Censorship or Intolerance?

5 09 2007

I remember well when the movie “The Last Temptation of Christ” was removed from the library at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.  The calls of censorship rang from the rafters of academia.  When Dr. Lewis Drummond became the first conservative at SEBTS he asked Dr. Billy Graham to preach the inaugural sermon.  As a young Christian I literally witnessed seminary students, supposedly called by God, protest Dr. Billy Graham speaking in a chapel service.  Then, some of these same students, placed yellow dye in the fountain in protest of the faculty that left and were then replaced by the incoming administration.

Why tell  about this incident?  It was during this time that I heard about conservatives being intolerant views they did not agree with and they would censor debate.  Well, after reading this article here, my call is to Baylor University.  Notice the current news at Associated Baptist Press here. Evidently it is not newsworthy at Baylor either see here.  It just does not seem to be newsworthy.  In this Baptist Forum there seems to be more concern over a church serving theology on tap and endorsed by a fundamental, or a group of conservative pastor-bloggers blogging under the name SBC Today, than there is in the shutting down of academic freedom.

Where is the outrage at the censorship taking place in academia?  Where is the call to the accrediting agencies about this undoubtedly open expression of intolerance and the shutting down of academic freedom?  We are not speaking about a professor that has lied about his credentials and is imposing fundamental landmarker beliefs in a leading liberal divinity school.  We are seeing the censorship of a world-class expert in the field of evolutionary computing.

My only question is this.  Where is the outrage in the academy?



24 responses to “Censorship or Intolerance?”

5 09 2007
Bart Barber (21:42:23) :

No worries, Tim. I hear that there are vigilant Baptist bloggers at work in the SBC, ever on the lookout for missteps at academic institutions. They loathe heavy-handed administrators. They pounce upon “more bad PR” at Baptist schools. I’m sure that their exposé stories will come out any day now.

Just be patient.

5 09 2007
joerstewart (22:20:57) :

I’m sure a letter and four page questionnaire is in the mail.

5 09 2007
Big Daddy Weave (22:22:51) :

Slow down Tiny Tim,

Kudos to Baptist Press for breaking the story. They needed this. BP doesn’t exactly break many stories these days….

ABP runs a 3-person virtual office? Cut ‘em some slack. I didn’t hear about this until um very recently. Ya gotta cut the fine folks at BaptistLife.com some slack. They never break stories. It’s not what we do over there….

I, however, am not scared to criticize the moderate or the fundamentalist. I’ve done it many times before. But, I do have a sort-of unspoken rule that I try to avoid at all costs any mention of Baylor politics on my blog. I do that for various (obvious) reasons.

I may break that rule and have something to say soon here but not on my blog.

5 09 2007
Big Daddy Weave (22:50:08) :


This whole story is rather convoluted. A more appropriate title would have been “Interview with William Dembski.” That’s precise what this is….

Where is the other side to the story? BP let Dembski rant and rave for most of the article. The storyline is based on Dembski’s timeline. That in and of itself is ridiculous.

Dembski hates Baylor. In fact, he parodied our President just a few weeks ago. That’s public knowledge. Baylor’s contentious relationship with Dembski has been going on for several years now. Is this really about academic freedom? Or is it about Baylor not wanting to be associated in any way, shape or form with William Dembski? Clearly, Baylor has made its position known concerning the world-renowned Intelligent Design proponent who works at where now? A seminary?

6 09 2007
Tim Rogers (05:37:41) :

Brother BDW,

I have not tried to “tip toe through the tulips” before, and thus certainly will not begin when it comes to exposing the apparent inconsistencies at a moderate school. Certainly you would be correct at pointing to my bias in this exposure of inconsistency. Certainly you may point to Dr. Dembski’s seemingly loathsome attitude toward Baylor and question the article centering around and quoting him in his presentation of the time line. I would agree with you that it does seem odd for BP to do the story on Dr. Marks and quote Dr. Dembski. However, isn’t Dr. Marks still employed at Baylor? For Dr. Marks to speak out about this issue, would it not place his position on the faculty in jeopardy? You may respond to this last question with No. But, this same type of Intolerance/Censorship issue happened to Dr. Dembski while he was at Baylor. He was forced out because his academic freedom was violated by who? Those that proclaim academic freedom.

