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Biola University

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Biola University (founded as the Bible Institute Of Los Angeles) is a conservative evangelical Christian fundie school located in La Mirada, California and is arguably only best known for being the main haunt of "professional philosopher" William Lane Craig.

Biola University maintains a doctrine of Biblical inerrancy. Biola's doctrinal statement further amplifies a conservative creationist doctrine, and though not overtly homophobic, implicitly condemns same-sex marriage.[1] As a final guarantee of strict adherence to its theological worldview, the university requires every faculty member, when first hired and again upon application for tenure, to submit their understanding of and complete agreement with each item of the doctrinal and teaching statements to the Talbot School of Theology for evaluation.

Biola offers 40 undergraduate degrees, and master's, doctoral, and professional degrees. The school is fully accredited by the Western Association of Colleges and Schools Senior College and University Commission and other accreditation authorities.[2]

All Biola students are required to take 30 credit hours of Bible studies.[3]

Science, hallelujah![edit]

In practice, Biola's adherence to biblical literalism means that its various degrees are all prefaced with some version of the phrase "being studied from a biblical perspective", meaning that the creationist dog whistles become rather obvious in, for instance, its biology major:

"As a biological science major, you will develop a basic competence and knowledge of living organisms and vital processes in the allied sciences such as zoology, botany, physiology, genetics, ecology, nutrition, biochemistry and immunology from a Biblical perspective."[4]

The creationist profile becomes even more obvious in the description of Biola's program for secondary instruction in biology where two of the four bullet points defining what competencies a student need to demonstrate beyond, you know, actual biology are:

"An ability to integrate known biological facts with scriptural principles"
as well as
"An ability to discuss theories of origins and evolution within the context of a Scriptural view of creation"[5]

These competencies are of rather dubious use when teaching biology, unless, of course, the idea is to train new cadres of anti-evolution indoctrinators for the fundie school sector's echo chamber.

Humanities, aka theology & apologetics in various flavors[edit]

If you thought Biola only force fitted the natural sciences into their biblical literalism, nil desperandum. History is of course just a way to "examine important religious, social, political and economic movements of human history, and aim to reveal God's dependability and redemption purposes throughout the world."[6] A very, eh, specific point that calls for "Ethical issues within Supreme Court cases" is, considering the rest of Biola's ideology, extremely likely to refer to Roe v. Wade (anyone want to bet what Biola's view on abortion is...?) and, once again, history is apparently mainly a means to an apologetic/missionary end ("[t]he value of history to a Christian worldview"), while another "highlight" of Biola's B.A. in history wanders into outright theology ("[d]octrines of God with reference to history of Christian theology").

Similarly, and fitting very well with William Lane Craig's views on knowledge in general,[note 1] the only reason Biola can apparently see for studying Islam is one that emphasises "Islamic theology and culture, Middle Eastern history and Christian theology of mission. The program equips men and women to make disciples among Muslims and impact the Islamic world for the Lord Jesus Christ."[7] Remember youngsters, you only study these false doctrines so you can make the heathens see the errors of their way and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, hallelujah!

That Biola's philosophy programmes are all located either within its Talbot School of Theology or at its Center for Christian Thought,[8] rather than in a separate humanities programme, is clearly indicating which concern is the overriding one, i.e. to give "a broad understanding of how to effectively use intellectual argumentation from a Christian worldview."[note 2] Also, it's apparently considered very important that philosophy students at Biola focus "on history and philosophies of Augustine and Aquinas" as well as "[s]urvey of the wisdom traditions with focus on Jesus' teachings", showing how cutting edge Biola's (and Craig's) philosophy is.

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. "I think Martin Luther correctly distinguished between what he called the magisterial and ministerial uses of reason. The magisterial use of reason occurs when reason stands over and above the gospel like a magistrate and judges it on the basis of argument and evidence. The ministerial use of reason occurs when reason submits to and serves the gospel.... Should a conflict arise between the witness of the Holy Spirit to the fundamental truth of the Christian faith and beliefs based on argument and evidence, then it is the former which must take precedence over the latter." William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith (1994), p. 36 as quoted in Chris Hallquist's review of the book on Internet Infidels.
  2. Again fitting well with William Lane Craig's views, the only use of philosophy is to craft a more convincing apologetic sales pitch.

References[edit]

  1. Biola University Doctrinal Statement. biola.edu. Retrieved on 15 October 2015.
  2. Biola University Accreditation and Affiliation. biola.edu. Retrieved on 15 October 2015.
  3. Biola University Bble courses. biola.edu. Retrieved on 15 October 2015.
  4. Biological Science, B.S.. Retrieved on 23 December 2015.
  5. Biological Science: Secondary Instruction, B.S.. Retrieved on 23 December 2015.
  6. History, B.A.. Retrieved on 23 December 2015.
  7. Islamic Studies, Minor. Retrieved on 23 December 2015.
  8. Philosophy, B.A. Retrieved on 23 December 2015.