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What My Evangelical Professors Taught Me About the Bible

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I attended Midwestern Baptist College in Pontiac, Michigan from 1976-1979. Midwestern is a diehard Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) institution. Established in 1954, Midwestern requires its professors to rigidly hold to IFB/Evangelical beliefs. Not doing so leads to firing for professors and expulsion for students. No one was permitted to deviate from the “faith once delivered to the saints” — as interpreted by Chancellor Tom Malone and the college’s administration.

These presuppositions guided every professor’s teaching:

  • The Bible is the very words of God.
  • The Bible is inspired — breathed out by God.
  • The Bible is inerrant — without error.
  • The Bible is infallible — true in all that it says,
  • The Bible is meant, with few exceptions, to be read and interpreted literally.
  • The Holy Spirit teaches us what particular verses of the Bible mean.
  • The Bible has no errors, mistakes, or contractions.
  • The Bible is internally consistent (univocality).

Further, Midwestern had particular beliefs about soteriology, eschatology, ecclesiology, and pneumatology. Only the King James Bible was used in the classroom, and only Erasmus’ text was used in Greek class. Hebrew was not taught at Midwestern. Opposing viewpoints were rarely brought up, other than to tell students, “We don’t believe that here.” Not one class was spent addressing Calvinism or any other eschatological system except dispensationalism, premillennialism, and pretribulationalism. Indoctrination, not knowledge, was always the goal.

My college education was rudimentary, at best. My real education came in my study, as I spent 20,000 hours reading and studying the Bible. I quickly learned that my professors had misled me. I suspect many of them didn’t know any better, having been raised in similar IFB surroundings as I.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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1 Comment

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    I had to look up the definition of pneumatology. I am not sure if we learned that particular “-ology” in our Bob Jones University catechism in fundamentalist Christian school.

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