800 Wheaton College Grads Threaten to Stop Financial Support If 'Same God' Prof. Isn't Reinstated

"After Wheaton College Provost Stanton Jones recommended termination proceedings for associate political science professor Larycia Hawkins . . . a letter signed by at least 815 Wheaton graduates was delivered to school officials Friday, telling the administration to cease in its termination effort or face the consequences."

2504 reads

There are 7 Comments

WallyMorris's picture

The problems at Wheaton are not unique to Wheaton - divided faculty and students about fundamental theology. One of the complaints about Wheaton is that the school's doctrinal statements do not explicitly mention this particular issue, therefore Hawkins "administrative leave" is unjustified. But if schools were to make their doctrinal statements so detailed that the statement covered every possible theological issue, then people would criticize the school for having a detailed statement that hardly anyone could sign. This issue is only the beginning of controversy in Evangelical and Fundamentalist schools. More Evangelicals are open to homosexuality, as the recent ETS meeting reveals. Schools should follow their administrative guidelines and policies for faculty, staff, and students. But I suspect the real issue here is Evangelical vagueness about the exclusivity of the gospel. Neither Islam nor Judaism" worship the same God" because worship must depend on Jesus Christ, someone whom Islam and Judaism reject. I suspect that even some Fundamentalist schools have more faculty and students who are sympathetic to Hawkins' views than people realize. In today's highly competitive college atmosphere, financial support (or withdrawal of it) plays an influential role in college policies and even in clarity of theological belief. In other words, keep some beliefs (and changes) a little vague in order to appeal to as many donors as possible. 

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Yes, the doctrinal statements can only cover so much. I'm sure Wheaton has language in their documents that allows them discretion in "hiring and firing" though. But we all know that political/social tides can sweep aside clear legal issues easily enough. You never know what some court like the 9th circuit in CA might do w/something like that if they get their hands on it.

Bert Perry's picture

More or less, it appears the good professor is declining to attend a hearing where her views are to be discussed.   According to this, she also has something of a history with the college, with statements made by her which seem to endorse Marxism, Catholicism, and even homosexuality.  Her statements were also recently made in a United Methodist church.

My take is that this is something of a "gut check" for Wheaton on whether they will, or will not, take Protestant "fundagelical" theological distinctives seriously.  Do the Solas matter?  Do theological statements on the nature of God matter?  Do the Bible's statements on sexuality matter?  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

jreeseSr's picture

Just a question...Does Wheaton come under the authority of a local church ?

Jim

Rob Fall's picture

no.  It was founded in 1860 as a combination Wesleyan Methodist\Congregational school.

jreeseSr wrote:

Just a question...Does Wheaton come under the authority of a local church ?

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

jreeseSr's picture

      I have always wondered if the "religious" schools outside the authority of a local church would be afforded the same liberty as Churches in their practices concerning employment when courts rule on laws of separation.  

Jim