Christian at the University
by Jane Pantig
I recently took a trip to Seattle, Washington. During the trip I met two students who were Christians. We had quite a conversation as we walked a few blocks to Mars Hill U-District. I asked them: How did you become Christians? Are you involved with campus ministries? What are the challenges you face sharing your faith on campus?
Both of the students were biology majors, which we all had in common. I told them that I majored in biology in my undergraduate and was studying to be an optometrist. One of them asked me, “What changed?” I told them that God had saved me in college, and He had something else for me to do. I told them about the work I do with Ratio Christi. This was the first time they heard about apologetics. Since they were both biology majors I told them about the Intelligent Design movement, the book, Darwin’s Doubt and the flaws of evolution. They were both intrigued because they had never heard about any of this or that there was evidence that supported their Christian beliefs.
It is quite common to come across Christians who do not know that there is an intellectual defense for their trust in God. When students get to college their beliefs about God are challenged and often times students walk away from their faith. There is a statistic that says, “more than 52 percent of incoming freshmen who identify
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themselves as born-again upon entering a public university will either no longer identify themselves as born-again four years later or even if they do still claim that identification, will not have attended any religious services in over a year.”
Unfortunately, the Church has not prepared our young people for the university and the Church has also withdrawn its presence at the university. David Horner writes in his book, Mind Your Faith:
Typically secular academics ignore or dismiss Christian ideas because they are unaware of them. They’ve simply never been exposed to a thoughtful Christian perspective on these matters– largely because over the past century so many Christians, particularly American evangelicals, abandoned the university. This exodus was often prompted by good motives, out of desire to preserve and protect the church from liberal theology or bad ideas in general. But the tragic result is that, to a great extent, Christians have simple not been in the university’s marketplace of ideas to represent Jesus and his view of the world in a credible way. We can hardly blame secular folks for ignoring perspectives we were not there to provide them.
The Church doesn’t seem to see the value of intellectual life and encourage students to be intellectuals to make an impact for Christ, J.P. Moreland writes in his book, Loving God with All Your Mind writes…