I’ve been watching the Bryan College saga unfold over the last two months. “CreationDebate Roils Christian University was put up by WND on March 9, and it points out that the college was named for William Jennings Bryan, the lawyer who defended the state in the “Scopes Monkey Trial” in 1925. He defended the Biblical account of, well, everything, and Bryan College was founded 84 years ago as an evangelical nondenominational institution.
As is typical of most universities/colleges except for those under the strictest of guidelines, rules, regulations, and oversight, it turned relatively liberal. While it was founded and still upholds a Christian Biblical world view, it turns out that – gasp! – many of the faculty and students held a more theistic evolution stance, where God is real, but so is science, and God is more the “ghost in the machine” who guides everything.
That didn’t sit none too well with some of the Administrators, who during that first week of March decided that the current Statement of Faith was not enough. The current statement says: “[We believe] 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; […]”
But on February 28, 2014, school officials told faculty members they had to sign a clarification to that statement which eliminates theistic involution: “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.”
Some point out that Answers in Genesis’ CEO may have had something to do with this, since he used Bryan college as an example of a Christian institution of, well, “learning” was compromising on “God’s word in Genesis.”
That wouldn’t be surprising, given the tenor of the over 200 WND comments, such as by “NatanElias” who wrote: “”The reality is that evolution is not a theory teetering on the edge of collapse.”
FALSE — it is being supported only by the desire of athiests, and it is a denial of Christ to side with them over the Scriptures.”
This is why I put “learning” in “quotes.”
But the bru-ha-ha (is that how you spell it?) is that the faculty and students are revolting. Not in that they don’t shower, but that they are saying, effectively, “Pres. Livesay, this is bulls–t.” As in, the entire faculty voted 30-2 for no-confidence in him and a petition drive gathered over 300 student signatures.
But, they don’t seem to be backing down. As WND copied via the AP on April 5, “Christian College to Lose Faculty Over Creationism Flap?” The 50 comments to this one seemed kinda boring and more philosophical or debating young-Earth creationism vs. not, so they didn’t seem worth copying over.
But, I don’t think this story is over. At least if Ken Ham has anything to say about it. He wrote on his AiG website that even that “clarification” statement isn’t enough, he’s demanding they go to young-Earth creationism. As Hemant noted on his blog (The Friendly Atheist, the above link), Mr. Ham used perhaps one of the most obvious examples of circular reasoning to make his argument: He quoted from the Bible, and then he wrote, “the above verses are enough for us to know with 100 percent certainty that Eve was created from Adam (and not through some previously existing animal), and that Adam was made from dust.” In other words, the Bible is true ’cause it says it is.
I guess we’ll see what happens.