Liberalness of Southern Baptist Schools

Posted: November 25, 2009 in Church, Education

Dr. Ron Nash made the following statement in a lecture on Worldviews in Conflict as part of an apologetics course:

Most Southern Baptist Colleges are liberal … I am a Southern Baptist.  But forty-eight or so of the fifty Southern Baptist Colleges in America are basically pagan institutions … They don’t believe anything about the Christian worldview.  They’d sooner hire a sun worshiper to teach New Testament.

While I can’t speak for most, I can say that when I graduated from California Baptist University (one of those SBC colleges) my theology was very muddled.  Baylor University is one of those running, unfunny jokes within the SBC.  “I remember when Baylor was still a Christian school,” the saying goes.  (Of course, if you do, you’d be about my grandparent’s age.)

Why are so many SBC schools promulgating heresy?

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Comments
  1. Ed Hurst says:

    I’ve watched this for years, up close and personal. Read the books about it and talked to the partisans. The question is essentially one of politics.

    All of academia suffers what we call the liberal mindset. It is coupled with an incredible arrogance, which is denied only because it is so very fundamental. They honestly believe they are humble, but you should hear the dismissive tone about those less academically oriented. Naturally, they refer to that orientation is the very substance of being educated.

    But there is an equal and opposite prejudice among the workers in the field who are conservative. They disparage education (even as they require it on the resume) as too much of the Ivory Tower. They don’t see the real need for controlling what goes on in the academy. Worst of all, when they do act politically, it comes off with the same deep corruption as we see in secular politics. They can’t mount a challenge without cheating — or at least, they haven’t so far.

    When someone comes forward with clean hands and a pure heart, with the educational authority to and influence to change things, this is how it will be. The SBC has no documentary foundation of orthodoxy to use as their weapon, the way the Missouri Synod Lutherans did with their own liberals in the 1970s.

  2. katerina berghoff says:

    Define “liberal,” please.

    And, shouldn’t the word “higher” in your posting be spelled “hire?’

  3. jpfagapeu says:

    Thanks for the spelling correction Katerina.

    An etymology of the word “liberal” would be an interesting study. Dr. Nash explained his use of the term, I think, in the quote.

    The word “liberal” itself has several meanings. Definition one from my computer dictionary reads as follows: “[O]pen to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values.”

    In the Christian context then, Liberal Theology is that which has been disconnected from historic Christian orthodoxy and become so open to new thoughts and ideas that it has ceased to be distinctively Christian, accepting into its framework beliefs which run contrary to clear Biblical teaching.

    To be specific, at CBU the professor of my Basic Christian Doctrine class (who was an ordained SBC pastor) did not believe in the existence of Satan. His rationale was very understandable. Unfortunately it flew in the face of revealed Scripture.

    My History of Baptist Thought professor taught that at no time have Baptists ever been Calvinistic in theology. Either this man was completely ignorant of Baptist history and belief (which would beg the question why he was teaching such a class) or he was deliberately lying to the class (which begs the question why he was teaching at a Christian school at all).

    There was also my Sociology professor (a Methodist minister) who did not believe in moral absolutes.

    As I mentioned in my post, I can’t speak on all the other schools, just the one I went to. My own experience and the anecdotal evidence from friends, family and acquaintances who have attended other SBC schools and seminaries leads me accept Dr. Nash’s assessment of the state of SBC higher education.

    Let me also state, for the record, that I was born and raised SBC, so this isn’t an attack from the outside, but a concerned observation from an insider.

  4. Chris M says:

    Sorry to hear of your bad experience. You will not find such teaching at CBU anymore. All theology and ministry professors hold to historic Christian theology and agree with the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. Check out the books by our professors and you will see a difference.

  5. While the Basic Christian Doctrine and Sociology professors are no longer there, my old History of Baptist thought prof still is.

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