Friday, November 12, 2004

That's My Alma Mater!

Its time for the game show...That's My Alma Mater!

This blurb was forwarded to me by my friend Josh. It apparently comes from the Associated Baptist Press wire:

Tennessee Baptists to investigate teaching at three colleges
By Greg Warner
SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (ABP) -- Tennessee Baptists turned back an attack on "anti-Christian" teaching in public schools but agreed to investigate the biblical views taught in their three affiliated Baptist colleges.
Messengers to the Tennessee Baptist Convention Nov. 9-10 in Sevierville asked the education committee of their Executive Board to investigate what is taught at Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Belmont University in Nashville and Union University in Jackson.
The action came in response to an allegation from a current Carson-Newman student, who told messengers some of the college's professors -- particularly in the religion and science departments -- teach viewpoints contrary to conservative views about the Bible, such as creationism.
During an unusual hour-and-a-half discussion, messengers debated if Carson-Newman teaches that the Bible is inspired and authoritative and that the Christian message of salvation is unique and exclusive.
A motion to investigate the teachings at Carson-Newman was expanded to include the other two convention-supported schools. Another amendment stipulated that the investigation should be done in conjunction with the schools' trustee boards.
Messengers, who heard responses from the presidents of Carson-Newman and Union, later agreed to wait on a report of the education committee before acting on the allegations. The committee will report to the Executive Board, then to the convention next year.
Each of the Baptist colleges is governed by a trustee board. Some critics worried the investigation would usurp the role of trustees.
"It bothers me that there is a scenario, a cloud, an inference that the trustees are not reliable or are not doing their job," said Bill Sherman, pastor of First Baptist Church of Fairview, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel.
David Dockery, president of Union University, told Associated Baptist Press he is not concerned the committee's investigation will interfere with the work of school's trustees "since the motion was to do it in conjunction with the trustees. If they were to do it by themselves, that would be problematic."
Dockery said Union's trustees would appoint a committee to respond to the motion. "We recognize our accountability to the Tennessee Baptist Convention and we will be happy to participate," he said.
Union is considered the most conservative of the three schools.
"We clearly affirm the full truthfulness of the Bible and believe in God the father, maker of heaven and earth, without apology," Dockery told ABP. While Union faculty members hold a variety of views about creation, he said, that does not include evolution.
Administrators at Belmont and Carson-Newman did not respond to requests from Associated Baptist Press for comment Nov. 12.
Also during the convention, a proposed resolution promoting Christian schools as an alternative to public education did not make it to the 1,700 messengers for debate. The resolutions committee declined to act on the proposal, which the committee chair said was "not wise."
The proposed resolution was not as strident as one rejected earlier this year by the Southern Baptist Convention -- part of a nationwide anti-schools campaign led by the group Exodus Mandate -- which urged Christians to remove their children from "anti-Christian" and "godless" public schools and put them in "thoroughly" Christian schools or educate them at home.
Supporters of the Exodus anti-schools resolution promised to seek its passage in at least 10 Baptist state conventions this fall.
The resolution introduced in Tennessee advocated Christian schools and home schooling but did not call for Christians to abandon pubic schools.
''I want to be positive in promoting Christian education,'' Larry Reagan of Dresden, who wrote the resolution, told the Associated Press. "I don't want the resolution to be portrayed as attacking public education."
Nonetheless, the resolutions committee decided not to introduce Reagan's softer version.

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