Tag Archives: falwell

Liberty University and Benny Hinn: A Match Made in Confusion

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 4.20.27 PM (2)Today the announcement that Liberty University was partnering with Benny Hinn Ministries hit the interwebs. The relationship seemed official. The course material bears the name “Liberty University.” There is even a mock diploma with the name and apparent official seal of LU. The provost of Liberty is in the video with Hinn and a prominent Liberty donor endorsing the partnership. There have been past internet grumblings of associations between late Liberty founder, Jerry Falwell, and Hinn but we all know how hyperbolic the internet can be.

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 3.21.09 PMMany (most?) evangelicals would consider Hinn’s theology and ministry practices to be clearly aberrant. Sproul has argued that heresy is a fair description of Hinn’s teachings (not too mention his lavish lifestyle and spending). Especially those associated with the more conservative strains of American Evangelicalism (e.g., Liberty University) have been quick to denounce the word-faith theology and pseudo-miraculous claims of Hinn. So any such partnership would immediately cause shock.

Within minutes of the announcement there were affirmations and denials of such a partnership. Liberty issued a statement:

Liberty University is not partnering with Benny Hinn.  Liberty transferred the operations of Liberty Home Bible Institute, a non-accredited biblical studies certificate program, to Mr. Dan Reber a number of years ago.  It is our understanding that LHBI’s new operators are working with Benny Hinn but LHBI is no longer operated by Liberty University.  Mr. Reber was granted certain licensing rights to use Liberty’s name because the Liberty name was deeply imbedded in LHBI course materials.  He was also required to obtain permission from Liberty University for any changes in marketing of the courses and Liberty University is investigating to determine whether this new marketing approach violates the terms of its agreement with Mr. Reber.”

The statement echoes the problem with the partnership. Liberty does not want to be connected to Hinn. Liberty definitely needs to investigate. Yet, while Liberty claims LHBI is no longer operated by the university, their website implies something different. Not only is LHBI on the liberty.edu website, it boasts that an LHBI degree is transferrable toward an LU degree. Further, the current Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Liberty University Provost is seen in the video endorsing this partnership.

So what hath Lynchburg to do with Hinn? In my opinion: too much.

There is no place for LU or its subsidiary institutions, much less its prominent faculty to sacrifice Biblical fidelity and sound Christian theology at the altar of a pragmatic partnership with a theologically and ethically suspect televangelist.

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 4.19.59 PM*Besides, we all know that Hinn is really from the dark side.

 

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Ergun Caner… Some Commentary

Dr. Jim West, one of the most interesting and incendiary bloggers has commented on the Liberty University saga containing Ergun Caner.  In his typically sardonic style Dr. West has pointed out that this situation is about honesty and integrity.  Unfortunately, Ergun Caner’s mistakes (allegedly) will affect not only himself but the institution at which he serves.

Also, “it’s not wise to ignore the insights of the blogosphere.”

Check out Dr. West’s commentary on this situation here and here.  If you are a Liberty student or alumni do not be offended by Dr. West’s equal opportunity cynicism.

Glenn Beck at Liberty

Liberty University has decided to invite Glenn Beck as their commencement speaker this year.  I find this to be a curious choice for a speaker.  As a “Christian University” Liberty has found in Glenn Beck neither the qualification of a Christian or as a scholar.  Beck is a Mormon who hosts a regular radio and television show that centers on far-right politics, scare-tactics, and conspiracy theories.

Glenn Beck adds his name to the list of  Liberty commencement speakers that includes Ben Stein and Chuck Norris.

My concern is that Liberty is more interested in indoctrination than education.  While I am open to the idea of a “Christian University,” a commencement speaker such as Beck belies the administrations devotion to conservative, partisan politics rather than the pursuit of intelligent, Christian discipleship.