Money, it's a hit; don't give me that Do goody, good Reformed baloney....

(Tim, w/thanks to Luther) It's cute, but the thing I noticed was the cost of the facilities the video incidentally documents. So I looked it up and the parents of those Dutch students at the preeminent Reformed college in our nation, Calvin College, will pay $33,395 for tuition, room, and board in 2010/2011--up 21% from Calvin's $27,510 cost during the 2006/2007 academic year.

Reformed men will spare no expense getting the educational credentials for their children that are at the heart of our religious faith. Back in the mainline PC(USA), I once heard a pastor...

summarizing the essence of our Presbyterian heritage as "our commitment to education." As with most things, evangelicals agree.

Think of it: Calvin alumni who matriculate in the 2010/2011 academic year will have deposited well over $150,000 in the pockets of enlightened intellectuals and their willing administrative helpers. And the growth in godliness this money buys?

Yikes.

Maybe the immodesty is a clue. But likely not to one of the parents and students, or their profs.


Comments

Wow, the singing voice works for men or women.

I don't even get the point of the video.

Does Calvin College have a rival? Because I can only imagine that they produced it as an anti-recruitment video. Or at least as a way to drop the bar on Calvin College's prospects. The message is clearly: "Calvin College: we're fun, we're happy, and we're beautiful. (You'll probably get some.)"

Wait, I get it - this movie was produced by Balaam. You know, the one who got the women of Moab to seduce the men or Israel? Now the guys get in on it too.

The prospect of paying $100K plus for the privilege of seeing my daughter wrapped in nothing but a towel is the best argument for New Saint Andrews I've ever seen.

At least at a state school, you expect the paganism.

So. Dumb.

Nick wants to know where the fat people are, or does Calvin College simply not have any?

Soooooooo much time spent with the gymnasia backgrounds (including dressing areas, showers, toilets, men's urinals). Sheesh.

Where are the classrooms? Where is the library? Is there a library? Is their library a Kindle Kollection?

Ditto on the fat people. Or kids with zits (I noticed many had them at my daughter's public university when we sauntered through the campus one afternoon).

Where are the street preachers??!! University of Texas has a preacher's corner, and it's always staffed with pretty good preachers. Does Calvin College have such a venue??

Maybe they need one outside their gymnasium complex? Just a thought.

Welcome to the world of higher education - a world Christians inhabit with aplomb and zeal. "In order to be competitive" so the thinking goes "we have to keep up with what Behemoth U offers - non-stop fun, parties, climbing walls, spa-like exercise facilities (we're the temple of the Holy Spirit, you know...).

This "keeping up with the Joneses" in the Christian academy is just a particular application of the larger, more general, trend for evangelicals to look to the world and "relevance" to guide them rather than God's Word. Calvin - and many others - used to know something of antithesis. No longer, I'm afraid.

You couldn't pay me to go to that college. Because I ain't got so much love in me. Where's the need?

Marketing of Evangelical colleges consistently depends on the faces of fresh, happy, and fun college student prototypes. In this sense, Calvin is no different. Any wise parent would have their child look beyond that to things of substance.

In the west, character development and career preparation for young people is an ongoing process, taking place up through and including the college years. In this way, college can be seen as a finishing school. Contrast this with the culture of, say, Japan, where character development and career prep is pretty much determined by the time a student enters high school. In other words, In America, it takes a long, long time for a child to grow up.

Reformed parents would be wise to help their child find maturing and career prep processes outside of attending college. Starting a business, starting a family, or foreign travel come to mind as alternatives.

There is also nothing wrong with a technical education allowing a young man to enter into a trade.

Calvin is a wonderful institution. I am a proud alumnist and consider it an honour to support it.

There are libraries and classrooms - maybe better to research the institution a bit prior to hurling insults at it. But I guess you guys have more fun finding the negative in anything that doesn't have the same exact theological leanings as you adhere to .....

"There are libraries and classrooms - maybe better to research the institution a bit prior to hurling insults at it."

Ummm ... well, since I was the one who mentioned libraries and classrooms ...

I was working from a promotional piece by Calvin College partisans, and THEY rather pointedly chose to focus exclusively on gymnasia, skin, and workout equipment and to avoid any reference -- actual, virtual, inferential -- to classrooms and libraries.

It's THEIR promotional priorities I was criticizing, not something that's the result of my research. Why can't I take a promoter's promotions at face value and render a verdict? What's unfair about that??

Fr Bill,

Why don't you go to every church web site and Christian organization you can find and then offer your expert verdict of the promoter's promotion and criticize where the organizations are not 100 pecent aligned to your interpretation of the Scriptures? Web sites, YouTube videos - it is all the same.

