Moncton’s Crandall University Hosting Biologos

Crandall_UniversityCrandall University is seemingly holding a symposium put on by Dr. Paul Allen of Concordia University in March on “exploring the themes of human nature, faith and evolution, in the light of science”. This symposium is being sponsored by Biologos which is an organization that promotes the idea that the macro evolutionary theory is consistent with the bible. The focus of this organization is to discredit intelligent design or creation science in an attempt to persuade christians to embrace evolution and in return reject biblical innerancy and the historicity of many portions of scripture.

For a University that stood so strongly against the pressure of Gay Activists to conform to the secular left, I was left bewildered by this scheduled symposium. There have been several responses to biologos (for exampes see here and here) and warnings about the aggressive nature of the organization in underminding the authenticity of the biblcial witness however Crandall is seemingly unaware or simply have no problem with throwing away the reputation of the University as well as the scriptures by hosting this organization. The association of the University with Biologos is telling that perhaps liberalism is beginning to creep into a fine University which once upheld an Orthodox biblical standard.

I would encourage Christians in the Greater Moncton Area as well as students of Crandall University to avoid this symposium and write to the University to question why such an organization as Biologos would be allowed to hold such an event on their grounds.

Let’s pray that Crandall University comes to its senses!


8 thoughts on “Moncton’s Crandall University Hosting Biologos

  1. Just to be fair to everyone, BioLogos is not directly involved with the event. Paul Allen received a grant from BioLogos, and as part of that grant he is conducting some symposia at various institutions. No one from BioLogos is participating. Perhaps that’s not enough distance from our organization for you to feel comfortable, but it is a bit like blaming the government for what everyone with a grant from NSF does.

    1. Thank you for clarifying this information Mr. Stump. While I appreciate that no one from Biologos is conducting the symposium or even participating in it, the ideals of biologos will certainly be discussed I’m sure. I do hope that an equal amount of time will be provided for the expression of opposing views. What would be more interesting prior to delving into the announced topics would be a debate with equal amounts of time for opposing views on epistemology and presuppositions. Unfortunately, I doubt we’ll see that one on the card!

  2. Mr. Stump,

    Your organization funds projects that they believe contribute to the broad goal of Biologos. Projects must address concerns over theistic evolution within the Christian community according to the “Evolution and Christian Faith” grant page on the Biologos site. Biologos may not agree with all the details taught by those who receive grants but surely it cannot be denied that they believe the projects they support will further the cause of theistic evolution by addressing and alleviating “concerns”.

    Furthermore the events page on your site for Mr. Allen’s grant funded Symposiums include references to many teachings which are in full agreement with articles on your sight (Augustine’s non-literal accommodation view of Genesis, the view that we better understand the image of God in man by understanding evolution, the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to biblical interpretation).

    It is therefore a bit misleading (if unintentionally so) to suggest that the fact that Biologos is not “directly involved with this event” is all that significant. I think we can all agree that the event was given a grant by Biologos for a reason.

    Pastor Andrew Savill
    Mt. Zion Presbyterian Church

    1. Pastor Savill,
      I didn’t claim that Mr. Allen will not be presenting a position consistent with the beliefs of BioLogos. I only said that it is not accurate to claim that BioLogos is directly involved. I work at BioLogos and didn’t know anything about the event (I was alerted to it by Google). It is fair to say that BioLogos is “indirectly” involved since we support the person who is conducting the event, but the announcement on the blog could easily be interpreted as though BioLogos is coming down to Moncton with its “aggressive tactics” and trying to shove our message down unwilling throats. That’s simply not what we do. We come to places where we are invited, for the purpose of having gracious conversation with people who are interested in how to reconcile the findings of science with biblical faith. It is not our goal to convert everyone to our belief system. It is our goal that evangelical Christians will recognize evolutionary creation as a faithful position on origins. We’re fully aware that some people have bought into the rhetoric of some Christian organizations that we are the tool of Satan. I pray that before you accept that, you might get to know some of us. I don’t know Mr. Allen (I’ve never met him), but I hope he embodies the values of BioLogos and that you’ll judge him by the degree to which he displays the fruit of the Spirit.

      1. Thank you for the response, Mr. Stump. I’m glad that we can agree that Biologos is “indirectly involved” in such a way that the positions presented will be consistent with the beliefs and mission of Biologos.

        To be fair to the blog’s author he actually speaks of the “aggressive nature” of Biologos. That does not necessarily mean or imply that you are bullies, “trying to shove (your) message down unwilling throats.” It is a word that can merely imply that you are working hard and strategically in an effort to get your message into every possible venue that might further it because you believe in it. The grant program is one such strategic effort of Biologos in line with this goal.

        I do not doubt your sincerity. Nor am I unacquainted with very pleasant and enjoyable people who profess faith in Christ and yet have embraced untenable positions on Creation or evolution. True believers can sincerely hold false and dangerous positions which serve to undermine belief in the inerrency and infallibility of the Scriptures and strike at fundamental biblical teachings including the gospel itself. And all rhetoric aside, in the long run they may in fact be unwitting instruments of Satan.

        I for one am willing to converse with and debate with theistic evolutionists in a civil manner. In fact I would have no problem seeing Crandal hosting a respectful debate on the issue of whether or not theistic evolution is a “faithful position on origins”. However this Symposium will present it as such a position without giving equal voice to the counter position. That in my opinion is a serious error on Crandal’s part and a disservice to the Christian community in Moncton.

  3. I am afraid the assumption made on this blog is wrong. I will be presenting the paper on Augustine’s literal interpretation of Genesis as it relates to the imago Dei, with no thought given to modern debates about evolution. I know that my position is not that of BioLogos, for the simple reason that I have no affiliation with them (nor knew of them prior to being invited to give a paper). I was asked to present based on my expertise on Augustine, my ties to evangelicalism, and my location in the Maritimes. I am willing to learn more about BioLogos at the event, however.

    1. Scott,

      Thank you for your clarification and I appreciate that you will be presenting your paper at the symposium. It relieves me to hear that you will bring some balance to the audience. With that said, I don’t see how my blog post was “wrong”. Biologos is sponsoring the event and its primary concern is to promote its views. I’m personally not keen on giving an avenue to people to promote a false view of creation that undermines the innerancy and historicity of scripture. I feel this is dangerous and could lead to the school accepting the position as an “Option”.

      I believe if you read through these comments on this post you will see that we are aware that other positions will be represented at the symposium. Another concern was that an equal amount of time would be allotted for all views to be expressed and we felt a debate would have been profitable with equal amounts of time given to each participant.

      We will continue to pray for the situation and for you lecture as well.

      Sola Deo Gloria

  4. I can confirm that at least 2 of the 3 main papers are evangelical (myself and my colleague from UNB) and not open to the materialistic reading of nature that evolution presupposes. The panel discussants are likewise more in line with evangelical perspectives. It would seem then that the balance will lean more to traditional biblical readings than not.

    That Crandall is hosting this is wonderful, and a sign of their confidence in God. Just as St. Augustine engaged in public debates with Arians and Manicheans, so we should do so today. I am grateful to have this opportunity. Where I normally teach, no one really wants to hear divergent (i.e. Christian) positions like mine, and even work to prevent them. That opposition to faith is a sin that Canadian universities engage in daily.

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