Tuesday, August 15, 2006


One of the primary arguments for the need for propositional and foundational apologetics is the "crisis in the university." According to many traditionalist organization's estimates, 75% of Christian students lose faith when they attend college. They attribute this to the fact that when students "have no idea why they believe what they believe and have no ability to defend their beliefs, they’re taken captive by ideas for which they aren’t prepared."

I think this issue is more complex. But first, I have to challenge the statistics a little bit. Statistics are all too aften misleading. Statistically speaking, Vatican City is the most dangerous place in the world while Yemen is the safest. Of couse, reality is much different.

Is it true that because students are ill equiped to face the ideas they encounter in the classroom that they walk away from a relationship with Christ? Sometimes. But I think that ideas that challenge faith are only a part of the problem, and may indeed may not be as significant as claimed.

I assert that proximity and peers probably have more to do with any loss of faith than contact with abstract ideas. Proximity because for most students it is the first time in their lives when they experience freedom from the watchful eyes of parents. Peers because it is friends that shape and reflect who we are within. True, false cerebral ideas often do lead the faithful astray. But let's not forget the role of relationships in this battle for the heart.

And let's be more careful with statistics. I know higher numbers mean higher dollars, but sometimes they only mean greater fiction.

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