Stanley Fish interviews Dinesh D’Souza:
S.F.: Some readers characterized the King’s College, of which you are the president, as “barely above correspondence level,” a place where little science except creationist science is taught, a venue for the promotion of Christian doctrine rather than a genuine liberal arts college devoted to open inquiry. How would you characterize the college? Are you a creationist and do you believe, as one reader assumed you do, that the earth is 6,000 years old?
D.D.: I am not a creationist as the term is usually understood. I believe that the earth is billions of years old and the universe even older. I do believe that God is the creator, but that’s a completely different thing. I’ve written in defense of evolution and made arguments that are based on evolution. As for the King’s College, it is a quite selective liberal arts college. The SAT scores of our students are comparable to N.Y.U.’s and Georgetown’s and our students have routinely been admitted to those colleges. We don’t teach creationism and we don’t teach Christian doctrine. We do teach the New Testament and the Old Testament, but in a scholarly way. Our programs are politics, economics, business, philosophy, media, culture and the arts. We teach the history of science but we don’t teach laboratory science, in part because the economics are prohibitive and in part because our mission is to shape young people to go into certain institutions — law, media, journalism, finance, politics. Our students are not being prepared to enter seminaries, but to go to Goldman Sachs and Capitol Hill and Shanghai, where, from a liberal point of view, they will be even more dangerous. (emphasis mine)
He’s talking to Fish of all people, and he’s saying that they don’t use their own foundation in their studies—even in their biblical studies! They use an academic (read: neutral?) one instead. D’Souza is an evidentialist, but surely not all evidentialists would talk this way.
The Kings College website says about itself,
Our program is designed to help students learn to speak persuasively, write effectively, and think critically. Our hope is that students will develop the kind of highly sophisticated biblical worldview that a life of real influence will require.
But our Christian influence is sapped of its strength when biblical distinctives are erased. I’m certain that good things do happen at the King’s College in New York City (the audio page shows a lot of neat lectures that I wish I could’ve been present for). But I say come to Bob Jones University—where you will get teachers who care about the Christian worldview, understand their disciplines, and aren’t ashamed to put the two together.
Thanks for the post. I have to lead a discussion on Fish in a week.