Whence Goeth Our Baptist Colleges?

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Tom Butler, Feb 3, 2006.

  1. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    The developments concerning Georgetown College in Kentucky and Belmont University in Tennesse are just the latest in a sad trend among Southern Baptists. Just last year, the Tennessee Baptist Convention cut ties with Belmont. The Kentucky Baptist Convention began the process of separating from Georgetown. The stated reasons were that both conventions refused to allow the schools to have trustees who were not Southern Baptists. I suspect that it goes deeper than that. The Georgia Baptist Convention severed ties with Mercer University over its perceived lack of commitment to its Southern Baptist heritage (I think that means doctrines), and support among its faculty and staff for a gay student group on campus. Both Kentucky and Tennessee Baptist Conventions have two other universities. I have a nagging feeling that we haven't seen the last of this.
    Conservatives staged a long battle to reclaim control of the Southern Baptist seminaries. It was painful and scarring, but necessary. What about the state convention colleges and universities? What's driving this trend? Are they worth fighting for or should we just say good riddance? And where to you see this going?

    Tom Butler
     
  2. Rhetorician

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    Bro. Tom,

    The more I read your posts the more I learn to love the way you think.

    I don't know if you have read my other thread about the SBC Bible Colleges or not but you might want to read it. Its thesis is a direct implication and connection for the questions you have posed.

    I have a moderately Landbark friend who is also a MABTS alum. It makes him "fightin'" mad to let these schools go. He thinks they are "bouught and paid for..." with SBC dollars. That is so true.

    However, the Scripturs say that "two cannot walk together unless they be agreed." Two observations that I would make that might keep the discussions moving along. These observations are not right or wrong; they just "are."

    First,
    where are some of the places that the CBF minded and moderate leaning profs and denomination workers went except to their SBC state colleges.

    Secondly,
    this view is from the colleges perspective. I know this from Belmont's case. Why should the SBC state convention schools be allowed to appoint 100 percent of the trustees to the board when the conventions only supply about 4-6 percent of the total budget? I know there is the historical question(s) as to whom started and financed the college all these years. And, who helped it get them through the storms along the way?

    Like I said above, I am not trying to argue the "rightness" or "wrongness" of all of the issues. I am only trying to offer insights as to "what is!"

    Rebuttals or rebukes or rewards?

    sdg!

    rd
     
  3. Bible-boy

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    The leaders of the SBC Conservative Resurgence knew that in order to turn the convention around that they had to regain and maintain control of the six SBC seminaries. The only way they could that was to be able to appoint like-minded men and women to be the seminary trustees. This is the engine that drove the need to elect conservative Presidents for the SBC. However, the conservative leaders knew full well that they would likely lose the various Baptist colleges because the liberals were so well entrenched as trustees and Presidents of these institutions.
     
  4. Rhetorician

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    Bible-boy,

    Please say some more about and I quote:

    "[T]he conservative leaders knew full well that they would likely lose the various Baptist colleges because the liberals were so well entrenched as trustees and Presidents of these institutions."

    I am not sure that that was anything that was known by the "conservative resurgence" leaders as you say. Many movements in life, especially those of an adversarial nature, take on a life of their own after begun. And many many times the leaders or progenitors of a movement are taken in directions that they never would have gone if they had known the end results in the beginning.

    On the other hand, I am somewhat open-minded and persuadable; if you have the arguments?!

    So, persuade me!

    sdg!

    rd
     
  5. TomVols

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    I don't know if conservatives conceded this or not. I do know that liberals knew that, once beaten on the national level, they were better off taking their battle to the state level and controlling where they could. As a Tennessee Baptist, I am sad about Belmont. I fear Carson-Newman, just down the road a bit from me, is going to go, too. They have been alienating rank-and-file Southern Baptists for the better part of a decade now. I do know that Union is in safe hands with Dr. Dockery and Greg Thornbury, a classmate of mine at SBTS.
     