As to Dr. Dembski being employed by SWBTS. I am certain this seminary that has been accused of nepotism in the past can use a world-class scholar in order to overcome that kind of falsified, loose-canon charge.

As to Baptist Life. I am not saying that you all are story breakers. However, it is strangely silent over there. Of course it is 6;30am on Thursday and I saw this story on BP in their Wednesday end of day edition. I have yet to check this am. But hasn’t the Baptist Life forum been critical of BP press coverage? Are you not the ones that claim BP is not really a news organization, but a Public Relations arm for the SBC?

Action figure Aaron, I believe you guys are caught with your proverbial pants down on this one. :>)


6 09 2007
volfan007 (09:39:09) :


what’s really sad is that a supposed baptist school would not want to be associated with intelligent design. that’s the real travesty here. that they would look upon protecting baylor u. as not being associated with i.d. that’s very, very sad….pathetic.

also, tim, i have found your statement about moderates and liberals being more intolerant than conservatives to be very true. i have seen the so called “tolerant crusaders” called liberals and moderates be very intolerant of those who hold to conservative views in many areas of life. i found it to be very true of the secular, public university that i graduated from. they were very intolerant of a conservative christian.


6 09 2007
Tim Rogers (11:32:43) :

Brother David,

You are correct. I went to a moderate Baptist University and you should have seen the way they treated the Admissions Director from SEBTS. I was shocked and embarrassed.


6 09 2007
Big Daddy Weave (12:58:23) :


A few thoughts:

BP describes the story as a personal website. “Personal” suggests that the Baylor professor is the proprietor of that site. Hosted on Baylor’s server, the website isn’t exactly “personal.”

Is academic freedom being suppressed if Baylor doesn’t want it’s name attached to a Intelligent Design lab. Baylor killed the first ID institute (Michael Polanyi Center). Grant money was returned because Baylor didn’t want its name attached to Dembski. Baylor - the institution - has washed its hands of William Dembski. Suppression of Academic freedom? No.

All sides here at Baylor (and Baylor’s past with Dembski) know that his tenure here is much much more complicated than how BP depicts it. Look up the word collegial in the dictionary. You definitely won’t find a picture of William Dembski. Ask any SBC seminary prof - collegiality is pretty darn important.

Tim, Marks is a distinguished professor. Short of cursing the President and Administration, Marks can say whatever he wants. He can research whatever he wants AND keep his job.

Great for SWBTS. But why would someone like Dembski choose to do his post-doc research at a seminary? That’s a BIG step backward. I suspect his inability to play nice with others has limited his job opportunities. The guy is barely 47 years old. HOw many other mathematicians does SWBTS have on staff? :-)

Give BL.com a break. As for all juicy Baptist news, William Thornton and myself do most of the thread starting. Like I said, I avoid Baylor on my blog and at BL.com. William will find the story I bet. He normally does. And good conversations normally ensue from his threads.

I won’t argue with David. He knows nothing of the academic world. But, Intelligent Design is not science. It hasn’t been peer reviewed. Until the day it is - Baylor will continue teaching and promoting peer-reviewed science. Is it so hard to stomach the idea that most don’t find stealth creationism to be very compelling?

But I do give credit to BP News. The article is far from perfect but nothing about Dembski has landed on BaylorFans.com or in the Baylor Lariat. I think that shows just how many people here read BPNews on a daily basis…..

