angel gave him a tour of the heavenly city. As they came across one particular room the angel who was giving the tour told the man to be "extra quite as we pass this room". When the man asked why the angel answered, "In that room are all the Baptists who think they are the only ones here".

    Sort of silly but it makes a good point. All born again believers will be in heaven regardless of their denomination.

    Not a popular think to say on a "baptist" board?

    I don't really care.

    Martin.
     

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