Tag Archives: Patrick Henery College

More God’s Next Army Discussion

It seems that I am not alone in being disturbed by God’s Next Army last night. Alongside debate in the Channel 4 forums, which includes a topic discussing the programme itself, plus a related discussion about Christians and politics. The forum also includes postings from more mainstream Christians concerned at the impression of Christianity that programmes such as God’s Next Army give to viewers.

There are a number of blogs that have posted on the subject. The Ship of Fools also has an interesting discussion, which as a Christian site starts from a slightly different standpoint.

In amongst all of these are some interesting gems – firstly there is this blog posting from a former fundamentalist Christian, who has some interesting comments:

These students almost universally had no idea how to learn (as opposed to how to be indoctinated), as they have been brought up in environments (including PHC) that discourage questioning and free thought, and reward blind obedience. How many of them even have any idea of the evolution and compilation of their own Bible? How many have even read it all through? To continue to believe in its infallibility when confronted with its numerous contradictions requires a special kind of unconsciousness.

Only an unconscious person could think that Jesus would approve of them opposing workers’ compensation for asbestosis because ot would be bad for big business. Only an unconscious person would believe that the man who rebuked his disciple for defending him by cutting off a soldier’s ear would approve of a gun-toting nation (they approve of a fully armed population).

She also makes a similar point to mine over the similarity of fundamentalist Christianity and fundamentalist Islam, but in a slightly more amusing a direct way… 😀

When fundamentalists of any type start spreading their thoughts on the evils of homosexuality, or the ‘Truth’ that only they hold, I want to get them, Muslims and Christians, and sit them facing eachother, then say, ‘look. That’s you that is.’

Having said that, reading through the discussions has also highlighted a recent article from Christianity Today which indicates that all is not well at Patrick Henry College. According to the article, almost a third of their full-time faculty members are leaving following a contentious debate over the interpretation of Scripture and academic freedom.

The problems stem from the academics wish to discuss ideas and to hold different beliefs from the college founder. One academic is quoted in the article as saying:

“We are put in a hard position. We’re told this is an open dialogue, but if you engage in open dialogue, you’re in trouble. It’s infuriating because you’re an academic and want to engage in ideas. He told me that a person of the Reformed position to which I hold cannot in good conscience sign the statement of faith. When I responded that I failed to see the discrepancy between the two, he replied, ‘I define the statement of faith.’â€?

Two other of the staff, both ruling elders in their respective Churches, published an article in the campus newsletter, arguing against the notion described in the programme that the Bible is the only source of truth. Their article started with the following:

“A common misconception among American evangelicals, and one that cannot be supported by the Scriptures themselves, is that the Bible is the only source of truth. We argue that this misconception amounts to a blasphemous denial of Christ’s words in Matthew 5 that ‘he sends rain on the just and the unjust.’â€?

Needless to say that produced a swift response from the college founder.

Certainly the whole article is well worth a read, and certainly worth considering in light of the blog posting I highlighted above that asks whether the students are learning or being indoctrinated.

If you missed the programme, Channel 4 are repeating it in the early hours of Saturday morning (3:50am on 10th June) – I would certainly recommend that it is worth watching.