Louisville, Kentucky

The More Education – The Less They Believe!
Diploma Students––––––––––––––-100%
1st Year M.Div.–––––––––––74%
Final Yr. M.Div.–––––––––65%
Diploma Students––––––––––––––96%
1st Yr. M.Div.––––––––––66%
Final Yr. M.Div.–––––33%

By E. L. Bynum
(This tract was published in August 1981, and it presents the condition
of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary at that time.)
Messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention (hereafter SBC) in Los Angeles, Calif., June 1981, were shocked to learn that Duke McCall, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky had resigned. McCall had been president of this, the oldest Seminary of Southern Baptists, for over 25 years. In that time he had led the Seminary squarely into the camp of liberalism. According to the Southern Baptist Journal, April/May 1981, a man who had been a trustee of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (hereafter SBTS) said, „I’ve heard Duke make statements that he has brought the Seminary into the liberal camp.” The trustee further remarked, „He said he had turned us around – that they are very liberal and that we are now in the mainstream of Christianity, whereas we were not so before.”
A Seminary President’s Drinking Problem
News has now surfaced, according to the Sword of the Lord, July 10, 1981, that McCall’s resignation was brought about by a drinking problem. This has also been revealed in a paper circulated by the Southern Baptist Journal. According to these reports, McCall was observed drinking on a recent trip to China. One of the trustees of SBTS wrote a letter to McCall concerning his beer drinking on his trip to China. The trustee sent copies of his letter to SBC President, Bailey Smith, and the Trustee Chairman, Wayne Dehoney. McCall stated that on his recent tour to China he drank only beer and wine (as if that would make a difference since it was not 100 proof). Shortly thereafter, Dr. McCall called a special meeting of the trustees and resigned.
It is sad and inexcusable for a seminary president to drink beer and wine. The devil surely laughed with glee when this happened. However, it is our conviction that McCall’s drinking was a minor sin when compared to his fostering, aiding, helping, and promoting modernism during his quarter of a century at SBTS.
SBTS has brought to its platform some of the leading infidel modernists of the world. They have a long history of hiring professors who deny the fundamental doctrines of the Word of God. This did not begin during McCall’s reign as President but he has certainly done nothing to stop it, but to the contrary he has encouraged and aided the theological termites in their destruction of the foundation and framework of this once great school. Now his evil doctrine and evil practice has led to evil living.
In this tract we propose to prove that Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is (1) turning out graduates who become liberals and Bible deniers while students at SBTS, and (2) they have liberals on the faculty who do not believe the Bible and who are teaching their students not to believe God’s Word.
In 1976, Noel Wesley Hollyfield, Jr., wrote his thesis for a Master of Divinity degree from SBTS, Louisville, KY. Hollyfield’s thesis was titled: „A Sociological Analysis of the Degrees of ‘Christian Orthodoxy’ Among Selected Students in the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.” His thesis was read and approved by the SBTS committee composed of G. Willis Bennet, chairman, E. Glenn Hinson, and Henlee Barnette. Their approval indicates that they believe that the contents were accurate and the conclusions validated.

––––––––––––––––Diploma–-1st Year–-Final Yr.––Grad.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS–––Students–-M.Div.––M.Div.––-Students
I know God really exists
& I have no doubt about it.––––-100%–––74%–––65%–––63%
Jesus is the Divine Son of God
and I have no doubts about it.–––100%–––87%–––63%–––63%
I believe the miracles actually
happened just at the Bible says
they did.–––––––––––––96%–––61%–––40%–––37%
The Devil Actually Exists:
Completely true.–––––––––-96%–––66%–––42%–––37%
Probably true.–––––––––––4%–––18%–––26%–––15%
Probably not true.–––––––––-0%–––12%–––23%–––32%
Definitely not true.–––––––––-0%–––-5%–––-9%–––15%
There is Life Beyond Death:
Completely true.–––––––––100%–––89%–––67%––-53%
Jesus Was Born of A Virgin:
Completely true.––––––––––96%–––66%–––33%––-32%
Probably true.–––––––––––-4%–––17%–––33%––-37%
Probably not true.––––––––––0%–––14%–––21%––-15%
Definitely not true.––––––––––0%––––2%–––12%––15%
Jesus Walked On Water:
Completely true.––––––––––96%–––59%–––44%––-22%
Do You Believe Jesus Will
Actually Return To Earth
Some Day?
Belief In Jesus As Saviour:
Absolutely necessary.–––––––100%–––85%–––60%–––59%
Holding The Bible To Be
God’s Truth:
Absolutely necessary.–––––––-73%–––42%–––33%–––21%
Being Completely Ignorant Of
Jesus As Might Be The Case
For People Living In Other
Being Of The Hindu Religion:
Not hinder–––––––––––––35%–––19%–––16%–––21%

