A force to reckon with
Professor Lon Fendall releases a book about William Wilberforce as a major motion picture tells his story
Two hundred years ago this March, the British Empire outlawed the trade of slaves. Leading the antislavery movement was William Wilberforce, a nearly forgotten evangelical Christian reformer who battled strong political opposition that predicted economic disaster for England.
"You may choose to look the other way but you can never again say you did not know." British parliamentarian Wllliam Wilberforce spent 19 years arguing for the abolition of the slave trade. The 18th century reformer is the subject of a book by professor Lon Fendall.
"I'm convinced Wilberforce is the greatest Christian political figure in modern times," says Lon Fendall, director of the university’s Center for Peace and Justice and the author of a recently released Wilberforce biography, To Live Free.
Wilberforce’s struggle for justice is receiving renewed attention this spring with the American debut of Amazing Grace, a major motion picture based upon his life. Fendall attended an advance screening and calls the film a fine historical drama. "I hope it will help American audiences to realize how important Wilberforce was to the later success in the U.S. in ending slavery," he says.
The name of the film is taken from the famous hymn, which was written by Wilberforce’s minister, John Newton, a reformed slave-ship captain.
A recent book by religion professor Irv Brendlinger calls attention to one of the first Americans to argue for the end of slavery. Brendlinger argues that a little-known Philadelphia Quaker was probably the most significant force in advancing the cause against slavery and the slave trade in the 18th century. To Be Silent . . .Would Be Criminal: The Antislavery Influence and Writings of Anthony Benezet was released in October. Brendlinger’s book Social Justice Through the Eyes of Wesley, John Wesley’s Theological Challenge to Slavery, became available in January. (See "Point of View")
Women’s basketball: youth served with conference title
Before the season began, head coach Scott Rueck thought there was a chance his young team could start 0-9. His squad had lost eight letter winners and three starters from last year’s 19-6 team, including Kim Leith, the former Northwest Conference player of the year. His starting point guard was a freshman and his starting center had averaged just 3.8 points a game.
Turns out, it was a winning combination. With just one senior, the Bruins won their fourth Northwest Conference championship in eight years, sharing the title with the University of Puget Sound. After rolling past No. 23 Gustavus Adolphus College 61-47 in the first round of the NCAA tournament, George Fox ended its season with a 51-48 loss to UPS, the Bruins’ first loss to the Loggers in four games this season. George Fox finished 19-7 overall, its 14th consecutive winning season.
Rueck won his fourth conference coach of the year honor and junior forward Katy Campbell (11.4 ppg, 8.9 rpg, )was named conference player of the year. Senior guard Robin Taylor (13.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.4 apg) earned first-team conference honors. Junior center Melissa Marek-Farris (10.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg) anchored the league-leading Bruin defense, swatting a conference-leading 2.6 blocks per game. Rueck picked up his 200thwin on Feb. 16.His 11-year record is 202-80.
Perfect start for baseball
With a lineup featuring six returning starters, the Bruins are picked to win a sixth straight Northwest Conference championship in a preseason poll of the league’s coaches.
Anchoring the Bruins are senior Dan Wentzell (left), an all-West Region Second Team outfielder last season, and sophomore Third Team All-American infielder Bo Thunell.
At press time, the Bruins were living up to expectations, starting the season 9-0. The Bruins went 29-15 last year, marking their 11th straight winning season under coach Pat Bailey. George Fox won the 2004 NCAA Div. III national title.
Mark McMinn, professor of psychology in George Fox’s Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology, received this year’s Narramore Award for Excellence in the Integration of Psychology and Theology. The Christian Association for Psychological Studies gives this peer-review award.
McMinn has published books and articles in both Christian and wider academic arenas; his research interests include clergy health and the integration of psychology and Christianity. His new book, Integrative Psychotherapy: Toward a Comprehensive Christian Approach, coauthored with psychology professor Clark D. Campbell, will be released by InterVarsity Press in April.
McMinn earned a bachelor’s degree from Lewis & Clark College and a PhD in clinical psychology from Vanderbilt University. He taught at George Fox from 1984 to 1993 before leaving to help start the PsyD program at Wheaton College in Illinois. McMinn returned to teach at George Fox in 2006.