Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Paige Patterson on Campus Violence

Last week in a chapel service at SWBTS, seminary president Paige Patterson admonished the male students to be prepared to stand up to, and stop a campus shooter, should such violence ever occur at the seminary. The clip can be found here (4/18).

Yesterday, the seminary released a statement, written by Dr. Patterson expanding his remarks.
Since his original remarks last wednesday, many have criticized the president for "being insensitive" and for a myriad of other charges, most stemming from each pundit's interpretation of his motives.

I will not make apology for his remarks. Dr. Patterson has been called many things, but "sensitive" is not usually one of them. I do, however believe it is important for us not to judge his motives, only God and Dr. Patterson can know those. I will agree, even as a current student of the seminary, that his remarks struck me as quite bizarre. Upon reading the press release, however it appears to me that he does raise a legitimate viewpoint. Dr. Patterson views Christianity as a faith of selflessness and sacrifice, and rightly so for this is what the Bible commands of us. I agree with Dr. Patterson that the values of courage and sacrifice are important and ought to be taught at our seminaries.

How then should our faith work itself out in our lives? Does our faith lead us to attack a gunman in order to save the lives of others? Or does it manifest itself in other ways? I pray that the day never comes when someone with intent to kill enters our churches or seminaries (again), yet if and when that day does come, we should have an idea of just what our faith does call us to do. Are we to show our faith through quiet martyrdom, or are we to actively struggle against one intent on doing harm? Each of us must answer that question for ourselves.

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