Deciding in advance

Wheaton College has a ‘statement of faith’ that everyone at Wheaton has to ‘follow.’ The statement is long, and specific, and detailed. It’s not a mere cloud of benevolent sentiments, it’s a list of concrete factual assertions prefaced by ‘we believe that,’ and agreeing to the whole thing is, as I understand it, a condition of employment and attendance. It includes (and ends with) ‘WE BELIEVE in the bodily resurrection of the just and unjust, the everlasting punishment of the lost.’

Yet Wheaton College considers itself an academic institution of some kind. Wheaton College considers itself a place of higher education, yet a condition of getting the putative higher education that Wheaton College offers is agreement with a long list of inherently absurd factual claims.

Those two facts don’t go together. They don’t belong together. Education is pretty much the opposite of swearing an oath to a particular set of unquestioned and unquestionable ‘faith-based’ assertions. Swearing such an oath amounts to swearing not to be educated in anything except the narrowest technical sense.

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