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A Follow-up to Last Week’s Higher Education…or Higher Conditioning?

January 31, 2018
By John Morrison
Image from Nitinai Thabthong/Shutterstock

I thought my readers would appreciate the following response I received from last week’s blog (click here) concerning much of higher education’s radical shift away from a traditional liberal arts emphasis toward becoming more of a conditioning agent for political correctness. I have edited this reader’s response for the sake of anonymity.  

Your recent blog posting describes my experience ... at ABC college.  The summer after my freshman year I reconnected with several friends, including some from GCS.  My high school friendships with committed Christians helped me reflect, and I returned to ABC college with reservations.  About a month into the semester, I was looking out my dorm room window watching two women embrace and kiss when I realized that I was no longer shocked by this behavior.  It had become my new normal.  In that moment, God stirred my heart and I knew that to preserve myself I had to transfer schools.  I can only imagine what [my old college] must be like now . . . the latest alumni magazine I received had an article explaining that the school, a women's college, has changed its admissions policy.  The college is now accepting applications for admission from all persons who identify as women.  I'm not sure I even understand what that means.  

As a … teacher, I appreciate the academics at Grace, especially the emphasis on accountability and natural consequences.  What truly differentiates Grace, however, is the biblical worldview. As parents, we must pray that these seeds flourish so that our children choose to preserve their Christian faith when faced with an onslaught of unholy ideas.  I am so thankful that God chose to stir my heart that fall day [at my old college].  It has influenced so many decisions, including the choice to send our [children] to Grace.  

Most of us would probably agree that we cannot (and should not) isolate ourselves or our children from the bigger world.  On the other hand, there is a prudent balance, especially when our youth are in their formative years, by placing them in a spiritually healthy educational environment. When they spend most of their waking hours in a school culture as described above, the implicit message from the everyday, prevailing "normal" of that environment begins to sink into their subconscious, and they transition in their own beliefs (without consciously realizing it) to this "new normal."  This is one subtle way that our children’s faith values can be slowly undermined if they have not been carefully trained to recognize and critically examine the underlying assumptions of opposing truth claims.  They also need to be carefully instructed in why our Christian suppositions are eminently reasonable and defensible.  

I qualified last week that I am not suggesting that Christian parents should avoid sending their children to secular colleges and universities.  But if they do, they should proceed with great caution and with their eyes fully open to just how hostile many such institutions have become to our faith values.  Most parents spend thousands of dollars at such institutions with the intent to provide their children with a good education, not to have them conditioned in politically correct propaganda!  This is one reason for parents to keep solid Christian colleges and universities on their radar.

And as someone recently pointed out to me, parents may need to be reminded that the secular university is not what it was when they went to school, and that their child will likely have a radically different experience in terms of what they are exposed to -- both explicitly in the classroom as well as implicitly in the university culture.

If students are not thoroughly instructed in the vital critical  thinking skills needed to carefully evaluate opposing worldviews, especially when those worldviews are accepted by the majority of their generation as “normal,” then they will likely become yet another convert to the “new normal.”

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