Re: history please

Murphy (
Wed, 26 Feb 1997 12:24:26 -0500

Paul Arveson wrote:
> All my Christian life I've heard about this 'takeover' of the seminaries.
> At this point I would like some historian to describe this process
> without using any military metaphors. How did this happen? Was it
> like the Scopes trial, where the conservatives were found to be wanting
> in knowledge and scholarship, merely supported by popular opinion?
> Were there debates or discussions about the big issues? Were there
> committees making policy statements and votes? Was all this done
> behind peoples' backs, so to speak? Is there any documentation of
> the actual history and statistical trends in the denominations?
> All I've heard of an analysis is Schaeffer's famous comment that
> "presuppositional apologetics would have stopped the decay."
> Is there a book in print about all this?

Another consideration perhaps too horrible to contemplate:
Maybe the "takeover" wasn't all bad!
I am not a liberal (to paraphrase R. Nixon), & I recognize that
some of the ideas that get lumped together as "liberalism" have done a
lot of damage to the Church. Liberal beliefs (or non-beliefs) about
christology & the authority of Scripture have been disastrous. At the
same time, the removal of all "liberal" influences would have us all
being YECs & thinking that the 4 gospels are the day-to-day diaries of
Jesus' disciples. Some might be happy with that. I think it would be
In my own Lutheran tradition, I have a certain nuanced respect
for the Wisconsin Synod. There is not the slightest trace of liberalism
there. It is stauch old confessional Lutheranism which has worked out
the single correct answer to all theological questions. But they are
like people in a time warp, stuck forever in 1580. I think we have
learned some things, both in science & in theology, since then.
George Murphy