6 09 2007
volfan007 (13:54:18) :

big daddy,

who says that i dont know anything about the academic world? how do you know that?

also, intelligent design is just as scientific as the evolutionists theories. what’s so scientific about big bang? or, monkies turning into humans? where’s the proof? there aint none! that aint good english, i know, but there still aint none! it’s all somebody’s intellectual guess. and, i would submit that it takes more faith to believe in evolution, than it does to believe in creation.

anyway, all us ignorant fundies in tn just believe that God created the world in 6 literal days….and we dont really have a problem with it. big daddy, your ancestor may have been a monkey, but mine aint. i aint no monkey’s uncle! :)


6 09 2007
volfan007 (14:06:07) :

also, let me tell you about new orleans baptist seminary back in either the late 60’s or early 70’s. a prof. of mine from mid america was teaching at nobts back then, dr. roy beamon. he said that the whole ot dept. believed in the jedp theory at that time. and, they had an evolutionist come and share his thoughts about said subject. dr. beamon objected to him coming, and then he asked the man some questions which disproves the evolution theory. he was told that he embarrassed the whole seminary by the pres. at that time because he asked some questions that stumped the scientist. they were embarrassed! instead of hoooo raying dr. beamon! i dont think that dr. beamon felt like his view was being tolerated very much.

and now, we read this about baylor.

also, i had a history prof. lower my grade a whole letter grade at utm because i answered his question: would the reformation still have happened if martin luther had died in childbirth? ……and, i answered with all the answers about the situation and circumstances of that day…like he wanted. but then, i added that i personally believe that the reformation would have happened because God would have raised someone else up to lead it if martin luther had died in childbirth. i was called into this prof.’s office and told to either strike that out, or else i would receive a letter grade lower for the course. he was very tolerant, wasnt he? :) but, i told him that i had given him the answers that he wanted us to give, and i had given him what i really think….both. i refused to change my answer. he gave me a letter grade lower. so much for tolerance in the academic world.


6 09 2007
Big Daddy Weave (14:22:59) :


I think you’ve proven my point.

It’s not peer-reviewed!

You can’t argue with that. All science must be peer-reviewed. Until it is (and thus far it has not been) - Intelligent Design is not “scientific” as you say.

And anti-IDers like myself do believe God created the world as well Volfan - whether in a literal 6 days or not, I don’t care.

6 09 2007
cb scott (16:57:15) :

Big Daddy Weave,

Intelligent Design does not have to be peer-reviewed. It is within the eternal decrees of God for all design of Creation to be from His intelligence. ID is a biblical truth.

Often you say things I greatly agree with on these blogs, like when you put Richard Land in his pompous place. In this thread you do not sound like a moderate of any stripe old or new. In this thread you sound like an old line Virginia liberal.

God took nothing plus nothing and created all of existence in six twenty-four hour periods.

Now, please be careful not to say of me that which you did of Vol. I have spent more time in the academy than you have on the earth, yet I am far less civilized than Vol and I am known as a master tracker be it urban, suburban, forest, wilderness or jungle. Of course, I did not learn that in the academy. :-)

Just raggin’ on you with that last statement. Don’t call the Baylor Bear out after me. :-)


6 09 2007
Big Daddy Weave (17:50:20) :

“It is within the eternal decrees of God for all design of Creation to be from His intelligence. ID is a biblical truth.”

And I agree. What Christian wouldn’t agree with that statement? Heck, a true Virginia liberal like Thomas Jefferson of the 18th century would affirm that statement.

I have absolutely no problem with a theory of “Intelligent Design” being taught in the classroom at a private university such as Baylor. I am POSITIVE that ID texts are required reading in more than one course at Baylor. But ID should be taught in the philosophy department or the religion department or even in a graduate level math course.

But you can’t wrap a new form of creationism up in a pretty dress and call her science. I’m no scientist. But I do know that the field of science has rules that regulate scientific inquiry. Rule #1 demands that Intelligent Design be peer-reviewed. The failure of ID proponents to follow the procedures of scientific discourse and their failure to submit work to the scientific community that withstands scrutiny have weighed against intelligent design being considered valid science. Thus far, the ID movement has failed to have one article published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Some say that peer-review is possible down the road. But until it is - you can’t teach Intelligent Design as science. By the way, Dembski and others reject the notion that Intelligent Design is Creationism or is a Biblical argument. They argue that ID is simply a modern form of the traditional teleological argument for the existence of God. But this argument is modified to avoid specifying the nature or identity of the designer.

