(Angie Leventis Lourgos and Manya Brachear Pashman)"The first intuitive reaction should have been 'How great that one of our faculty is taking initiative in this area. That's an issue that the National Association of Evangelicals tackled late last year after discovering that many research polls identified evangelicals by their political preferences rather than religious characteristics.
The association developed four points that evangelicals must embrace: the authority of the Bible, a missionary spirit, the saving power of Christ's death on the cross and the belief that salvation yielded by Christ's death alone is only available to those who accept Jesus as their savior.
Roughly 30 supporters of Larycia Hawkins demonstrated on the steps of Edman Memorial Chapel at Wheaton College on Ash Wednesday, pledging to fast for the 40 days of Lent in a call to the Wheaton community and evangelical Christian institutions nationwide to "confess and repent of the sins of racism,... (Instead) the intuitive response is 'How do we protect ourselves from what other people think about this?
Roughly 30 supporters of Larycia Hawkins demonstrated on the steps of Edman Memorial Chapel at Wheaton College on Ash Wednesday, pledging to fast for the 40 days of Lent in a call to the Wheaton community and evangelical Christian institutions nationwide to "confess and repent of the sins of racism,... '"The Wheaton College controversy also points to ongoing questions within the evangelical community about how evangelicals are defined.
(Stacey Wescott / Chicago Tribune) Maryam Bighash, a sophomore at Wheaton College and managing editor of the student newspaper, speaks about racism and discrimination at at the college and the need to change it.
(Stacey Wescott / Chicago Tribune)Many alumni say they weren't surprised by the controversy.
White evangelicals gave atheists and Muslims the lowest rating.
Earlier this month, the college announced it had reconciled with Hawkins, but she would not return to teach.
Energy drink entrepreneur David Vanderveen remembers a tour he took of his alma mater six years ago when he was being courted as a donor. Philip Ryken, showed off the west suburban Chicago school's cutting-edge science labs to Vanderveen, the former Wheaton student recalled Ryken saying that students were expected to accept the belief that mankind descended from Adam and Eve — one of the college's core tenets found in its statement of faith.
As a result of what he perceived to be the school's conservative bent, Vanderveen never gave the college another dime."What it smelled like to me was there was this right-wing Republican ideology permeating the school that didn't seem healthy to me," said Vanderveen who had reconciled with Wheaton after the college threatened to expel him in 1990 for publishing a lewd poem in the school newspaper. Ryken acknowledged that the Hawkins dispute raised "a number of significant issues within the Wheaton College community." But he said it also has created an opportunity for the school to restore and strengthen its connection with the world outside the campus."As I've said before, these challenges have threatened our unity in carrying out our mission," Ryken said.
"My hope is that prioritizing the healing that needs to take place within the Wheaton family will have a positive effect on the relationships that need to be restored beyond our campus."The conflict also stoked an emerging conversation in the American evangelical movement about who can claim the evangelical label, what they believe and how that should be conveyed to people of other faiths in an increasingly globalized society.
A tenured professor at Wheaton College suspended for saying Muslims and Christians worship the same God has reached an agreement with the west suburban evangelical school to end her employment there, while the administrator who called for her termination has apologized for acting in haste. A tenured professor at Wheaton College suspended for saying Muslims and Christians worship the same God has reached an agreement with the west suburban evangelical school to end her employment there, while the administrator who called for her termination has apologized for acting in haste. (Manya Brachear Pashman)"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.