CRC schoolmen join the parade...

(Tim, w/thanks to Andy) Readers may have noted my mention of Grand Rapids in the post on False Shepherd Rob Bell. It was purposeful. When a community committed to confessing the most Biblical doctrine turns its back on God's Word in as flagrant a way as the Christian Reformed Church has turned her back on the Creation order of sexuality, God's future judgment will be as severe as His past blessing. To whom much is given, much shall be required.

For clear signs of that judgment, watch the present history of both the mother country, Holland, and the mother institution of the CRC here in these United States, Calvin College and Seminary.

For instance, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports that Calvin's schoolmen are all in a huff over their trustees forbidding the promotion of sodomy and sodomite marriage by Calvin's faculty members. So Faculty Senate (thanks for the correction, Sue) members took a vote...

and announced their rebellion by the clear majority of 36 in favor, 4 against. In other words, 36 Faculty Senate members think the trustee action barring their faculty from promoting sodomy is an infringement on their academic freedom, and only 4 think the trustees' action is OK.

Check out the comments under another Chronicle news item on Calvin's controversy, particularly this from sabbybabyboy:

As an alumnus of Gordon College, a conservative evangelical Protestant institution in Massachusetts, we went through similar controversies a generation ago over the prospect of Roman Catholic professors! It takes courage to stand up against trustees and an entrenched college administration. I applaud those faculty members at Calvin who are stretching the meaning and practice of academic freedom at their institution. Perhaps change is possible, over time, even at Calvin College; then too, only with a struggle!

Sabbybabyboy is referring to the firing of Elisabeth Elliot's brother, Tom Howard, from his faculty position at Gordon College following his conversion to the Roman Catholic heresy. Readers interested in the justification of Howard's release written by Gordon's Faculty Senate may find it down the page a bit in this post.

We wait expectantly for Covenant College schoolmen to issue prophetic condemnations, clear notes from their bugles, against their corrupt colleagues at their sister institution.

So what's to be done? Well, I'm no expert in these things, but I've read enough history to know poverty is a wonderful institutional cleansing agent. Right now, poverty is Covenant's glory and riches Wheaton's and Calvin's shame.

Observing the accumulation of wealth in Wheaton and Grand Rapids during my lifetime, I'm reminded of Luther's observation:"So our Lord God commonly gives riches to those gross asses to whom He vouchsafes nothing else."

Comments

No surprise here. Their publication "The Banner" is forever editorializing in favor of Homosexuality.

Somewhere on another thread, perhaps on another blog, someone asked, "Which goes downhill first? Is it the seminary (meaning either the seminary administration or the seminary professors or both) or is it the denomination for sending students that want their ears tickled?"

I think the question was an attempt to put it in parallel with "Who's at fault: The prostitutes or the folks wanting the prostitutes' services?"

IMHO, the majority of the responsibility and blame lies in the seminary. Caveat: Not all professors and not all administrative staff are at fault here.

I read the article from the Chronicle of Higher Education that you provided. I wanted to mention one factual error in your post and then make a comment.

When you said that the Calvin College voted 36-4 about their Board of Trustees' decision, the vote was a vote of the Faculty Senate, not the faculty itself. I also read in the Chronicle that Calvin has about 300 faculty; after the Trustees' position became clear about 130 of them wanted to get together and discuss it.

I know nothing about Calvin College, but I do know something about academic freedom, having been married to a college professor for 20+ years. In general, faculty take academic freedom very seriously. They will go to bat for the views of someone they abhor in the name of academic freedom. I could say more about the subject but you get the idea, if you didn't already know it. I'm just curious whether the idea of academic freedom being squelched (as they saw it) might have influenced the vote.

My .02,

Academic freedom? What has the promotion of buggery (a capital offense in my Bible) to do with academic freedom? And just exactly what is academic freedom anyway? Just a sanitized name for license.

Dear Sue,

First, thanks for the correction. I've noted it in the text of the post.

Second, I'm real familiar with academic freedom and tenure, and I don't think I believe in either of them at secular and state schools, let alone Christian or confessionally Christian ones.

The very fact that the Calvin schoolmen brought academic freedom up when it's sodomy that's under discussion makes the point perfectly, as I see it.

