(1). Acceptance of the Dead Sea Scroll fragments seems to be an unwise decision on the part of trustees when programs like the counseling licensure program, the Children’s Center, and other ministries are being closed because of finances. Though the fragments were gifted by a trustee, the cost of proper care, public display, and other associated expenses related to "the hundreds of thousands" who will come to Fort Worth to see the fragments will be great. It seems to many that the seminary should function as an educational institution first, a cultural museum second. In times of financial crises, educational programs should have priority. Someone should politely tell the trustee "Thanks, but no thanks."
(2). The fact that the seminary has broken ground for a new chapel when the current one is not full during seminary assemblies is also troubling the counseling students. "Could this money have been used more effectively for educational needs of the students rather than capital needs proposed by the administration?”
(3). I do not know SWBTS trustee Gary Loveless. He is the trustee who made the "large financial gift to the SWBTS" to allow the SWBTS administration to obtain the Dead Sea Scroll fragments. I'm sure he is a fine man, and obviously a successful businessman and oil man. I heard Gary in an interview with CBS, and he revealed his motive for giving the money to purchase the Dead Sea scroll fragments (quote): "One day, when we are all standing before Him (Jesus Christ), and we got millions of people out there, when I hold my hand up, He will know who I am. That's really, for me, you know, what it is all about."
What? Did he mean what he said? I thought I might have misunderstood him, so I listened to the interview an additional three times. No. I understood correctly. Gary believes that the reason Christ will recognize him at the judgement is because he purchased the Dead Sea scrolls for SWBTS. That kind of thinking has more in common with Tetsel and the sale of indulgences than biblical, or even Baptist, theology.
(3). Once the licensure program for counseling is removed at SWBTS, it will be very difficult to start it up again. Further, with a desire to increase enrollment, not decrease it, the removal of this popular ministry program guarantees fewer enrolled ministerial students this next fall.
(4). Who is leading SWBTS? Are trustees actually governing and supervising the direction the seminary is taking, or are those who are serving as trustees of SWBTS doing so at the will of administrators? It seems to me that the Southern Baptist Convention had better wake up or SWBTS will soon be just a shell of her former self. Provided below are an additional two links about the changing of the counseling program and the Dead Sea Scrolls acquisitions.
(5). (Update) Another reason for concern, given in a crystal clear comment from my father within the comment section of this post, is as follows:
"With regards to the closing of one and the beginning of another counseling program whose purpose is, and I quote the President of SWBTS..."The program will emphasize biblical principles set in the context of developing a biblical worldview and perspective on life.”My response to Paul Burleson's comment: "One wishes to accept the stated reason for abandonment of the progam (finances), but could it in reality be ideological?
I have to say that--having been pastor to many involved in leading and teaching in the soon to be former program, including Dr. Ted Dowell and his wife Omalee, while I pastored Southcliff in Ft. Worth--that WAS their goal, objective and desire also.
Just for the record."
In other words, could it be a statement that administration believes "licensed" counseling is wrong because it is not "biblical" or lacks a "biblical worldview?"
For futher reading, see:
SWBTS Press Release about the Dead Sea Scrolls Acquisition.
SWBTS Press Release about the Closing of the Counseling Licensure Program.