Est. May 2008

09 May, 2014

Sticking To Your Guns

Oh, goodness gracious!  Bryan College, an evangelical institution of higher learning, amended their Statement of Faith – which all faculty must sign in order to maintain their jobs – to include language which affirms, ‘We believe that all humanity is descended from Adam and Eve. They are historical persons created by God in a special formative act, and not from previously existing life forms.’

The change was approved by both the Board of Trustees of the school and the school's president, Stephen Livesay.

But what was it changed from?  This: ‘that the origin of man was by fiat of God in the act of creation as related in the Book of Genesis; that he was created in the image of God; that he sinned and thereby incurred physical and spiritual death[.]’

And if the reaction of the faculty and some of the students is anything to go by, the world is coming to an end.

But think about this: it’s an evangelical, religious college; it’s named after William Jennings Bryan.  Perhaps the complainers ought to have considered that such a school would adhere to the best of its ability to Scripture.

I guess not: 9 of the 44 members of the faculty are leaving; according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, ‘Although they are leaving for multiple reasons, the local paper reports that many of the departures are related the changed statement of faith and Livesay's handling of the growing unrest.’  Wait…you’re talking 9 people.  Are they primarily leaving for ‘multiple reasons’, or are they leaving primarily because of the new part of the Statement?

Beats me.  But I think I’ve got a handle on what part of ‘Livesay’s handling of the growing unrest’ means – they’re upset because he’s not backing down on the change:
Kevin Clauson, vice chair of the Bryan faculty, told Inside Higher Ed that he found it "sad" some faculty members were leaving the college, adding "but the other side of the coin is that if Bryan is going to maintain itself as an evangelical Christian college, it has to make sure that it's doctrine is firm – that there's no slippage of doctrine."
And that’s it in a nutshell.  Maintaining firmness in doctrine is essential for an evangelical school; if there are people there who aren’t willing to do that, perhaps leaving is the best thing they could do – for themselves and for the school.

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