Hollyfield’s thesis proves that modernism is being taught at SBTS, and that it is having a devastating effect upon the students. The SBJ in a digest of Hollyfield’s thesis correctly said, „The MORE EDUCATION students get at Southern Seminary the LESS THEY BELIEVE.” The thesis of 159 pages contains numerous charts which show beyond any doubt that the more education Southern Baptist students have and the longer they study at SBTS, the more liberal and modernistic they become in doctrine. In this tract we intend to reproduce some of the more relevant information revealed in these charts.
Keep in mind that Hollyfield was a student at SBTS and that his thesis had to be written and approved before he could receive his Master of Divinity degree. His statistics were gained by using a standard 37 question questionnaire that was answered by the students. If his method had been unfair and biased, no doubt the three member faculty committee would have rejected the thesis.
Hollyfield considers the students under 7 different statistical tabulations. For our purpose we shall consider only four of his statistical groups, which will give us an overall picture of the modernism that SBTS is producing. For the convenience of our readers, we shall number these four divisions of students and explain what they are.
Diploma students. Most of these would not be college graduates and therefore ineligible for the seminary degree. These would tend to be more orthodox and fundamental, since they have not had part of their faith destroyed in a Southern Baptist college.
First year M.Div. students. (Master of Divinity). These would be college graduates with perhaps most of them being from Southern Baptist colleges. Final year M.Div. students. These students would have already spent many hours in the SBTS classrooms, plus much research work. Their beliefs would tend to show whether SBTS was building faith, or destroying faith. We should closely watch the difference in the beliefs of first year M.Div. students and final year M.Div. students. Graduate students. (Ph.D., Doctor of Philosophy; Th.M., Master of Theology). These would be the most advanced students and the most highly educated of all students.
The above facts and figures provide irrefutable proof that Southern Seminary does not produce faith but destroys it. You would believe that faithful Bible teaching in a seminary should produce greater faith in the Bible and the fundamentals of the faith. The student might come to school with some questions, but as Bible believing professors taught and influenced the students, unbelief would be replaced by faith. At Southern Seminary they come believing the Word of God and leave in unbelief (at least believing less than when they came.)
For instance 100% of the diploma students (the uneducated) believe in the existence of God. Only 74% of the 1st year M.Div. and 65% of the final year M.Div. believe that God really exists. That means that 9% lost their faith in the existence of God in Seminary. Among diploma students 100% believed in Jesus as the Divine son of God. Only 87% of the 1st year M.Div. students believed that, and only 63% of the final year M.Div. students believed it. That means that 24% of the M.Div. students lost their faith in Jesus being the Divine Son of God during their time at Southern Seminary. I would say that this is absolutely appalling to say the least. Also the question needs to be asked, why does SBTS accept students for a M.Div. degree who do not believe in the existence of God or that Jesus is the Divine Son of God?
The above chart shows that 21% of the M.Div. students lost their belief in miracles while in Southern Seminary. By that time only 40% of these even believed in miracles. During their stay at southern seminary 24% of the M.Div. students lost their belief in the existence of the Devil, and only 42% in their final year even believed in the Devil. While in Seminary 22% lost their belief in life beyond death. How sad that 33% of the M.Div. students lost their belief in the Virgin Birth of Christ while they were in SBTS. Only 33% were completely sure that they believed in the Virgin Birth of Christ.
During Seminary 25% of the M.Div. students lost their belief that it was absolutely necessary to believe in Jesus Christ to be saved. During the final year only 60% believed it was necessary. These and many other frightening trends may be gleaned from the condensation of Hollyfield’s findings.
The question that each of the 35,000 churches of the SBC must face is: „Shall we continue to send mission money to help pay the salaries of professors who teach their students that the Bible is not the infallible Word of God, thus destroying their faith?” These students who graduate are going to become pastors, teachers in seminaries or colleges, and thus destroy the faith of those who sit under their ministry.
