Thursday, March 13, 2008

Save our seminary

Some have drawn my attention to Although at some level I empathize with what these believers would like to see happen in conservative seminaries across the United States and especially in the one they graduated from, I'd be understating the matter if I said I think it's too little too late. The time for this might have been 8-10 years ago or at least before the decision was made to expand the library. That date would put me still in college (not in a position to save much of anything, much less an 80 year old theological seminary), which suggests to me again that this may very well be a generational affair.

Inerrancy debates may seem like they are primarily about doctrine, but many times they are just as much about finances, finances that the older generation crucially depends on, battles that the older generation has financial interests in. If WTS's chief donors happen to be inerrantists and the school is almost entirely dependent on its donors for cash flow, then WTS would be foolish not to do what it is that they're doing to the faculty presently, especially if they want to keep its doors open: make sure that everyone on faculty understands inerrancy in the same terms that WTS's donors understand it (and it doesn't hurt to call that perspective the perspective of the WCF for rhetorical leverage). Perhaps then we should not petition to "save our seminary" but rather to "change the perspectives of the donors." (And good luck doing that!) I'm not sure the public will ever fully know just how many hands are tied at WTS, helpless to do anything at all. It's rarely about petition or no petition, it's more about paycheck or no paycheck.

If the petitioners are really interested in saving their seminary, they ought rather to set out to literally buy it back ($$$).