....More News from Southwestern Seminary

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by KPBAP, May 5, 2003.

  1. KPBAP

    KPBAP
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    If Dr. Bullock is such a great teacher then why won't trustees grant her tenure? hmmmmmmm!
    Discharged seminary teachers will be sorely missed
    By Jim Jones
    Special to the Star-Telegram

    Karen Bullock is one of the best teachers I've ever known. But, sadly, supporters say she's being forced out of her position at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, apparently by conservatives who now lead one of the nation's largest seminaries.

    Students are protesting, and I can see why. Bullock is incredibly gifted. Furthermore, the students are objecting because another popular church history professor, Stephen Stookey, also is being forced out.

    I've heard Stookey is a talented teacher, but Bullock's excellence I know first-hand. She was my professor when I studied Baptist history during a seminary-sponsored summer program at Regents Park College at Oxford University in 1999.

    One remarkable day, as we neared the village of Kettering, Bullock told us we would be visiting the place where William Carey, a humble cobbler, founded the Baptist foreign missionary movement.

    She repeated Carey's memorable words, "Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God." She noted that Carey once wore a wig, but flung it overboard while sailing to India. He later wrote, "I saw my rug floating in the sea." She makes history come alive with rich detail and humor.

    Conflict over the two professors surfaced along with another traumatic change -- the resignation of Ken Hemphill as president and rumors that he will be succeeded by a more hard-line conservative.

    Hemphill, although strongly conservative himself, healed many wounds after Russell Dilday was fired by conservatives in 1994. He is leaving the seminary to become national strategist for "Empowering Kingdom Growth," an outreach initiative of the Southern Baptist Convention.

    Neither Bullock nor Stookey was recommended for tenure, meaning they must leave the faculty by July 31, 2004. Some students walked out of a recent chapel service, chanting "We love you, Dr. Bullock. We love you, Dr. Stookey." Others purchased a half-page ad in the Baptist Standard saying they were "shocked and saddened" by the news.

    Although it's denied by seminary leaders, some say Bullock was passed over because she is a woman. She has signed the Baptist faith statement saying women should not be senior pastors and that wives should submit to the servant leadership of their husbands.

    Some say Stookey angered key conservative trustees with two articles published in the Southwestern Journal of Theology in 1999 that disagreed with "Christian America" leader David Barton, who says most of the creators of the U.S. Constitution were orthodox Christians.

    Stookey wrote that they were a mixture of "orthodox Christians, nominal church attenders, Christian moralists, Deists and nonbelievers."

    Others speculate that Bullock may have aggravated conservatives with a chapel address on March 20, 2002. She spoke of "viruses" affecting the church, such as trying to be God rather than obeying God and controlling people rather than loving them.

    Paula Hemphill, wife of the outgoing seminary president, has had Bullock for three classes and says she has heard nothing objectionable. She even gave tapes of the address to family and friends.

    Hemphill, who will receive her master's degree in missiology next Saturday, said Bullock is a gifted, diligent scholar, a woman of grace and dignity who follows the principles of the Baptist statement.

    Only top administrators know for sure why tenure wasn't recommended, she said, and she warned against judging the motives of others.

    "I do trust the [tenure] process," she said. "I don't understand it. I do trust it. . . . I'm sure Dr. Bullock will be an asset wherever she teaches. My only regret is that future generations of Southwestern students will not have the benefit of her teaching."


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  2. Daniel David

    Daniel David
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    We will really miss their contributions to the students.

    (Daniel, the sarcasm will be duly noted) [​IMG]

    [ May 06, 2003, 02:55 PM: Message edited by: TomVols ]
     
  3. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer
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    They are fine Christian people with a gift for teaching.

    If Southwestern rejects them they will go on to bless others elsewhere.

    [ May 06, 2003, 02:56 PM: Message edited by: TomVols ]
     
  4. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Thanks for the heads up and personal testimonial about a gifted professor.

    It begs the question, Is being a "gifted professor" ENOUGH for a Baptist Seminary?

    Obviously the rhetorical answer would be "No". So what else SHOULD a professor be/do/have to be acceptable? Should make for some good discussions.
     
  5. Jimmy C

    Jimmy C
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    It is a good question - if she is such a good professor why is she not being offered tenure and being force out.

    Her classes were always totally full, and her student reviews were among the best. Dr. Bullock was associate dean of the PhD program and as hard a worker as SWBTS has. Paula Hemphill took every class that Dr. Bullock taught and is one of her biggest supporters.

    The real question is what did Miles Seaborn have against her and what infulence did he have on Craig Blaising. Why is it that Craig Blaising has the full authority to recommend or not recommend a professor for tenure. Why is there not some sort of appeals process?
     
  6. go2church

    go2church
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    Simple answer is because she is a GIRL. What possible use could she be?!?! :rolleyes:
     
  7. Jimmy C

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    She is a girl, a scholar and a real historian - something that SWBTS is going to be in very short supply of soon (all three!)
     
  8. Charlesga

    Charlesga
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    To me, it seems to all be about silly, petty politics. If you don't tow the party line and bow down to them, you will be next to be ousted.

    Sorry for the sarcasm, but this kind of stuff makes me sick.
     
  9. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller
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    Charles, I notice you're from Macon, Ga. Have you read the book the Mercer University President wrote several years ago - "When we Talk about God, Let's Be Honest"?
     
  10. Charlesga

    Charlesga
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    Hardsheller,

    No I haven't. I do know that the book is very controversial. I do not know Kirby Godsey personally, but I do know that many people, moderate and conservative, in the area that do know him personally have great respect for him, and that he is a upstanding Christian member of the community.
     
