Monday, March 10, 2014

More Trouble at Bryan College

It seems that the latest Adam and Eve brouhaha at Bryan College may be the straw that has broken the camel's back.  The Chattanooga Times Free Press relates this:

The change has roiled the entire Dayton, Tenn., campus. In just the past three weeks:

• A trustee resigned over the issue.

• Faculty passed an overwhelming vote of no confidence in President Stephen Livesay.

• A tug-of-war has erupted over the school's future, prompting hundreds of students and alumni to voice their discontent with the recent change and causing faculty to stand up in unprecedented ways.
Apparently, the dissent has been building for some time and many are unhappy with his handling of many different issues, one of which involved the sweeping under the rug of a case involving a faculty member accused of sexual assault:
And in 2012, when biblical studies professor David Morgan was arrested on charges of attempted child molestation, Livesay told students and professors that Morgan had left the college "to pursue other opportunities." Then the president drew national attention for spiking a student newspaper story exposing the arrest.
These problems come at a time when Bryan is facing some serious financial challenges. The college was funding Todd Wood's CORE but cut funding for that over a year ago. Things have not looked up since.

In a letter to the student newspaper, the Triangle, former student Paul Gutacker wrote this:
To revise the Statement of Belief, and raise one Christian understanding of origins up to the same level as the resurrection and the atonement, is a move away from the best of Bryan’s legacy. Let me be more blunt: this revision is a devolution towards fundamentalism. To believe in young-earth creationism is not to be a fundamentalist; to exclude those who believe differently is. This move is defensive and fearful. It is not historically or theologically or hermeneutically warranted. But, you might say, what of the inevitable warnings of “slippery slope!” and “abandoning the clear teaching of scripture!”? These cries ring hollow in light of the thoughtful, careful reflections of hundreds of thoroughly orthodox, robustly evangelical scholars and pastors who acknowledge evolution and maintain their strong faith.
It is too early to see how this controversy is going to affect Bryan's future but the level of discord that it has produced is significant and painful to watch. Bryan College has much to offer the surrounding community and—as some who have graduated from there have attested—a well-rounded strong education. It would be a pity for that to be marred by the short-sighted and myopic actions of a few.

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