Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wait, What?!

Last week, during our Thursday morning Bible Study, Sarah, my daughter, told us that her World Religions prof informed the class that Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses because he wanted to marry a nun.  I thought for sure he was just joking about this or something.  Nope.  She just told me that he was reviewing the Reformation with the class today and asked them, "Why did Martin Luther post his 95 Theses?"  After hearing several responses from the class, including Sarah's response, he told them that they still hadn't named the most important reason.  Someone in the class said, "Wait, was it so that he could marry a nun?"  "Yes!" he exclaimed.  "That's the main reason!"  Sarah said he was dead serious about this.

But, wait!  It gets better.  He went on to inform them that Lutherans believe that God has predetermined a literal 144,000 people to be saved and get to heaven.  What the?!  Where is this guy getting this nonsense?  I told Sarah that he must just be putting them on.  "No, dad.  He is really, really serious about all this."  If that is true, and I have no reason to doubt Sarah, this person should not be teaching in the religion department.  I mean, it's one thing to over-generalize and wrongly categorize when teaching a "World Religions" class, but to spew forth this sort of nonsense is inexcusable.

I'd like to go chat with the prof, but Sarah won't let me.  She said I could after the semester was over, but not now (yeah, she's a smart girl).  I just may do so.  Good grief!  


Mary Ellyn said...

What institution of higher learning?

Dennis Peskey said...

He's got it all wrong. The ending of the Book of Job records God's delight in saving 144,000 cattle. Don't educators learn nothin?

Rev. Thomas C. Messer, SSP said...

Mary Ellen,

Mid Michigan Community College.



Mary Ellyn said...

Perhaps you'll have an opportunity (when your daughter gives you a thumb's up) to enlighten the professor on Luther!

Bethany said...

Pastor Messer,

Hi - I'm a European history professor at Aquinas College. I would really recommend that you not contact your daughter's professor. I can assure you that nothing enrages professors more than hearing from parents and word of your involvement will quickly spread around the faculty break room. On the other hand, this professor is manifestly professionally incompetant. Therefore, your daughter should 1st contact the professor in question and inform him of his mistakes (with appropriate citations from the literature). If he won't listen to your daughter, then she should contact his dept chair. Good luck!
Bethany Kilcrease

Rev. Thomas C. Messer, SSP said...

Thanks for the advice, Bethany. What I have shared here is really just the tip of the iceberg. Sarah has come home with many more unbelievable tidbits about what she's being taught by this prof. Either he has no clue and really is incompetent or he is purposely misrepresenting facts to his students. In either case, he really shouldn't be teaching. This is a case of gross negligence and irresponsibility.

As for contacting him, I won't do so now, and don't know if I will after the sem is over. I'm really not concerned with him being enraged or about being the topic of conversation in the faculty break room, though. I mean, I'm pretty enraged myself. This is beyond the normal sort of nonsense that unfortunately occurs in academia all too often, especially surrounding the topic of religion. This is simply inexcusable.

I'm not worried about Sarah, but about many of the other students who don't know any better. As I said, the ridiculous stuff he's been teaching them about Lutherans is just the beginning. What he has been teaching them about Christianity in general makes Dan Brown look like a bonafide, studied historian. It's that bad!

But, again, thanks for the advice and words of caution.