Every one of these profs should be fired. Like yesterday. Why should we give greater freedom to those who teach our young adult children than we give to those who teach those children's parents?

In church. From the pulpit. They're called "pastors."

Love,

Tim Bayly: "Every one of these profs should be fired. Like yesterday."

Didn't you just write a post about savage wolves? There are savage wolves in the seminaries.

Academic freedom? Such a concept takes a backseat to the priority of forming and training pastoral undershepherds who are tasked with the care and feeding and protection of the flock entrusted to them by God.

Dear Sue and Tim,

My former boss and friend, Herman Wells, was the president of Indiana University for decades and later the chancellor. His kindness to me along with some very good qualities made me love him dearly, despite the grief I felt over his rejection of the Word of God. Of all the hatred for God and His law that Chancellor Wells presided over, however, maybe his most damnable act, in terms of the widespread and long-lasting impact on campuses (and therefore souls) across the world, was his defense of Alfred Kinsey on the grounds of academic freedom. By standing up for Kinsey's wicked attempt to justify perversion with unethical, not even third-rate science, Chancellor Wells earned a name that was almost synonymous with academic freedom in the 1950's and 1960's. And yet what he really accomplished was the mortal blow to the centuries-old understanding that professors are moral agents and thus responsible for the degree to which their professions honor the character of God and accurately describe His creation.

Whereas it was once understood that professors are fathers and that learning was ultimately about loving the Lord our God with all our minds, past generations demanded that professors speak truth with integrity. During the dawn of post-modernism and its rejection of moral truth, though, Chancellor Wells bulldozed any remaining obstacles to a world in which the morality and character behind a scholar’s work must never, ever be questioned. As a result, I and my fellow naive, simpleton classmates at IU rarely wondered if the fact that our professors were lechers and sodomites affected how they taught us literature and philosophy. We couldn’t think critically enough to wonder if the greed of our economics professors influenced the way they described different economic theories. Or if we did put two and two together, we at least knew better than to ever question the goodness or evil of their research. In short, by replacing God with academic freedom the university didn’t secure better thinkers, it created a culture of fools. One of my friends proved this -- one of the top honors students on the entire campus – as he shallowly and dutifully pledged during a conversation on academic freedom, "Anything is worth studying." And he meant it. "Anything." And he was also an active Republican and the second most faithful Roman Catholic I knew during school. Chancellor Wells and the proponents of academic freedom had taught him well, and so the best man conservativism had to offer assured me that "anything is worth studying." (Surely I don't need to belabor the fallacy in that statement, right?)

So Tim, I agree with you about academic freedom, and I've recently become convinced that any time I talk to people about Chancellor Wells around here, this idol, this demon of academic freedom is one of the chief areas of university life that desperately needs the light of the Gospel.

It's interesting how "academic freedom" never seems to grant people the liberty to point out that a certain behavior is fundamentally unhealthy. One would figure that professors at Calvin (don't they have a doctrinal statement anymore?) might be the first--at least after Hillsdale, PHC, and New Saint Andrews--to start pointing this out to the world.

And "academic freedom" never seems to grant professors the liberty to point out that the Kinsey Institute ought not only not be funded, but should also be shut down and the perpetrators put in jail for pedophilia.

I suspect it is the desire for academic respectabiliy, not a commitment to academic freedom, that accounts for much of the continuing nonsense at places like Calvin and Wheaton.

By this I mean of course the respectability accorded by academically accredited, certified atheists.

Don,

Which, ultimately, is the age old sin called pride.

Hallelujah! Finally people are realizing that all we have to do is stop people thinking for themselves, provide them with a standardized framework of thought, and then keep them from ever encountering any other ideas! Brilliant idea, though not exactly a new one.

Dear David,

The case for the normalization of sodomy is shouted from every rooftop in our nation and has been for over a decade, now. A man would have to read and listen to and watch nothing nowhere and never to avoid it.

So the trustees of Calvin really are only trying to maintain one place in the world where the sodomite groupthink won't prevail. And it seems like a Christian college is a pretty good place for such protection of a minority view to call home.

It's so sad to see the profs at Calvin trying to keep people from thinking for themselves, forcing on their students a standardized framework of thought and hiding other ideas from them.

So very sad.

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