21 May, 2010

The 2010 LCMS Convention & Higher Education

Readers of Renascentes Musae will be interested in checking out Pr. Roger Gallup's discussion of higher-ed. memorials and resolutions to the upcoming 2010 LCMS Convention. If you're a delegate, before you end up "Giving Away the Crown Jewels," have a close read; don't miss the follow-up discussion, either!


Bethany said...

I'm happy to have found your blog and look forward to future postings.

Bethany Kilcrease

Jon Bruss said...

Dear Bethany, glad you found it, too! Please have a look around and help keep the conversation alive.


Steve Gehrke said...

Hi Bethany, On the BJS thread there is heat generated over whether or not the Concordias offer a 'distinctively Lutheran education". However, I've not seen anyone define what that is. The debate on this point (as opposed to the bureaucratic organization of the Concordias) is focused on things such as whether they are sufficiently anti-evolution and sufficiently supportive of traditional sexual morality, and whether there are enough faculty who are Lutherans.

I think that what Jon and the others writing on this blog are trying to say is that a 'distinctively Lutheran education' is more than just having teachers in the classroom who attend a Lutheran church and upholding traditional church teaching if such topics happen to arise in the classroom.

For example, I happen to think that a Lutheran view of science goes much deeper than simply being anti-evolution. I find most of what is written and said on this topic is better aligned with Reformed theology than Lutheran theology (and beyond the fundamental questions associated with the necessity of asserting the historicity of the Fall and doctrines arising from, largely arises from Reformed theology [such as the inability to say 'we don't know']). Therefore, does teaching the "Answers in Genesis" version of the creation-evolution controversy make students more committed confessional Lutherans than teaching them theistic evolution, which seems to be the BJS debate? I'm inclined to say no, though I could be wrong. I don't want to open a debate on this topic here, I'm just stating that I don't see that kind of assessment occurring in Lutheran higher education. I think it would be necessary to have thought that through in order to claim that science courses in a Lutheran college are being taught in a 'distinctively' Lutheran fashion. I think Jon and others argue the same thing is true in all other academic subjects (science and engineering happen to be mine).


Anonymous said...


I actually agree with you that teaching evolution or not and the homosexuality debate doesn't have much to do with whether a college is distinctively Lutheran (i.e., many Evangelical colleges teach creationism and oppose homosexuality and that doesn't make them Lutheran). Distinctively Lutheran education would have to include an emphasis on the humanities (Melanchthon!) without shying away from the hard sciences (unlike the Reformed, we do think God uses material means and believe in secondary causation). It should also heavily emphasize the importance of vocation and thinking theologically throughout the various disciplines. It should probably include other things too, but those are what comes to mind at the moment. I do think that the number of Lutheran professors at an institution matters a great deal, however. It professors do not belong to the denominational affiliation of the school in question, then it will not continue to teach that tradition in any vibrant way.