The Ventriloquist

An independent student newspaper at Cedarville University.

Monday

27

January 2014

Dr. White Announces Planned Changes to Doctrinal Statement

by The Ventriloquist, on Cedarville, Doctrinal Statement

In a meeting held on January 27, Cedarville president Dr. Thomas White presented proposed new changes to the doctrinal statement. These changes are not yet official additions; per the university bylaws, they will most likely be presented to the trustees for a vote over the summer. It is unclear at this time how the proposed changes will affect faculty contracts for the 2014-2015 academic year, as faculty are typically required to affirm any doctrinal changes at each renewal.

According to a slide obtained by The Ventriloquist, White announced the following planned additions:

  • Marriage as union of one man and one woman
  • Life begins at the moment of conception
  • Complementarianism
  • Sufficiency of Scripture

Dr. White also discussed a handful of miscellaneous items, including a recent Religion News Service article on Cedarville's treatment. White also addressed the science of psychology as it interfaces with his views on general and special revelation.

Despite the proclamation that approval to move forward with the additions was "unanimous," The Ventriloquist's sources have indicated that the Faculty Committee to the President received a number of concerned comments about the changes. According to the December 3 report from the Committee, discussion focused on a handful of specific concerns:

  • Confusion was expressed over the exact meaning and significance of "sufficiency" with regards to Scripture, and how the new point ought to be interpreted in light of special and natural revelation
  • Concerns were expressed that the statements on marriage or sanctity of life were expressed in too brief of a fashion and could perhaps be better addressed in a separate point or white paper
  • Some faculty were concerned that the new statement establishes a complementarian over an egalitarian view of marriage, while others thought the statement should also discuss singleness
  • Faculty expressed concerns that the revision process was closed to faculty input, that the revisions were being implemented so quickly, and that the revisions were timed shortly before the issuing of next year's faculty contracts

Dr. White responded to most of the concerns by stating and supporting his belief that the changes reflect views and positions already held by the university for some time. White also felt that he had to move quickly due to "some constraints," but encouraged faculty to contact him via email if they had additional concerns. It is unclear at this time whether White's responses sufficiently allayed faculty concerns or whether the changes were simply advanced anyway. As previously mentioned, none of the new changes have been yet made official.

Individuals with additional information on the new doctrinal statement or the validity of faculty input on the new document are encouraged to confidentially contact The Ventriloquist at ventriloquistpaper@gmail.com.