In our previous articles we have discussed Central Baptist Theological Seminary’s participation at John Piper’s Desiring God conference. See, Non-Fundamentalists to Critique Fundamentalism and What Does Central Seminary & John Piper’s Desiring God Have in Common? Each other!
At the time of that writing I also read Central Baptist Theological Seminary (CBTS) president Dr. Sam Horn’s letter, The Road Forward: For the Church, For the Gospel.1 His letter relates to the future of CBTS. It is a “handwriting on the wall” kind of letter. Letters like that tend to give the impression that supporters should brace themselves for a diminishing of the institution. If all things were good and growing at Central, this particular letter would (IMO) never have been written. Dr. Horn notes that the changes for CBTS will be “finalized and announced this fall.”
In Dr. Horn’s letter he asserts that there are other good “evangelical” seminaries. As the president of a seminary, I would think it wise to promote Central’s distinctions and strengths—not assure prospective students there are many other good choices available to them. Dr. Clearwaters always emphasized the differences between Central Seminary and the New Evangelical schools. He didn’t view New Evangelical schools as competing for the same students, because Central had a Biblicist philosophy. If Central’s distinctive doctrinal and separatist positions are not significant, why maintain the diminishing institution? In other words,
Central Seminary used to offer something distinct from the Evangelical schools.Many are saddened by the ongoing downgrade trajectory and demise of formerly great institutions. Saddened by schools that once took an uncompromising stand for the whole counsel of God, but not anymore. Schools that once would not cooperate with, condone or tolerate doctrinal aberrations, worldliness and ecumenical compromises have turned the corner. The days of fundamental Baptist, separatist distinctives are gone for CBTS as well as Calvary Baptist Seminary (Lansdale)2 and the former Northland Baptist Bible College (Northland International University).3 These schools and their leadership are the originators of and/or advocates for the new wave New Evangelicalism plaguing the New Testament church.
We can be greatly heartened, however, in that the Lord has given us a new generation of Biblicist schools to take their place, schools that have not surrendered the high ground. We are grateful for schools that take a sound stand for the Bible and its mandates for separatism, that are enjoying increased enrollment and expanding programs.
1) Dr. Sam Horn, The President’s Corner: The Road Forward: For the Church, For the Gospel
2) Kevin Bauder & Dave Doran to Join Mark Dever at Lansdale: Is this a Fundamentalism Worth Saving? ... CBS (Lansdale) To Host Haddon Robinson
3) Is Northland “Unchanged?” ... Is Northland Opposed to the Modern Charismatic Movement?
Dr. Ernest Pickering: “A Mood of Broadmindedness,” The NEW New Evangelicalism
Central Seminary Ten Years (1966) by Dr. Warren Vanhetloo