got me a college girl

in celebration of formal education in the life of the Christian girl

Saturday, April 22, 2006

purpose of secular education for Christians (Karen)

As a follow-up to a comment on the previous thread, I thought this might be good to discuss.

In referring to the article by Pieter Friedrich, Pastor Mike Spreng said:

"The article is a little obnoxious but it is not all together “arrogant.” I think what he is trying to say is that his mind was not forming like he wanted it to. That is what college is supposed to be about! College should form the mind and give the student a grid, a hermeneutic, a general philosophy, to study whole life. It sounds like he wasn’t getting that. His mind was becoming a convoluted mess of “information.” That’s not learning; not proper learning, anyhow. Again, proper learning gives a person a worldview, an outlook, a pair of spectacles. Liberal study cannot and will not do this. And as far as the argument of “learning about what others are believing,” well…that is a very immature way to learn also. Haven’t you ever heard of the way the FBI trains when learning the crime of counterfeiting? They study the real bill so much that when a counterfeit runs past them, they spot it immediately. If they were to study the counterfeit bills instead, they would have an endless schooling that would teach them a lot of nothing. And that is what much of academia is doing: teaching a lot of nothing. It’s Marketing 101! Those publishers and teachers get paid ya know."

So I had these thoughts:

Mike,

Perhaps herein lies the problem....what is the purpose of a college education?

I would offer that going to college and attending college classes don't necessarily have the same purpose.

The experience of college teaches you all sorts of things we have addressed on this blog, ie, leadership skills, interpersonal relationship skills, independence, self-motivation, critical thinking skills, etc.

The classes, however, ought to be part of a whole learning process, preparing you to be accomplished enough to have a job, whether it be in a work environment or raising a family or in ministry. Class time will expose you to the ideas and worldviews of any number of people and it will also allow you the opportunity to evaluate the things you have learned up until that point. And it will give you a body of information you can and hopefully will use.

Pieter says that he was only attending college to get a degree. He didn't claim to go into it with the goal of having his mind shaped. In fact, it sounds like he really didn't go into it with the goal of learning anything at all, only to get a piece of paper for future employment.

I had another thought as I read through your comments and, looking at your profile, I think you might be Peiter's pastor. What do you think about Christian education vs secular education for Christians and how does that determine how you approach your classroom time? Are the minds of Christians supposed to be shaped by those with a secular worldview?


What do you all think?



30 Comments:

  • At 7:31 AM, Blogger givengrace said…

    To Mike:

    Interesting point about the FBI strategy for learning to pinpoint counterfeits. The problem with the analogy, however, is that Believers aren't just trying to recognize false teaching or "counterfeits" (for that, learning the Truth of the Bible IS essential, yes), but trying to WIN the unbelieving hearts to Christ.

     
  • At 10:48 AM, Blogger Mike Spreng said…

    We "win" people by our ethics. We learn our ethics from studying the Scriptures and how the Scriptures have shaped society throughout history. A strong and theologically learned Christian may be able to make it through a secular degree program without being tainted and scarred. I think most Christians go through the learning process backwards. Secular learning should be part of, say, a doctoral program, after they are well rooted and are able to use the proper wrestling moves when confronted by error. Otherwise, the Christian learns to wrestle like a chimpanzee, fumbling in their ethics in everything they do. This is why there has been som many divisions within Christianity: Men go through seminary after they have already been molded by the liberal culture. They drag their wroldview into the church and then, before you know it, we are ordaining homosexuals and denying the resurrection itself.

     
  • At 12:42 PM, Blogger givengrace said…

    Yes, absolutely the Bible is the ultimate authority. I couldn't agree more with you on that.

    A couple questions, though (so I do not respond in ignorance):

    1) Could you elaborate on this sentence: "We 'win' people by our ethics.'

    2) How would a Christian enter a secular doctoral program without attaining a bachelor's first? Do you mean through a Christian college?

