Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Why defend the Faith?

As usual, Albert Mohler sums up why now is the time for the Lord's people to learn how to defend the Faith. College students who happen to be Bible-believing Christians are under attack. There really are college professors who seek to do harm to Christianity by undermining parental teaching and instruction. Previously, such persons were likely to say nothing, preferring discretion in order to win tenure, get a research grant, and make friends. But in today's hostile-to-Christianity climate some in higher academia have taken off the gloves and are now telegraphing the plays. Why is this?

These profs see Christianity as a kind of literary pest from the past, a religion based on an archaic "just-so" story, the lone obstacle to both the triumph of scientific inquiry and the kind of ethical libertinism they prefer in their own personal lives. So, the last thing they want is conservative-minded students dotting the classroom who are confident in their Christianity. Seeing themselves as "change-agents", the first order of the day for them, then, is to use the classroom as a bully pulpit to hurl critical abuse at the teachings of the Bible and in so doing, discredit the Faith intellectually. Hearing this kind of anti-Christian erudition and sophistication can come like a stun-grenade. For most Christian students, it will be the first, but not the last, serious challenge to the "whys and hows" of what they believe. Naturally, they waver and wonder. Even the verbally astute among them are silenced into worldview submission.

So what's a Christian parent to do?

Prepare for battle, for one. While the weapons of our warfare are not ultimately carnal, we must be ready to do battle for the minds of our children by strengthening our areas of weakness. Leaving the safe confines of a Christian home for the adventurous world of higher learning - where ideas are always in motion - can be a bit intimidating. I'd heard R.C. Sproul say once that the unfortunate choice for many Christians in higher education was between a good education or a Christian education. But this doesn't have to be. One universal area of weakness among Christians I meet today is in the arena of Christian Apologetics - the defense of the Christian faith. Though Christian Apologetics has been around since the infancy of the Church, most have never heard of it. One of my ministry's main goals is to change that.

Since I happen to teach Christian Apologetics at the high school and collegiate level, I want to recommend a couple of books to encourage believing parents to give to their rising juniors, seniors, and graduates preparing for college. One is Dinesh D'Souza's "What's So Great About Christianity". Concise, intelligent, and a thoroughly enjoyable read. Students (and parents) will read about the tremendously impressive contributions of Christianity - uniquely above all other faiths - to the Western and modern world. This book will make you say "Wow!" at least once. Here's a link to Dinesh's website.

The second book I'd like to recommend is "The Privileged Planet", by Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay W. Richards. This book also comes as set with a very nice DVD. The premise of the book is that there is - to a remarkable degree - such unique and design-friendly construction involved in the dimension, size, scope and elemental details of the Universe, the Solar System, and the Earth. Moreover, the fact that this kind of highly complex design is detectable to scientists in the first place raises all kinds of questions about intelligence versus coincidence and design versus randomness. The conclusion that there just might be some kind of Intelligent Agent involved in the making of the world as we know it is a compelling one.

The Intelligent Design movement emerges from this same logic. The idea isn't to draw students into a theological argument about Who designed the world or why it was designed but to engage students with where the science is right now and what this science is drawing intelligent people to conclude.

It would be difficult to read both of these books in a Summer and not be ready to go toe-to-toe against professorial bullying by Fall semester. Armed with prayer and skilled apologetics, the Christian student can make a serious dent in the campus culture.


No comments: