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Letters to the editor

Sept. 17, 2003

Faculty must realize true Baylor mission

In early March 1966 John Lennon told the London Evening Standard that the Beatles had become 'bigger than Jesus.' The recent criticism by faculty and this paper of Dr. Sloan's hiring and interviewing practices make me wonder if there aren't those at Baylor who have decided that Baylor is bigger than Jesus, too.

Academics, athletics, student life and all the other facets of Baylor life are important.

Pursuing excellence in each of these areas is a noble goal, but Baylor is not bigger than Jesus. The university was founded to carry out the mission of Jesus Christ. It is a Baptist school, and Baptists are a great commission people. We hold as a core conviction that nothing is as important as the spiritual salvation of a lost world.

Baylor exists to serve the mission of Jesus. Every faculty member, regardless of their field of academic study, should recognize that they are being hired to help Baylor to serve the mission of Jesus Christ.

Asking prospective faculty members questions that would help to determine whether or not they have a well- developed philosophy of Christian education is not an extreme step by this administration.

Sloan is not some wild-eyed fundamentalist, and the questions he has been asking should have been asked by past administrations. Assertions that he is some kind of radical are nothing more than immature name-calling. Baylor is at a crossroads.

Is the sole purpose of Baylor University to serve Jesus and his mission in the world? Or has Baylor become bigger than all that?

Dr. Brent Gentzel

Senior Pastor,

First Baptist Church

Kaufman, Texas