For today’s post, I chose to weigh in on the recent Wheaton College/Prof Hawkins fiasco, particularly from a pragmatic missional perspective. Just in case you’ve been lamenting the lack of controversy on our blog…
I wrote the article for Threads UK, a website for young adult Christians in the UK. Here’s a snippet:
Wheaton, while responding to very legitimate concerns about theology, communicated to the world that Jesus prioritises right thinking over right loving; that Christians love each other, until they disagree; that Christians will actively shut down attempts at solidarity with other faiths;?that Christians aren’t okay with standing up for Muslims.
I don’t think that is the message Wheaton’s administration intended to send. Their theological concerns are important and worth clarifying. But when they gave such a strong disciplinary response over that concern while there was an international spotlight on the school, this is the message the school inevitably sent to the rest of the world.
Here’s the thing — most people outside of the bubble of Christian culture don’t care about our theological debates. They care about what we do.
My Muslim neighbours don’t care much about how I understand the nuances of the Trinity. They want to know if I think Christians and Muslims are enemies, or if I’ll defend them when someone calls them a terrorist, or whether we will walk their kids to school when they are ill.
My non-religious neighbours aren’t too bothered about my biblical framework for the incarnation. They want to know if I’ll listen to them when they’re upset, what they should do with their dog if they go to a church service, or if our church’s kids’ clubs will take their kids without forcing religion on them.
Go ahead and head over to their blog to check out the rest!