Is Liberty University a Fundamentalist School? - Printable Version
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Is Liberty University a Fundamentalist School? - Recovering - 01-14-2012 06:47 PM
I've been in the process of leaving fundamentalism for several years, but I still can't always tell what exactly about my upbringing was fundamentalist, and what is just characteristic of American Evangelicalism in general. I just finished reading The Unlikely Disciple by Kevin Roose, and he often refers to Liberty University as a Fundamentalist institution. From his descriptions of Liberty, it seems much more like what we would have called a "liberal new evangelical" school than a fundamentalist school like Bob Jones. Any thoughts?
RE: Is Liberty University a Fundamentalist School? - redbeardiam - 01-14-2012 07:13 PM
Depends on your criteria. Falwell was known as a fundamentalist early on, but Liberty is pretty clasically evangelical and has been for quite some time. Of course, the boundary line between conservative evangelicals and fundies gets pretty foggy sometimes.
RE: Is Liberty University a Fundamentalist School? - Darrell - 01-14-2012 07:56 PM
Yes, it depends on where you're standing.
They're far to the "left" of someplace like Hyles. But far, far the right of "mainstream."
RE: Is Liberty University a Fundamentalist School? - Recovering - 01-14-2012 08:13 PM
That makes sense. Much of what Roose wrote about was familiar, like blatant homophobia and dogmatic Creationism, but some of the details about the college were the sort of thing I grew up imagining New Evangelicals did in their spare time (listening to rock music, hand-holding, using euphemisms, trying to make Christianity seem cool, etc).
RE: Is Liberty University a Fundamentalist School? - pastor's wife - 01-14-2012 08:29 PM
The general American public (and certainly the media) has no idea of all the nuances involved. If you're on the outside, you just see a strange monolithic group that believes in Jesus. They think we all like CBN and sent our money to Jim and Tammy Baker. They think "conservative Christian" equals "fundamental", having no idea of all the gradiants of separation that fundamentalists are always delineating themselves by.
So, yeah, the uninitiated think that Liberty is fundamental while most of the fundamentalists I know scorn Liberty! Ironic, isn't it? Makes me wish that believers would stop quibbling over nonessentials and just focus on the Gospel.
RE: Is Liberty University a Fundamentalist School? - Mommy2Kids - 01-14-2012 11:12 PM
Wish I had gone there. lol
RE: Is Liberty University a Fundamentalist School? - redbeardiam - 01-14-2012 11:28 PM
I graduated from Liberty. The dogmatic creationism was pretty amazing. We actually had to take a class called 'Creation Studies'. Thankfully, it was pass/fail and I was so familiar with the dogma from childhood I only went on test days. ;D
On the other hand, one of the girls from my old fundy church was curious about going there and was told she 'might as well just go to a public school.' And I was introduced to a much broader range of theological perspectives than at a true fundy school like my previous bible college. I actually read a little Barth and Brunner.
RE: Is Liberty University a Fundamentalist School? - Jenn - 01-15-2012 04:30 AM
I'm in the middle of reading that book. Compared to BJU, Liberty is a party school.
RE: Is Liberty University a Fundamentalist School? - greg - 01-15-2012 09:22 AM
Liberty is a great school, founded by a modern-day christian hero (this from someone that is sick of fundies elevating men to God status, but Falwell was an amazing man)
Now if I could just talk my son (h.s. senior) into going there! (says there are too many rules)
I fully support the creation classes.
RE: Is Liberty University a Fundamentalist School? - Tiarali - 01-15-2012 09:56 AM
Is it normal for a non-fundy schools in the US to have such rules? The concept seems bizarre to me. If Liberty is known for rules (in the line of not accepting its students are adults rather than decent rules like no plagiarising) then I would class it fundy.