Can you send me the links and promotional materials to some of the Christian organizations you are affiliated with and then I can try to examine every element and offer my criticisms where these organizations are not 100 percent aligned to my interpretation of the Bible?

Of course I say this in jest. I would rather focus my energies on supporting Christian organizations in a positive fashion, even ones not 100 percent aligned to my worldview, than to hurl negative insults.

I just want to note that this is NOT a promotional video--a little googling of the creators' names pulls up a interview that says that the students did this for fun, on their own time. So that's why there aren't any classrooms or libraries.

I would like to know, however, what genius gave these kids permission to film inside the locker rooms. Yikes.

>Of course I say this in jest. I would rather focus my energies on supporting Christian organizations in a positive fashion, even ones not 100 percent aligned to my worldview, than to hurl negative insults.

If this is the result of a Calvin education it is more devastating than the video.

Nice David. Thanks for your kind words. Really uplifting.

By the way for all of you, if this video is so immodest, what would be the point of giving it more visibility? Why promote such horrible behaviour? Perhaps this question from a Calvin alum has no credibility in your eyes given my alma mater. Just thought I would throw it out there anyway.....

I can't believe ya'll are wasting time debating the merits of what is probably a student video.

While I prob wouldn't send my children there(too cold n the winter) I'm surte they offer a load of fianicial aid to offset the cost. But if Dutch parents want to send their Dutch children to Calvin & spend the money then more power to em.

I've never seen someone so ridiculously touchy about their alma mater. Really. Obviously, no one was out to bash Calvin or any particular school for that matter. If Hillsdale put out something as cheesy and as dumb as this video, we'd all be saying the same thing: It was cheesy and dumb marketing, and it really doesn't do much to make the institution itself so appealing for the right reasons. I love my undergrad alma mater (Saint Vincent College), but for Pete's sake- I'd be embarrassed if they ever put something like that out.

Anyone have any comments on the lyrics to the song?

I would have prefered they used a Ronnie James Dio tune, but that's just me.

WOW, a 21 percent jump in tuition, you reformed believers must be loaded with cash :) I can name several baptist colleges and universites where tuition is half to a third of that.

Speaking as a Calvin alumn myself, I don't intend to get into a Calvin-bashing debate, but we should put the video in context. This thread started by labeling Calvin as a "pre-eminent Reformed college", but actually it long ago sacrificed its Reformed bona fides in exchange for broader academic "respectability". Granted, this video only a superficial glimpse into the fruit of that path, but if one were to examine the history a little deeper, Reformed parents will find the theological picture there is not so pretty.

I cringed.
I'm pretty shocked that nobody has brought up Speedo Boy in the first frame. That should just never happen anywhere.

Thinking about paying $150,000 for your daughter or son to get a Christian education at Calvin College? For myself, I'd pass on it and pay in-state tuition at the local state school. If college is going to be my child watching faculty members fight over sodomy and listening to them attack God's Creation Order of man and woman, I'd prefer they not claim to be doing so in the Name of Jesus Christ.

Love,

http://www.baylyblog.com/2009/10/tim-wthanks-to-kamilla-what-exactly-is-...

http://www.baylyblog.com/2009/11/a-prominent-evangelical-magazine-just-d...

http://chronicle.com/blogPost/Calvin-College-Faculty-Asks/8304/

http://chronicle.com/blogPost/Calvin-College-Professors/7851/

http://www.baylyblog.com/2006/07/real_men_breaki.html

I think I hear John Calvin spinning in his grave at turbine speed...again.

Anyone else notice the girl at :24 teaching the boy about the Bible.

Mr. Glaser- That seems like a bit of a reach. You really can't tell what is going on from that one second snippet. Perhaps they are discussing something together and who's to say who is leading the discussion simply based upon the person physically holding the book?

I also think the video is in poor taste although most likely for different reasons that most other readers of this blog. That being said, I think it's important to remember that this is not an official promotional piece from Calvin and rather just something that a couple of kids most likely put together themselves with the help of friends.

Now I know why Taylor University won't build their students a pool . . .good grief.

I was actually being a bit facetious.

Obviously they are studying together on the stairs because there is no library. They have to share the Bible because there is no bookstore. At least they are modestly clothed--a great relief because I did not see a Wal-Mart either.

Seriously, though, I don't see how the "unofficial" nature of the video makes the facility and tuition any cheaper or the students involved any more modest (which, as I recall, were the original points in the post). If the Dean of Students didn't film the women in the locker room or the men at the urinals then...it's free expression which is always moral and never anything to be alarmed about? Is that right? And, no matter how many students were involved, this reflects not at all on the student body? And, no matter that the facility was emptied out for this and made available for the project, no one official had anything to do with it? And since students filmed the video, the facility was built at $50 per square foot and tuition is going to be comparable next year to that of the public universities? Right?

