My son Jackson is finishing his junior year of high school this month. Next year at this time we’ll be getting him ready to venture off to college. Part of me is very excited for him, but another part of me feels cautious as well.
I feel that we’ve done a good job getting him ready for adulthood. But there’s one area we need to do a little more. I think after reading this guest post today from Dr. Frank Turek, you’ll see what I mean…
Part 1: Intellectual Predators
By Dr. Frank Turek , co-author of I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist
Founder and President of www.CrossExamined.org
“Dad, I’m not sure I believe in God anymore.”
My friend never thought he would hear those words. After all, he’s a well-known pastor with a large church and an international ministry. Yet, after just one year of college, his own daughter doubted nearly everything he tried to instill in her for eighteen years. “I now realize that I did not do a good job showing her why Christianity is true,” he told me. “Now, it might be too late.”
He’s not the only parent or pastor who’s failed to provide sound answers to young people. There are plenty of examples:
Julie, a pastor’s daughter, became an agnostic at UNC Chapel Hill.
Steve, son of a famous Christian, renounced biblical morality at Elon.
John, a high school worker for Campus Crusade, became an atheist after reading a Richard Dawkins’ book on atheism.
In fact, the problem is at epidemic levels — 75% of young adults raised in a Christian home leave the church after they leave the home. Think about that — on average, three out of every four kids attending your youth group won’t be attending any church a few years from now.
Why are they leaving? Some think church is irrelevant. Others, out on their own for the first time, are attracted by all the world has to offer and put God on the back burner. Yet many leave because they’ve come to doubt Christianity. In fact, intellectual skepticism is a major reason cited by those who have left.
We can lay the blame for much of this on ourselves — that is, on the church. While there are notable exceptions, many American churches over-emphasize emotion and ignore the biblical commands to develop the mind (1 Pet 3:15, 2 Cor. 10:5).
In other words, we’re doing a great job performing for our youth with skits, bands and videos, but a terrible job informing them with logic, truth, and a Christian worldview. We’ve failed to recognize that what we win them with we win them to. If we win them with emotion, we win them to emotion.
Intellectual Predators on Campus: In 2007, two Jewish researchers conducted a survey to discover the degree to which College faculty are anti-Semitic. To their surprise, they found very little anti-Semitism among professors. Instead, they found professors harbor a distinct anti-Christian bias, particularly toward evangelical students.
The survey showed that:
· The most disliked students by college professors are evangelical Christians. More than half (53%) of all college professors view evangelical students unfavorably. Mormons are next at 33 percent, followed by Muslims at 22 percent. Jewish students have the lowest unfavorable ratings—only three percent.
· College professors are five times more likely to identify themselves as atheists than the general public.
· College professors are more than twice as likely to identify themselves as liberal than the general public.
One former professor summed up the climate on campus well when he warned parents that “we professors are going to go right on trying to discredit you in the eyes of your children, trying to strip your fundamentalist religious community of dignity, trying to make your views seem silly rather than discussable.” He said that we professors “arrange things so that students who enter as bigoted, homophobic religious fundamentalists will leave college with views more like our own.”
This is the environment into which intellectually unarmed Christian students are sent. Are your kids ready? Do you want to know how you can get them ready?
Visit our website www.CrossExamined.org and check back here at Lysa’s blog this week for Part 2.