"There are only two ways of telling the complete truth—anonymously and posthumously."Thomas Sowell

Monday, April 18, 2005

The Future of Baptist Higher Education

Baylor University is hosting an important conference on "The Future of Baptist Higher Education." Since the publication of books like George Marsden's "The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship," Mark Noll's "The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind," and James Burtchaell's "The Dying of the Light," tremendous interest has been building in the concept of distinctively Christian higher education.

This week Baptists of several different persuasions will meet to discuss what higher ed. looks like within the nexus of Baptist and Christian distinctives. I'll be there and will serve as your intrepid reporter if anything interesting breaks out.

And by the way, Martin Marty will be there. If you don't recognize his name, you've never read a newspaper story on religion. The AP stylebook specifically states than any religion story must feature at least one quote from Dr. Marty.


John Huisman said...

Can there even be such a thing as "Baptist higher education?" What is there in the traditional Baptist worldview, what with its emphasis on individual soul-saving, that would lend itself to a distinctive Christian view of the sciences, philosophy and higher education in general? The Reformed worldview, especially its Kuyperian variant, what with its emphasis on bringing every area of life in subjection to Jesus Christ, would seem to provide better guidance for a perspective on higher education. "Baptist" higher education doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, unless, of course, Baptists have given up their traditional point of view and taken up a more Reformed view of these matters.

Hunter Baker said...

Thus, the conference, John. You are right and Baptists are trying to work it out. There's a reason a Reformed school like Calvin is out front on the Christian mind.

Burwell said...

I used to attend an SBC seminary, but left because I felt that intellectual pursuits and scholarship were considered secondary, if not actually inferior, to the main purpose of the implied aims of the seminary: that is, to be a "preacher factory." I transferred into a non-denominational seminary that has an excellent reputation for scholarship as well as biblical integrity and have been very pleased. It was there that I discovered that vocal ones of the current SBC leadership have, with a few exceptions, departed from traditional Baptist ways; i.e. the Reformed view. This is best outlined in the London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689. I am both Reformed and Baptist by conviction, and I now realize that they are not mutually exclusive.