Thursday, December 23, 2004

Shiny Happy People

Things are beginning to brew over at Midwest Mindset, with Jake commenting on recent reports that the Christian news media are beginning to pick up on the John Sanders controversy at Huntington College.

A brief explanation. Jake and I both studied theology under John Sanders at Huntington College. John is one of the leading proponents of an Arminian offshoot labeled Open Theism. Huntington knew about Sanders' theology before hiring him, but since that time, John and his colleagues have come under fire from the Evangelical Theological Society for their views. It's created a swirl of controversy, and calls from United Brethren pastors (the parent denomination of Huntington College) for Sanders to step down. It seemed like a compromise was struck a couple years back when John agreed to step down form teaching theology at HC, and focus on philosophy.

This past fall, the debate was brought up again, and it looks like Sanders will not be asked back for the 05-06 school year. The Christian Century has a brief introductory article of the situation, while Christianity Today has some further quotes from Sanders and HC student Joni Michaud.

Jake has had some choice words since we first heard the news. But I haven't said a whole lot. These recent moves don't surprise me much, so it's hard to build up enough anger to muster a proper response.

It's not enough to say that I'm disappointed with the way HC handled the situation. I can only imagine what would have been the response had Jake and I (as well as other thoughtful friends like Paco M, Liz S, Adam S, etc.) still been attending the school. However, I'd be remiss if I failed to note that the student body has done more this year than ever before. But even in the face of that, the Board of Trustees, without a voice from the faculty or student body, has decided that John Sanders doesn't belong at Huntington. It's a sad day for the institution, and I would echo the sentiments of Joni Michaud in saying that I wouldn't be able to recommend HC if the trustees go forward with their current plans.

There's more. There always is. But maybe it's just too late to do anything but offer my sincerest condolences to Huntington College on the death of their academic integrity.


No comments: