Vol. 1, No. 3 November 1998
SO MUCH FOR ACADEMIC FREEDOM . . . !
In the early 1980s, while the Southern Baptist controversy was in its early stages, several pastors were invited to meet in Atlanta to try to discuss the differences that divided and threatened to destroy the convention. I was one of those in attendance.
I well remember our dialogue concerning the importance of academic freedom in the educational processes of our seminaries and colleges. I vividly remember what Adrian Rogers, a leader of the takeover movement, said at the meeting. Of Southern Baptist seminary professors, he said they must teach, "whatever they are told to teach. And if we tell them to teach that pickles have souls, then they must teach that pickles have souls!" Those were his exact words. Everybody in the room heard them.
Frankly, I thought he was joking, or at least exaggerating. Subsequent years, however, have proved that he was doing neither. Its not funny, and its no exaggeration. Southern Baptist seminary professors must now teach whatever they are told to teach.
So much for academic freedom.
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