The announcement that The King's College, New York, has appointed Dinesh D'Souza as its new President is interesting for a number of reasons. D'Souza undoubtedly makes a good choice for an institutional president -- articulate, dynamic, and learned, as well as being a public figure of considerable stature. He has also in recent years earned a reputation as a gracious apologist for Christianity.
What makes the appointment surprising is that he is a Roman Catholic....
What perplexes me about the D'Souza appointment is the fact that The King's College sees
itself as rooted in the Protestant, evangelical tradition, and sells itself on training young people in terms of a Christian worldview and then sending them out to be cultural leaders.
Clearly, if the school can now be headed by a Roman Catholic, the Christian worldview of The King's College presumably sees issues of authority, the Bible, the interpretation of the Bible, the sacraments, justification, and the church (among numerous other doctrines) as negotiable, as areas where there can be significant disagreement and which are, by inference, only tangential to a Christian view of the world. This is not to denigrate either Protestant or Catholic views in these areas, but merely to point out the fact that there are huge differences here which yet are not seen as impinging on the worldview being taught. One is left to assume that this "Christian" aspect of the worldview consists, theologically, in little more than agreement on the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Filioque, and not much else. `Generic and minimalist' seem scarcely adequate as a description at this point.
As I have argued before, if these issues really are negotiable, then we should all return to Rome. Not to do so is an act of schism, as disagreement over them drove the Reformation in the first place and gave Protestantism its reason -- its only reason -- to exist. Francis Beckwith realised this and, with honesty and grace, returned to the church of his childhood. And when a college which plays on its Protestant, evangelical identity appoints a Roman Catholic as president, the theologically vague coalition that is evangelicalism is once again exposed in all of its basic theological incoherence and indifference.Read the whole thing here.