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Does Dr. Walter Martin Have A Genuine Earned Doctor’s Degree

Does Dr. Walter Martin Have A Genuine Earned Doctor’s Degree

Does Dr. Walter Martin Have A Genuine Earned Doctor’s Degree

Copyright 1993 by the Christian Research Institute.

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“Does Dr. Walter Martin Have A Genuine Earned Doctor’s Degree?”
(republished by Christian Research Institute with permission
from THE CONTENDER, Huntington Beach, CA 6/87)

 

Any Latter-day Saint dealing with “anti-Mormon” literature is
bound sooner or later to run into the name of *Dr. Walter Martin,*
a man who, perhaps more than any other, is cited as the final word
on the subject of orthodox Christianity and the cults.

 

Facts which are not disputed concerning *Walter Ralston
Martin* are as follows: _He is an ordained Baptist minister_ and
a member of the Southern Baptist Convention. He is also
sympathetic with the Charismatic movement. He holds four earned
degrees including a Master’s Degree from New York University. _He
is trained in the ancient languages_ of the Scriptures, although
he is careful to maintain he is not a linguist. Demonstrably, his
areas of expertise are *Religious Education, Philosophy, Ancient
Church History* and of the faith.” Many Mormons feel this loosely
translates *”attack on the faith,”* for if the claims of the LDS
church be true, Martin is no defender of anything that is true or
holy.

The fact which most certainly is disputed is Walter Martin’s
claim to having an earned doctorate *from a legitimate degree-
granting* institution. Arguing most vocally of late against Martin
are *Mr. and Mrs. Robert Brown of Arizona* in three extensive
publications, *”THEY LIE IN WAIT TO DECEIVE”* Volumes 1, 2 and 3.
(Further volumes are contemplated.) _They have flatly rejected the
genuineness of Dr. Martin’s degree and, indeed, have lumped him
together with Dee Jay Nelson,_ a purported Egyptian scholar whose
degree, it is agreed by all — Mormon and non-Mormon — is an
absolute *humbug*, bought and paid for from an outfit in
Washington State that was “…by no means even remotely a
borderline legitimate school,” but was rather “…the most
dangerous kind of degree mill..” (BEAR’S GUIDE TO NON-TRADITIONAL
COLLEGE DEGREES, 6th Ed., P. 129).

_Let us first consider,_ then, if indeed Walter R. Martin has
any real claim to be called “Dr.” _and then ask ourselves
honestly_ what credentials are required to critique the LDS
church.

First, while this writer is generally uncomfortable with the
term “expert” in any application, there most certainly is a
uniformly respected expert in the field of Alternative, or Non-
traditional College Education. After having had the privilege of
communicating with him, I am confident he would likewise prefer
some alternate epithet to “expert,” but he nonetheless is an
expert. His name is Dr. John Bear. His degrees are legion, and
they are earned and easily verifiable. Many years ago Dr. Bear
became fascinated with the entire concept of college without
campus. This fascination led him to a field of research heretofore
untouched, and resulted in the publication of “BEAR’S GUIDE TO
NON-TRADITIONAL COLLEGE DEGREES,” cited above.

_Robert and Rosemary Brown,_ in their criticism of Walter
Martin’s doctoral credentials, pointed out that *California
Western University*, now known as *California Coast University*,
is operated out of humble headquarters in Santa Ana, California,
and does not bear a physical resemblance to what one would conjure
up in one’s mind when one imagines a university. Dr. Bear,
however, is careful to note that _some very fine programs are
offered by small schools._ Such apparently is the case with
California Coast University.

“California Coast University…was one of the first of
California’s non-resident universities…_CCU is the only non-
resident school in California to have received state approval of
all degree programs offered_…each _faculty member holds recogni-
zed degrees from traditional schools._”

Dr. Bear, who, it should be noted, has _no_ interest in any
religious controversy, concludes with this observation:

“For those persons willing to spend a year or more to earn
their (graduate) degree, California Coast University offers an
excellent alternative” (BEAR’S GUIDE, 10th Edition, p. 85).

