It is a story that everyone has heard. Evangelical high school student, who is involved in the youth group and committed to Christ, heads off to the local university. As a freshman, he takes an introductory religion class–probably intro to the OT or NT.
The professor is a critical scholar, deeply skeptical about the historicity of the Bible, and antagonistic to evangelicals. After seeing the Bible take a pounding for an entire semester, and with no one around with any answers, our freshman decides Christianity probably isn’t true after all.
The question isn’t whether this scenario plays out every year all over the country (it does). The question is what can be done about it. Most church youth groups don’t have this scenario on their radar screen when they are preparing students for college. Most of the attention is designed to help students survive morally or ethically, not intellectually.
So, for the student in this situation, I offer some advice in the video below. Thanks to TGC for putting this together and making it available.
dr. james willingham says
The hardest part is to survive one’s own doubts and skepticism. In fact, there are books that answer the professor, if one is willing to put in the hours necessary to finding the responses. I remember writing to a professor in New Orleans Seminary in the sixties, seeking an answer to the documentary hypothesis. One of the books he recommended which I still have in my library was Dr. Oswald T. Allis’ The Five Books of Moses. Having been an atheist, I found the skepticism of the liberals singularly unattractive.
Jim Jensen says
Colleges and universities: Places parents send their kids to become indoctrinated into liberalism and proselytized into atheism.
dr. james willingham says
Sure does seem that way with all the demands for gender neutrality, etc., going on so many cases. Not mention many other leftist favored agendas.
When I went to art school back in the 80’s I declined a life drawing class & got hammered by an incensed lecturer who threatened to mark me down, also a marker who didn’t like me quoting from a Rookmaaker book. Its more a growl than an in your face roar, not so welcoming or tolerant.
That side of things within academia displayed a veiled hostility that seems to reign freely. I had grown up pretty easy going in a working class environment so it was daunting & like you say caused me to go deeper & keep building on Christ the solid rock. Christian fellowship & some scholarly Christians helped peel back the layers of the underlying philosophies.
Confidence & assertion don’t equivocate to truth. As much as Secular academics preach individuality it is very into conformity.
Tom Rubino says
Loved this! What resources for college students would you recommend to help prepare them for the intellectual challenges of the university environment?
Tom Rubino says
What about resources speaking to postmodern/millennial worldviews specifically? Thank you!
Michael Kruger says
Check out James Anderson, What’s Your Worldview?. A fantastic book for postmoderns.
Sean McDowell is a great resource and has a bunch of books aimed at exactly the topics facing millenials in college and our culture. Make sure you check out his books tab on his website. A great one to start with is “Ethix” which covers many hot topics in simple to understand language for high school students. http://www.seanmcdowell.org/
My son has read many of them which helped prepare him to enter a secular university where he is studying astrophysics a field where “he can see God so clearly.” Between that prep and plugging in right away to Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ) where he found like-minded friends, he is thriving as a strong Christian leader on campus.
Trent Whalin says
I did not have a ‘religion’ class but, an ethics class. It could have been the very same thing however. The first day we were asked to introduce ourselves (I came in late to class and was confused and got some laughs) and say where we think morality comes from. Out of thirty, I was one of two who said morality came from God. It wasn’t a bad class and I was actually the one with the highest grade despite my outspoken views. The professor was ceetainly liberal and not Christian but, fair and open minded as was the class. I was also one of two ‘token’ Christians (the other one was the other one who mentioned God as the source of morality) who were asked about what the Bible says. I never felt like I was being hostile toward. I did wrestle with the view points that were opposite of me but, that is not the same as being hostile against. I received a 100% on my paper refuting pro choice views. I also helped a beautiful girl in the class write a paper against the death penalty (I am pro death penalty), and we became friends. I was honestly surprised that I was respected, I think it may be due to liquid modernism or relativism.
Mitchell kruger says
Thanks for the advice uncle mike! Mitchell