Talk:Fuller Theological Seminary

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NPOV?[edit]

Quotes like these all seem very biased, almost advert like.

academic rigor and ethnic and denominational diversity
The faculty consists of leading Christian thinkers and scholars with equally diverse backgrounds. 
Students and professors often hold diametrically opposing views and vehemently debate a wide range of religious and ethical issues

Just my two cents. Cornell Rockey 12:24, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

there's every chance that whoever edited this article pulled these lines out of an advertisement, although I can't confirm that. Feel free to edit the lines to something more neutral.--G.B. Blackrock 22:23, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Dumb. The quotes are perfectly fine and reflect Fuller to a tee.

Lord, what a whitewash! Is there any real history of Fuller available, such as includes the career of co-founder Harold Ockenga, the sad fate of former Fuller President E. J. Carnell, or the 1970s "battle for the Bible"?

"Is there any real history...?" Yes, there is - George Marsden's book, "Reforming Fundamentalism: Fuller Seminary and the New Evangelicalism," Eerdmans publishing, 1995. Knock yourself out. -- mb —Preceding unsigned comment added by 204.52.215.16 (talk) 16:35, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

"Left of Center" not an opinion?[edit]

There has recently been a rash of edits on this page in the "Criticisms" section. Apparently some people feel that Fuller is too liberal. I do not dispute that Fuller is not as right-wing as its founders, and has moved a considerable distance to the "left" in the nearly 60 years since its founding. However, I do feel that attempts to keep this article having a neutral tone have been met with dismissiveness. Despite what the most recent editor claims, to call something "Left of Center" is a statment of opinion, no matter how many people observe it and believe it to be the case. I would argue that the editors who claim that Fuller is "left of center" believe that that "center" is far more to the right than is in fact the case. Can we get some arbitration on this?--G.B. Blackrock 04:12, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Definitely agree that "Left of Center" is a matter of opinion. Fuller's statement of faith (to which all faculty must agree prior to employment) is very moderate, not liberal in the least. However, to a conservative, it seems liberal and to a liberal, it seems conservative. Fuller has been caught in the middle for years (and everyone blames the School of Psychology). In the grand scheme of things, Fuller is about as smack dab center as is possible at a seminary. While there are subjects taught and discussed that aren't particularly palatable for extremely conservative theological thinkers, Fuller's statement of faith is very clear and very middle of the road. Just because something is taught and/or discussed doesn't mean that doctrine is the school's theological stance; it simply means that the topic is important enough to warrant recognition.Tamara Young 15:34, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

The first part of the selection that follows needs a citation showing evidence that Fuller does indeed currently "advertise itself" in this way. As for the latter half of the sentence, short of citing a poll of evangelical seminary presidents, I hardly think one could call such a statement neutral.

Fuller advertises itself as a moderate evangelical seminary, theologically between Princeton Theological Seminary (liberal) and Dallas Theological Seminary (conservative), but there has been some question within the larger Christian community as to whether Fuller truly does lie in the middle of the conservative/liberal theological divide.

--76.177.33.20 03:30, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

One way to avoid the NPOV issue on this would be to quote specific evangelical leaders who have publicly decried Fuller as "liberal." The words "liberal" and "conservative," though, when applied to theological, aren't as clear as in the early 20th century. This whole section probably needs to be rewritten from a more neutral standpoint. --Tom Allen 23:53, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

I am wondering whether it is appropriate to even have this section in the first place, as most other seminaries do not have such a section. This section is written as though being "liberal" is a criticism and I would question its merits. In addition, the section is written from an exclusively evangelical viewpoint and is not suitable for an encyclopedia entry. At the very least, I am going to put up a NPOV tag but I am suggesting that it be totally removed. Flixthecat85 00:04, 4 September 2007 (UTC)


Well, it's obvious that you have no clue about Fuller or evangelicalism. The point is, the reason most seminaries don't have a controversies section is because they advertise themselves accurately. The reason Fuller is so controversial is that it is the birthplace of the evangelical movement and claims to still be evangelical. However, the facts prove that the school has clearly become quite liberal, which is indeed a bad thing when it claims to be evangelical (which inherently implies conservative). Fuller is being dishonest and misleading people by claiming to be a moderate evangelical school, which is why it is so controversial. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Manutdglory (talkcontribs) 00:19, 4 September 2007 (UTC)


