Friday, June 11, 2010

As the seminaries go...

The new direction of the Clarmont School of Theology, a United Methodist institution, demonstrates once again how theological liberalism inevitably leads to apostasy. This is one of the reasons why many of us are sticklers for detail when it comes to doctrine. The first reason is that love for and faithfulness to God demands holding firm to His Word. But secondly, when the tent of acceptable doctrine becomes broader than the Scriptures allow then ruin is sure to follow.

Al Mohler comments:

The leftward march of liberal Protestantism is hardly news, but on occasion a development arises that serves as something of a parable of that trajectory. Such is the case this week with news from California that the Claremont School of Theology, a school historically related to the United Methodist Church, is transforming itself into a multifaith center for the training of clergy.

In a press conference held on June 9, leaders of the school formally announced the “University Project,” which will involve the addition of programs to train Muslim imams and Jewish rabbis. Programs to train Buddhist and Hindu religious leaders are to be added in the future.

The school’s Board of Trustees voted back in 2008 to inaugurate the program. A statement from the school explains that this vote “set in motion the University Project as a means to rethink classical models of theological education in an effort to promote interreligious cooperation and ethical integrity in the training of religious leaders for a variety of religious traditions, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and others.”

David Roozen of the Institute for Religion Research at Hartford Theological Seminary told The Los Angeles Times that Claremont’s plan is “really kind of a creative, bold move.” He also suggested that liberal Protestants have been moving toward more expansive multifaith dialogue — a dialogue he described as on a continuum alongside race, gender, and sexual orientation. “Multifaith is the new ‘other,’” he told the paper. “It’s kind of the next step.”

The next step toward what? In a sense, the announcement from Claremont is indeed just a “next step” along a leftward progression set decades ago. Liberal Protestantism long ago grew embarrassed by the exclusive claims of biblical Christianity and the historic Christian faith. Adopting pluralist and inclusivist reconstructions of the faith, liberal theologians and theological schools have been pressing the margins for over a century now. Given that trajectory, a multifaith theological seminary was an inevitability — the only question was when and where it would happen.

Read the entire article HERE.

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