Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Recap: Christian Worldviews

Lately, we've been reviewing a series of essays in the Baptist Messenger (BGCO newspaper P.R. publication) on the concept of Christian worldview.  Five of the 6 commentaries are written by new (Whitlock-era) religion faculty and administrators.  Posts in the series include:

To recap, I just want to briefly highlight why I think it is important for us to look at these essays as a hint of the direction that OBU might be headed. 

First, I think it is important for me to say (if only to those critics who can't seem to find anything else to shoot at me) that my problem with these essays is not that they are theologically conservative. Believe it or not, I am self-aware enough to recognize that due to a variety of factors (including my time at OBU!) I fall to the left of most of the people at OBU.

That's fine. I'm not arguing for OBU to be more liberal. That's not my job.

Here's what I am arguing for: getting a liberal arts bachelor's degree is not the same thing as going to a bible college. Learning one point of view exclusively as the right point of view is not the way to learn at a university. OBU needs to quit backing itself into a corner of irrelevance by only letting those speak who agree with the new SBC fundamentalists. And, even more importantly, we all need to quit pretending that those who disagree with us are stupid.

Here's what I learned at OBU: the world is big and it is complicated. And the more that I learn, the more I realize that I don't know. No matter how orthodox my box is, I can't put God in a box. And should my faith and learning conflict, God is faithful and there is no need for me to bury my head in the sand.

OBU used to be a place where many could face the places in their inherited theology which turned out not to hold up anymore-- and do so safely. OBU used to be a place where we were open to learning about God, others, and the world.

Now it is becoming a bastion of answers where we teach people how to staunchly defend what they already know.

That doesn't sound like learning to me.

Let a liberal arts university be what it is. OBU should continue to be a place of learning, mind molding, life forming, idea changing realizations.

That is what we here at Save OBU are fighting for, and I hope that you see that vision is not the one presented in these essays.

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