  11. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller
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    Charles,

    You should read the book. It really proves that there are Southern Baptists out there who don't believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven.
     
  12. Rev. G

    Rev. G
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    I still haven't figured out how Stookey lasted at SWBTS as long as he did. He swore he would never ever sign the BFM and did. Some have said that he is being moved out because of an article he wrote that was critical of David Barton. It was a good article for the most part. If that is the case, then that isn't right. However, if they are looking at his whole track record and his various assertions over the years - then it makes perfect sense that he will be leaving.

    I hate seeing Dr. Bullock dismissed. It just isn't right, IMO.
     
  13. Rev. G

    Rev. G
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    BTW, Kirby Godsey is nothing less than a heretic. That isn't strong rhetoric, it is polite language.
     
  14. NarrowWay

    NarrowWay
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    Obviously, from what's been going on for the last several years in Southern Baptist Seminaries, a professor must be politically correct (fundamentalist) to gain tenure. Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville has lost some outstanding professors because they didn't meet this absolute criterion.
     
  15. Baptist Believer

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    Track record? What types of things are you referring to?
     
  16. Rev. G

    Rev. G
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    A lot of things he said in staff meetings, student meetings, etc. Not things in the classroom.
     
  17. Rev. G

    Rev. G
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    And they lost some heretics, and they have gained a great number of outstanding evangelical scholars.
     
  18. Charlesga

    Charlesga
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    I'm glad you have figured out Godsey's relationship with God. Be careful how you judge fellow believers, which I believe he is one, regardless of your thoughts on his theology. Anyway, wrong thread for this discussion.
     
  19. Rev. G

    Rev. G
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    He denies the exclusivity of Christ as God's saving revelation.
    Christians seem to become remarkably troubled about whether Jesus is humankind's only savior. Is Jesus God's only word? The simple answer is "Of course not." But beyond a simple answer, the issue is largely a mistaken one. There are no right answers to wrong questions....For me as a Christian, Jesus is the defining revelation. This confession that lies at the center of my faith does not require an exclusivist position whereby I should feel compelled to deny every other person's claim to know God. I can say only that, for me, Jesus is the central event of history. I cannot speak for another (p. 133; cf. p. 119).


    He denies the full deity of Jesus.
    The deity of Christ can never be more than a confession of faith, and it shall never be less (p. 121).


    He teaches universalism.
    Jesus did not come to tell us how to be saved. Jesus came to tell us that we are saved (p. 144).

    Jesus came to say that we are saved. We are forgiven. God's forgiveness lies within us. We are loved. God's embracing love lies buried within us underneath a load of guilt and fear. No conditions, no prerequisites, no plans to follow--grace is not a conditional affirmation (p. 145).

    God's word of grace is that we are free. The announcement comes. Jesus himself is the announcement. Everyone who has lived in this awful state of being trapped has been set free (p. 155).

    Universalism has a very high view of God. God's grace and God's love are the ultimate realities revealed in Jesus (p. 202).

    We are like the wandering Israelites [who "longed for a golden calf that they could cherish"]. Jesus is our word. Like Israel, our first temptation is to make Jesus into an icon of devotion. We want to see God, touch God, clutch God, and make sure that God belongs to us. So, we make Jesus into an object of worship. Let us not make Jesus into a magic fetish. Jesus is God's speaking to us. Jesus is not God. Jesus is the Word of God. Jesus is the speaking of God (p. 128).



    He denies Scripture's final authority in the Christian faith.
    Our reason to believe reaches beyond the boundaries of the Bible. In all likelihood, the authority for our faith should not rest upon the Bible alone, or even primarily....The simple identification of the Word of God with the Bible is a grave mistake. Far from being the principal focus of our faith, the Bible is the record of God's revelation and how people responded and interacted with God's presence in their history....The Bible, then, should not be viewed as a boundary of belief (p. 50). When it comes to defining the foundations for belief, we need to be very careful about requiring infallible sources. The health of religion does not depend on infallible sources. The errors of religion spring over and over again from claiming too much for a single source of truth. The study of Christian history shows us claiming too much for the church or too much for the Bible or too much for our own experience with God. Genuine belief listens to all of these sources. Each can be reliable. On the other hand, the elevation of any of them to the status of final authority inevitably leads to error and conflicts (pp. 47-48).


    He believes that God lives within everyone.
    God lives within us--within everyone of us (p. 68; [this could presumably refer exclusively to Christians, but, as the following quote shows, it does not]). God is spirit, and describing God as spirit means that all of nature, and every person in nature, bears the presence of God (p. 70).

    The Incarnation is God's ultimate affirmation of Adam. It conveys powerfully that we are all of God. Each of us is God incarnate. Each of us bears God's presence. We are God's words in the world.


    He denies the omnipotence of God.
    The notion that God is the all powerful, the high and mighty principal of heaven and earth should be laid aside....God does not abolish evil and suffering because God cannot abolish evil and suffering [think of what this does to our hope of heaven!]. "Cannot" may seem like a difficult word to use when we speak about God, but it is a word that we must have the courage to say if we speak honestly about God's suffering (p. 99).


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    "Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work."
    - 2 John 9-11
     
  20. David Cooke Jr

    David Cooke Jr
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    Nothing is wrong with what Dr. Godsey said. As long as he is there, my money will support Mercer University. God is bigger than the fence WE have chosen to draw around him.
     

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