     
  • At 1:36 PM, Blogger Camille said…

    A *doctoral* program? Wow -- you have very little confidence in my undergrads or in the God they believe in. One or my recent grads is a member here at collegegal, and she most certainly cam "handle" secular ideas.

    You know why? Because as much as we'd like to think that we belivers are sola scriptura, we're pieced together with human thinking too. And what's so wrong with that? Why is the human bad?

     
  • At 2:07 PM, Blogger Mike Spreng said…

    1. We win people by our ethics like the proverb says we do, by heaping coals (Proverbs 25:21-22). This "heapng coals" means that we bring conviction and shame on to our enemy. In New Testament and Psalm language, this mens to preach/demonstrate the Law to the unbeliever. The Law brings conviction to the unbeliever. I wrote a book on this kind of thing that's entitled Drawing His People. It will be published in July.

    2. This is the problem: there is no accredited program I know of that embraces theology right of the bat (accredidation is another argument). They make you wait years before you can get the good stuff. We homeschool our kids, so they will know as much or more than most pastors by the time they enter college. The way the earlier Christians schooled was by requiring the teens to be VERY scholastic. Look at most of the Reformers and you will find that they were very young when they published. I believe that by the time a person is 18 they should be able to write a large thesis equivalent to today's MA students. Only when a person is completely grounded in theology can they embrace secular thought. Best to enter an unaccredited program like Whitefield, Bahnsen, or RC Sproul's school of ministry. I hear that seminaries now arre offering certificate programs that do not require a BA. Most do not want to go this route because they want the accredited document.

     
  • At 2:09 PM, Blogger Mike Spreng said…

    Camille: Check out Total Depravity from a Reformed web site or book.

     
  • At 6:19 PM, Blogger Lilaea said…

    I am a 21-year-old college girl attending a liberal arts college against my church's wishes. First of all, your blog encourages me to continue to pursue my education, and I thank you for it! Second, I think Mike Spreng actually has a point, that college should form the mind and give the student a grid to study all of life. In fact, I think this is the best reason TO go to college! I think we have to know history, philosophy, ethics, literature, theology and science to understand who we are, why we are here, and how we are to relate to God and the world around us. This is the purpose of a college education -- to learn not just how to earn a living, but also how to live!

    I do not, by the way, attend a Christian college. And I think that perhaps the distinction should be made not between a secular and a Christian education, but between a liberal arts and a vocational education. A liberal arts education teaches philosophy (which includes secular ideas), literature (which includes atheist authors), history (which includes people like Marx and Voltaire), theology (yes, all kinds), etc. There are plenty of Christian schools who fail to give an education like this. They simply teach their students "Marketing 101," and they fail to teach them who they are and how to really live.

    I hope that this makes sense. Again, thank you for the encouragement.

     
  • At 6:30 PM, Blogger Monica said…

    Mike,

    I would add a few more questions to aid in response. When you say "secular learning," to what are you referring? Are we talking about secular ideas? If so, does that mean ideas devloped by non-Christians? Or are we talking about things that are in direct contradiction to the Scriptures?

     
  • At 7:05 PM, Blogger Laura said…

    "A strong and theologically learned Christian may be able to make it through a secular degree program without being tainted and scarred."

    This doesn't seem to place a great deal of faith in the upbringing and spiritual life of young Christian adults, if at the age of 18 or so they aren't yet equipped to go into the world and learn at a secular college without being ruined by it. I'm perplexed as to why a young Christian adult in a secular college environment would be "fumbling in their ethics in everything they do."

    I'm reminded here of another anti-college article I read online recently, in which a mother was quoted as saying that everything her daughter had learned in her lifetime (Christianity, respect for parents, patriotism I think were some of the examples) was washed away by a few college classes. I frankly thought that article, sadly, spoke more to the weak Christian foundation the young lady had been given than about what's wrong with college.

