3.19.2012

Indiana Wesleyan Enshrines Kirk Cameron as "World Changer"

Kirk Cameron has been selected by Indiana Wesleyan as the 2012 inductee to The Society of World Changers.

I think my Alma mater has lost it.

"Mr. Cameron is blessed with a God-given charisma," said Dr. Keith Newman, IWU Executive Vice President. "That word, charisma, actually means 'gift of grace' in Greek. Mr. Cameron's ability to connect with total strangers is a priceless gift for a Christian seeking to acquaint people with God's grace."

Seriously? Have they ever watched how Cameron goes about introducing people to this gift of "grace?" It's not exactly...how should I say it... graceful.

Did those responsible for this decision (which no doubt was made prior to Mr. Cameron's much bally-hooed interview with Piers Morgan) ask for any feedback from the faculty of the Religion or Science Departments at IWU? Knowing man of them personally, I can't imagine that they would have endorsed the idea. Not only is the man more well-known for his recent turn to fundamentalism than his acting career, but his naive Creationist apologetics have largely been dismissed by Christian and atheists scientists alike. The late Robert Briner, whose book sparked the idea to create The Society of World Changers, must be rolling over in his grave.

There is a petition making the rounds. As of this writing, it had been signed by 265 concerned alumni, faculty, pastors, and friends of IWU. Late to the game, I was number 155:

9 comments:

  1. annonymous8:19 PM

    You're correct, no faculty or students were consulted.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I understand the impulse, but I don't know that this will go beyond typical battlelines. (That said, I did roll me eyes when I saw who was the latest inductee).

    + / -
    progressive/fundamentalist
    liberal/conservative
    (ok, maybe even crunchy/creamy; I think the real battle is natural/hydrogenated ;)

    I'm frustrated w/ dichotomies... so are there any particular *academic* concerns, putting varying views on faith and its life-implications? It seems he fits the definition: an explicitly Evangelical version of Christiantiy making a big splash in the culture.

    His uncompromising 6-day Creationist stance puts him at odds with 99% of the entire body of work of the natural sciences. Then again, a lot of staff and probably most students at Christian universities agree with much of his perspective. As you might guess, I'm not crazy about it either, considering I'm an aspiring Christian-scientist.

    (Ok, after reading that none less than David Drury has signed, with a significant explanation, perhaps I don't really know Kirk Cameron... I haven't followed his work too closely. Really that bad, eh? Then perhaps it's all justified).

    ReplyDelete
  3. Mike (the author of this blog)3:40 PM

    Adam,

    I'm just not convinced that Kirk Cameron's Christianity has made a "big splash in the culture." Unless by big splash you mean "routinely despised by nonChristians but loved by Christians." I don't think he's changed the media world. I don't think he's significantly advanced public square apologetics (he's probably done more to set it back)...I just see the merit. This isn't about me not liking the guy's brand -- he can tell people on the street to repent until he turns blue in the face -- it's about IWU making a politically naive decision that COULD have ramifications for anyone associated with the school (including alumnus).

    As a budding scientist, you have to question what choosing such a person means for a liberal arts institution, do you not?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yeah, this is starting to have a Liberty University feel to it. That's not the IWU I know (students and profs and conversations that I cherish/ed so much).

    Up to me, I say Francis Collins - Evangelical Christian, physician-geneticist, and Director of the National Institutes of Frickin Health. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Collins

    ReplyDelete
  5. P.S. Time to update your blog roll, kid ;)

    P.P.S. Can't wait to read about parenthood. I'm here if you need any help from a pro.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous9:41 PM

    This is exactly what's wrong with Christianity today. Fighting about petty insignificant matters. Really!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous10:24 PM

    Instead of helping all the hurting people in the world, let's use our time and energy on taking down a brother in Christ. WWJD.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think Jesus would smugly comment on a blog about "helping all the hurting people in the world."

    ReplyDelete
  9. The idea that this is somehow "insignificant" is news to the thousands of people who have been hurt and bullied by the kind of views that Kirk Cameron represents.

    I guess you are lucky to have never have been in their shoes.

    ReplyDelete

ShareThis