When science overtakes dogma

Albert Mohler’s The Briefing goes on a long riff today about the effect of improved knowledge about sexuality upon Christian education.

The problem before seminaries, Christian universities, et. al., is that science has overtaken traditional Christian teaching and left them isolated and without a lot of prospective students. This problem is particularly acute in connection with sexuality, which is now known to be shaped chiefly before birth. Potential students know this, and aren’t interested in attending a school that refuses to acknowledge settled facts. Such schools face the same challenge in connection with with evolution and Creationism — which implicates the core doctrine of Original Sin.

What we are talking about is a direct challenge to the very idea of a genuinely Christian education and a genuinely evangelical institution, be it a college or a university or a seminary. And the language here is so important, I hope you caught it. He spoke of faculty who end up in Christian colleges. Well, that in itself is a huge problem.

The problem we’re talking about here is at least in large part the failure of administrators to hire rightly, for schools to be adequately confessional and convictional about their commitment to a biblical sexual morality, which only makes sense if you’re committed to the authority of Scripture, which only makes sense if you are committed to historic Christian Orthodox theology. And no faculty member should ever end up teaching on any of our campuses ever. Period. End up means they aren’t necessarily committed, but this is the job they settled for. End up means that sloppy and irresponsible evangelical academic administrators are hiring people on the basis of their resumes and what might be very impressive academic qualifications rather than on their theological convictions. If any evangelical institution has a faculty made up of people who “ended up” teaching there, you can count on the fact that that school has already ended up not being authentically Christian.


Christianity is untrue, the pious make-believe is not going to survive reality, and that’s all there is to it.

This is, ironically, a reprise of the issues that drove the so-called Conservative Resurgence, when the American Gothics were mobilized to seize control of the denomination from ‘liberal’ seminary professors and theologians who were seeking workarounds for Original Sin, for instance, in the face of certainty that the Adam and Eve tale is untrue. Pious Albert was one of the noisy, ruthless young agitators then, and there’s a sort of poetic justice that the identical problem is now confronting him — with the difference that his denomination is spiraling downward and he will undoubtedly witness the failure of a great many Christian schools of all types. So he had a hand in putting-off the baleful effects of reality just long enough to be one of those at the helm of his denomination when it can no longer be evaded.

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