Two atoms bump into each other. One says "I think I lost an electron!" The other asks, "Are you sure?", to which the first replies, "I'm positive."
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Faith Attack: Surviving College with Faith
At a major state university, one young woman stayed after class to talk with the professor. "In today's lecture, you said you're a Christian," she blurted out, almost in tears. "I've never heard any other professor say that, and every day at this university I feel as if my faith is under attack."
If you had any notion that the college campus is a friendly place for Christians, think again. The professor in this story was J. Budziszewski of the University of Texas whose book HOW TO STAY CHRISTIAN IN COLLEGE deals with the reality of the college experience. The university campus has changed dramatically, he writes. And Christian parents had better prepare young people to defend their faith in a hostile environment.
Take one of today's intellectual fads, postmodernism. The best way to define postmodernism is that it's a reaction against modernism -- which began in the Enlightenment, when many intellectuals proclaimed freedom from God and sought to find truth "by reason alone." Postmodernism represents the collapse of that hope, insisting that human reason alone is incapable of coming up with any universal truths.
In postmodernist lingo, we can have no "grand metanarrative" -- no big story, that is -- that makes sense of reality. So what does this mean for the Christian college student in today's classroom? If a believer talks about the biblical worldview of creation, fall, and redemption, he's likely to be shot down precisely because what he's telling is a "metanarrative" that claims to describe ultimate reality. Big stories, you see, have been ruled out of bounds: case closed, discussion ended.
If that weren't enough to rule out a biblical worldview, consider some other implications. If there's no big story making sense of reality, then reality itself dissolves into bits and pieces. And that's exactly what postmodernists say. They think truth is in pieces because they don't believe in a coherent reality that's the same for everyone.
Postmodernists think personality is in pieces as well, because they don't believe in a self -- a core identity -- that's responsible for everything we do. They think life is in pieces because they don't believe it has any ultimate purpose or meaning.
How can Christian students respond to these challenges? Well, the answer may surprise you: We can begin by acknowledging a grain of truth in postmodernism. The postmodernist is right that one cannot know truth by reason alone.
But, the postmodernist is wrong to despair and give up. There is a "metanarrative" -- a big story -- which does explain reality. We have to make the case for it just exactly as Paul did when he preached his marvelous sermon at Mars Hill to the Greeks.
The fact of the matter is that Christian students can be confident that biblical faith has answers to the intellectual challenges they face on college campuses.www.wilberforce.org.