November 8, 2005

To Think or Not to Think

Here's an Ethics Daily article about Carson-Newman College, one of the Baptist schools under investigation by the Tennessee Baptist Convention over allegations of teaching evolution. Welcome to Ethics Daily!

The trustees rightly have backed their faculty for teaching both evolution and creationism. After all, it is a school of higher education. If we want the degrees the students leave with to mean anything, then they must be prepared to deal with different worldviews.

The students need to be exposed to evolution ideas or else they will be unprepared to appropriately respond to those they encounter outside the Christian college bubble. This usually leads to one of two responses (neither of which is good): they either cower and say nothing, or aggressively lash back.

It is not an oxymoron to be smart and a Christian (though some, such as Brady Tarr and other critics of Carson-Newman might seem to perpetuate this myth). It is perfectly okay to think—and that is what schools are supposed to challenge us to do. We must make sure our schools remain schools and not indoctrination camps.

When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, he responded in Matthew 22:37: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." Love God with our minds? What a concept! (If only more Christians would do that, then so many of them would not say dumb things that hurt the Kingdom.)

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous5:09 AM

    Kaylor,

    Apparently you have not been following the controversy among the Tennessee Baptist colleges and universities. Brady Tarr has taken a courageous stand concerning his observations at Carson-Newman. He is not the only Tennessee Baptist that has examined the teachings of C-N. My cousin went to the school to examine their teachings before enrolling his children in their institute of higher learning. He was not afraid to ask certain questions that apparently required specific answers relating to specific world views.

    As a Tennessee Baptist, I was appalled that Cooperative Program dollars were being used to partially fund the salaries of professors that were espousing anti-Christian views in their classrooms.

    It is not about what the professors are teaching. It is about whether or not Christians should support an institute of higher education with dollars intended to promote Christian Education.

    When Tennessee Baptists are called upon to send funds to an institution that promotes, not merely presents, views that are contrary to Christian World Views, they should have the right to examine those policies before sending those funds.

    With Love In Christ,
    Phillip

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