Truth Separated from Reality

The implications of the separation of reason from faith in the university curriculum has not been lost on the students on whom it is being practiced.  Today, we see a generation of young people who are no longer capable of articulating a biblical worldview.  The average college student, even those who come from evangelical Christian homes and churches, hold to many distorted beliefs about God, truth, and reality.  In his research project, Third Millennium Teens, researcher George Barna states that over 75 percent of today’s churched youth believe that God created the universe, Jesus was a real person, and that he was born of a virgin.  However, within that same group, over 50 percent also believe that Christians and Buddhists pray to the same God, that Jesus did not rise from the dead, and all the major religions basically believe the same thing. To today’s postmodern generation, God is whatever a person believes him, or her, to be.

Is it any wonder that 59% of all 18-29 year olds raised in the church (Mosaics) drop out of church after leaving high school?  And, while many of this demographic would say they are still attracted to Jesus–they have little-to-no-use for the church.  What they mean when they say this is that the most pressing questions about life are not being answered by their church.  So, they turn to the internet, social media, pop culture, and peer groups for the answers.  Ironically, they turn to the very people asking the same questions.

Today’s culture of religious and moral relativity has taught whole generations to “pick and choose” what works best for them. But what happens when what they pick and choose is a fatal combination of truth and error?  And, what happens when what passes for “truth” is whatever the student subjectively determines to work best?  For the 21st Century postmodern student, any system or statement of belief that claims to be objectively true, as Christianity does, is judged to be either arrogant at the one end or utterly naïve at the other.  The only moral absolute our culture allows for determining what is “right” is “what works for me, right now”.  This is the reality being taught to thousands of students on university campuses across the United States.

However, the mature Christian knows that trying to fashion a philosophy of life founded on subjectively determined beliefs and concepts of reality, leaves God outside of the person’s planning–and the person outside of God’s plan.  Because we believe a person’s beliefs shape their values, and their values in turn impact their behavior, and their behavior influences their destiny–the need to demonstrate the vitality of God’s Truth in all areas of academic endeavor–remains paramount.  Christian universities must educate the scientist as well as the pastor, the medical doctor and the missionary, the journalist and the business leader on how to be salt in and light to the secularized public square of ideas in our country.

Click here to read Part 1 in this series.

In Part 3 of this series, I will address the importance of “community” in the process of implementing a comprehensive, holistic, Christ-centered education.

About OCU

Ohio Christian University is committed to offering a complete education that develops students intellectually, professionally and spiritually. OCU offers degree programs for residential undergraduate students, graduate students, and adult and online students. Every program is designed to equip students to become leaders in their careers, communities, families, and the world.