Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Openly Ridiculous

In the category of I can't believe it took this long, Dr. Sanders' dismissal from Huntington has been picked up and written about in Christianity Today, released as their main story in their e-mail update, in an article called "Open or Closed Case?". You have to love that the ridiculous nature of the situation is being accepted without question at this point:

"The issue, according to both Sanders and G. Blair Dowden, the college's president, is not Sanders' belief in open theology, but his notoriety in advocating the doctrine. "

That's right. Please read it again.

Is the issue that open theism is wrong?
"'Not at all,' Dowden said. 'We have some other faculty who are open theists, but they're not teaching theology or Bible. It's not a litmus test.'"

So, to make things clear, open theism is not the problem. The problem is that Dr. Sanders is teaching Bible and theology classes and that he is good at it. Oh, that's right, Dr. Sanders is not teaching theology or Bible! Let us not forget that the agreement reached over Sanders' tenure track was that he would only be teaching philosophy courses. So, the only thing that Dr. Sanders is being removed for is publishing in his field and doing it well enough that others are considering his perspective as necessary for debate.

I am trying to be sympathetic here with the administration. I respect Dr. Dowden for saying that Dr. Sanders has been a great asset to the college. Kudos to Joni Michaud for strong comments on her part. The article ends with a commentary on the post script to any good HC press release: the renaming of HC, the tuition freeze for next year but finally the US news and world report ranking of HC in the top whatever in the midwest. I have an could the US news and world report rank Huntington highly if they are dismissing their faculty for meeting the criteria for continued employment?


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