Guest / Limited Access /

Cedarville University, a Baptist school in southwest Ohio, decided on January 30 to cancel a lecture from Christian social activist Shane Claiborne originally slated for tonight (Feb. 11) in the school's Dixon Ministry Center, after a small but vocal number of bloggers saw the lecture as a step toward liberal theology.

After Cedarville's public relations office announced on January 22 that Cedarville would be hosting "An Evening with Shane Claiborne," some blogs decried the decision to invite someone they labeled as belonging to the Emergent community. Links to the blogs were then e-mailed to alumni and pastors, some of whom called Cedarville administrators to complain.

Carl Ruby, Cedarville's vice president for student life, told CT that although there was "a high degree of receptivity on campus" to the Claiborne lecture, he decided to cancel the lecture to avoid risking conveying the wrong message about Cedarville's doctrinal beliefs.

"There was a tension between my desire to use this event to challenge students to take a closer look at a very important social issue, and the need to protect Cedarville's reputation as a conservative, Christ-centered university," said Ruby. "There can't be any confusion about our commitment to God's Word and our historically conservative doctrinal position.

"Nearly all of the opposition to Claiborne's visit came from off campus," he said. "The reaction from both faculty and students has been along the lines of, 'We are a university … We need to be having these kinds of conversations on campus if we are going to adequately equip the next generation of Christian leaders.' "

The Claiborne lecture was only one episode in the ongoing story of Cedarville's efforts to pinpoint its doctrinal commitments ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueHow I Found Healing for My Spiritual Blindness
Subscriber Access Only How I Found Healing for My Spiritual Blindness
Discovering hope and healing for fallible followers through Jesus’ faithfulness in the Gospel of Mark.
RecommendedCalifornia Lawmaker Drops Controversial Proposal to Regulate Religious Colleges
California Lawmaker Drops Controversial Proposal to Regulate Religious Colleges
SB 1146 won't be the religious liberty threat many Christians feared.
TrendingWhy Most Pastors Aren’t Answering Your Phone Calls
Why Most Pastors Aren’t Answering Your Phone Calls
It's one the great mysteries of ministry. Why do pastors have such a bad reputation for answering or returning phone calls? Here are 9 reasons.
Editor's PickThe Good (and Bad) News About Christian Higher Education
The Good (and Bad) News About Christian Higher Education
‘Christian colleges are as strong as they’ve been since the 1920s,’ says historian William Ringenberg. But there are challenges on the horizon.
Christianity Today
Braking for Bloggers
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

February 2008

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.