[230] A Must

[230] A Must

I have long been beating the drum for a required course in Christian Apologetics in Christian colleges.  I am more convinced than ever that such a course is a must.  You name a biblically-based Christian college and I will show you their courses in theology.  Valuable as they are in spelling out the faith for the theologically uninitiated, these courses often serve as little more than reinforcements of what has been already learned by the many students from Christian families.  Again, these courses do well in presenting the cognitive elements of the faith, but that is not what so many students need.

In a world awash in secularism and postmodernism, students need to have a defense of the faith.  They need, as Peter states (1 Peter 3:15), a ready answer to the forces who will challenge their faith. Christian students really need that because many of them come from environments in which they feared expressing even the slightest doubts as to the truth of Christianity. 

In many Christian homes and churches, children are not educated in the faith.  They are indoctrinated with the faith.  Before they can think for themselves they are taught the faith as if it were as provably true as gravity.  Unfortunately, as these children develop intellectually, their scientific certainty is continually confirmed while their faith often encounters challenges—challenges that create painful doubt.

Many feel they have no place to go with those doubts.  Expressions of doubt and questions that challenge the faith are not very welcome in many churches and Christian homes.  Worse, many young people already feel guilty about even entertaining doubt.

The Christian college is to be a place of education, not indoctrination.  It is a place in which students should learn how to think critically, rather than accept bodies of knowledge without question.  There is no better place for students to investigate the case for their faith than right there.  It is the best place for them to express their doubts and ask their challenging questions without guilt or condemnation.  And find some answers.

Consider the all too common alternative.  It is often a double life, one that looks like one of faith on the surface (going to chapel, following the norms of the Christian college community, and going to church with their family when at home) but actually one of dwindling and ebbing faith.  Once free from the restraints of the Christian community–home and college—the movement out of the life of faith accelerates.  Worship stops, relationships with non-believers (often including marriage) multiply, and that once Covenant child is gone.

I have no idea how many young people could be rescued from this all too common plight had they had a safe place to examine their faith.  I can tell you that place is the Christian college.  DC

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