Liberty vs. Baylor

If you aren’t in the loop on issues in the Christian academic world, you may be interested to learn that earlier this week Ken Starr–yes, the Ken Starr of the Clinton era–was selected as the 14th president of Baylor University. This is interesting on a couple of notes:

1) I’m applying to Baylor–going there for PhD interviews, actually.
2) Many Baylor alums that I’ve seen online and/or know personally have been frustrated with this decision simply because he’s a polarizing figure. Especially because Baylor shows the potential to be a more academic, moderate Baptist university and because Starr isn’t event Baptist.
3) Part of why he was probably chosen is that he’s been great for fundraising during his stint as director of Pepperdine’s law school. Baylor’s trying to grow their endowment from 1-something billion to 2 billion by 2012, and Starr may help… but he also increase the % of more conservative cash coming in, which could threaten Baylor’s integrity as a more moderate evangelical school.

The direction Baylor seems to have taken have scared some alums (on one forum I was reading) to the point of wondering if Baylor could become a new Liberty! Which struck me as going rather too far. Even if Starr makes Baylor a bit more conservative, I find this notion entirely unrealistic, and therefore, even slightly amusing.

So in honor of Liberty University (Lord bless them…), I thought I’d share with you one deliciously appalling piece of their list of their distinctive qualities, for your amusement:

An uncompromising doctrinal statement, based upon an inerrant Bible, a Christian worldview beginning with belief in biblical Creationism, an eschatological belief in the pre-millennial, pre-tribulational coming of Christ for all of His Church, dedication to world evangelization, an absolute repudiation of “political correctness,” a strong commitment to political conservatism, total rejection of socialism, and firm support for America’s economic system of free enterprise.

I hope to goodness there will never be another Liberty–and I definitely don’t think Baylor could ever go that far. ;o)

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