The deepest problems of secular liberal-arts education today stem from the theory that truth and values are relative, a fallout of this generation’s commitment to evolutionary perspectives. The loss of authoritative norms explains, in part, the strident student shift from reason and persuasion to mob pressure and compulsion. An evolutionary perspective provides no basis for universal and enduring human rights or responsibilities, nor can it fix normative limits of escalation or deescalation of protest and disruption. It cannot, in fact, supply any fixed norms of ethics whatever, or any unchanging truths.
Amid lost confidence in liberal learning on secular campuses, evangelical students have—and yet neglect—a tremendous opportunity to counter radical assaults on liberal education by their own kind of demonstrations. To face the reality of the supernatural, the objectivity of truth and values, and the moral and spiritual significance of Jesus of Nazareth is crucial to any honest system of education and culture. Yet few issues are more evaded, and more arbitrarily prejudged, than these.
Nowhere, apparently, has a vanguard of evangelical students raised the pivotal questions bypassed in most modern classrooms, by pinpointing the failure of secular faculties to wrestle with the ever critical problems of the history of thought that are decisive for human dignity and the role of reason in society. Who is God if he is? What is moral?—and so what? Is any truth final? Is Christ just a “four-letter word”? These are great issues that believing collegians should be demonstrating for. However much some of us might cringe at placards and banners, they are an in-thing that bespeaks the importance of symbols in a mass-media age, and they can ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 60+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more