Well, it is interesting that you feel that you seem to know exactly what evangelicalism means, as many people (Richard John Neuhaus for example) have written about how there is no set definition of what being "evangelical" really is. And as many people have described above, the labels "liberal" and "conservative" are merely relative - of course, you clearly have an image of Fuller being liberal while others would think it is quite conservative and thus this type of material is non-neutral and not appropriate for an encyclopedia. Thus, I am re-instating the NPOV tag - please review the wikipedia guidelines for etiquette about personal attacks as well as the use of the NPOV tag, as this is clearly under its guidelines. Flixthecat85 00:27, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Fuller's Anti-American activities[edit]

I removed the paragraph on anti-American activities because it contained a great deal of material about supposed events on campus without presenting any references. I realize that everything that happens on campus isn't documented, but I was actually still on campus at the time of 9/11 and if someone posted something like that on a door somewhere, it was either hushed up pretty darn well or it's an urban myth. Something like that would hardly go un-noticed - particularly if there was an uproar or public outrage as the content stated.

As far as being "anti-war," Mennonite and Brethren faculty have been outspoken about "just peacemaking," particularly Glen Stassen (author of multiple books on 'just peacemaking'). If we're going to discuss Fuller faculty, staff, and student activities around politics and policy, let's be specific and avoid referring to "rumors." Tamara Young 18:07, 16 August 2007 (UTC)


Ah, well, see that's the point. They're not really "rumors" because I am a former Fuller student and witnessed all of it myself. And the fact that you are a Fuller alum clearly voids your arguments, as you are obviously biased.

The fact is, I've found that Fuller has a horrendous reputation in the larger evangelical community. And you're not kidding anyone when you state the Fuller is not liberal - every faculty member there knows full-well that it is. When over 90% of your faculty is liberal, I wouldn't exactly say you're being honest when you advertise yourself as moderate, which Fuller clearly does (check the website-you won't catch a whiff of what Fuller is really like there). And the Princeton/Dallas statement is well-known among SOT students, so I don't know where you were going with that comment. So it's not as liberal as say, Princeton - big deal, that's not saying much! I'd say when you don't really even lie within the evangelical community anymore (which Fuller clearly does not), you're pretty darn liberal.

And as far as the 9/11 comment, I heard that it did indeed occur directly from a friend who personally witnessed it at Fuller. Perhaps being a psychology student, you weren't as aware of these activities as I was, being in the school of theology. And obviously there wasn't an uproar on campus, because the majority of people there hold to anti-American views! Plus, the faculty sweeps such occurrences under the rug.

For instance, in a required general ministry course, Glenn Stassen's feminist/socialist protege, Rachel Leigh Hunter, was a guest speaker one day. She eventually went on a 20 minute, anti-Bush, anti-war, anti-American tirade (yelling and spitting all the while) during which she made several extremely inappropriate comments that would made Ted Kennedy blush. Some of my favorites were: how right wing conservatives are "demon-possessed," how "democracy is not the answer" (implying socialism was), her "wish that America soon shares the fate of the Roman Empire," and "how she has considered marching in PRO-abortion rallies with her feminist activist friends on several occasions." And she's on the staff at Fuller - it doesn't get any more liberal than that, lady! My friend had the exact same class the next day, but interestingly, Hunter was not present even though she was scheduled to speak. Hmmmm, how ironic. Would you like me to post that in the article? And I know all about the bitter and hateful fool that is Glenn Stassen. Someone who publicly fosters such hate speech for our country wouldn't be able to teach at UCLA, but at Fuller, he's honored. Makes you think.

If I really were to be specific on all the extremist activities I witnessed while on campus, I'd need several pages. But I can name a few more if you'd like. During one of my courses with Chap Clark, he regularly made extremely inappropriate anti-Bush and anti-war comments during his youth ministry classes - nice. I heard the same thing from my evangelism prof. You see, Fuller profs just don't get the fact that they are being paid to teach theology - not politics. For some strange reason, they believe that it is their duty to ram their wacko/liberal political agendas down the throats of their students, which is disgusting. Then there were the countless anti-Bush rallies held in Garth, not to mention the hateful anti-American posts on the campus discussion board (mainly by radical Quakers, which are indeed leading the anti-American agenda at Fuller). The hateful disdain they demonstrated for our nation was repulsive, let alone sinful. When I posted on it and called for being more fair and balanced (which the Quakers clearly weren't doing) a few times, my posts were ripped down, not by students, but by the faculty member who supervised the board, claiming that my articles caused "divisiveness." Yeah, the truth can really be divisive at times. I mean, we wouldn't want to hear the other side's opinion. Nice to know that free speech is so protected at Fuller. What a joke!