    My daughter will start college this fall. Christian colleges were considered (she was accepted to Wheaton and Biola) but had to be put aside due to poor financial aid. She'll be attending a highly regarded secular college. I know she will encounter liberal and un-Christian ideas in her years there, but I don't have the least concern about her ability to "handle" college and ethics as a Christian or to retain her Christian beliefs and values. Indeed, I think learning about how others think can better equip Christians to reach the world for Christ.

    With best wishes -- Laura

     
  • At 9:13 PM, Blogger Mike Spreng said…

    Wow! I'm being swarmed by a large group of ladies. What do I do??

    "Secular learning" is submitting yourself under nonbelieving teachers who give you nonbelieving curriculum.

    Moral relativism, anti-creationism, anti-sipernaturalism, as well as all the other "isms" we guard against, are found in nearly every subject.

    When you submitt to anyone, you are training your soul. When you listen to anything that i-does not line up with the Scriptures or the philosophy of the Scriptures, you are training your soul. WHen I was in college, I thought some of the things helped me, but after I attended seminary, I found that I was relearning nearly everything. I think it has to do a lot with general philosophy and psychology. For those of you who have taken classes in these subjects, you will understand how many things in life are very subversive and many people are manipulative and love to insinuate rather than teach.

    I can teach someone the gospel without even using a Christian vocabulary. And likewise, a Hindu can teach you his religion by not using his vocabulary, and if he is good enough, he will use your own Christian vocabularuy against you.
    These subversive methods WILL change you ethics. I've seen it done (not that that matters).

    The majority of Christendom (I love that word) teaches a dispensational theology that makes no sense. Whe young people are embraced by more liberal ethics and general worldviews that are more logical, they fall away; sometimes immediately and sometimes years later.

     
  • At 5:31 AM, Blogger Camille said…

    Mike: Check out God's Sovereignty from the same Reformed web sites or book. You might also try the idea of redemption from anything by one apostle Paul.

    God's in charge. He's bigger than you or I or any so-called "secular learning." Anything human is not necessarily evil, like you imply. That's a Keswickian idea (http://www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=391) that is anti-Scriptural and certainly anti-Reformed.

     
  • At 5:53 AM, Blogger Camille said…

    **"Secular learning" is submitting yourself under nonbelieving teachers who give you nonbelieving curriculum. ***

    Okay, Mike. . . . Let's run with that definition. I don't believe it's a very broad one since believing teachers can and do expose their students to secular learning in Plato, Aristotle, Cicero and the like.

    But what tickles me is that your ideal has been my educational experience. All my teachers through my MA were believing! Only until my Ph.D. at Indiana U did I have my first unbeliever.

    So that it's possible and even represented here proves that maybe you're not at odds with collegegal at all.

     
  • At 3:23 PM, Blogger PurchasedLife said…

    Hi all. I've been lurking on this site for awhile, but this is my first time posting. Thanks for a great site!

    Pastor Spreng and many in the non-college crowd seem to think that exposure to secular ideas will only lead us astray. Pastor Spreng seems to say that our theology will be sounder if we stay away from non-Christian exposure.

    I actually think it's good for young people (especially seminarians) to be in society. Professor John Frame says that theology is the right application of Scripture to life. We need to be exposed to the lives of others and the questions they have if we are going to have a mature theology. Otherwise, we are going to be irrelevant, sometimes even clanging gongs and clashing cymbals.

     
  • At 6:30 PM, Blogger Tracy said…

    Mike,
    I just have a few comments on what you are saying.

    1. "Only when a person is completely grounded in theology can they embrace secular thought." When a person is grounded in the Scriptures, can he ever EMBRACE secular thought? Secular thought is rooted in the selfish heart of man and exhibits the sinful nature we were all born with. I agree that we should train our children and guard their exposure to secular learning, but we must also train people (regardless of their educational background) to identify wrong teachings in the world. We must prepare young Christians to be able to interact in the world around them and still be able to maintain a strong testimony and understanding of God. We cannot wait to train Christians until they are ready to pursue a doctoral degree because majority of people will not pursue such a degree. Therefore, we must prepare our children to be able to properly interact with secular and humanistic reasoning by the time they have completed their high school education.

