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What do you think about college statements of faith?

Education

Should Christian colleges have statements of faith? If so, should only professors and administrators sign them, or should students be required to sign them as well?

I’ll offer my own opinions on the matter in a future WORLD article, but before publishing them I’d like to hear from you about who should have to sign, and what the statements should contain. To give you some specific detail to munch on, here are links to a dozen statements:

Some colleges deal with particular cultural flash points in their statements or addenda. For example, Covenant notes, “We strongly oppose abortion since it devalues and destroys human life.” Patrick Henry states, “Human sexuality is a great blessing created by God to be enjoyed within the context of a monogamous marriage between a man and a woman; any sexual conduct outside the parameters of marriage is sin.”

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Others refer to theological distinctives of particular Christian branches. Liberty says, “We affirm that the return of Christ for all believers is imminent. It will be followed by seven years of great tribulation, and then the coming of Christ to establish His earthly kingdom for a thousand years.”

Some deal with the creation/evolution debate. Biola states, “The existence and nature of the creation is due to the direct miraculous power of God. The origin of the universe, the origin of life, the origin of kinds of living things, and the origin of humans cannot be explained adequately apart from reference to that intelligent exercise of power. A proper understanding of science does not require that all phenomena in nature must be explained solely by reference to physical events, laws and chance.”

The statement continues, “Creation models which seek to harmonize science and the Bible should maintain at least the following: (a) God providentially directs His creation, (b) He specially intervened in at least the above-mentioned points in the creation process, and (c) God specially created Adam and Eve (Adam’s body from non-living material, and his spiritual nature immediately from God). Inadequate origin models hold that (a) God never directly intervened in creating nature and/or (b) humans share a common physical ancestry with earlier life forms.”

Apologies for past misfeasance are rare. That of Bob Jones may be the most poignant: “For almost two centuries American Christianity, including BJU in its early stages, was characterized by the segregationist ethos of American culture. Consequently, for far too long, we allowed institutional policies regarding race to be shaped more directly by that ethos than by the principles and precepts of the Scriptures. We conformed to the culture rather than providing a clear Christian counterpoint to it. In so doing, we failed to accurately represent the Lord and to fulfill the commandment to love others as ourselves. For these failures we are profoundly sorry.”

Should statements include policies on cultural and Christian battles, past sins and errors, and eschatological debates? How high or low on the ladder of abstraction should they be? Please comment below or email me at marvinola@yahoo.com.

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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