Higher Education: Universities Question Orthodox Conversions
August 10, 1998
As Orthodoxy has gained a more visible presence within evangelical colleges and seminaries, new questions have surfaced on whether Orthodox teachings are in conflict with evangelical statements of faith. The Orthodox conversions of at least ten evangelical college faculty have pushed onto the front burner the debate among evangelicals of whether Orthodox teachings are in conflict with essential Protestant theology (CT, Jan. 6, 1997, p. 32).
Faculty and top administrators at evangelical institutions are commonly required to sign a statement of faith. Individuals who are unable to sign the statement might not be hired or could lose their jobs. In recent instances, professors at two schools have faced administrators who questioned the compatibility of Orthodox dogma with the doctrinal statements at those schools.
Edward Rommen, a recent covert to Orthodoxy, says he resigned from Columbia Biblical Seminary at Columbia (S.C.) International University (CIU) at the end of last fall's semester after the university's president asked him to leave.
At Biola University in La Mirada, California, administrators appointed a committee of Talbot Seminary faculty to look into the Orthodox faith after trustees and a student raised questions about whether three Orthodox faculty members, all of them converts, could still subscribe to the school's statement of belief and doctrine.
The Biola committee's report, completed a month before the end of the school year, concluded that the teachings found in Orthodox literature are incompatible with Biola's stated positions on the doctrine of justification and the authority of Scripture. The report found that Orthodox teaching explicitly denies justification by faith alone and that it requires good works ...