    -- I say this as a teacher at a Christian college. I have just recently completed my master's degree.

     
  • At 7:31 PM, Blogger givengrace said…

    I'm sorry I couldn't respond sooner; Mike, I just read your comments. Thank you for your gracious responses.

    In regards to the winning people by our ethics--you are referring to Galatians where it speaks of the law being a "schoolmaster," are you not? You've got me thinking. There is an element of evangelism in that, but is it the end-all? Or better, couldn't part of that very law be the love others here have suggested we cultivate?

    On undergraduate study: I don't know that I disagree with you. Obtaining a Biblical base (through home school or Christian school or personal study before attending a Bible school and then, later, looking into secular training) is an excellent option. This is what I and others here did.

    I am a graduate of an excellent (and unaccredited) Bible college, for which I am very thankful, and now I'm attending a secular school for my master's. In my case, God opened doors I thought were unopenable, which He is prone to do. I've loved the path God's chosen for me; at every step, I've sought godly counsel and prayed extensively. My lifetime of Christian education up until this point has been incredibly valuable.

    But just because this has been a great path for me doesn't mean it's the path for everyone. Another Christian I know attended public schools and public universities; he is in the midst of his graduate training now--he loves the Lord and has been a beautiful testimony to his classmates and professors.

    Your points are well-made, and I hear you. But rather than them stopping Christians from pursuing education, your thoughts should be genuine warnings and cautions for those who enter secular school.

     
  • At 7:35 PM, Blogger givengrace said…

    "I actually think it's good for young people (especially seminarians) to be in society. Professor John Frame says that theology is the right application of Scripture to life. We need to be exposed to the lives of others and the questions they have if we are going to have a mature theology. Otherwise, we are going to be irrelevant, sometimes even clanging gongs and clashing cymbals."

    Purchasedlife,
    To be fair, I don't believe Mike and others (at least in this post) were suggesting anyone not "be in society." His argument is that secular education provides secular philosphies.

    Your last statements intrigued me; I'm not sure I understand what you mean by our being clanging symbols in this context--could you elaborate?

     
  • At 7:36 PM, Blogger givengrace said…

    "Because as much as we'd like to think that we belivers are sola scriptura, we're pieced together with human thinking too. And what's so wrong with that? Why is the human bad?"

    Camille, Could you give me an example of a time where the Bible is not completely sufficient?

     
  • At 8:42 PM, Blogger Mike Spreng said…

    Givengrace,

    I did my schooling in a simalar fashion: unaccredited and accedited.

    I don't think that the "schoolmaster" evangelism is the end-all, but I do believe it is the begining of the end. Paul says that one plants and the other waters, and then God gives the increase. The final step is surrender; giving up ones autonomy to take up God's authority that is found in the Church. This is the problem with so-called evangelism today: Christians have created a rhetoric (did I spell that right?) out of the Gospel, when in fact the Gospel is not a rhetoric, rather it is an anounncement that God has come in the flesh to guide His people. There is no magic formula. There is a sense of rhetoric as one becomes sanctified, but to get there one must give up their arrogance, their autonomy, their self-suffiency, their eschatology. They must become part of the Covenant. The problem with all this, though, is that the Covenant is under the guidence of the church, and the church is in dissaray right now. This is why I am a big advocate for CHristian leaders to avoid secular (let me redifine it as "liberal":) education.

    If I could have a word with the old Princeton crowd...They and Harvard, ironically, since they werre originally CHristian, paved the path for apostacy. If there is one thing I hate with passion, it is liberalism; and it is liberalism that has taken the reigns of academia in America.

    This is not to say that God is not in control. He is sovereign, but he also allows us to eat our own cooking. This puts us in the hospital and then we must take time to recover (this is the history of the church). We keep "saving ourselve's," as the Diadache puts it. It's a vicious cycle that is hard to break, even in our own sanctification.

