We are all in the same boat in a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty. – G.K. Chesterton
The sea in the Baptist world continues to be in tumult.
The trustees at Campbellsville University, following the direction and advice of the administrators, recommended and approved the following. Dr. Jarvis Williams was told not to apply for tenure and that his contract would not be renewed beyond one year.
All of this because of his convictions on theology.
Dr. Williams is a New Testament and Greek professor in the School of Theology at this Christian University which is part of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.
He is a Christian conservative who is committed to biblical authority and the Baptist Faith and Message 2000.
We have heard from a reliable source that they retain several faculty members who are not part of Baptist traditions, professors in the school of theology who reject biblical authority and biblical inerrancy. They also maintain professors who affirm and teach evolution.
This is troubling because Campbellsville University is a Kentucky Baptist school that receives Kentucky Baptist dollars from conservative baptist churches to help support the mission of the University.
Dr. Williams is the only African-American male teaching full time in the School of Theology. It is especially baffling since the school does not require its faculty to sign a doctrinal statement or to assent in writing to a confession of faith that defines and limits the theological boundaries within which professors can teach or that expresses what professors can and cannot believe.
In addition, he never received any official marks against his record at the school. The student reviews were positive, and he was promoted just a year ago to Associate Professor. He has published three books, several articles, and is currently contracted for three other books. This makes him one of the most published faculty members even at his young age. The University neither privately nor publicly told Dr. Williams that he no longer has academic freedom to teach his discipline or to discuss controversial issues related to it. Instead, the University, a professing Christian school, has emphasized on numerous occasions that all professors at the school have academic freedom.
An administrator at the school told him privately it was because of his theology.
Dr. Williams is a friend of mine who has a fire lit under him about Biblical truth.
If you talk with him for five minutes you can feel his passion for teaching, preaching, and his love for people and the Scriptures. Not only that, but he has the ability to attract racial minorities in a way that other professors cannot.
It is a troubling time when someone like this is not seen fit to teach at a Christian school anymore.
It is Campbellsville which seems to have jettisoned their convictions, not Dr. Williams.