As the summer nears completion and parents prepare to send kids off to college either for the first time or back for the upcoming year, I wanted to take a moment to issue a strong warning to parents about what their children will likely face. Even if you’ve chosen a Christian college you need to be very watchful about what your children are being told. Many people, even at Christian colleges, do not share your worldview.
I’ve been sitting on this article for a while, though I did rant about it on a podcast last year. The article itself is hardly new, it was published ten years ago in 2009. However, it exemplifies what is going on in our Christian colleges and seminaries. This particular article was written by Dr. Troy Ladine out of East Texas Baptist University, a small Baptist college in, surprise, east Texas. Dr. Ladine, who I confirmed is still employed by the school and has been since 2001, wrote a paper which was published in the peer-reviewed journal Evolution: Education and Outreach. The paper was titled: “Attitudes of Students at a Private Christian Liberal Arts University Toward the Teaching of Evolution.” You can already see where this is going can’t you?
Dr. Ladine surveyed students at the school and asked how they would like to be taught evolution. About a quarter of them responded. The students were asked six questions. These questions highlight some significant cognitive and implicit biases within the survey which damages the validity of the results. Further, it illustrates just how badly our Christian colleges have been infiltrated and compromised. Here is one question, which was presented to the students as a true/false question. “Science is an endeavor that attempts to give naturalistic explanations to phenomena that can be directly or indirectly observed.” This question is massively loaded. For one thing, it assumes that science must only look for a naturalistic explanation, which, historically, was never the case. For another, it implies that evolution is observed and thus part of science. The bias drips from this question.
Dr. Ladine is far from alone in using his platform to propagate his evolutionary dogma. Answers in Genesis funded a study that looked at Christian colleges to determine their beliefs on evolution. The results were terrifying. 77% of the religion departments at Christian colleges considered themselves old earth creationists. Interestingly, the science faculty swung completely the other way, with 57% considering themselves young earth creationists. This dichotomy ran throughout the survey. Faculty were asked if they believed that the Bible was inspired. 98% said yes. But when asked if they believed scripture was inerrant, that number dropped to 74%. The religion departments were only 56.8% in favor of 6 literal 24 hour days for the creation week. The science department contrast was 71.4% in favor. Clearly there is a dichotomy here. The Christian scientists seem to get it a lot better than the theologians do!
So what is a Christian parent to do? A secular college is likely to be bad and most Christian parents know this, even if their children do not. Yet, apparently, most Christian colleges are no better. In fact, they might be worse. For a child to be attacked by the world for their beliefs is expected. When the attack comes from people who claim to be Christians, it is much more confusing and likely to cause doubt. After all, the college student would reason, these people are on my side so why shouldn’t I believe them? And so the descent into unbelief begins. The professors who spark the journey are usually not the ones who end up renouncing Christianity if they were Christian to begin with. However, thousands of their students will after being taught evolution.
So how do we respond? Well one suggestion is to send your child to a creation college. Answers in Genesis maintains a list which I’ve linked to below. Note that Liberty University, the most well known “evangelical” school in the nation, is not on the list. There are very good reasons for that which are beyond the scope of this blog. It pays to carefully research any school you are considering sending your child to, in order to give them the best possible chance of withstanding the flood of false ideas they will be inundated with.