SBTS employs teachers who do not believe the fundamentals of the faith. They question the inspiration of the Bible itself. This we will prove as space permits. Dr. Duke McCall has led the Seminary down the broad road of liberalism. The school was founded by solid Bible believing men, but for many years McCall and his predecessors during the 20th century have led the Seminary into the heartland of the present apostasy. This follows the pattern of Christianity. (1) Good men who believe the Bible establish institutions such as colleges and seminaries. (2) By deceit and even lying, evil men take over these institutions and use their influence to redirect the schools and use them to teach modernistic false doctrine. (3) At the same time godly churches and individuals continue to be hoodwinked into supporting the modernists and their schools. The banner of love is often appealed to by the religious liberals in order to get support from Bible believers.
The European and African cuckoo birds do not build nests. They lay their eggs in the nests of other smaller birds. Naturally the baby cuckoo birds are larger and dominate the nests, many times evicting the other offspring. The birds of the other species feed the baby cuckoo birds and raise them. As the baby cuckoo birds grow up, they go out and repeat the process. Modernistic liberals are the cuckoo birds of the theological world. They simply lay their evil eggs in the nests built by Bible believers and eventually just take over. The liberals do not build, like termites they enter to destroy.
The Modernism Of Southern Seminary Teachers
In 1947 SBTS invited Dr. Nels S. F. Ferre to deliver the „Gay” lectures at the Seminary. Ferre was at that time a professor at Vanderbilt University and had written a number of well-known books that were filled with blasphemy. Dr. David Otis Fuller wrote a tract exposing the rank unbelief of Ferre. We shall give a few quotes from Fuller’s tract. Ferre wrote a book titled: „The Christian Understanding of God.” On page 186 he said, „We have no way of knowing, even, that Jesus was sinless . . . ” On page 191 Ferre said, „Mary, we remember, was found pregnant before her engagement to mild Joseph. Nazareth was hard by a Roman garrison where the soldiers were German mercenaries. Jesus is also reported throughout a continuous part of the history of art, it is claimed, to have been blond . . . Hence Jesus must have been the child of a German soldier!”
In his book, „The sun and the Umbrella,” Ferre said, „Jesus never was nor became God” (p. 112). „The use of the Bible as the final authority for Christian truth is idolatry.” (p. 39). He also said there can be „the Hindu branch of the Church of the living God” (p. 122). „Hinduism is good and wise” (p 117). „What a spiritual people this religion has produced!” (p. 119).
In spite of Ferre’s infidelity, he lectured at SBTS and other Southern Baptist schools. Dr. George A. Buttrick, a National Council of Churches liberal, has also lectured at SBTS and at other Southern Baptist schools. In his book, „The Christian Fact and Modern Doubt,” Buttrick said on page 162, „Literal infallibility of Scripture is a fortress impossible to defend . . . ” He said on page 167, „In retrospect it seems incredible that the theory of literal inspiration could have ever been held.” According to Buttrick on page 170, the inspiration of the books of Obadiah and of Revelation is not better than that of the uninspired apocryphal books. In addition, he was the editor-in-chief of the blasphemous commentaries named, „The Interpreter’s Bible.”
William E. Hull And Other Liberals At SBTS
William E. Hull was a teacher for many years at SBTS until he resigned in 1975 to become pastor of the First Baptist Church, Shreveport, Louisiana. Many observers feel that he has the inside track on becoming the next president of SBTS, but a strong move is being made by conservatives in the SBC to keep that from happening.
In 1970 Hull was the Dean of the School of Theology at SBTS. He preached a sermon at the Cresent Hill Baptist Church in Louisville, where he and many of the faculty and students of SBTS were members, entitled, „Shall We Call The Bible Infallible?” The sermon was printed in „The Baptist Program” in Dec. 1970. We are indebted to William A. Powell for printing that sermon in his book, „The SBC Issue & Question.” Hull’s sermon is a bold attack against the infallibility of God’s Word, wherein he lists four reasons why we should not call the Bible infallible. Although he tried to shield his attack by using temperate words, nevertheless, it is a brash effort to convince his listeners that the Bible contains errors.
