Thursday, October 08, 2009

On Defining Baptist Higher Education for the 21st Century: It's Baha'i

At Union University in Jackson, Tennessee 
A debate goes on about what constitutes Christian higher education. A critic complains that one writer's formulation is something that non-Baptists would also embrace. Like that's a bad thing. -gw
The essay’s definition of “Christian” higher education, then, is explicitly “Christ”-less, “Gospel”-less, “Scripture”-less, and “Church”-less.  As a lexicographer, I have difficulty imagining how we might define anything as “Christian” without those foundational elements.  Indeed, the essay explicitly proposes that the “core values of our faith” involve the campus community maintaining “regular religious observances on campus, expectations of personal integrity and morality among students and staff and creating a campus culture where people genuinely care about one another.”  These “core values,” though, are so nebulous that Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Shintoists, Baha’is, or even Raelians could all say that they embrace them.  They are not distinctively Christian.  In fact, if one were to replace the words “Baptist / Christian” and “God” with “Baha’i” and “Divine Principle” in the essay’s second half, its meaning is essentially unchanged.

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

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