A CHRISTIAN academic is calling for the establishment of American-style Christian universities in the UK where students would study the Bible alongside mainstream arts and humanities subjects.
Nigel Paterson, an English lecturer at Winchester university, says that theology was once “the queen of the sciences” in a university, and argues that a country with a well-established Christian community would be “enriched” by the presence of at least two or three Christian universities, where students would use the Bible as a work of reference in all courses.
His dotty ideas, according to the Times, are contained in a Jubilee Centre paper which kicks off with the words:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, Proverbs 1:7a, attributed to Solomon.
A work of reference in all courses? For the life of me, I can’t quite grasp how this will work – particularly in the realm of biology.
A bat – not the baseball or cricket variety – is, according to Wikipedia:
A mammal in the order Chiroptera. The forelimbs of all bats are developed as wings, making them the only mammals naturally capable of flight.
But, according to the inerrant Word of God, a bat is a bird:
Locusts, as we all know, have six legs. But the Bible says they have four. Oh, and that fowls have four legs too:
And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls…And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat – Lev. 11:13, 19 (See also Deut. 14:11, 18).
All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you. Lev. 11:20-3.
Things get stickier in the social sciences. Equality between the sexes is well worth striving for, but Leviticus warns against any such notion, declaring that men between the age of 20 and 60 are worth “50 shekels of silver” but women of the same age are worth only 30 (Leviticus 27:3-7).
In a civilised society, it should matter not a jot that a man’s partner-to-be isn’t a virgin, but Deuteronomy 22:13-21 insists that, should a fella find that his bride-to-be isn’t quite intact “the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die.”
As for the arts, well, there’s simply would be any if Christians obeyed the Bible as assiduously as their rug-butting Muslim brethren do.
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth (Exodus 20:4-6 KJV).
One could go on and on in this vein forever. But what would be the point? There’s clearly no convincing the likes of Paterson that the Bible – that silly compendium of absurdities, atrocities contradictions, sexism, homophobia and dodgy moral precepts – is a load of bollocks â€¦ and has no place whatsoever in ANY seat of learning.
But Paterson – who astonishingly trained as a SCIENTIST at Cambridge university – begs to differ:
There is ample reason for continued use of the Bible within academia. It is a book that has deeply enriched Western imagination and thought. Many European towns and cities would be robbed of some of their finest buildings if those inspired by the Bible were removed, and that is just an outward picture of this book’s great impact on Western culture.
In a Christian university, it can be both accorded its important place among academic subjects and engaged in ways that serve the church and the world. Beyond those studying theology, there can be a widely-shared acceptance in a Christian university that there is a religious dimension to life which merits respect and academic scrutiny.
Is Paterson unaware of the fact that the American Christian universities he so apparently admires have been the principal architects of the stupidification process that has engulfed a sizeable part of the US’s population in recent decades?
Does he not know that these many of these establishments, like Regent University, are also a breeding ground for intolerance and bigotry?
In 1995, Harvey Cox, the liberal Harvard theologian, described Regent as “the Harvard of the Religious Right”. Despite being a forth-rate seat of learning, Regent – foundedÂ by televangelist Pat Robertson – the university’s school of law has been successful in having many of its graduates infiltrate the Bush administration. Bush, you see, is a great fan of Regent Uni.
Paterson is, of course, a Christian of the evangelical persuasion – he leads an independent evangelical church in Winchester – which would go a long way to explain his enthusiasm for promoting US-style idiocy here.