Seems like the production values of the video are a bit high to be student produced.

> Anyone have any comments on the lyrics to the song?

"Oh, I swear..."

My favorite line:

"lock us up...yeah incarcerate"

> At least they are modestly clothed--a great relief

"Relief"? Butt-huggin' pants now pass for Christian modesty? They all were wearing them -- or wearing less. Such pants are worn everywhere -- including worship. Universal acceptance does not imply respectability or modesty. Such degrading attire! [I'm not singling out Calvin.]

I wasn't sure which way to take the video. So I read a Chimes year-in-review:

http://www-stu.calvin.edu/chimes/article.php?id=4918

Tells it as they see it.

I am annoyed that I spent the time to watch this video. I kept expecting there to be something scandalous, or at least shocking. NO.

I am MORE annoyed that I just spent the time to read the comments after this post.

I assumed this was student-produced. Why assume that the students had permission to do any of this? This is just the sort of stupid little video that kids my age love to make. And the fact that there is a girl in a towel and a boy in a speedo says very little about the institution, in my opinion. "Good little Christian kids" love pushing the envelope in any institution, especially by filming guys and girls in the same locker room, and guys at urinals. Just check out your kids' facebook pics. You'll find a lot of the same stuff.

I wouldn't have high expectations for a group of freshman-looking kids at any Christian college. I'm not defending Calvin--I know there are big problems there. But I don't know that from this video. Yes, it's immature. But I don't think it says anything more about Calvin than what my dad said in the first place--the facilities are amazing, and tuition is sky-high.

Please, find something else to critique.

This video is 100% student-produced: http://www.mlive.com/entertainment/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2010/04/calvin_college_joins_universit.html. As the article notes, it's part of a larger project collecting similar videos from colleges around the world: http://universitylipdub.com/response-videos/. I think the idea--to create a video that is one continuous shot and moves around the campus--is a pretty fun, creative challenge. And it also explains why they couldn't go all over campus, to classrooms and the library. They had to pick one building with multiple locations of visual interest.

Michal,

Before I hunt down the next victim of my frothing-at-the-mouth-rabid-dog love for criticism, let me happily point out that my children do not do facebook!

They will, though, when they can read and type well enough to enjoy that sort of thing. And if, when they do, they put up immodest images of themselves, I reserve the God-given right and duty to come down on them.

Really, though, is bringing a camera into a shower room just immature? Immature captures the flavor of the videos I used to see produced by your former classmates. But if I had seen them try to reproduce the shower scene from Psycho I would have said more than, "boys will be boys."

> Please, find something else to critique.

Okay, Michal. How about the homes and churches where such "good little Christian kids" children come from?

> Yes, it's immature. But I don't think it says anything more about Calvin than what my dad said in the first place--the facilities are amazing, and tuition is sky-high.

You are absolutely right. The kids were basically that way before arriving there. This is perfectly normal Christian culture across America today.

> I kept expecting there to be something scandalous, or at least shocking. NO. ...This is just the sort of stupid little video that kids my age love to make.

And why isn't it shocking that our children love to make such stupid little videos? Why isn't it shocking that our children are so immature? Why isn't it shocking that their parents are apparently so immature?

> I wouldn't have high expectations for a group of freshman-looking kids at any Christian college.

Definitely true today. At church Sunday I picked up a little biography of martyred Christian missionaries John and Betty Stam. I am reading about them being at Moody in the 1920s. It is clear from hearing about their life there, they were not anything like the students in the video. They desired holy, consecrated lives, and the school facilitated that. They surely would have found the video scandalous.

As a fundamental Baptist, it's heartening to see my Presbyterian brothers and sisters getting picky about modesty!

The thing that gets me most is, however, not tight jeans and shirts (or speedos or whatever), but rather the apparent intense drive to show off how cool they are. No need, apparently, for something of substance or anything like that--we'll be happy to be "cool" instead.

The biggest deal with Calvin? Of course not, but (as Kevin's link shows) it's a tip of the iceberg that appears to show that "baptized worldliness" (oops, "sprinkled worldliness", ha ha) has become a Calvin distinctive.

Narcissistic? Yes, even a bit dionysian, but typical for American evangelicals. I'm more concerned about the outrageous tuition which screams "only the upper classes need apply." By the way isn't it time for the college tuition bubble to bust?

