Today (April 21) Baylor inaugurated its thirteenth president, John Mark Lilley. Check out the two-hour ceremony (often taking the form of an ordination) to make a more informed decision as to whether Baylor considers itself a Christian institution of higher learning.

In this article from March 10, Associated Baptist Press offers a thoughtful discussion of the "free-church tradition" and the functionality of the "magisterium" and encompasses the question of whether Baylor should model itself after Notre Dame: "Debate about Baylor's future asks: Should Baptists learn from Catholics?"

The last three graphs of the story are instructive:

So, the question comes full circle. Should Baylor University model itself after Notre Dame? Not entirely and certainly not uncritically, said new Baylor President John Lilley.

“I certainly respect the great reputation of Notre Dame, but I think Baylor should be allowed to grow in its own environment, with its own sense of identity,” Lilley said.

“I’m sure there are lessons at Notre Dame that we should learn and could use, but I think great institutions can develop their own benchmarks. It’s an overstatement to say we’re trying to become the Notre Dame of the Southwest or the Notre Dame of Baptist life. We will go our own way, and follow our own lights.”

Also, if you remember the Baylor discussion from a few weeks ago (click here for a review), please consider this conversation in brief between two Christian friends on the run in re Baylor and inerrancy:

Christian A:

OK, here’s my question: if Baylor has “taught secular geology and biology for 100 years” (by that, I assume, is meant the anti-biblical theory of evolution) and has always employed “religion” professors of the “moderate-to-liberal variety” (by that, I assume, is meant those who do not recognize the inerrancy of God’s Word and who read it [when they do] in such a way as to support their own preferences), then why, exactly, is it “a great place to get a Christian education?” What is distinctly Christian about it? And why would a Christian parent want to pay $100,000 to someone in order to have them undermine and subvert everything the parent has instilled in them for 18 years?

Christian B:

Inerrancy is a ticklish subject. Baylor has generally steered away from the fights over inerrancy. Number One: what does inerrancy mean? I trust by inerrancy you don’t mean literalism. I trust that by inerrancy you mean that the Bible is divinely inspired but the product of human hands and subject to human error. That position is consistent with what you learn at Baylor in its religion department.

I would say that Baylor is a very Baptist place. Moreover, Baylor is still a very evangelical Christian place...

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