Until today, I had been very impressed with the breadth of Fuller Seminary.
They have long managed to maintain a reputation for being Evangelical and yet seriously scholarly, in a way that meant allowing room for a genuine diversity of voices and the kind of creative exploration that is essential to genuine scholarship.
I was particularly impressed by the presence of Daniel Kirk on the faculty, as I knew Daniel to be a person of serious faith who was not afraid to go places that Evangelicals in the past have generally avoided, when he was persuaded that the Biblical evidence led in that direction.
And so it is with disappointment that I read about the reality of what he has experienced at Fuller, and how he now finds himself having to leave there.
Fuller had shown itself to be a place where we could ask questions, where we could confess that our traditional readings of the Bible might be wrong, or that the implications of those readings might need to be revisited.
You can imagine my disappointment, then, when I left that panel on how to respond to SCOTUS and walked across campus to a meeting with a couple of senior colleagues who indicated that my writing on homosexuality was going to be a profound hindrance to their ability to support me should I apply for tenure.
You may or may not be surprised to learn that neither had attended the panel I had just been a part of…
For my part, I do not want you to see what I do and think that Fuller is a place where you should come to study if what I’m doing here on the blog and in my writing is helpful, challenging, life-giving.
Fuller and I have chosen different paths in our pursuit of integrity as we stand in relationship to Christ, scripture, and the church.
Fuller has this phrase, “Fuller fit,” that we use to evaluate potential colleagues. It’s an amorphous way of saying that we know “us” when we see it. My senior colleagues have decided that I do not qualify under this rubric. I will therefore be leaving at the end of the 2015-16 academic year.
I am disappointed that someone like me was not able to take deep root in a place that seemed to hold so much potential at its early moments. And I hope that in the future Fuller’s vision of integrity will look more like mine.
But for now, that is not to be.
That is just an excerpt. Click through to read the rest.Christopher Skinner is the only other blogger I’ve seen mention this today so far. And I am sorry that I had to let most of the day go by before managing to blog about it myself.
There is, of course, little to say except that which has been said time and time again, when Evangelical schools have driven out scholars as diverse as Pete Enns, Christopher Rollston, Tom Oord, and Michael Pahl (which is, sadly, to name but a few of the many who fit this category). Scholarship can only be called that if it is open to following evidence in unexpected directions. Dogmatic creedalism is diametrically opposed to that.
Isn’t it time that organizations like AAR and SBL took a stand on this, and petitioned accrediting bodies, emphasizing that schools which proceed in this way do not deserve to be accredited in the same sense by the same bodies that accredit universities which foster research?