Author: Best, John Stanton
Genre: History
Series:
Tags: Baptist / Baptists

I was asked about this book by a good friend who is in Bible College education.  I found it in the Faith BBC library and had two days to read it, which I did with much interest.  Best was a missionary in Brazil and wrote this critique of the current Christian college situation in 1982.  The Introduction is written by Robert Sumner, editor of The Biblical Evangelist.  Best was critical (sometimes rightly, and sometimes prematurely) of the compromising direction taken by major schools of his day.  He often names the schools and describes the specific areas that he sees where they have compromised Biblical truth, especially regarding separation.  In the Introduction, Sumner calls for, “a return to availability of the old-fashioned Bible Institute type of training that made Fundamentalism great during the early and middle half of the 20th century.”

Sometimes Best is critical of the standards that have been let down over the years in dress, entertainment, etc.  But more often he is critical of the doctrinal compromise with evolution, Biblical authority, prophetic truths, and moral issues.  He is not only addressing conservative schools in these regards, but looks back to schools like Rochester Theological seminary when A.H. Strong allowed Walter Rauschenbusch to teach his social gospel.  At other times he is addressing current (in 1982) conservative schools which had taken looser stands on worldliness.  In addition to these he addresses the reasons for Bible Schools as far back as D.L. Moody (p. 12); the growing entertainment atmosphere on Christian campuses (p. 35); the positives and negatives of the coming (in his day) necessity of accreditation (p. 50, 133); the change from a purely Bible College that trains Christian workers to seminaries that train scholars (p. 99), and the change from a Bible major to multiple majors (p. 126).  I think that Best at times is too pedantic, but at other times he hits upon real issues that have turned out to be true.  It was also interesting to see that many schools that he criticized have not gone the direction that he thought they would, and that many schools which he praises as bastions of conservatism have since changed drastically.

 

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