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Wed Jan 23, 2013, 10:01 AM

The Ludicrous Mythology that Christian Colleges Teach as Fact

Cedarville University is a Baptist college in Ohio with 3,000 students. The campus is currently engulfed in a minor uproar over the way it's enforcing its ideological beliefs. Let's take this opportunity to gape and marvel at what some people who run educational institutions actually believe to be true.

Inside Higher Ed has the story of Cedarville's current controversy: the administration is trying to cut its philosophy department, and a professor who espoused a slightly less literal version of Bible doctrine was recently suspended, and an administrator who was somewhat less conservative than average is resigning, and all of this is being perceived as a move by the school towards a stricter, more conservative stance with regards to its wacky Christian beliefs. Briefly:

Even by the standards of its fellow members of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, an association of evangelical colleges, Cedarville is theologically and culturally conservative. Students are required to attend chapel five days a week. Every student is required to minor in the Bible. The college boasts of its belief that the Earth was created exactly as described in the Bible and says its graduates are "in the world but not of it."


The real treasure for future anthropologists will be the school's 14-point doctrinal statement, to which professors must subscribe. These are just a few of the things that are being taught to young students who have paid money in order to obtain "education:"

We believe in the literal 6-day account of creation, that the creation of man lies in the special, immediate, and formative acts of God and not from previously existing forms of life...

We believe in the imminent "Blessed Hope," the Rapture of the church before the tribulation, when the "Lord shall descend from heaven" to catch up His bride to meet Him in the air and "so shall we ever be with the Lord." ...

We believe in the literal, bodily resurrection of the crucified Lord, His ascension into heaven, His present life there as our High Priest and Advocate, and His personal, bodily, visible return to the earth at the end of the tribulation to establish His millennial kingdom on earth, and to reign as the only Potentate, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.


What often gets lost in America's historic respect for Christian belief is just how motherfucking insane those actual beliefs are. "Hi, I think the whole universe was created magically in six 'days' just a few thousand years ago, and I also believe that a couple thousand years ago a magic guy lived and died and was magically resurrected, and I believe that if you believe what I believe you will one day be magically beamed up to a special place far, far away to live in bliss. Can I interest you in my educational program?" Under normal circumstances, that's when the Taser would come out. But here we have an entire subculture of people who can successfully sell blatant rejection of science as "education" to some poor god damn victims students. Is there not some responsibility for professional educators to avoid passing on things that are clearly mythological as fact? Conversely, can we please come up with a new category for doctrinal religious schools, outside of "education?" How about, I dunno, "hilarious ancient propaganda?"

It's useful to remember that Christian doctrine is patently absurd, and to allow that to inform your judgment of the intellectual faculties of those who believe it to be true.

http://gawker.com/5977948/the-ludicrous-mythology-that-christian-colleges-teach-as-fact


While there may be some belief and doctrine at this particular school that is not in the "mainstream" belief of most Christians, the part (in bold) about the resurrection certainly is. Even the most liberal christians believe this, right? It is a central tenet of the faith, right?

The writer closes with this:

It's useful to remember that Christian doctrine is patently absurd, and to allow that to inform your judgment of the intellectual faculties of those who believe it to be true.


Do you find that a fair statement?

10 replies, 1184 views

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Reply The Ludicrous Mythology that Christian Colleges Teach as Fact (Original post)
cleanhippie Jan 2013 OP
longship Jan 2013 #1
mike_c Jan 2013 #2
Shadowflash Jan 2013 #3
Dawson Leery Jan 2013 #6
DryRain Jan 2013 #4
muriel_volestrangler Jan 2013 #7
DryRain Jan 2013 #8
struggle4progress Jan 2013 #5
dimbear Jan 2013 #9
rug Jan 2013 #10

Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 10:13 AM

1. Well, it's not called apologetics for nothing.

But, that statement seems more like the beginning of an argument, one that should be backed up by data and evidence, instead of a mere tag line at the end of an article.

So I would say that it is not a constructive statement even if it were true (which I believe it to be).

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 10:29 AM

2. as both a university professor and an atheist....

Hell yes, I think that's a fair statement. What Cedarville practices is not education, it's indoctrination. Worse, it indoctrinates ridiculous, misogynist, homophobic, and demonstrably false mythology.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 11:15 AM

3. 'Christian education'

Are two words that do not belong in the same sentence together.

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Response to Shadowflash (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 12:21 PM

6. +1

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 11:23 AM

4. Do students at this college get federal tax dollar

 

Pell grants?

I want to know if taxpayers are supporting this institution of mythology and anti-science.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #7)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 12:52 PM

8. Thanks for that link!

 

I honestly do not understand how so-called "colleges" like this can be certified as viable institutions of higher education worthy of federal tax dollars when they so clearly support an anti-intellectual philosophy of "educaiton", more resembling a Madrassa than an American college of "highter learning".

Direct or indirect taxpayer support of what amounts to facilities for the propagation of religious dogma is always questionable under our Constitution. IMO

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 11:58 AM

5. Administrators' Resignations Fuel Fears at Cedarville University

Concerned alumni, students, and faculty suspect a purge; school says stop connecting the dots.
Melissa Steffan
posted 1/23/2013 8:53AM

... As school trustees convene today for a regularly scheduled meeting, several petitions (with more than 1,000 signatures each) have sprung from online forums where alumni, faculty, and some of Cedarville's 3,000 students are calling for greater openness about the school's "identity and vision."

"Dr. Brown and Dr. Ruby have both been the most prominent voices for Cedarville moving toward a more robust and moderate evangelicalism," said senior theology major Josh Steele, who founded Fiat Lux, one of the protest websites. "The university is moving back toward conservative fundamentalism."

Such concerns first surfaced when doctrinal white papers intended to "clarify and elaborate" the college's faith statement were adopted last January; the resulting doctrinal dispute led to theologian Michael Pahl being removed from teaching duties in August. But concerns mounted after president Bill Brown announced his resignation in October, and ignited after vice president of student life Carl Ruby did the same in January.

Now, investigations of Bible professors and a proposal to discontinue the school's philosophy major have prompted speculation that Cedarville's board of trustees is steering the school away from engagement with mainstream evangelicalism ...

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/january-web-only/resignations-of-top-administrators-fuel-fears-at-cedarville.html

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 06:42 PM

9. Sounds like a deathbed conversion to me.

Is it wrong for me to hope so?

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 08:23 PM

10. You may want to complain to the State of Ohio.

Accreditation

Cedarville University is chartered by the State of Ohio and certified by the Ohio Board of Regents. The University is regionally accredited through the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.


http://www.cedarville.edu/Accreditation.aspx

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