From afar, I’ve followed the homosexual controversy at Harding University in Searcy, Ark. Seems to be a non-story to me, or at least, an internal affair, if it weren’t for the reaction of outsiders. Harding appears to have done the right thing, since (1) homosexuality (the self-styled gays don’t call it “gayness”) is sin, like all immorality; and (2) as a private institution, Harding can make its own rules.

I’ve seen brethren fawn over news from outsiders when it was complimentary. Some of our folk puff out their chest when the world gets chummy and full of praise for our virtues. Now let’s man up and say, this is what God’s people usually get from the world. (But we think the USA ought to be Christian!)

Speaking of Harding, I hear tell the university is changing the name of the Memphis-based “Harding University Graduate School of Religion” for the third time, to Harding School of Theology. When I attended it was known as Harding Graduate School of Religion, but apparently the head chiefs in Searcy wanted it identified clearly that it belonged to them. (Calling it a school of religion always left me curious, yea, perplexed.) Now, back to mere Harding (are they spinning it off on its own?) and a shorter, more accurate moniker. Well, closer to accurate, since our schools, many of them, ought really to be called Schools of Clergy.

Way back when, the brotherhood had a hissy about theology, because it represented the barn door through which denominational doctrine and liberal theories were spread. Graduate courses, even at ACU in 1982-1983, called their NT and OT theology courses “The Message of …”( I know, I took them both, under Olbricht, and with the exception of a few squeamish moments, they were superb.) With so many of our finest finishing up at denominational institutions, however, breathing the air of seminaries and schools of theology and salivating at the feet of theologians, we’ve lost our mettle against the idea of theology.

Makes one wonder as well if we’ve lost our mettle against the doctrines that some theologies bring in.

Used to, we breathed fire about having doctors of theology, too.

Today, in a more mellow era, if someone as conservative as Rex A. Turner, Sr., can write a tome entitled Systematic Theology, I suppose it’s now OK for one of our universities to come out of the closet and tell us what they’re really doing: teaching theology.

Somehow, however, methinks something got lost in the shuffle. At least, we’re still strong against the gays. In some spots.