Many parents believe that by sending their child to St. Olaf College (ELCA) they will be taught by Christian professors at a Christian school. Think again. John Barbour, Professor of Religion at St. Olaf College, on the St. Olaf website, says “Students, faculty and staff are free to practice any religion they want or no religion” and that St. Olaf has a “community-wide commitment to religious diversity and pluralism." (see here at the 7 minute mark).
Many parents also believe that they are sending their child to a good Christian, God-honoring school that believes Scripture. Decide for yourself when you read this from the St. Olaf College Religion Department -
“. . .I’ve come to believe that religious truth is more likely to be found in fiction than anywhere else, and that’s especially true for me when it comes to encountering the Bible. (A quick example: Moses’ encounter with the burning bush is the best metaphor I have for how I understand my own sense of wonder in the universe. Do I believe it historically happened? No. In my own passion for that text, do I believe it says something real of how I experience and creatively engage truth? Absolutely.)” (read here)
So the Bible is just a bunch of made up stories? Remember, this comes from the St. Olaf Religion Department.
And what else do the students learn at St. Olaf? Let's go back to St. Olaf's own website to find out -
“I think my faith and my academic study occur together most strongly as acts of loving interrogation. Theology offered me the language to ask questions I had always wanted to ask but didn’t know how about meaning and injustice and the fragility and resilience of human relationships. I believe my job as a person of faith is to be a theologian of the cross, as Luther said: to not look away from suffering in the world–especially suffering caused by stories told and symbols thrown by Christians, by Christian theologies, by harmful Christian imaginations–and to interrogate and to seek the creative transformation of those worldviews in love. Ask yourself: Does this theology commit harm against people of other religions? Does it perpetuate white privilege and racism? Does it commit intellectual or material violence towards queer, gay, lesbian, and trans folks? Does its portrayal of a male God scapegoat women? Does it sanction violence and hatred in any form? These are questions I have to and get to ask out of love. From the my academic study, I get to honor the very Christian calling that I demand my own traditions be better in their own calling, in what they says they are.
Finally, I utterly believe that my teaching and my writing are fundamental, fragile acts of hope. I write on environmental ethics, on climate change, on theology. And there are days when the climate science and the history of Christian violence towards the earth and loss of fellow creatures breaks my heart, and the imagination can quickly spiral into an overwhelming despair. (The Western Black Rhino was officially declared extinct recently. I, and you, will never get to see one). And that’s when my theological work, my academic work, becomes one of the deepest boons to my own sense of faith, as mysterious as I find it to myself. Because writing, the very act, the very practice of writing a sentence that reimagines what faith means on a warming planet, is an expression that that sentence, that idea, that story told in that way, might matter for the very life and imagination of myself or someone else. Theology, for me, gives me permission to fall neither into utter despair nor utter denial of very real violence. I get to take things seriously and imagine something else is possible. Without a vision, the people [and the planet, I would add] perish, Proverbs says. Hope is an incredibly ordinary thing. . . .” (read here)
Liberal social justice. I can't believe there are very many parents and donors out there that want students to walk away from college with this view of Scripture and Christianity.
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
1 Thessalonians 5:21
Former ELCA seminary student and former ELCA member who is fed up with the ELCA's consistent mockery of God's Word.
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Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. - Ephesians 5:11