[258] Foolishness
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[258] Foolishness

Nearly 20 years ago a George Barna poll found that 70% of churched youth walk away from their faith within one year of attending a secular college or university.  A chilling report.  I cannot imagine that number is any lower today. Recantation of what appeared to be a Christian faith is not uncommon. Bart Campolo, Frankie Schaeffer, Rob Bell, and Aaron Rodgers are contemporary examples. What we have here are cases in which the foolishness of the gospel—which confounds the wise—is swapped out for the wisdom of man’s false teaching.

We need to stop and look at this.  In 1 Corinthians 1:18, Paul makes no secret of how foolish the gospel looks in the eyes of the unbeliever.  Moreover, throughout scripture we are warned against false teaching.

So what are the takeaways from this 70% finding?  Here are a few.  First, it is a ringing endorsement for Christian higher education. In the secular university, faith is not merely not supported.  It is attacked.  When young people are not intellectually armed to confront sophisticated, carefully-constructed, humanistic counterarguments the gospel indeed looks foolish, rather than the power of God to salvation.

Second, the Christian college must get serious about teaching apologetics and Christian worldview. It simply cannot rest on the comfortable, complacent assumption that students do not lose their faith in a Christian environment.  They do. They lose their faith when they are confronted–through reading or conversation—with secular humanist ideologies, particularly in a vacuum of proactive efforts to defend the validity of Christian truth and a Christian worldview on their own campus. They become no more immune to apostacy than their counterparts attending secular universities.

Third, the church needs to see the danger of this devious, evil enemy, waiting for its children who have been no more deeply educated in their faith than what they learned in Sunday School or catechism classes. We have so many resources now—visual and literary. Churches need to incorporate those that offer a grounding in the validity of scripture and truth of a Christian worldview into their educational curriculum.

Not to do so, would indeed be foolish. DC

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