     
  • At 9:18 PM, Blogger PurchasedLife said…

    Givengrace,

    Thanks for challenging me to make sure I’m being fair to the context of the post. Perhaps I wasn’t.

    In regard to your first observation:

    To be fair, I don't believe Mike and others (at least in this post) were suggesting anyone not "be in society." His argument is that secular education provides secular philosophies.

    I was mostly referring to this comment made by Pastor Spreng:

    Men go through seminary after they have already been molded by the liberal culture. They drag their worldview into the church and then, before you know it, we are ordaining homosexuals and denying the resurrection itself.

    I think it is good for young people in general and seminarians in particular to be exposed to secular philosophies. Of course, the delicate challenge for parents and the church is to give the young person a grid from which to view those philosophies. But I don’t think it can happen in strict succession. That is, I don’t think we can use the FBI method of only staring at the authentic bills until we’re ready to search for counterfeits. This must happen in tandem.

    I was reading Pastor Spreng to say that if a seminarian is in the world before seminary then they will drag their worldview in and end up ordaining homosexuals and denying the resurrection. But to be fair to Pastor Spreng, perhaps he did not mean that all seminarians who are in the world will inevitably do so. Perhaps he just meant that if a seminarian adopts a nonbiblical worldview while in the world, then he will end up ordaining homosexuals and denying the resurrection.

    Even with that more generous interpretation, I think a comment like that overlooks the benefits of exposure to secular philosophies. I’ve known seminarians who went straight from Christian schools or home-schools, then Christian colleges, then straight to seminary as a 22 year old. Believe me that I do not intend to deride these paths of education. But sometimes when young people choose this path straight to seminary, they don’t really know how to interact with the questions people are asking and the struggles they are facing. So I think it’s a good thing for seminarians to have some time being exposed to secular philosophies before they start their ministry. Comments that seem to indicate that doing so inevitably leads to denying the resurrection and ordaining homosexuals annoy me, to be honest.

    In regards to my “clanging cymbals” comment – perhaps that was a bit of a step. But I did try to temper it some as you see:

    Otherwise, we are going to be irrelevant, sometimes even clanging gongs and clashing cymbals.

    When we have such a fear of secular philosophies that we think exposure to them will more or less lead to a denial of elemental Christian truths, we are going to have a hard time relating to non-Christians. And if we can’t relate to them, we can’t love them well. That’s why I brought up the clanging cymbals.

    Hope this helps explain what I meant, Givengrace. Please follow up if you would like.

     
  • At 10:51 PM, Blogger TulipGirl said…

    "Because as much as we'd like to think that we belivers are sola scriptura, we're pieced together with human thinking too. And what's so wrong with that? Why is the human bad?"

    Camille, Could you give me an example of a time where the Bible is not completely sufficient?

    I'm not Camille, and she can certainly speak for herself. . . But I'm going to jump into the conversation here, anyway.

    I am in full agreement with the Westminster Confession when it states, "The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man's salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture. . ."

    Camille did not state nor imply that "the Bible is not completely sufficient."

    She did acknowledge that we are human. And I will state, that we are humans, created in the image of God, fallen and imperfect. And yet, still, created to act, think, do. . .

    I do not minimize total depravity or total inability. (Hey--there's a reason I go by TULIPgirl. *wink*)


    Yet, God's creation of how we are to function, feel, think, be, isn't bad.


    To call on a girly example, God designed mothers to breastfeed. We see it modelled, hear it praised in Scripture. That is the norm. In fact, the Bible speaks quite extensively on breastfeeding.

    But the Bible is not a medical text and doesn't address the structure of the mammary glands, the endocrine/autocrine system, or techniques to handle the myriad of breastfeeding struggles that are normal in our fallen world.

    Those things are important--at least to mothers and infants. The Bible is completely sufficient for encouraging breastfeeding as God's design. However, the nitty-gritty details come from studying God's creation, using the minds and abilities He has given us to search out His design, and learning to live within His creation, even as fallen people.

