The depressing slide of far too many “Christian” universities into the morass of progressivism is well known and well documented. Anyone who thought that the bold theological foundations of such schools would immunize them against the temptation to compromise and capitulate to the spirit of the age paid no attention to the fact that Harvard University was founded to train ministers of the Gospel of Jesus.
Whether it’s a lack of prudence in faculty hires, an unwillingness to chasten and confront an attitude of spiritual rebellion that rises up on campus, the exchange of a transformative eternal focus for a worldly social justice politics, the need or perceived need of increased finances, or usually some combination of them all, sadly it’s only a matter of time before even the noblest of these institutions becomes Christian in name only.
Simply survey the landscape of America’s “Christian” colleges today and note how many refuse to affirm the Biblical view of human origin, Biblical sexual ethics, the Biblical principle of one race, the Biblical doctrine of Imago Dei in articulating the sanctity of human life. It would be comical if it weren’t so devastatingly sad. Because remember, these are not secular campuses preaching secular values. These are supposed Christian institutions wrapping new age humanism in Christian language, misleading countless young minds. If you wonder why Jesus takes such a harsh stance between those who are “lukewarm,” look no further than what these campuses are doing.
And that’s why I was so excited to see what an underground group of Biblical minds are doing on the campus of Taylor University. Taylor is a small liberal arts Christian college in tiny Upland, Indiana, best known for either its bizarre “Silent Night” basketball tradition and the legendary Ivanhoe’s ice cream wonderland that exists right across the street from campus. But if a group of Biblical minds at Taylor have their way, the school will be known for something else – a resurgent Christianity on a drifting campus.
The first edition of “Excalibur” has been distributed around campus courtesy of a group calling themselves the Taylor University conservative underground. But this isn’t just political conservatism. This is Biblical Christianity they are talking about reviving. They defined their purpose this way:
“We are Taylor University faculty, staff, and students who heartily affirm the historic orthodox theological doctrines, as expressed in the Apostles creed and other classic ecumenical Christian creeds. We also believe, among other things, (1) that the traditional view of marriage as a monogamous covenant between one man and one woman is the only reasonable Christian position, (2) that a creationist view of human origins deserves better representation at a Christian college such as ours, (3) that the sanctity of human life…[is] essential.”
And if you don’t take my word for what has happened and is happening at our Christian schools, leaving you curious why these Excalibur organizers would feel the need to affirm what should be an obvious common sense expectation at a Christian school, they explain:
“While the values expressed here warrant consistent and explicit expression in the Taylor community, in recent times this has been done inadequately across campus, whether in classrooms, the chapel program, faculty publications, or by invited speakers on campus. Moreover, we perceive a growing trend on campus of opinions opposing and undermining the above commitments, including permissivist views of human sexuality, hostility toward creationist perspectives, rejection of the rule of law, and uncritical endorsement of liberal-progressive ideals (e.g., in the form of Marxist-inspired critical race theory).”
The first publication of Excalibur included an incredibly well-written exposé on the Marxist foundations of “social justice” movements like the one currently attempting to hijack Christianity in America (particularly on college campuses), as well as a profound explanation of the true nature of Imago Dei and how it sets the Christian worldview apart.
In other words, Excalibur seems dedicated to voicing precisely what Taylor University and every other university bearing the name of Christ should be teaching, affirming, and reinforcing in every classroom, every discussion, every chapel, and through every speaker.
Hats off to these reformers, and may their vision spread to a Christian campus culture in America that desperately needs it.