He claims that the Bible is not infallible, since the word „infallible” is not found in the Bible. This is the same tactic employed by Unitarians to try to deny the Trinity, and is not really worthy of consideration. He says that the confessions of faith do not use the word „infallible” with the exception of the Second London Confession of 1677. Even though „infallible” is not in the New Hampshire Confession and the SBC Confession of 1925 and 1963, Hull surely knows that the framers believed it and that their confessions say the same thing in other words, when they said that the Bible has „truth without any mixture of error, for its matter.” If he was not a blatant liberal he would admit it was so. In fact Dr. Hershel Hobbs, the chairman of the 1963 SBC committee that drew up the statement of faith, has said more than once that they meant by the confession that the Bible was infallible. Every liberal tries to pit Moses against Jesus and to accuse those who believe in inerrancy of bibliolatry. Hull said, „Consider for a moment what would happen if the biblical dialectic between infallible God and fallible man were dissolved by a one-sided emphasis on scriptural inerrancy. Religious history is a sad record of how easily this position is distorted into bibliolatry. Some of the scribes in Jesus’ day held such a high view of Scripture that they put Moses above the new word that God was trying to speak through his Son.” What a cheap shot Hull has taken by comparing the scribes of Jesus’ day to those who believe in inerrancy today. Jesus never cast doubt on the inerrancy of any O.T. scripture and Hull knows this to be true.
Hull said that infallibility was not practical and then went on to say, „The cumulative force of the evidence is overwhelming: no it is not wise to call the Bible ‘infallible.'” He also said, „On the other side are those who have just as clearly seen the human character of the Bible. They know that its dates do not always agree, that its doctrines develop, that its grammar is sometimes confused. They cannot give up this recognition of the humanity of its writers, for to do so would require them to fly in the face of established facts and to repudiate the advances of science in recent centuries.” Yet, when Hull resigned in 1975 from the faculty of SBTS, Duke McCall said that he was not fired and that he did not leave because of his lack of faith in the Bible.
Is it any wonder that the final year of the M.Div. students, 35% are not sure that God exists, 37% are not sure that Jesus was the Divine son of God, 60% do not believe the miracles of the Bible really happened as the Bible says, 67% do not believe that it is completely true that Jesus was born of a virgin, and that 56% are not completely sure that Jesus walked on water. Students cannot listen to men like William Hull and retain their faith in God’s Word!!
Dale Moody is a long time tenured teacher at SBTS. According to a Baptist Press news release dated July 25, 1961, the Baptist Pastor’s Conference of Oklahoma County (Oklahoma City is in this county) passed a resolution aimed at weeding out heresy in Southern Baptist Seminaries. Dr. Hershel Hobbs, pastor of First Baptist Church in Oklahoma City and long time speaker on the Baptist Hour, was present and voted for the resolution. This resolution singled out Dale Moody as teaching the doctrine of apostasy, or falling from grace, and also criticized him for advocating alien immersion and open communion.
The „Review and Expositor” printed an article by Dale Moody in the summer 1967 issue. Harold Lindsell quotes extensively from that article in the book, „The Bible In The Balance.” Moody said, ” . . . it is possible to interpret Adam and Eve as representative and symbolic human beings rather than the only human beings.” How can Moody possible explain what Paul wrote in Rom. 5:12, „Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world . . . „? Lindsell gives page after page in his book describing and quoting the liberal unbiblical statements of the professors of SBTS. The evidence is available for those who wish to see, but many would rather remain blind.
Someone wrote Dr. Duke McCall a letter asking him the following questions, „(1) do you believe that God inspired every Word of the original manuscripts? (2) Do you believe there are any errors in the original manuscripts? (3) Do you believe that Adam and Eve were the first two human beings and that they gave birth to Cain, Abel, Seth, and other sons and daughters?” It would have been an easy matter for any Bible believer to answer the three questions, and any Bible believer would be delighted to do so. But McCall printed the questions in the school paper, „The Tie,” and he did not answer even one of the questions. Instead he asked three sarcastic questions which did not come close to answering.
We reviewed in our tract #A-336, „Is The Bible A Human Book?”, edited by Wayne E. Ward and Joseph F. Green, and published by Broadman Press. It was written by 15 Southern Baptist leaders and a number of them are graduates of SBTS. One chapter was written by Wayne E. Ward, professor of Christian theology at SBTS. On page 78 he denies that the Genesis account of creation is to be taken as literal truth. He denies the literal serpent in the temptation and he insists that there was no literal tree whose fruit was to be avoided. The whole book is an open and avowed attack on the inspiration of the Bible and its inerrancy. It was published in 1970 and was still available at Baptist Book Stores the last time we checked.
