Plan C important to divinity schools, Cogdill says
April 3 2003 by Steve DeVane , BR Managing Editor

Plan C important to divinity schools, Cogdill says | Friday, April 4, 2003
  • who emphasize pastoral authority or model servant leadership?
  • who push the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message or emphasize the priesthood of believers and the autonomy of churches?
  • who elevate calling to one gender or celebrate the calling and gifting of all?

    Cogdill said Mainstream Baptist values are "strong and present" at the two N.C. Baptist divinity schools and among their students.

    Those attending the MBNC meeting also heard testimonies by the Harbins. Chris Harbin was fired last year by the International Mission Board (IMB) for allegedly teaching contrary to the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message (BF&M). Karen Harbin was forced to resign.

    IMB officials said Harbin's teaching materials were contrary to the BF&M position on biblical inerrancy. Inerrancy was the conservative battle cry during the fight for control of the SBC.

    Chris Harbin said he believes the issue is more about the nature of faith than inerrancy. Some hold to a "propositional faith," while the Harbins believe in "relational faith."

    If truth is attacked, someone who believes in propositional faith can't handle it, Harbin said.

    The Harbins are now serving a church in Virginia.

    The Harbins were asked about missionaries who may have signed an affirmation of the BF&M even though they don't agree with it. They said at least one IMB leader is telling missionaries that he needs their signatures regardless of their beliefs.

    "I think that those that do sign even though they don't agree are just buying time," Chris Harbin said. "They're going to be in the next wave."

  • Friday, April 4, 2003

    Plan C important to divinity schools, Cogdill says

    By Steve DeVane BR Managing Editor

    GREENSBORO - The two N.C. Baptist divinity schools stand to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars if the Baptist State Convention's (BSC) giving Plan C is eliminated, the dean of one of the schools said.

    Michael Cogdill, dean of the Campbell University Divinity School, talked about the importance of the plan at a meeting of Mainstream Baptists of North Carolina (MBNC) on March 29 at Greensboro's First Baptist Church.

    Chris and Karen Harbin, who were recently forced out of their missionary positions in Brazil by the International Mission Board, also spoke at the meeting.

    A special committee is studying whether Plan C is consistent with the BSC Constitution. Plan C is the only one of the BSC's four giving plans that sends money to the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF).

    The BSC's Constitution says that one of its several purposes is "to cooperate with the work of the Southern Baptist Convention." Some Baptists interpret that to mean the BSC cannot cooperate with other Baptist bodies such as the CBF.

    Cogdill said all four giving plans are needed because they protect the freedom of churches to participate as they desire.

    "For a group in N.C. Baptist life to attempt to tell a church how they should appropriate their missions dollars is unthinkable to me," he said.

    Cogdill said plans B and C, which send money to the divinity schools at Campbell and Gardner-Webb University, are critical to those schools.

    Campbell received about $305,000 through the plans this past academic year, Cogdill said. Gardner-Webb received a similar amount.

    About 40 to 45 percent of those funds come through Plan C, Cogdill said.

    "There is no way we can generate that type of income if we lose Plan C, especially with the rule that we live under that we cannot appeal directly to churches," he said.

    Cogdill said that in 2002, 194 students at Southern Baptist seminaries call North Carolina home. The two divinity schools have more than double that amount, he said.

    Cogdill said N.C. Baptists sent about $1.5 million to SBC seminaries through the Cooperative Program in 2002.

    The SBC schools get about $6,000 per student. The divinity schools get between $2,400 and $3,300 per student, he said.

    In 2001, N.C. Baptists sent more than $200,000 to Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in California. That school had one N.C. student, he said.

    That same year, N.C. Baptists sent about $187,000 to Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, which had four N.C. students, according to Cogdill.

    "That's how that gets out of whack," he said.

    Cogdill said that Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest likely gets a lower amount per N.C. student, but the school also gets money from 49 other states.

    The issue goes beyond funding, Cogdill said. He asked if N.C. Baptists want to support ministers:

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    4/3/2003 11:00:00 PM by Steve DeVane , BR Managing Editor | with 0 comments
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