  6. Tom Butler

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    TomVols, I am a 1961 graduate of Union University, which 40 years ago was liberal to the core. Union's turnaround gives me a sliver of hope. The key is the president, who hires the faculty and staff. Union is blessed, because Dr. David Dockery is both a true Bible scholar as well as a gifted administrator. Probably only he knows the minefields he had to negotiate to bring Union to where it is now. In addition to hiring faculty and staff, the president has tremendous influence over selection of trustees. I have to wonder if they knew what they were getting when they hired him. I know that some of my liberal classmates were worried at the time, and praise God, their worst fears were realized.

    Tom B.
     
  7. Paul33

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    The seminaries could be redirected through the efforts of conservatives on the national level. But at the state level, they didn't have the same leverage. The state colleges have continued down the slippery slope because there apparently weren't any mechanisms in place to stop the slide.
     
  8. Rhetorician

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    To all who have an ear:

    I have posted a hyper-link to a very good story about the SBC "Bible" Colleges at the "Big Six" seminaries. It is also in the Seminaries/Colleges posts section. It would be most germane to our discussions here.

    Enjoy!

    sdg!

    rd
     
  9. Bible-boy

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    I've heard Dr. Patterson (when he was here at SEBTS) and others who led the conservative resurgence say what I refferred to above. They knew that in order to turn the SBC around they had to have a grassroots movement from within the local churches to elect conservative Presidents to the SBC. Likewise, they knew that to change the liberal Theology being taught they had to retain and maintain control of the six SBC seminaries by getting conservatives on their boards of trustees. The various colleges were a different story. So many... with so many liberals well entrenched in positions of authority... etc. They hoped to hold/regain some, but knew they would lose many.
     
  10. Speedpass

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    I never knew Union was "liberal to the core". I have been enrolled there since fall 2002 trying to finish a master's in curriculum and instruction. I lived in Jackson the first year before moving to Arkansas and Mississippi with my work. I know that UU has a very strong Christian emphasis encompassing the entire campus--from the classroom to the ball field. I even remember Dr Dockery serving as interim pastor at FBC Jackson when I moved there.
     
  11. Dr. Bob

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    I find (as an outsider) it amazing that the SBC, its seminaries and colleges, have maintained a facade of unity for so long. There are two widely divergent mindsets (liberal and conservative) and since they have agreed to go separate directions, should amicably part ways.

    The bulk of the SBC and its seminaries are conservative. I would not find it good, but would find it necessary to allow some state organizations (or splits from them, more likely) and some state colleges to go into the liberal camp.

    Northern Baptists have done this three times since the rise of fundamentalism/conservative thinking. In our case, the liberals gained ultimate control of the national NBC (now American Baptists) and local state organizations and state colleges went into the conservative camp.
     
  12. Paul33

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    Dr.Bob,

    Ironic. Can you name as many of the colleges that went into the conservative camp?

    I know of: PBBC, Northwestern. Can you name the rest?
     
  13. Rhetorician

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    Dr. Bob (and all who have an ear),

    I want to assure you that ALL of the "Big Six" of the SBC seminaries are conservative indeed.

    I graduated from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1995. I was in the room when Roy Honeycut retired/resigned. I was there when R. Albert Mohler took the reigns. I want to most assuredly announce that Southern is consevative. Read Al Mohler's daily column and you will see!

    One of my best friends teaches OT @ New Orleans Seminary. One of my best friends also teaches @ MoBap. We were all three @ MABTS at the same time in the 80s & 90s. I can assure you that we are all "conservative to the bone!"

    As you can see I live in W TN. My daughter graduated recently from Union U. I did some of my MDiv work via a "Monday Program" from SBTS on Union's campus. I have been on & around UU for several years. I am as close to being an alum as one could be w/out actually being an alum. I have been in meetings with high administrative officials. Some of the profs there I had and was mentored by them when we were both @ Southern. I can also testify that it is conservative indeed.

    Chuck Colson said in a graduation address that I personally heard; he thought that UU would become the Wheaton of the SB Convention. I think he is correct. It is just a great place to be for any young person who wants an outstanding Liberal Arts Education within a strong Christian World View!!!

    I cannot pour enough accolades upon it in particular and our "big six" in general.

    sdg!

    rd
     
  14. Humblesmith

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    Rhet: In the book "A Hill on Which To Die" Paul Pressler carefully explains the history of the conservative return of the SBC, and parallels what Bible-boy said. Most interesting in the book is the master's thesis survey done in the mid-70's that showed about 100% agreement on doctrinal essentials when entering SBC seminaries at that time (mid'70's), but by the end of the second year only 32% believed in the virgin birth. Thankfully this has changed.