Dr. Frank Stagg has taught in several Baptist schools and is a teacher at SBTS. Stagg opposes the substitutionary atonement of Christ and believes in the moral influence theory of the atonement. Stagg speaks of sin in this way, „The Father does not need to punish the Son in order to win the right to forgive . . . Sin in the New Testament is not viewed as an entity which can be offset by a good act; it is a broken relationship which must be restored, a sickness (emph. ours) which must be cured.”
Clyde T. Francisco At Southern Seminary
Francisco is the author of the „Commentary on Genesis” which is in Vol. 1 of „The Broadman Bible Commentary.” He is also professor of Old Testament Interpretation, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY. I would make the whole commentary on Genesis as „exhibit A” in an evaluation of Francisco’s belief. It is evident that he does not believe in verbal inspiration and does not take the early chapters of Genesis literally. On p. 119 he says, „The materials used by the writer or writers were largely those received in their traditions, the accounts of their ancestors handed down among their forefathers. These sources belong primarily to two basic tradition groups, a priestly and a popular one.” It is evident that he thinks that Genesis is a collection of stories gathered by different authors and that no inspiration is involved. On page 120 he says, „Creation is viewed as having occurred over an indefinite period of time, and having proceeded from the lower forms to the higher.” At best he is a theistic evolutionist. It is a mystery to me as to why the SBC would make the Sunday School Board withdraw the original commentary on Genesis by G. Henton Davies and substitute the one by Francisco. I have them both, and there is very little difference in the two. They are both modernistic and to the core they go against the truth that Moses wrote Genesis and that it is the verbally inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word of God.
Francisco also wrote a 14 page history of Israel that is included in Vol. 1 of the Broadman Commentary. It is filled with modernistic gobblygook. In Francisco’s „Introducing the Old Testament” published by Broadman we find an abundance of information showing that he is an enemy of Biblical truth. He is modernistic and takes the liberal side on almost every issue.
After reading the information on SBTS professors like Francisco, Hull, Moody, Ward, Stagg, and others, we are amazed that any students come out of SBTS believing in the Virgin Birth, the existence of God, miracles, and other fundamental doctrines. The sin of Duke McCall would have been less severe if he had stayed drunk every night of his ministry, than the sin he has committed in presiding over this modernistic preacher factory know as SBTS.
Will The Conservatives Save The Southern Baptists?
We are glad that William A. Powell, Harold Lindsell, Paige Patterson, Adrian Rodgers, and Bailey Smith have spoken out against the liberalism in Southern Baptist Seminaries. We would like to see them prevail over the modernists, but the facts of history show that they will not. It is sad to see that some of these same men give huge amounts of money to the Cooperative Program which supports SBTS and other liberal schools. Dr. W. A. Criswell and First Baptist of Dallas continue to pour huge amounts of money into the Cooperative Program. Bailey Smith has said that he is leading his church to be the leading supporter in Oklahoma of the Cooperative Program. SBTS has received millions of dollars from the Cooperative Program, and they continue to do so.
The only Biblical approach for true believers is to come out of the Southern Baptist Convention. See our tract # D-508, „The Bible Believers And Heretics,” for biblical information for dealing with heretics such as those described above. Also see our tract # C-330 to see what Spurgeon said that Bible believers should do about modernism and unbelief.
In another tract which we want to print soon, we intend to show that this liberalism is not just in Louisville, but that it is in all of their seminaries and colleges and that it is spreading fast. In another tract we intend to show the sinful living and worldliness that prevails at many of the Southern Baptist schools.
Tract # A-338 Order From:
1911 34th St., E. L. Bynum, Pastor
P.O. Box 3100, Lubbock, TX 79452

  1. Joel Montes spune:

    Just for the record. You are posting an article dated 1981 and another one in 1976. I’m posting a comment on September 1, 2010, almost 30 years later. If you don’t know this already, SBTS is the most conservative Seminary out of all the SBC related graduate schools. It’s literally made a 180 degree turn from the liberalism of the time towards conservative, reformed soteriology, with the leadership direction of Albert Mohler. Your post is anachronistic.

  2. Lucas spune:

    This information is so outdated. I’m sure you’ll be glad to know that the school is quite conservative and orthodox today. But please make sure to do a more accurate research before defaming the name of an institution like this.

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