Current mood: sleepy
Current music: Cold – Whatever You Became
Its enough to make one pessimistic. . .
This might be depressing. . .
Unless you’re already so disgusted you can’t be surrprised anymore. . .
I suppose my view that all academic writing is really intellectual imperialism might help me in such an environment.
Confessions of a Grieving Seminary Professor
by Thomas C. Oden
Lay persons are increasingly demanding the right to know why their parish pastors are so often going astray like lost sheep–with political indiscretions, sexual escapades, and ideological binges. I hate to be the bearer of rotten news, but after a lifetime of teaching in a tradition-deprived seminary ethos, I am nearly convinced that its present system is practically irreformable.
My hypothesis is: That form of education for ministry which has attached itself like a leech to modernity is dying as modernity dies. The seminary that weds itself to modernity is already a widow as we enter the era of post-modernity. Here is the dreary list of characteristic symptoms of rapid depreciation:
1. The tenure principle which was designed to protect academic freedom has become so exploited that it now protects academic license, absenteeism, incompetence, and at times moral turpitude. Once tenure is offered, it is virtually impossible to dismiss a professor. It requires many strata of grievance procedures before the tenured professor can even begin to be challenged, regardless of the offense.
Whenever the seminary faculty feels or imagines that it is being subjected to review by anyone, the battle-cry goes out: Safeguard academic freedom! Yes, the seminary has a duty to defend its faculty from unjust challenges that would inordinately invade the sanctuary of the classroom and dictate to faculty what they are to teach. I do not want the KKK or the neo-Nazi party to tell me what I should be teaching and the textbooks I should be using. But neither do I want liberal dogmatists or ideological advocates of someone’s ideas of political correctness to be dictating what textbooks I should be using.
It simply will no longer do for seminaries to continue avoiding dialogue with church constituencies by claiming that professors have the freedom to teach whatever they please. If they teach apostasy, the believing church has no moral obligation to give them support or to bless their follies.