    As for all the other schools around the country, I can only take everyone's word for it. About 6 months ago, I did an informal poll here trying to do a litmus test of conservativism, and the seminarians here all passed. So I'm sure everyone's statements about that are true.

    However, here in Texas, when the conservatives started controlling things with the SBC, the liberals in charge at Baylor U. fixed it where they were insulated from SBC control. I can't speak directly about the religion dept. at Baylor, but overall the school has gone liberal years ago. The faculty drummed out William Dembski for trying to set up an Intelligent Design research center, and did a similar move on the recent president.....they didn't want too much focus on religion, you know.
     
  15. Tom Butler

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    Rhet,

    I was re-reading all the posts in this threat,and went back to the SBC Life website you recommended, to refresh my memory about the colleges affiliated with our seminaries. I'm glad they're there, but it's sad that they have to be. The description of those colleges was very similar to how I would describe Mid-Continent University in Mayfieldl, far-Western Kentucky. I'll not go into further detail about the school, since those who are interested may find out more under the thread, Mid-Continent Baptist Bible College, in this forum.

    My advice for those looking at a Baptist college to attend or send their chilren to, find out all you can about the world view which drives their mission. Ask the president of the school, or the dean, or an alumnus what the faculty believes about the nature of scripture. Anything less than a direct answer should send up warning flags.
    If you don't hear "inerrant," "without error" quickly and unequivocally, there's a problem. The school's world view will permeate not only the theology courses, it will drive the way the arts and sciences are taught. It will also drive the social atmosphere on campus.

    The fact is, many of our Baptist colleges and universities are academically quite good, even excellent. If you're looking for more than that in a school, ask the big question first about the nature of scripture.

    Tom
     
  16. Rhetorician

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    TomButler &,

    All who have an ear to hear:

    On other threads some of us have "danced all around" Mid Continent University as it is now called. It was and is still, from what some have told me "off Board," a fine Christian school. It has been able to make the changes from a Bible College to a Liberal Arts Christian University w/out the compromise some have had to do when this shift has occurred. I would not hesitate for one minute to send a child of mine there.

    I also know first hand how good Union U. in Jackson, TN is. It has top rated and ranked scholars in Christian Studies and the other depts. as well. It has a commitment to Scripture and a Biblical world view that is unbelievable IMHO! They even have a new Master of Christian Ministries degree.

    I was just yesterday in a history conference where the Prof of Church History gave a paper on JR Graves. My daughter graduated from there w/her teaching degree, I did most of my MDiv there on a "Monday Program" where SBTS flew the profs down from Louisville. It is just a good place to be.

    I have said too much but appreciate the above comments and any further comebacks!

    sdg!

    rd
     
  17. gb93433

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    For what it is worth. A few years ago I was told by some workers at the state level in the state I was in, that the SBC was wanting to bring in some non-SBC folks as advisors on their committees. Look who has been brought on just at SWBTS. They now have graduates from DTS.
     
  18. shannonL

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    I grew up in the North Carolina Bapt. conv. We have got some real winners when it comes to state baptist colleges. All of them are liberal. Maybe one or two of them have broken ties I don't know but as of yesterday they are all still listed on the NCSBC website as baptist schools.
    This is why I went to Piedmont Baptist College in Winston Salem, NC.(shameless plug) A IFB school that was started by a Dr. Stevens who at one time was a SB man. Alot of Piedmont's grads have wound up at SEBTS.
    The "battle" is still going on in the NC conv. I wish the consevatives in that state would just start another conv. and let the mods./libs have the old one.
    The conservative resurgence could be short lived if these states dont' go ahead and cut ties with these lib. colleges. Because as long as they keep ties with them the grads. can still get into the pulpits of SBC churches.
     
  19. gb93433

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    It's the cultural Christians who let the liberals in.
     
  20. shannonL

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    If you mean your nominal southern baptist church member who just warms a pew and is theologically challenged to put it kindly. I would say you were right.
     

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