    And you know what? People can study these things, even if they don't acknowledge God as Creator. And Christians can learn from research and knowledge gathered by non-Believers. I don't know whether Dr. Nathan Hale is a Christian. But whether he is or not, I do know that his research is a trustworthy source for learning about which medicationsmedications are safe while breastfeeding.

     
  • At 4:34 AM, Blogger Camille said…

    **Camille, Could you give me an example of a time where the Bible is not completely sufficient? **

    Well, I've never said that the Bible is anything but sufficient for faith and practice. So I'm not sure what you're after.

    What I did say is that the things that are human are not automatically evil and to be shunned. Building a bridge, for instance, is a wholly human endeavor. Must we see it, as the Gnostics would, as completely at odds with the divine?

     
  • At 5:05 AM, Blogger prairie girl said…

    "When you submitt to anyone, you are training your soul. When you listen to anything that i-does not line up with the Scriptures or the philosophy of the Scriptures, you are training your soul. WHen I was in college, I thought some of the things helped me, but after I attended seminary, I found that I was relearning nearly everything. I think it has to do a lot with general philosophy and psychology. For those of you who have taken classes in these subjects, you will understand how many things in life are very subversive and many people are manipulative and love to insinuate rather than teach."

    MIke,

    I totally agree with this statement. I believe it is crucial to undestanding who you are studying under when you give them permission to train you. This isn't just a Christian vs non-Christian principle either. There are Christian with whom I would very much disagree in certain areas and don't believe I would want to have them training me or my children. (a case in point would be the agenda of our local Christian school, though I would send my children there before I would place them in our public schools.)

    There has been quite alot of research done regarding children who were raised in Christian homes and who professed Christ while still at home. The odds of a Christian young person abandoning his or her faith while at a secular university are pretty strong. I am not saying this is inevitable, just that the "exit polls" if you will who it to be very common. And you must understand that there IS an agenda in secular universities to undermine the faith of Christians and to belittle, even in class, those who purpose to stand firm in their faith. My own personal opinion in this matter is that I would never place a young person in the late teens or early twenties, a time of such searching and turmoil about life to begin with, into that environment. Again, I will promote Sumitt Ministries. Their goal is prepare high school and post-high school students to challenge the attemtps of their professors when they open their minds to fill them with mush!

    Thank, Mike, btw, for your comments. You must be one tough guy to not go running for the hills here in college girl land! :)

     
  • At 5:13 AM, Blogger prairie girl said…

    Tulipgirl,

    YOu made such a great point. The Bible never claims to be the one-book encyclopedia! God has given us, as believers, the Holy Spirit, to help us as we discern truth.

    I loved your breastfeeding example, by the way. It is a perfect one!

     
  • At 5:18 AM, Blogger prairie girl said…

    Camille,

    I would say that building a bridge is not a wholly human endeavor. God has placed things like the principles of physics in our universe that are applicable to both believers and non-believers as they do things like build bridges. An engineer, no matter how brillant or educated, will have to follow these principles that came from the hand of God, some of which cannot even be explained!

    I think those tings fall under the category of "common grace, " good things that come to us from God's own hand, given to all, believers and unbelievers alike. In fact, each and every breath we take, believer or not, falls into that category.

     
  • At 8:17 AM, Blogger givengrace said…

    Yes, Tulipgirl, thank you for your example--that helped put some things together for me.

    Camille, I'm sorry for reading into yoru statement. Glad to know we're on the same page--the Bible is sufficient for all matters that pertain to life and godliness.

    Mike, I appreciate your perspective and think it helps balance mine, though I'm not sure I fully get your frustration with "Christian rhetoric." Rhetoric is a term that connotes different defintions for different people; most basically, I think of it as persuasive speaking (which includes virtually every communication, if you think about it). When Paul was arrested and imprisoned under Felix, he spent time reasoning with him and persuading him about the Gospel. Would this not be a type of rhetoric? is that bad?

