The unfortunate news of Michael Sudduth’s apostasy came to me this morning in the form of a link from another contributor to the site. Steve Hays of Triablogue has posted Michael Sudduth’s de-conversion testimonial and commented on it here – http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2012/01/mind-at-end-of-its-tether.html.
Before Deactivating my Facebook account I watched Dr. Sudduth’s Status updates with some concern. Having studied Religion in both secular and Christian schools I realize what it can look like to others when one immerses oneself in a non-Christian religion in an effort to understand and represent it fairly. But Dr. Sudduth’s Profile appeared to be dedicated much more to Vaishnavism than it was to Christianity. And it gave more praise to the former than the latter. Again, I realize what it can look like to others when one studies Philosophy and becomes much more critical of any number of things, but Dr. Sudduth’s criticisms of Christian thought concerning Hinduism and evolution in particular were not only increasingly prevalent on his Profile, but it seemed to me increasingly hostile. This is not to say that Dr. Sudduth behaves like some sort of militant anti-Christian crusader – far from it – but I wondered how some of his criticisms of Christians and their material on the aforementioned topics were supposed to be very helpful. While I am well-acquainted with Michael Sudduth’s work, I am merely acquainted with him on a personal level, and so I was not sure how to take what I was seeing, but it did make me raise an eyebrow. Apparently I was not alone.
Given the above, I cannot say that I am surprised at the news of Michael Sudduth’s apostasy. But one should not read my post in a celebratory tone. Rather, I felt that Sudduth’s apostasy is something the readers should be made aware of given Sudduth’s significance as a contributor to the development of Reformed philosophical thought. The commentary from Hays is sufficient as regards the apostasy (apostasy being a subject Hays has studied in depth), but there is more to be said about Vaishnavism in terms of internal critique, and more to be said about general problems I have seen in more philosophically rigorous circles in Christianity. I plan to address the latter topic in a future post. Neither topic need be addressed with specific reference to Dr. Sudduth, though in the future that may change given what he plans to write on his syncretism. In the meantime, pray that Dr. Sudduth will see his errors and repent.