Every Christian faculty member on a state university campus is well aware of the number of students who, coming from backgrounds in which the fundamentals of the Christian faith have been stressed, yet find themselves quite at sea in the swirling currents of intellectual give-and-take on the campus. They cannot distinguish between fact and opinion, between problems peculiar to the Christian and problems for which nobody has a ready answer. I have on my desk at the moment the papers of such a young student. He has come from an obviously Christian home and has now discovered the wider world of the mind. Caught between conflicting currents, he is drawn toward psychology, sociology, and philosophy. But he is improperly equipped and is even foundering in his academic progress by neglecting his mathematics, English, and history for these other new enticements. No doubt there is stormy concern back home about this young man’s faith while all this is going on.
The coin has another side. When I was a young seminary student, I was appalled to hear an area secretary of the Sudan Interior Mission say that the mission would no longer accept as candidates those graduates of Bible schools and other Christian institutions who had not taken some of their work on a secular campus. I have since learned firsthand that there is such a thing as intellectual give-and-take on the mission field and that Europeans, Americans, and Russians are exporting psychology, sociology, philosophy, political theory, and above all a tough-minded practical atheism, right along with their dollars, direction, and detergent.
Many pastors at home know this situation well also. They find their congregations very much caught up in a world whose convoluted stresses and ...1
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