    Purchasedlife, Good points.
    I think I misunderstood you a bit. My confusion was over "be in society"--which, I think you're saying is "in secular schooling" and I took to mean "living in the world. "
    And thank you for clarifying about the clanging cymbals. I'm still sort of thinking through those ideas. I just read some verses in my devotions this morning that I think might play into this--

    I Corinthians 10: 31So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, 33just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.

    Thoughts?

     
  • At 9:48 AM, Blogger Camille said…

    Thanks, TulipGirl. And you, too, Givengrace. :-D

    PrairieGirl -- That we who live for God can see Him reflected in bridge-building or breastfeeding is not really what I mean. You can't learn to build a bridge from sola Scriptura. Just like we can't learn about the biology of breastfeeding from there either. And you don't HAVE to acknowledge God to build a good bridge. **shrug**

     
  • At 7:00 PM, Blogger PurchasedLife said…

    Givengrace,

    I’m glad my latest comments helped clear up what I meant. I appreciate that you brought up 1 Corinthians 10. I think it is helpful here. How can we be a Jew for Jews, etc. if we don’t understand their worldview? Understanding it is different from adopting it. Of course we have to be careful not to become polluted by the world (James 1:27), but we still have to engage the world. In my tradition (Reformed), the typical view of how Christians are to relate to culture is that of transforming culture. Other traditions beg to differ. But if we adopt the transformational model, we must understand and engage the culture. Learning secular philosophies is one way to equip us to do so.

    God bless!

     
  • At 4:55 AM, Blogger lizzybethjane said…

    Hi. This is a first post, and, if summer school is as hectic as this semester has been, it may just be my last too : )

    I'm 25 and have a BA and MA in speech/communication from a christian university under my belt (some people on this blog contributed greatly to those degree....: ). I'm now at the end of my first year at a state university pursuing a degree in the medical field. So I've been in both worlds.

    Just a few thoughts I felt would be cogent in this conversation.

    During this discussion about the pro and cons of a secular education, I feel that we should never underestimate how difficult it is to be "salt and light in a dark world." I believe that many of our christian young people fold under the pressures of a secular education not because their worldview suddenly does a 180 turn due to the brillant reasoning of their professors and fellow classmates, but because they are tired of being the only one in their classes who is different, who doesn't subcribe to the views and opinions that are so often lauded by their teachers and peers. It's almost like giving in. Yeah, you know deep down that they are wrong, but it's just easier, and more profitable on the surface, to be a closet christian. I have often been tempted to simply keep my mouth shut and tacitly agree with my peers and professors simply because I didn't want to be singled out as the ultra-conservative weirdo ("what! you don't believe that racial discrimination is at the heart of all the problems in the world!?!") If we want christian young people to put themselves in a place with such an anti-biblical worldview, then we should pray for their daily strength and encouragment! Our churches should have support groups and resources avalible to teens and young adults who are at secular universities! We should not assume that past spiritual experiences will provide students with enough "toughness" to handle the punches from the secular world. We really need continual "padding." We christians are nice people! : ) We kind of expect people to play fair and stick to the rules!

    Anyway, I have found my experience at a state university to be a positive one because it has forced me to stand up for what I believe. And if a christian can't do that, then what is their purpose of Christ telling us to be the "salt and light" of the world. We just need someone to hold our hand for the first few steps into the real world : ) It's a scary place.

     
  • At 7:41 PM, Blogger Headmistress, zookeeper said…

    I'm just curious. In your previous post you guessed that Mike was Pieter's pastor, and Pieter said he was not, and pointed out that they live in separate states.
    So how long are you going to leave this uncorrected in your post?

     
  • At 7:09 PM, Blogger prairie girl said…

    zookeeper,

    I am not going to repost my post because then the comments make no sense. I believe that Pieter did a good job of correcting that information and, besides, it wasn't a big deal was it?

     

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