I want to weigh in on something I've been hearing and reading about for a few days...
Before coming to Princeton Theological Seminary, I don't think I had ever heard of Cedarville University. If you're familiar with Princeton and familiar with Cedarville, the connection might not make sense to you, but there are at least a couple of CU alumni here at Princeton - friends of mine - perusing their MDiv's. When one of my buddies told be about an ensuing controversy over the firing of one of his favorite professors and the dismantling of the entire Philosophy faculty at the University, I took interest. So I went back and read the article on Christianity Today, explaining really just a piece of the situation: "Crisis of Faith Statements." Another more recent article draws out some more pieces of the puzzle, as many high profile people have resigned or have been asked to resign from the university.
All these resignations and eliminations seem to have their origins in disagreements regarding the University's (very conservative) statement of faith and the perceivable agenda of the administration to avoid anything that might resemble theological openness and diversity. Students have come out in protest as they watch their institution move "back toward conservative fundamentalism" (you should browse Fiat Lux - one of the student protest sites), purging and firing those who don't conform perfectly to this agenda. It's not just "liberals" like me who are concerned with such a move, even conservative evangelicals have spoke out against what's happening at Cedarville, indeed the folks who are being dismissed are conservatives themselves.
Now, for me, the issue isn't Cedarville University (though I am outraged at the moral misconduct of firing a professor, not because he disagreed with a faith statement - though I have a problem with that too - but because he agreed with it in the wrong way). For me, the issue is larger. The issue has to do with how Churches and institutions wield their confessions. Faith statements can be a good thing if it's actually more of a mission statement. Such a confession of faith is supposed to work as a kind of guiding light for conversation, keeping the institution focused - not because every other perspective is evil, but because focus leads to excellence. Focus allows an institution to be really good at that one thing on which they focus instead of being really mediocre at a whole bunch of varying visions. It shouldn't be doctrinally rigid or exclusive. They should take diversity for granted - looking to give some grounding to the intellectual dialogue - presupposing diversity rather than seeing diversity as a negative and disagreement as a danger. But as soon as a faith statement becomes a weapon for purging all assenting voices out of the conversation, you undermine the project altogether. Indeed, such an approach - an approach that Cedarville seems to be taking - undermines the whole project of scholarship and academic dialogue. Even Alvin Plantinga, by no means a liberal theologian, commented, ""It does damage to a college atmosphere to pretend there's no sensible diversity of opinion among Christians."
There is always a risk, whenever an institution takes up a statement of faith, that real scholarship will be abandoned and replaced by dogmatism. What's happening at Cedarville University may simply be signs of growing pains. As the national academic theological conversation becomes more and more open, institutions have a choice either to silence new voices or to remain dedicated to the breadth of the conversation. Many of those institutions that nostalgically cling to their conservationism will choose the latter and will be forced further and further into the fringe of Fundamentalism (and, ironically, the voices that Cedarville silenced are certainly not "liberal" by most standards). And it's to that fringe that Cedarville University seems to be heading... and I can only hope that they're an exception to the cultural trend of Christian scholarship.