_We are therefore compelled to concede that Walter Martin does
have a real claim on the academic title “Doctor,” having earned
his degree from a legitimate institution of alternative higher
education._ It should also be noted that Dr. Martin completed all
his graduate studies at New York University, a fully accredited
school, and simply submitted his thesis at CCU. Honesty compels us
to reject the Brown’s comparison of Dr. Martin’s degree with the
phony, dime-store diploma of Dee Jay Nelson. *There is no
comparison!*

For additional information supporting the accepted status of
CCU and Dr. Martin’s degree, the California State Department of
Education has stated in the California Education Code, Section
94310(b):

The degree is conferred by an institution having full
institutional approval by the Superintendent of Public
Instruction for all degree programs offered. Such
institutions have been evaluated favorably as being
_consistent with accredited institutions_ in terms of
curricula quality and verifiable evidence of graduates’
academic achievement.

An institute may be granted full institutional
approval if the superintendent approves every degree
offered by the institution. The law mandates the superin-
tendent to determine — in advance of issuing an approval
and in renewing such approval — by a qualitative review
and assessment of the institution through the use of an
institutional self-study and a comprehensive onsite
evaluation by a qualified visitation committee impaneled
by the superintendent: that the curriculum is consistent
in quality with curricula offered by established
accredited institutions; and the courses achieve their
professed objectives, with verifiable evidence of the
students’ academic achievement being comparable to that
required of graduates from accredited institutions.

Approved institutions and the degrees and credits
they issue are deemed to be meeting the superintendent’s
standards and those comparative qualitative standards
existing in accredited institutions. The degrees and
credits earned from approved institutions enjoy relative-
ly wide recognition and acceptability.

*Now that we have examined Dr. Martin’s claims,* let us ask
again our second question in this outline, *”What credentials are
required to critique the LDS church?”*

A key to this question lies in the area of *easily verifiable
fact.* For example, what if you are suffering from a mortal
disease and someone comes along who claims to be a doctor of some
healing art, and tells you that if you will follow his prescrip-
tion you will be made well? Obviously, in such a case, you
would be a fool not to check such a one’s credentials. *His claims
are not easily, if at all, verifiable.*

However, if someone comes to you and tells you your house is
on fire, you need do nothing but peek out the door and look to see
if he is telling you the truth. _In other words, easily verifiable
fact._

_In the area of Mormonism, Dr. Martin makes certain claims._
He claims *Mormonism is polytheistic.* It is. Plurality of gods is
part and parcel of LDS doctrine. Dr. Martin claims *Mormonism is
a system of works.* It is. Any LDS individual would be happy to
affirm that he or she is working his or her way to the Celestial
Kingdom. Dr. Martin claims that *the Book of Mormon has no
archaeological endorsement* from any non-Mormon scholar. It truly
has no such endorsement. *Even Mormon archaeologists acknowledge
this.* Dr. Martin claims that _no matter what your works may be,
you will die in your sins if you do not believe that Jesus Christ
is God_ (not a god, or a product of sexual intercourse, but God!).

Yes, _Walter Martin’s doctoral degree is legitimate, and no,
it really does not matter._ Down through the centuries God has
used both the great and the simple to bring the gospel message: He
used the sinner Matthew and the scholar Paul. He used the wealthy
Shedd and the destitute Brainerd; He uses great books and even
little articles like this one. The message is all the same:
*Christ died, was buried, and rose again on the third day.*
_Christ did not die for “Adam’s transgression alone” but for all
“our sins.”_ Thank God for His matchless gift, which cannot be
earned, which is not for sale at any price!

End of document, CRT0001A.TXT (original CRI file name),
“Does Dr. Walter Martin Have A Genuine Earned Doctor’s Degree?”
release A, March 26, 1993

(A special note of thanks to Bob and Pat Hunter for their help
in the preparation of this ASCII file for BBS circulation.)

In addition, let the readers of this file remember that the
Brown’s line of response amounts to little more than a “kill the
messenger” reaction. The messenger has gone home to his reward.
The message has been taken up by many more who join now with an
even greater voice; “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
R. Poll, CRI

 

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