A well-known Old Testament professor was forced to resign from his role at Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS) last week after a video was released revealing his endorsement of evolution.
Bruce Waltke, a respected scholar and longtime professor, made the remarks during a workshop with BioLogos Foundation, a group that promotes compatibility between science and theology. According to reports in USA Today, Waltke said that “If the data is overwhelmingly in favor of evolution, to deny that reality will make us a cult ... some odd group that is not really interacting with the world.”
The video set off a firestorm at RTS, which is an evangelical seminary with ties to various denominations, in Oviedo, Fla., where Waltke was teaching. Michael Milton, interim president of the RTS Florida campus, said that Waltke was one of the world’s leading Old Testament scholars and that his departure was causing lots of “heartache,” but that the school had no choice.
Milton said the seminary allows views to vary on evolution, but only to an extent. For example, professors can disagree as to the length of time in the original seven days of creation, but they cannot acknowledge a Darwinian perspective, which proposes that humans did not arrive on the earth directly from God.
“We are a confessional seminary. I'm a professor myself, but I do not have a freedom that would go past the boundaries of the confession,” Milton said. “Nor do I have a freedom that would allow me to express my views in such a way to hurt or impugn someone who holds another view."
Waltke could not be reached for comment, but he did release a statement standing behind the substance of the video. [usatoday, 4/10/10]