RE: [asa] Luther Rice University Masters degrees (was: The image of God)

From: Dehler, Bernie <>
Date: Mon Oct 12 2009 - 10:48:25 EDT

"Does the description above seem to fit, in your opinion?"

The worst you might say, is the origins class where the 6 day recent creation is just assumed and defended, but not debated, and no other viewpoints seriously considered (such as OEC or TE). Evolution is simply denounced as atheistic. Nancy Pearcey's "Total Truth" book was one of the class books (which clearly shows her great fear of evolution being the 'universal acid' that dissolves everything godly). Other than that, most of it was standard Christian. I had three theology classes, and they seemed to favor three different texts (Ryrie, Thiessen, and Erickson). I really like the Erickson theology because it was very well balanced... it felt like a breath of fresh air to me. But when we write research papers, we can use whatever resources we want, and have to go looking for them. But the essays only respond to the questions asked, so if you don't want the student to think of certain things, you don't ask along those lines. Most students don't have too much time to go!
  beyond required reading anyway, esp. if they have a full time job like me.

I think maybe the only place you really need to have open mindedness is on origin's issues. The rest is fairly standard (Christology, Soteriology, etc.).

I appreciated the biology teaching in origins class; that seemed unique to me, as it was pure science. The instructor had some science training and seemed to know it well (much better than all the students, anyway, including me, who knew nothing of protein synthesis prior to this).

The best thing about that school is their prices. I asked them how they could be so cheap, and they said they compete with other Baptist schools that are able to give free tuition to their church members. This school is independent so they didn't have that luxury.


-----Original Message-----
From: Ted Davis []
Sent: Monday, October 12, 2009 6:36 AM
To: ASA; Dehler, Bernie
Subject: Re: [asa] Luther Rice University Masters degrees (was: The image of God)


You commented on your graduate studies at Luther Rice as follows:

*Master of Arts in Leadership (MAL)

Since mine was more general, it has a little of all the above topics, instead of focusing on one topic.

Interesting note: one of my most interesting classes was called "Origins and worldviews." It had a sharp YEC bent. But one really interesting thing was half the course was about learning modern biology from a modern biology textbook, esp. regarding DNA and protein synthesis. Their reason was because the super complex processes and micromachines point to God as creator. There was no discussion at all about pseudogenes, however (I had to do that on my own). Also, Denton was portrayed as a evolution denier. I believe this is part of the dishonest tactics that YEC's practice, unless my instructor truly was ignorant that Denton accepts evolution (common descent) for the biological creation of man.


Ted now comments.

As your final sentence implies, you did not necessarily receive a quality education in theology (and/or other disciplines) -- although I would not want to extrapolate too much from your experience in a single course for obvious reasons. In general, however, I have reservations about the educational philosophy of schools (seminaries, colleges, and Bible colleges) that are self-consciously "fundamentalist" in attitude. I don't know enough about Luther Rice to have a strong opinion about whether it falls into that category (the little I do know is consistent with such a conclusion, but I know very little). Many institutions of this sort proscribe viewpoints that fall outside of quite narrow boundaries; faculty hiring, course syllabi, and curricula are scrutinized for their "orthodoxy" on a variety of "litmus test" criteria that often have little or nothing to do with Christian orthodoxy in the usual sense. At such a school, it can be unusual to encounter alien ideas and ind!
 ividuals in anything other than a highly negative light; it would be bad for alumni to be able to criticize the school for encouraging too much exploration. I doubt that students at such institutions get much in the way of an education in theology, beyond what passes for it in "fundamentalist" circles.

As I say, Bernie, I'm unable to apply this to Luther Rice with much confidence. Does the description above seem to fit, in your opinion? Or, is it a broader institution in attitude and approach than the generic picture painted above?


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Received on Mon Oct 12 10:49:53 2009

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