Surviving a College Education

I learned about a letter the other day that really disturbed me. It was from a mother, describing what happened when her daughter went off to college. She wrote: "Our daughter was raised in Christian schools and in a Christian home where we taught her Christian values and morals. . . . Two years out of high school at 20 [years] old, she enrolled at the University. . . . "Unfortunately she was overwhelmed by the professors and began to believe their philosophies. She graduated two years ago," the writer said, "and has turned her back on all that she believed in. We are trusting God to bring our girl back. The wait is sometimes difficult, but we are on bended knee." This is a tragic case, but it's just one more example of a growing trend: Kids raised in Christian homes who lose their faith -- at least for a time -- at college. But it doesn't have to be this way. I received another letter, this time from a student attending a liberal Ivy League college. He writes that he enjoys playing, as he called it, "guerilla warfare" with his non-Christian professors. He even started a student newspaper that reports on issues from a Christian worldview perspective. ow is one student able to thrive on a liberal campus while another turns away? The answer is that the young man in the Ivy League school had learned how to distinguish between the various ideologies being presented in the classroom, and he understood that a biblical worldview gives people much better answers to the cultural issues of our day. With this kind of knowledge, he was able to be discerning, to see through the humanistic ideas promoted by his liberal professors. Stories like these are instructive for parents of college-age students. We can no longer assume that a Christian home and church attendance will be enough to keep our kids from falling prey to the radical ideas they'll certainly have to face on campus -- and that, sadly, can sometimes include Christian campuses, as well. Parents must be intentional in teaching their children how the Bible relates to every aspect of life, especially with the academic subjects they're being taught in school. In his book, Understanding the Times, Dr. David Noebel gives high school and college students a crash course in worldview analysis. He does that by dividing worldview into ten categories: theology, philosophy, biology, ethics, psychology, sociology, law, politics, economics, and history. These ten disciplines form a grid by which we can analyze any worldview. He then demonstrates that there are basically three non-Christian worldviews influencing our society today: secular humanism, Marxist- Leninism, and cosmic humanism (or New Age spirituality). He then examines how the Bible differs from these humanist philosophies. Noebel's book teaches students to think biblically so they won't be caught off-guard in the classroom. Thus, informed by a consistent biblical worldview, our Christian kids can walk into any classroom with confidence, knowing how to defend their faith -- no matter what the professor throws at them. Teaching your college-bound teens to understand the times could mean the difference between whether they graduate with their faith intact or whether you are the next parent I hear from, writing a tear-stained letter on bended knee.


Chuck Colson


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