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Academic Freedom?

Saturday, July 22, 2006

This article is particularly telling regarding the what is considered "academic freedom" today. (HT: Greg Linscott)

Notice the first few paragraphs:

The request seemed simple enough to the Rev. Hershael W. York, then the president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention. He asked Georgetown College, a small Baptist liberal arts institution here, to consider hiring for its religion department someone who would teach a literal interpretation of the Bible.

But to William H. Crouch Jr., the president of Georgetown, it was among the last straws in a struggle that had involved issues like who could be on the board of trustees and whether the college encouraged enough freedom of inquiry to qualify for a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.

Dr. Crouch and his trustees decided it was time to end the college’s 63-year affiliation with the religious denomination. “From my point of view, it was about academic freedom,’’ Dr. Crouch said. “I sat for 25 years and watched my denomination become much more narrow and, in terms of education, much more interested in indoctrination.’’

If the article is accurate, all the president of the KBC did was ask them to "consider" hiring someone who actually believes the Bible and the president of the college determined that this was an attack on academic freedom that could not be tolerated.

Wow! If he was truly interested in "freedom of inquiry" it would seem like it would have been a wise thing to think about hiring someone who actually had a different point of view than what was already there - wouldn't that be "diversity" and therefore to be highly valued among liberal educators?

The reality, of course, is that neither "diversity" nor "freedom of inquiry" is truly valued by the liberal crowd. What is valued is forcing their view down people's throats while not allowing the other viewpoints to be publicly espoused without ridicule or censure (see the vehemence demonstrated when people try to get a simple disclaimer added to evolutionary textbooks). The "diversity" and "freedom of inquiry" angles are only helpful when one is in the minority position and wants to force their views in against others. Now that the liberal view is in control in places like this, the values of "diversity" and "freedom of inquiry" are thrown out the window because they were not valued by the left for principled reasons, but rather for utilitarian reasons. Now that the pragmatic usefulness of these principles might be used by the other side, we find that the principles are thrown aside because these precious principles were not really valued in the first place.

Just my thoughts,


File under: Culture War

Charles Spurgeon on Music and Composition

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

In my study this afternoon, I came across this from Charles Spurgeon in his Treasury of David on Psalm 18. Considering the amount of discussion related to this around the Christian blogosphere, I thought I would add this to the discussion.

Being possessed of poetic genius, he served the Lord by composing this Psalm for the use of the Lord's house; and it is no mean work to conduct or to improve that delightful part of divine worship, the singing of the Lord's praises. Would that more musical and poetical ability were consecrated, and that our chief musicians were fit to be trusted with devout and spiritual psalmody. It should be observed that the words of this song were not composed with the view of gratifying the taste of men, but were spoken unto Jehovah. It were well if we had a more single eye to the honour of the Lord in our singing, and in all other hallowed exercises. That praise is little worth which is not directed solely and heartily to the Lord.

Just Spurgeon's thoughts,


A Poem from Carol Lewis

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Last week, as we prepared to leave for our Vacation to Williamsburg, my mother-in-law wrote a poem for us to leave for our guests while we were gone. (Pastor and Mrs. Terry Smith stayed in our house for the weekend as he came down to preach to the folks at Fellowship Baptist Church while we were away.)

If you have small children (in particular), perhaps you may appreciate this poem from my mother-in-law.

You might find some tiny handprints upon my window panes
and probably on the rug there are many sorts of stains.
There even just might be a toy not in the proper place.
Most of the time, I am afraid, that's usually the case

I really could spend all my time to make this house superb.
My garden could be beautiful and full of growing herbs.
I could work here in my house and capture every speck of dust
and if my children touch a thing, I could make an awful fuss

But I think that while I dust, and sweep, and keep ahead of dirt
the Lord would want me to remember, each tugging at my skirt
For He's the one who blessed me with each hungry little face
and I have my loving home because of His amazing grace

So if you find a sock inside of something other than a shoe
or if there is a jelly stain upon my carpet too
I probably was outside that day enjoying God's little gifts
six healthy pairs of hands and feet ..three faces I can kiss.

May I always make the time to show them all of God's great love,
to pray with them on bended knee, to Jesus up above
To lead them to a greater life that someday we will share
within a perfect heavenly home, beautiful and fair.

Sometimes the house takes second place, tis not always spic & span
but I pray that in our home is seen the working of God's hand.

*Written by Carol Lewis (Missy's Mom) - July 6, 2006

Vacation in Williamsburg

Last week, my family and I had the opportunity to spend a week in Williamsburg, Virginia for our vacation. We had a great time. Being a history buff, I especially enjoyed the time in Colonial Williamsburg and visiting the historic sites of this past capital of Virginia.

The days can get pretty warm there and it is pretty rough on younger children to spend all day at the place, so we tend to generally take in things in "chunks" instead - in other words, go a few hours at time and then go swimming or something else. We did spend a couple of longer days on Monday and Friday, but overall we had a great time. The children really enjoy the activities at the end of the day, as they are generally military in nature and include the marching and the fife and drums and some type of shooting.

On Friday, Josiah and I had the opportunity to sit on some re-enactments of some actual items before the court of that day. We were seated in the jury (although none of the items on the docket were actually jury trials) and we able to see how various types of issues may have been resolved in that day.

I found the petitioning of the court for permission to have a Presbyterian Meeting House to be particularly interesting. The Chief Judge reminded the petitioner that, while they could have a meeting house due to the Act of Toleration, there were some things they could not do - such as have meetings and night and proselytize. It is important to remember, of course, that there was a "State Church" at this time in Virginia, as the Anglican Church was the official church. The concern for prosolytizing (or "fishing" as the judge also called it) was because they may take members away from the official state church. Today, we are finding an increased objection to "proselytizing" as well, and I wonder if at least part of that objection has to do with the fact that in witnessing, we may be seeing fruit among those who are part of our nation's current (but unofficial) state religion - radical secular humanism.

Just my thoughts,


Vacation Bible School Comments

Friday, July 07, 2006

Each Sunday, the back page of our church bulletin includes some "Notes from the Pastor's Pen." This is copied from the Notes from Pastor's Pen that was on Sunday's Bulletin.

Wow! What a week!

This past week, we held our first-ever Vacation Bible School here at Fellowship Baptist Church and I believe that things went pretty well and that God blessed the VBS in a great way. How did God bless us? Let me count some of the ways.

1. God blessed us with a good turn-out.

Considering that this is the first time we have ever held VBS, I believe that having in the mid-20s every day was a good turn-out considering the size of our church and the number of children we start with as a church.

2. God blessed us with a good crew.
It was exciting for me, as Pastor, to see the dedication and talents that God has given to our small assembly. From teaching to snacks and everywhere in between, people were ready, willing, faithful, and available to help this week. I had originally thought we would need to bring on some "outside help" for the week, but God was already preparing people in our own church for the tasks at hand.

3. God blessed us with "smooth sailing"
While not everything went exactly as desired, as a general rule everything went pretty well. There we no major areas of disturbances or difficulties.

4. God blessed us with one profession of faith.
We know that Isaiah tells us that God's Word will not return void, so we know that whether there are visible or numerical results, God is accomplishing His will as His word goes out, but it was especially neat to see one young child make a profession of faith during the week.

There are many other areas of God's blessing that were obvious during the week that space will not permit me to discuss here. It is exciting to be able to see God work and it is exciting to be able to serve God. Praise God for a good Vacation Bible School!