Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Fuller Seminary, World Magazine, and Evangelical Naïvete

Casablanca is my favorite movie. It's mostly because of the cynical idealism, but I also like all the great lines. One of those great lines occurs after the German officer orders the French prefect of police, Captain Renault, to shut down Rick's (Humphrey Bogart) Café Americain, trumping up false charges if necessary. The corrupt Renault immediately follows orders, and Rick protests:
Rick: How can you close me up? On what grounds?
Captain Renault: I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
[The casino operator hands Renault a wad of money.]
Casino operator: Your winnings, sir.
Captain Renault: [aside] Oh, thank you very much.
Captain Renault: [aloud] Everybody out at once!
On that note, I'll reproduce here the letter that I wrote last night to the World Magazine editors in response to its article, "Relativism at Fuller" [subscription now required]. This article exposes accepting attitudes toward homosexuality in seminary classrooms and bewails the abandonment of biblical authority. I'm glad World published the article. I just don't get its tone of surprise.
Dear Editor,

I'm shocked . . . shocked! to hear that Fuller Seminary fails to uphold the Bible as our final authority. Thanks for the article, but seriously, is this news? George Marsden already told this story almost twenty years ago in Reforming Fundamentalism, his sympathetic history of Fuller that was commissioned by the seminary itself. Why is it that we are so slow to expose relativism in "evangelical" institutions until the acceptance of homosexuality offends our sensibilities?

1 comment:

Peter D. Nelson said...

What I'm shocked is the idea that anyone under the age of forty (and I'm being real generous here) would recognize a Bogey Movie quote.

As for Fuller yeah I'm shocked too. }:^{)>