If It Was Good Enough for J. Frank…

My blogging has been way down simply owing to other concerns, but sometimes you read something that stirs the juices or fires up the keyboard. Well, a church member sent me a link that accomplished both. This post is the third based in the I-can’t-believe-what-I-read world of KJVOnlyism. I imagine that the most extreme examples should be expected to come from the places which are trying to establish their niche in the KJVO educational marketplace, and that’s true here as well as the two earlier, related posts (here and here). The amazement begins when you click the link to a web page with this banner, “why Grace Baptist College does not teach Greek…” and turns to amusement when you find that this college promotes itself as the “School for Thinking Fundamentalists.” Seriously?

Why would a college training theology majors not teach Greek or Hebrew? The ultimate, and obvious answer given the context, is that the King James Bible “is God’s perfect, preserved Word for the English speaking world.” Now, to be fair, many make that same claim without drawing this conclusion, so what’s the rationale (I use that term loosely) here? Apparently, J. Frank Norris had the “conviction…that it was not only unnecessary but actually harmful to teach Greek if the goal was to train soul-winning, church-building, theologically orthodox, Bible-preaching and teaching pastors and missionaries rather than Bible correctors and textual critics.” This, in spite of the fact that Norris “had been taught Greek in his theological training” and yet emerged able to do all of these things. The college’s founder also discovered that his “extensive tutelage” in Greek (while a student at Hyles-Anderson no less) didn’t do anything to help him preach better.

The problem is deeper than ministerial pragmatics. Teaching Greek and Hebrew, it turns out, inevitably means you embrace textual criticism—“Why would schools training the next generation of fundamental Baptist preachers who claim to believe that they are ‘King James Only’ be content to continue to advance the false theory that Greek and Hebrew training is not part of the textual criticism school?”  And embracing that means you find yourself running with the likes of B. B. Warfield! Oh my.

So here’s the heartbeat of the “School for Thinking Fundamentalists”—“We are passionate in our desire to awaken those who are not aware of the hazards in Greek study.  We believe Greek study has been and will continue to be the downfall of Protestant Fundamentalism.  Therefore, we boldly stand with true Baptist history in providing this generation with a Bible college that TEACHES THE WHOLE ENGLISH BIBLE.”

Whatever else it may be, thinking isn’t the word that I would use for it.

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