> The thing that gets me most is, however, not tight jeans and shirts (or speedos or whatever), but rather the apparent intense drive to show off how cool they are.

Exellent point -- there are many manifestations of the larger coolness epidemic. "Don't I have a cool butt?" is merely one annoying symptom.

> "baptized worldliness" (oops, "sprinkled worldliness", ha ha) has become a Calvin distinctive.

The school is providing their customers what they want.

I would note the credits at the end of the video mention Calvin's A/V Department and Campus Security. This would indicate some sort of official approval to shoot the video, vis a vis these kids just sneaking in and doing this surreptiously and without permission.

>Really, though, is bringing a camera into a shower room just immature?

Point well taken, Mr. Halsey. You're right. I didn't mean to imply there was nothing wrong with the video. I suppose I should be scandalized by it, after all.

I only meant to point out that this immaturity and lack of discretion is not necessarily a product of Calvin. It is certainly, however, an indication of the condition of the Church today. I should be scandalized, but I can't be shocked. I look around and it's everywhere.

So, I guess this means I can't make a promo video like this for ClearNote? Shucks.

"Growth in godliness?"

Oh, I see, you labor under the assumption that education really does have the power to nurture faith (and contrariwise, deconstruct it).

If anyone would have reason to blast transformer Calvin it would be a R2Ker like me. But lighten up, it's just some fun.

Mrs. Crum,

>I only meant to point out that this immaturity and lack of discretion is not necessarily a product of Calvin...I look around and it's everywhere.

True, true. And the only scandal here is the one we constantly see--the blurring distinction between the church and the world. No shocker. It just makes it harder for me to choose: should I send my daughter to Calvin or Princeton? JK

>>lighten up, it's just some fun.

Yup. And having fun like this with girls and boys like this will only set your parents back $150,000.

As they say, if you ain't flush, you ain't Dutch.

I'm with Michal on the point of being irritated that I wasted my time watching it.

The immodesty, well, it was simply immodesty and pushing the envelope on those matters. However, does anyone seriously believe this many students did this without any administration involvement? Urinal dances and shaving underarms just don't happen without admin having something to say about it- do they?

But the other point is - there seem to have been several dozen children involved in this video - and *this* is how they want to promote their college? Is their college simply a cool place that isn't too uptight to prevent boys from going into the girls' locker room and vice versa? And let's not even mention the fact that they reduced their college to a really cool rec center.

They didn't show off the campus - no library, no classrooms, no quad, and heave forbid they should show a chapel sort of place - no, just a rec center.

It makes sense to me now that Calvin would also be the host to a couple of "evangelical" listservs in the areas of philosophy and science where orthodox Christianity is anathema.

Kamilla

The reason dozens of students do something unrelated to school: it's unrelated to school.

I found the video entertaining (though I do not think the venture into the locker room area was a wise idea). I like Rocket Summer. The skill level needed to organize a continuous shoot like this (regardless of whether it was one take or hundreds) makes me appreciate it, particularly since it was from students and not a production company. I wasted much more time reading some of the comments to the post then I did watching the video posted.

Regarding the organization and why they didn't show off other parts of the campus; the coordination of the video was most likely done by playing the song in question over the PA system of the student rec center. For kids who know a song well, the choreography would be (as far as choreography goes) insanely simple.

Getting permission to do this would simply be a matter of renting out the rec center for a couple of hours one afternoon, so it's not entirely clear to me that administration would have had anything to say about shooting the video.

Which leaves really only one thing objectionable about it; immodesty of attire and behavior that....which would be something that I would have to guess that administration already was, or already was not, dealing with already.

> "The skill level needed to organize a continuous shoot like this (regardless of whether it was one take or hundreds) makes me appreciate it"

John-- the epitome of the "single take/single shot" film is "Russian Ark" a 300-year historical romp through 33 rooms of Russia's Hermitage palace/museum with a cast of thousands. Though an odd, dream-like film, and in Russian [with subtitles], it is spellbinding, as you wonder how they coordinated all of that, and got it right the first time.

The use of "Ark" does hearken back to Noah's Ark. The Hermitage is sort of an "ark" preserving Russian history in the flood of time, I suppose. Don't expect to get much more out of it. Like its setting, it is mostly art.

Check out the trailer on YouTube [first result in the search]. Makes me want to rent it again!

Michael, you're right about Russian Ark. When you know what you're going to see, you can watch it unfold and let it carry you through the entire, astounding, jaw-dropping feat.

I don't know that they got it right the first time; maybe they did. Obviously they got it right once, and that's all that matters. But, if it didn't "work," getting everything in place, holding all that gargantuan setting/costume arrangement in place ... sheesh. It boggles the mind.

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