Wheaton..."We used to send missionaries off to Arabia. (Muslims) are dating our kids," said Richard Mouw, a theologian and former longtime president of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif. We owe it to this generation to be very clear, much clearer than we have been.I think this conversation at Wheaton is a wonderful opportunity for us to maybe get into the question of how do we dialogue with people of faiths."Research shows that there is a disconnect between white evangelicals and the Muslim community, as well as people of other faiths or no faith.Many evangelical scholars, including Mouw, and even some Wheaton faculty have said they are ambivalent about whether the Wheaton statement precisely reflects their beliefs, even though they fit the definition of evangelical.That's the heart of the problem, said Julie Roys, a 1987 Wheaton College graduate who hosts a nationally syndicated Christian talk show. "In the aftermath of the Hawkins affair, she said faculty and students should undergo "rigorous world-view training." What she considers politically charged terms such as "social justice" should be referred to as "human flourishing." Instead of discussing how the oppressed can triumph over their oppressors, discussions should center on good trumping evil.Gov Warrant Search.org, is a recognized and trusted online records information provider, that lets you utilize a network of multiple data sources, to discreetly search thousands of court orders, criminal files and more than 1.2 billion records - with a single click, and receive the facts about people you wish to investigate (including yourself) without leaving the comfort of your home or office.
He said religious diversity in America is "nothing but good news for evangelicals.""Living in a pluralistic context and learning hospitality, practicing hospitality — the evangelical tradition has great promise in those areas," he said. (Instead) the intuitive response is 'How do we protect ourselves from what other people think about this?Along with alumni, some evangelical scholars were disheartened by Wheaton College's handling of the Hawkins controversy.Todd Johnson, director of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton, Mass., said he was not as surprised as he was saddened by the events that unfolded at Wheaton.He has asked his church elders to make this a priority."Churches across the country are confronting having Muslim neighbors," he said."It's something that's new for them and something they haven't experienced.She thinks not enough members of Wheaton's faculty share a biblical world view — the belief that the Bible is entirely true and should be the primary framework for solving every problem."Increasingly we're getting faculty trained at secular universities," she said. This is the kind of damage control Wheaton needs to do to repair its public perception, she said. Derek Buikema, pastor of Orland Park Christian Reformed Church and a 2007 Wheaton College graduate, said he believes the college is genuinely committed to diversity and maintaining an evangelical academic identity, despite the questions raised by the latest controversy."I think the task of balancing academic freedom with a commitment to Scripture is probably a very difficult thing to balance," Buikema said."It can be difficult to know how to prize tradition and a God who is the same yesterday, today and forever with a desire to be innovative and not traditionalistic."But Buikema said Wheaton College needs to do a better job of teaching evangelicals how to interact with the Muslim community, something Buikema is learning on the job.When asked to rate their feelings about people of another faith or no faith, black Protestants gave Muslims higher ratings than Mormons, atheists, Hindus or Buddhists.White evangelicals gave atheists and Muslims the lowest rating.The controversy over a tenured Wheaton College professor who said Christians and Muslims worship the same God has many former students concerned that the episode dealt lasting damage to the reputation of evangelical Christianity's flagship college. She posted on Facebook a photograph of herself in a hijab with the message, "I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book."And as Pope Francis stated," she continued in the posting, "we worship the same God."Within days, the college placed Hawkins on paid administrative leave and by the first of the year, they took steps to fire her.The Tribune spoke with many Wheaton College alumni who said the school's handling of the dispute raised questions about what their alma mater represents and teaches."I think that any time an executive action is taken against a faculty member for beliefs or practices, the majority of people will see that as problematic regarding its reputation," said John Higgins, 31, a 2007 graduate. College officials said that not clarifying what makes Christianity distinct from Islam put Hawkins in conflict with Wheaton's statement of faith.