[255] Faith Crisis in Xian Colleges

[255] Faith Crisis in Xian Colleges

The August 30, online edition of Christianity Today included an article suggesting that doubting one’s faith is “part of the process” for many students at Christian colleges.  It reported a study done by Christian Higher Education showing how common faith struggles are among students at these schools.

“Contemporary leaders at Christian colleges and universities don’t really have to push students to spiritual crisis,” says the article. “They expect students to come to this point in their faith and prepare to help them through it.”  The article also tells of how evangelical missionaries of the past “almost always talked about their college experience as a time of spiritual struggle,” according to historian, Adam Laats.  The big concern is to get students to acknowledge their doubts rather than hide them in guilt.

From there, the discussion moves to how to minister to this population of doubt.  There is much variety among colleges on that front, much of which involves individual or group support.

I have two suggestions for how to do that.

First, in the context of any Christian worldview, confront postmodernist thinking at every point.  The notion that non-material truth is relative, or a function of one’s personal perception, is arguably the single most destructive force facing Christianity.

Second, offer a required course on Christian apologetics.  Much doubt among students is rooted in intellectual challenges to the faith—what Paul calls the wisdom of men vs. the foolishness of the gospel.  We have powerful, intellectually-defensible reasons for why we accept Christianity as truth.  Armed with those reasons, the labels of foolishness and wisdom are quickly reversed. DC

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