Over the last few months I have been working through a 6-part series helping Christian students think through how to prepare for life at a big university. This topic is particularly relevant, I hope, given the number of high school seniors who are in the middle of deciding where they will go to college in the fall.
This little series is based on a recent lecture I gave to the Regents School in Austin, Texas, where I laid out 6 principles designed to help rising college students think more clearly about what’s ahead. It’s also based on my book, Surviving Religion 101. You can read the prior installments here, here, here, here, and here.
We now come to the final installment, and arguably the most important of the series: “Stick together like a band of brothers (or sisters).”
I can still remember the first time I saw the World War II film, Saving Private Ryan. The opening scene of the D-Day invasion was so profoundly gut-wrenching, I almost had to leave the theater. It’s the first time I think I ever really got a taste (just a taste, mind you) of the horrors of war.
I could barely watch as those brave US soldiers stormed the beaches of Normandy, knowing it was almost certain they would die. And, at Omaha Beach, most of them did. The Nazis were dug into elevated positions, forcing the Americans to charge forward, unprotected on the open beach, into a barrage of bullets and explosions.
When faced with such incredible heroism, an obvious question comes up. What allowed these soldiers to be so brave? What could explain a person’s willingness to give their life so courageously? [Read more…]