Ah, yes, then there was the time in my spiritual formation class when we were instructed to do a "social justice" project. In my small group, we discussed what we were doing for the project. Most of the others were either working with the homeless or with AIDS patients, but when I told them that I was going to work with a pro-life charity for mine, most of them laughed, and one of them actually had the arrogance to ask with a sneer on her face, "Why would you do that?" I then found out that I was the only student who was pro-life in that group. So Fuller is preparing future pastors who support abortion, nice! Fuller has no official stance on abortion, and if anything, leans toward pro-abortion - again, it doesn't get much more liberal than that.

So I'll be leaving my comments, since they are in a "criticisms" section that Wikipedia administrators approved. It is clearly not your sole biased prerogative to decide what is posted in the article (especially in a "criticisms" section), so you really have no argument. Thus, if you delete my comments again, I'll be forced to report you to an administrator for vandalism.

Soli Dei Gloria!

-manutdglory

You're completely missing the point. The comments aren't inappropriate because I disagree with them. I'm perfectly willing to believe that your claims are valid, but everything in the article must be verifiable, which means that you need to provide some sort of reference for the article. It isn't acceptable to include things that can't be verified. Honestly, just because I didn't share the experience doesn't mean it's not true. It just means that I missed it somehow.

My being a Fuller alum doesn't invalidate my argument, obviously, or your argument would be invalid as well. I say nowhere that I'm fond of or protective of Fuller in any way shape or form. You're making assumptions that, in fact, aren't true. I happen to be a Fuller alum who happens to keep track of changes on the Fuller-related wiki pages. You may feel free to report me to an administrator, but my argument still stands. If the content you're providing can't be given a reference, then it doesn't belong. For now, I'm going to put in the reference needed tag, but I will remove the content again if no references are provided within a reasonable amount of time. Tamara Young 21:39, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

manutdglory, I have redone Tamara's edits about Fuller containing a wide variety of viewpoints that you removed - you seem to be intent on making your own criticisms of Fuller known on this wikipedia page which is not appropriate and removing other information to the contrary. Tamara, I only noticed that he undid one of your edits so if there are others please put them up Flixthecat85 00:18, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Being a former Fuller student and an M.Div. graduate, I too have witnessed much. I found the student body to be a mixed bag, and all men should learn to leave their testicles at home. The pop psychology of Rick Warren was in nearly every class, with only a spattering of orthodoxy. Sorry, Bill Dyrness, but a 15 year old who memorized Walter Martin's lectures would have done a better job of teaching Christian apologetics than you did. Fuller did NOTHING to bolster any confidence in the Bible. I had to get that confidence elsewhere. Richard Lee, M.Div., class of 2001 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bluesnag (talkcontribs) 06:00, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

  • {Responding to manutdglory's call for comments at Wikiproject: California.) Having negotiated related issues in writing History of the University of Redlands, I have to say that from my perspective, having faculty sign any sort of mandatory "statement of faith" is pretty conservative. However, I am also aware that the "liberal/conservative" divide allows for a pretty wide degree of difference of opinion. (To some of my more committed friends on the left, I'm pretty conservative) For the time being, I'd support POV templates over contentious but referenced material, removing such material where uncited, (or marking unreferenced material with cite tags, but removal is my preferred option) and generally assuming good faith of all contributors to this article. However, I'd also like to point out that personal experience with a topic is generally considered original research and not appropriate as a reference for this project. Ameriquedialectics 20:08, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
For an example of a "good article" on a contentious pedagogical topic, see Patrick Henry College. Ameriquedialectics 20:32, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Thank you, Amerique. The policies seem very clear (after all, most of what you stated about referenced material, etc. is well known to most experienced wikipedians). If you check the history, all I did (and what other users did that was also undone) was to note what was unreferenced material, and after a while this unreferenced material was removed. I find it disappointing that a user (especially someone describing himself as a committed Christian) would repeatedly undo changes and assume that others are not acting in good faith, ignoring our comments about why exactly this was done and even trying to get others blocked. However, I am (and always will be) happy to work with him on any referenced facts to make sure that articles are accurate. Flixthecat85 (talk) 06:02, 26 November 2007 (UTC)