I am in the middle of 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, and here.
We now come to a fourth thing that rising Christian college students need to know: “People don’t believe things simply because of the facts.”
OK, let me lay out what are probably the toughest questions being pondered by Christian college students: If Christianity is true, then why don’t more people believe it? And why does it seem like the smartest people around are precisely the ones who don’t believe? If Christianity was really true, if Christianity really made the most sense of the world, then wouldn’t most people accept it?
These questions will be particularly acute when it comes to professors. There they are, trained in some of the finest research universities in the world. Brilliant. Smart. Filled with knowledge. And there is the Christian student. A nineteen-year-old with no advanced degrees, no letters after their name, no credentials.
What are the chances that Christian students are right and these professors—nearly all of them—are wrong? It might seem that the chances of that are pretty low.
Indeed, if this issue is left unaddressed it will begin to gnaw away at you, like a sliver in your mind, creating doubts about what you believe. So it’s important to have an answer. It’s critical to understand why the intellectual landscape is what it is. [Read more…]