Below is a statement from Dr. Philip Ryken, President of Wheaton College.
Over the last few days, Wheaton College has been the subject of significant discussion following coverage of events related to a January 31 chapel talk by Dr. Rosaria Champagne Butterfield.
In the chapel talk, which is available , Dr. Butterfield testifies about her encounter with Jesus Christ and how this transformed her life, including her worldview and her experience of her sexuality. In her talk, as in other venues, Dr. Butterfield described herself as a formerly leftist lesbian professor who had despised Christians. Dr. Butterfield's testimony was well-received by the student body, resulting in an extended ovation following her remarks.
In advance of Dr. Butterfield's talk, several dozen students held a silent demonstration on the steps of Edman Chapel to express an array of concerns about the possible implications of what they expected to hear in Dr. Butterfield's message. As is her practice, Dr. Butterfield met with the demonstrating students later that afternoon. The demonstration and the conversation with Dr. Butterfield that followed have been covered in news outlets including the Wheaton Record, the student newspaper.
A key theme of the discussion around these events concerns the value of personal narrative as a way of pursuing truth and understanding. As a Christian community rooted in the universal and unchanging truth of the gospel story, we believe that all stories, including personal stories, must always be weighed using the balance of God's Word. Our conversations as an institution are always rooted in biblical truth.
"Scripture condemns . . . sexual immorality, such as the use of pornography (Matt. 5:27-28), pre-marital sex, adultery, homosexual behavior and all other sexual relations outside the bounds of marriage between a man and woman (Rom. 1:21-27; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Gen. 2:24; Eph. 5:31)."
Chapel guests and programs speak to various topics, including contentious issues of the day, always in alignment with the biblical standards outlined in the Community Covenant.
As our Covenant states, Wheaton College is a community of living, learning, and serving. We are a confessional Christian academic community with a focus on the spiritual and intellectual formation of our students. While we are not insulated from cultural conflicts over ideas, including our own students' search to understand how the truth of Scripture shapes each Christian's life, our educational model does not require us either to silence critical exploration of complex issues or to accede uncritically to cultural pressures.
Instead, the Christ-followers who lead this Christian liberal arts institution, and who value the minds and hearts of the students entrusted to our care, judiciously employ a variety of responses to student concerns and conduct. These responses may include personal conversation, civil public discussion, godly counsel, admonition, and discipline.
Within Wheaton's historic commitment to biblical truth, as well as in our model of liberal arts education, our goal is to grow a community where questions can be raised, disagreements can be expressed, discernment can be modeled, and disciples can be nurtured.
Phillipsburg, NJ--With strong support from leading Reformed theologians, the Reformed Expository Commentary (REC) series continues with the introduction of two new volumes, bringing the series to cover 15 biblical books. P&R Publishing announces the release of 1 Kings by Philip Graham Ryken and Acts by Derek W.H. Thomas.
Bryan Chapell, President, Covenant Theological Seminary, calls Ryken's 1Kings commentary "A sermon preparation tool of exceptional value."
Commenting on Thomas' Acts volume, Stephen J. Nichols, Research Professor of Christianity and Culture, Lancaster Bible College, says, "Dr. Thomas writes with a theologian's acuity, a pastor's heart and a fellow disciple's humility..."
Rev. Richard Phillips and Rev. Dr. Philip Ryken serve as series editors. All volumes in the REC series are written by pastor-scholars, they explain, and the content is scholarly, but not academic. An extensive editorial process ensures that the content is "sufficiently conversant with up-to-date scholarship and is faithful and accurate in its exposition of the text." It is also carefully reviewed for overall quality--including "excellence of writing, soundness of teaching, and usefulness in application."
Books in the series have drawn broad affirmation from leading theologians including J. I. Packer, Ligon Duncan, Sinclair Ferguson, Al Mohler, Michael Horton, Mark Dever, C. J. Mahaney, Jerry Bridges, John Frame, Tullian Tchividjian, Michael Duduit, Steven Lawson, Paul House, Burk Parsons, Carl Trueman, Liam Goligher and many others--who have each written endorsements for one or more volumes in the series.
Previous books in the REC series include both Old Testament and New Testament books such as Daniel (Iain Duguid), Jonah and Michael (Richard Phillips) and Matthew (Daniel Doriani). Future books already scheduled for 2012 include The Gospel of John (Richard Phillips), and Philippians (Dennis E. Johnson).
In his exposition of 1 Kings, Ryken follows the story of Israel's God "who never fails to love his people or to keep them under his kingly care, even when they choose to follow the pathways of folly and idolatry." He identifies timeless lessons of money, sex, power, idolatry, and the power of prayer.
In his exposition of Acts, Thomas points to evidence of the continuing ministry of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. He applies biblical truth in contemporary context as he presents lessons for missions, church growth and Christians' engagement with postmodernity.
Philip Graham Ryken (D.Phil., Oxford University) is president of Wheaton College, and he previously served for ten years as senior minister at the historic Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia. He is Bible teacher for the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, speaking nationally on the radio program "Every Last Word." He has written or edited more than thirty books, including the writing of three volumes in the Reformed Expository Commentary Series: Galatians, 1 Timothy, and Luke. He and his wife, Lisa, have five children.
Derek W.H. Thomas is Associate Minister at First Presbyterian Church, Columbia South, Carolina, and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary. He also serves as editor for the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. He is author of numerous books including Give Praise to God and What is Providence, both from P&R Publishing. He and his wife, Rosemary, have two adult children.
1 Kings (REC) • ISBN: 978-1-59638-208-4 • jacketed hardcover • $34.99 • 636 pages
Acts (REC) • ISBN: 978-1-59638-048-6 • jacketed hardcover • $39.99 • 736 pages