I’m no evolutionist. And I’m not tied to theistic evolution. But even private Christian universities that are training future biogists must teach the accepted (peer-reviewed) theories of science. Baylor has been doing so for decades. But a person of real faith doesn’t need a scientist or textbook to explain the origins of life and the world. I observe the world that I live in and then read my Bible. For me at least, it’s impossible to doubt the existence of our Creator.

Now, place nice CB. I am friends with Bruiser the Bear ya know. :-)

6 09 2007
Tim Rogers (18:02:41) :

Brother BDW,

Let me begin by saying; you have fallen into it. :>) Seriously, let me address your concerns.

First you say that ID has not been “peer reviewed”, whatever that means. According to this article;
ID proponents challenged, not only evolution as a theory, but the scientific theory that that evolution is based on. Also according to this resolution;
ID does not stand a chance of becoming “peer reviewed”.

Second, as to Dr. Dembski taking a “step back” to teach at a [sic] seminary. Please note his credentials;
* Ph.D. philosophy University of Illinois at Chicago (1996).
* MDiv. Princeton Theological Seminary (1996).
* M.A. philosophy University of Illinois at Chicago (1993).
* Ph.D. mathematics University of Chicago (1988).
* S.M. mathematics University of Chicago (1985).
* M.S. statistics University of Illinois at Chicago (1983).
* B.A. psychology University of Illinois at Chicago (1981).
I believe he is qualified to teach in the Theology Department at any seminary. Also, if being a mathematician disqualifies one from teaching Philosophy or Theology, I imagine that you must dismiss the works of Filippo Brunelleschi, Rudolf Carnap, Jürgen Moltmann, and my favorite Cogito ergo sum–Rene Decartes. While Dr. Dembski has stepped out of mainstream academia, he certainly has not taken a step back by following the call of God on his life.

As to BL.com I will give you a break on that one. But do not let me come over there and see you raging on BP about their inability to break news stories. :>)

One other thing. The following course description:

2380 Meal Management
Prerequisite(s): FCS 1301, 2351, or consent of instructor. Management of meal planning, preparation, and service. Emphasis on equipment usage and maintenance; time, money nutrient management. (2-2) Isn’t this the same program they are teaching at SWBTC that you and others have castigated as irrelevant to today’s society? Of course SWBTC is a peer reviewed science.

Of course you say that ID is “stealth creationism”. Isn’t creationism not peer-reviewed?


6 09 2007
Tim Rogers (18:20:38) :

Brother BDW,

You and I must have been writing over each other. In your response to Brother CB you have said; “The failure of ID proponents to follow the procedures of scientific discourse and their failure to submit work to the scientific community that withstands scrutiny have weighed against intelligent design being considered valid science.” In the article I linked you to above the article states, “We are reviewing editorial policies to ensure that the goals of the Society, as reflected in its journal, are clearly understood by all.” This statement makes it appear that the only paper on ID that came before the AAAS was from Dr. Stephen Meyer, whose credentials come from Cambridge, was judged by standards that were not clearly spelled out. What were those standards? One will never know. There has been no other ID position reviewed. Of course as long as the academy never reviews ID then ID will not pass peer-review muster.


6 09 2007
Quinn Hooks (20:55:07) :

My sister-in-law was there at SEBTS that day and was an eyewitness to the protesters spitting on Billy Graham. She was also hit by errant spit that missed Dr. Graham and Dr. Drummond. I do not think this is showing “goodwill” or following the “golden rule.” Rather it shows the intolerance of this group to opinions that differ from theirs.

6 09 2007
cb scott (21:05:04) :

Big Daddy Weave,

Why did you not say what you said in your last comment in your first comment?

