Wednesday, February 01, 2006

FORENSICS: Falwell's Liberty University is on a roll

... in the field of college forensics. No, not crime scene investigations! Here we're speaking of the field of formal debate or argumentation at the college level.
"Evangelicals have always wanted to persuade people to the faith," says John Green, a senior fellow at the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. "The new thing is that evangelicals want to be more involved in the world now. Conservative Christian leaders would like to have a cadre of conservative Christian attorneys, who then become judges, politicians and political appointees."
After all the Scriptures encourage just such enterprise ...
Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.
1 Peter 3:13-16
Consider the fact Liberty's debate team has been top ten ranked for years.
The Liberty team is currently ranked No. 1 in the country, above Harvard (14th) and all the other big names. But for the evangelicals, there's a lot more at stake than a trophy. Falwell and the religious right figure that if they can raise a generation that knows how to argue, they can stem the tide of sin in the country.
Okay, children of God, let me hear your amens and alleluias!
Seventy-five percent of Liberty's debaters go on to be lawyers with an eye toward transforming society. "I think I can make an impact in the field of law on abortion and gay rights, to get back to Americans' godly heritage," says freshman debater Cole Bender.
But I'm worried about this stealth assualt on the wall of separation by Rove and Falwell ...
Karl Rove was impressed enough by the squad that he tapped Liberty coach Brett O'Donnell to prep George W. Bush for all three presidential debates in 2004. O'Donnell briefed the president on his nonverbal tics. "They didn't listen to me until after the debacle," says O'Donnell, of Bush's awkward first debate performance.
I'm thrilled to see Jerry's vision for Liberty and its students' future ministries succeed. Every church in the United States which wants to cast a vision should research Liberty's strategery!

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