I was sad to hear that my good friend and one time co-editor, Dr. Michael Pahl, has been dismissed from Cedarville University. Pahl is a top scholar, a brilliant communicator, a decent Christian man, and is another casualty in the theological tribalism and conservative myopia that seems endemic in American Christian institutions.
In an official statement, Cedarville said:
Dr. Pahl’s orthodoxy and commitment to the gospel are not in question, nor is his commitment to Scripture’s inspiration, authority and infallibility. He is a promising scholar and a dedicated teacher, and will be missed by his colleagues and students. Nevertheless, the University has determined this decision to be in the best interests of its constituency at this time.
Now, if Pahl is safely orthodox and a committed evangelical, then what prey-tell is the flipping problem? It seems to me that it is a narrowness defined by institutional power and a quest for absolute conformity on everything.You can read Michael Pahl’s account of events on his blog. James McGrath also has a good round-up on posts. Christianity Today even features on article on Michael’s dismissal in Crisis of Faith Statements.
The conservative American penchant to demonstrate their doctrinal righteousness by crucifying their young continues to baffle me and should be a cause of grave concern.