Every spring, Mennonite post-secondary institutions gather in Bluffton, Ohio to drink decaf and argue about seemingly trivial differences in theology. The event begins with dozens of school, but eventually the best debaters make it to the Final Four.
“In the first round, host Bluffton University destroyed Tabor College in a debate about the satisfaction theory of atonement,” said ESPN host Karl Ravech. “They faced tough competition against Hesston College in the second round, but ultimately prevailed with a buzzer-beating recitation of 1 John 4:10.”
The early rounds also saw Rosedale Bible College defeat North Newton’s Bethel College squad in a frank discussion about open theism, while Steinbach Bible College scored a lop-sided victory over AMBS in a rapid-fire expository preaching exercise.
“I had my brackets filled out early this year, especially when I saw Abbotsford’s Columbia Bible College students were up against the Virginia juggernaut Eastern Mennonite University,” said Ravech. “Boy, I missed that one badly. I’m just glad Goshen College beat Menno Simons College or I’d have been in real trouble in my Menno Madness pool.”
After three competitive rounds of play, the Final Four included Conrad Grebel University College, Canadian Mennonite University, Fresno Pacific University and the host team from Bluffton University, which had mascot Denny Beaver very excited. Mennonites are already placing friendly non-monetary bets for the last few matches.
“I think it’s going to be tight one, but it’ll all depend on the topic of that final debate,” said Ravech. “If it’s anything other than mode of baptism, I think Fresno has the edge.”
The winning Mennonite college or university is given $300 plus “bragging rights,” which they have been strictly instructed not to use so as to remain sufficiently humble.
(photo credit: YouTube)