I knew that shot about a VA liberal would stir you to your peak performance. I know you are not one, but I also know you know a few. I thought that might cause you to throw a quart of Valvoline in your motor and come charging down the track.


I realize Big Daddy is not a card carrying hot blooded conservative like us, (he calls himself a moderate, but he says he believes the Scripture and I believe he does) but he has made some very good points here.

Frankly, why should we care what a rather new concept says? We both know God created the whole thing in six twenty-four hour day because God told Moses to tell us so. End of story. ID or CD? one you can cash and the other we can fight about. Lets cash the CD and go fight with each other over the worth of the BF&M. Big Daddy, you come join us. Wes has put up the perfect post to fight over.:-) Of course we could just fight some more about it right here:-)


6 09 2007
cb scott (21:09:00) :


When Dr. Patterson came they had mock funerals saying they were burying the seminary. It was something to see. Finally all the Sodomites left and Dr. Patterson was able to lead SEBTS to become a great seminary.


7 09 2007
Quinn Hooks (00:25:19) :

Oh, and let’s not forget the comment made in the pulpit by one noted liberal pastor in Wake Forest who claimed the spirit of the Anti-Christ had descended upon SEBTS. “Truth in Crisis” is an excellent read. :)

7 09 2007
Tim Rogers (05:33:36) :

Brother Quinn,

I had forgotten about the spitting contest. I will never forget that time as long as I live. 9/11/88 was the date I got saved. The inauguration was, I believe October 1988. I was still a young Christian and man did these kinds of antics make sense to me. I remember thinking that the people in the bars I was saved out of were much nicer. They would throw beer on you, steal you girl from you, call you names, but never spit on you. If they did spit on you, they certainly knew they had just signed their death certificate.

As to the leading pastor in Wake Forest. I grew up between Youngsville/Louisburg, Bunn, & Wake Forest. The preachers in that area were not able to say much stuff like that. The church members were mainly conservative and the preachers were using double-speak to preach their sermons.

Brother CB,

I did not know being close friends with the Baylor Bear could put such fear in one. Especially you! I have never known you to be afraid of anything. But now I know that Bruise the Bear and BDW’s threat to sic him on you has got you with your tail tucked. :>)

As far as Brother BDW believing the Scriptures, I have never doubted his belief in the Scripture. However, he is still a moderate. He accepts and understands the definition of a moderate. It is his ecumenical temperament that places him in the moderate camp.

To the ID part of your answer. It is only a matter of time before ID will be peer-reviewed. From the links in my response above you will see that the “scientific academy” has only reviewed one paper dealing with ID. I am not arguing over whether Adam and Eve had a belly button or not. ID, while proven by Scritpure, is philosophical in nature. That is where it does not pass muster for science. However, so is evolution. Many leading botanist today accept a designer for the universe as well as a majority of physicists.


7 09 2007
cb scott (06:01:33) :


Well said. (except that Baylor Bear part. we only fear THE BEAR down here in SABANATION)

” True science” is God’s science. It will only be a matter of time before ID is “finally” recognized by the academy to be what we have known all along. IT IS TRUE and God is the Designer. Tell you what. On that day I’ll put on my blue suit. You dress up real good and we will go down to Big Daddy’s house and sing; “I TOLD YOU SO, I TOLD YOU SO” till he comes out and sings it with us, in the key of moderate, of course. :-)


7 09 2007
Tim Rogers (07:31:17) :

Brother CB,

You got it Bro.

Brother BDW,

U game? Of course Volfan will be with me.


9 09 2007
joerstewart (23:57:24) :

I think some of the universities trumped on your comments is proof
that intelligent design will never be peer reviewed. No one intelligent enough
to review it :-].

10 09 2007
Villa Rica (10:23:49) :


Where I come from it is well known we do not have to review Intelligent Design. We know it is real and we know the Designer. It is only in universities within the poor confines of the ACC where there might be a question. Your mighty flag ships VT and Miami have learned not to trifle with well designed football teams.


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